Phil Nelson To Lead CNN’s International Business Operations

Phil Nelson will lead CNN Worldwide’s international business operations and its work with commercial partners outside of the U.S. Nelson previously was COO of CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) from 2019. In the new position of executive VP, CNNIC, he is now responsible for all international advertising sales, content sales and licensing and commercial distribution revenue, as well as related client solutions functions including the Create brand studio and digital and data operations.

How Networks Faced (Or Ignored) The Writers Strike In Their Fall Plans

CBS waves away the labor action, ABC works around it, and NBC tries something in between.

Fewer Stars, Fewer Shows, Fewer CEOs And More Picket Lines As Upfronts Wrap

If TV’s upfront week used to be defined by spectacle — a parade of stars and musical performances culminating in glamorous parties with open bars and lobster canapés — to say the 2023 installment was muted would be an understatement. There were still musical performances, and there were stars (at least from the world of sports, news and reality TV), but the ongoing writers strike made its presence felt.


Why Standard General’s Proposed Tegna Merger Hurts Our Democracy

Common Cause VP Kathay Feng says that hedge funds’ bottom-line mindset leads to less-robust local news operations. “The rapid decrease in local news should alarm everyone, especially heading into yet another consequential election year. With fewer resources to combat disinformation and hold power accountable, we have to do what we can to protect our local newsrooms.”


Dow Rises 115, Nasdaq Climbs 188, S&P Gains 39

Wall Street rose Thursday, adding to a winning week. The S&P 500 gained 0.9%, adding to its rally from the day before as hopes rise further that the U.S. government can avoid a disastrous default on its debt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.3%, while the Nasdaq composite climbed 1.5%.

Sam Zell, Tycoon Whose Big Newspaper Venture Went Bust, Dies At 81

With a fortune made in real estate, he went into the media business in a landmark leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company in 2007. Bankruptcy ensued.

ESPN Plans To Stream Flagship Channel, Eyeing Cable TV’s Demise

ESPN is laying the groundwork to sell its channel directly to cable cord-cutters as a subscription-streaming service in coming years, according to people familiar with the matter, a shift with profound implications for the company and the broader television business. Executives at ESPN and its parent, Disney, for years have said it was inevitable that the sports TV channel would one day be available as a stand-alone streaming service. Now, as consumers increasingly cut the cable-TV cord, the company is actively preparing for that shift under a project with the internal code name “Flagship,” the people said. The company has set no firm timeline for the change.

Disney Scraps Plan To Move Staffers To Florida From California

Just over a week ago, Bob Iger rhetorically asked the adversarial  Gov. Ron DeSantis if Florida really wanted Disney’s considerable business and tax revenue, or not. Now, without mentioning the would-be presidential contender or his attacks on the company, the Mouse House has pulled some of that business and taxes revenues from the Sunshine State. In a note that just went out from Parks and Resorts boss Josh D’Amaro to Disney Parks, Experiences & Products employees, Disney is abandoning its plan to move around 2,000 staffers and their families to central Florida from California.

Netflix Stock Jumps After Reporting Nearly 5 Million Customers On Ad Plan

Shares of Netflix jumped more than 10% Thursday on news that the streamer had signed up almost 5 million customers for its ad-supported plan within six months of launch. At Netflix’s first-ever upfronts event Wednesday — held virtually — the company announced that it had signed up nearly 5 million global monthly active users following its initial introduction in early November 2022.

David Zaslav Suggests Rival Streamers Should Bundle Together

Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav thinks consolidation is in the cards for streaming platforms, but not necessarily through traditional M&A. “There should be a consolidation, but it is more likely to happen in the repackaging and marketing of products together. That’s what I think makes sense. We have to, as industry, reach that point,” he said during a Q&A at a media conference today. Mergers carry regulatory risks and can take years to close. In a fast-changing industry, “Who knows what the world looks like?”

NBCU Launch Unveils Below-The-Line Traineeship And Production Assistant Initiative

Scripps Sports Taps Quinn Pacini As Operations VP

The GM of two Scripps Montana stations will now be responsible for Scripps’ live sports and sports-related content presentation. He will serve as the primary lead with the company’s internal production team, local affiliates, talent and production partners.

Mission Broadcasting Buying WADL Detroit

The purchase of the MNT affiliate from Adell Broadcasting gives Mission its 30th station and its second in Michigan.

