Calkins Digital will develop apps for Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL Raleigh, N.C., and Schurz Communications’ newspapers on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices, the company said on Sunday. WRAL’s Amazon Fire TV app has already debuted, and the rest will debut for both companies this spring.
The agency’s deputy general counsel tells a federal court that the probe is to determine whether to subject Media General to a license revocation hearing. The FCC is upset by Media General’s attempts in court to block Gray Television from ending the JSA it has with Media General for WAGT Augusta, Ga., and from selling the station in the incentive auction.
Gray Television said Tuesday that it has closed its purchase of television stations from Schurz Communications and related station acquisitions and divestitures with other parties. Gray CEO Hilton Howell said: “Today, we are thrilled to welcome the many talented individuals from the Schurz stations and WLUC to the Gray corporate family.” The acquisition cost was approximately $415.3 million.
The commission approves the $442.5 million deal, granting some waivers of the local ownership rules and denying others. Among other things, it will have to terminate its JSA in Wichita, Kan.
Gray and Schurz have entered into a proposed consent decree with the DOJ that requires the divestiture of television stations in the Wichita, Kan., and South Bend, Ind., markets.
The Schurz radio stations in the deal announced in September in South Bend, Ind., will go to Mid-West Family Broadcast Group; those in Lafayette, Ind., to Neuhoff Communications; and The HomeSlice Group gets the Rapid City, S.D., properties. the three deals will bring Gray $16 million.
To facilitate FCC approval of its purchase of Schurz Communicaitons’ television and radio stations, Gray is selling stations in three markets, while buying three more. The affected markets are Wichita, Kan.; Knoxville, Tenn.; South Bend, Ind.; Marquette, Mich; Rapid City, S.D.; and Anchorage, Alaska.
Even with its latest purchase of Schurz, CEO Hilton Howell says “we will continue to look for acquisitions that add to what we’re doing.” But SVP Kevin Latek says buying opportunities may be limited. The Schurz deal grows Gray’s reach to 49 markets in 28 states.
The deal will expand Gray’s operations to a total of 49 television markets and 28 states. “In a rapidly consolidating industry where size and scale matter more than ever before, we have come to the realization that Gray Television would be the best steward to ensure our stations succeed over the long-term,” explained Todd Schurz, president-CEO of Schurz.
The live TV ambush murders of a reporter and photographer at WDBJ Roanoke, Va., have devastated the family-owned firm that owns the station. The respect that Mishiwaka, Ind.-based Schurz Communications commands in the close-knit world of broadcasters has prompted an outpouring of support from station owners around the country.
Schurz Communications, working with pollster Civic Science, debuted a “custom-cloned” feature on its digital properties Wednesday that uses infographics to illustrate local users’ responses to polling questions. Schurz SVP Kerry Oslund sees a revenue play for it in both the sponsored content space and by licensing other publishers to use the platform.
After an investigation, the FCC says the CBS Roanoke, Va., affiliate during a July 2012 newscast apparently aired “extremely graphic and explicit sexual content, specifically a video image of a hand stroking an erect penis.”
J.B. Ozuna has been promoted to VP of digital media for Schurz Communications, effective Sept. 1. Ozuna has been sales and revenue development director for the last seven years. He has helped SCI launch a variety of digital revenue initiatives across all companies and recently branched out into direct digital sales in two markets.
Schurz Communications-owned CBS affiliate KWCH Wichita, Kan. (DMA 67) has signed an agreement to use TrafficLand’s Broadcast 3.0 traffic camera video management service. The TrafficLand service provides integrated access to live video from Kansas Department of Transportation traffic cameras through a specialized front-end designed for television production and broadcast. TrafficLand Broadcast 3.0 will give KWCH the ability to set up […]
What Schurz is paying the Duhamel family for the ABC affiliate was revealed today in an FCC filing seeking approval of the deal. The parties announced the sale on Oct. 31 without disclosing the price.
After 58 years as a family business, Bill Duhamel says it’s time to sell KOTA. “The rapidly consolidating television industry makes it difficult for a single, stand-alone business to remain competitive and to develop the necessary capital to expand into the digital era,” he said. Acquisition-minded Schurz owns 10 other TV stations. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
For TV broadcasters, newspapers and radio stations, a truly cross-platform CMS that can easily cross over legacy lines and integrate disparate systems and workflows is the grail. A future in which media companies become multimedia organizations may be closer than some think. “Those barriers are coming down,” says WorldNow’s Craig Smith. “The industry needs to break down those barriers.” Part three of a three-part special report. Read the full report here.
Local newspapers and broadcasters today are seeking content management systems that are faster and more complex than ever before. And while vendors are constantly developing new products to keep up with evolving demands, the industry is facing contraction. “There are just too many players, and nobody is really big enough to have any control,” says Internet Broadcasting’s Elmer Baldwin. “There are some that just aren’t going to survive.” Part two of a three-part special report. Read part one here
Content management systems serving the local media industry have taken a quantum leap forward, and choosing the right CMS has become more complicated than ever. Media companies have some difficult choices: select a system from a vendor, build one in-house or use an open-source system. Ron Stitt, VP of digital media at Fox Television Stations: “The pace of development is still constantly accelerating, and the landscape is incredibly complex when you factor in not just the front end but also the underlying platforms, devices, operating systems, display formats, distribution schemes and advertising/tracking requirements.” Part one of a three-part special report. Read the full report here.
The media company will use Critical Media’s video publishing, syndication and licensing solutions at its local newspapers, television and radio stations. Critical Media will also help Schurz monetize content through syndication to enterprises and vertical websites while also extending distribution opportunities in the over-the-top TV market.
Schurz Communications has forged an unprecedented, multi-year, multiplatform deal with two CMS providers — Internet Broacasting and TownNews.com — while also tipping a new “content federation” forged with Hearst Corp., Post Newsweek and The News Press & Gazette. The move could signal a directional shift in the legacy-bound world of CMS providers.
Responsive design, which ensures a consistent user experience across various devices, may be a hot topic at media companies these days, but the strategy does not necessarily mean the end of the road for apps. While some executives think that responsive design is a must, others warn that it’s not a catchall solution and apps still have a place in the media quiver. Part one of a two-part special report on local media’s mobile strategies.
When Media General’s Augusta, Ga., ABC affiliate WJBF took management control of Schurz’s NBC affillate WAGT in 2009, one of its goals was to maintain the distinct personality of WAGT. So, when Media General moved the duopoly into a renovated Barnes & Noble bookstore last fall, each station got its own newsroom and studio. Although the gear is the same, the on-air products are not.
The SVP of Schurz Communications says her company’s duopolies benefit not only the stations’ P&Ls, but also their communities. “You can get the back-end efficiencies, but you still have to have robust competitive products for the station to grow long term.” She also explains why Schurz has been quiet in the post-recession station trading market and discusses the success she’s had with Rentrak as a Nielsen alternative.
Multi-screen media measurement firm Rentrak Corp. today announced that it has added four new Schurz Communications stations to its StationView Essentials service and also renewed contracts for three others. Joining the Rentrak client roster are WBDJ (CBS) Roanoke, Va. (DMA 66), as well as KSPR (ABC), K15CZ (CW) and KYTV (NBC) in Springfield, Mo. (DMA […]
Beginning March 31, the retiring GM of KYTV Springfield, Mo., will become a programming consultant for all the group owner’s stations