The Combined WWE And UFC Will Be Called TKO Group

Big Paydays For Media’s Big Chiefs: CEO Compensation Stays High Even In Hard Times

Economists are fretting about a recession. Media stocks are in the toilet. Layoffs are being enacted monthly as a spirit of cut, cut, cut grips Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Oh, and screenwriters are on strike, while directors and actors are threatening to join them when their contracts expire next month. But for the media moguls and tech entrepreneurs who run the major conglomerates, it’s business as usual in one important respect. Yes, most of these corporate chieftains trimmed their pay packages … but not all of them did.

SAG-AFTRA Calls For Strike Authorization Vote Ahead Of June 7 AMPTP Talks

SAG-AFTRA announced Wednesday that it will hold a strike authorization vote as it seeks to get its “ducks in a row” ahead of June 7 negotiations with the major studios. The vote does not mean that the performers’ union will necessarily join the Writers Guild of America on the picket lines after its contract expires on June 30. In a press release, the union said its negotiating committee decided that a strike authorization would provide “maximum bargaining leverage” for the talks.

Katie Couric Criticizes Former NBCUniversal Boss Jeff Shell For ‘Stupid And Reckless’ Behavior Prior To Ouster

Standard General Tries, Tries Again With FCC On Tegna Deal

Standard General said the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has “suggested” the company “attempt to resolve remaining concerns to allow the transaction“ — its purchase of  Tegna’s TV stations — “to move forward,” which it said it is definitely trying to do. Standard General’s invocation of the Enforcement Bureau suggestion was a reference to a meeting with FCC officials last week.

Upfronts: YouTube Adopts Non-Skippable 30-Second CTV Commercials

YouTube, competing for TV ad dollars with TV companies that are shifting to streaming, announced that it is bringing 30-second commercials that can’t be skipped to YouTube Select on connected TVs. At its annual Brandcast presentation to advertisers during upfront week, YouTube also said it was introducing the ability to pause ads to CTVs.

Upfronts: Netflix Says It Has Nearly 5 Million Users On Ad Tier

At its first upfront presentation, Netflix shared some hard numbers with advertisers, saying it now has nearly 5 million global monthly active users for its ad-supported tier. The median age for those users is 34, the streamer said, considerably lower than the senior citizen-level average for most broadcast and cable channels. After years of forswearing commercials, Netflix co-CEO Greg Peters told advertisers and media buyers: “We share a common goal, which is building connection. You want to connect consumers with your amazing brands. And we want to connect them with amazing entertainment they’ll love.” Pictured: Jeremi Gorman, Netflix president, worldwide advertising.

Sook: LIV Golf Scores Sales For CW Affiliates

The Nexstar CEO said: “At the local level [LIV Golf] is selling like gangbusters. Car dealers are not deeply involved in national or international geopolitical conversations. They want to move product. This is televised sports. They’re all in.”


Dow Gains 409, Nasdaq Adds 158, S&P Rises 49

Wall Street rose Wednesday on hopes that the U.S. may avoid default. The S&P 500 climbed 1.2%, with much of the gain coming after President Joe Biden said he’s confident “America will not default.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2%, while the Nasdaq composite gained 1.3%.

Fox’s Lachlan Murdoch Slaps Back At CNN; Reinforces Value Of Sports To Linear

During Wednesday’s MoffettNathanson Inaugural Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, the CEO also said sports will stay on Fox linear: ““Fox has a unique strategy, in that we are keeping our premium sports on our broadcast network. And we think that’s very important because it means that the traditional pay TV ecosystem is still what serves consumers best, serves the leagues best, with the most reach, and serves advertising clients. So we’re going to continue to do that.”

L.A. Sees 69.5% Decline In Production Permits In Second Week Of Strike

The Writers Guild of America strike is clearly taking a toll on production, as the Los Angeles permitting agency reported a 69.5% decline in on-location permits last week. FilmLA, which handles permitting for many jurisdictions around L.A. County, reported that there were 111 permits last week for TV and feature films. That includes reality TV, which is not covered by the WGA strike. That figure was down 69.5% from the same week in 2022, when there were 364 permits.

Disney CFO Says Advertising Will Come Back

Rita Ferro, Disney president, advertising sales: “The Walt Disney Co. has the best broadcast, the best of cable, the best of sports and the best of streaming, coupled with the best investments around data and technology that really enable advertisers to buy in as close as they want to, to make sure that they’re spending the right money around the right KPIs.”

NAB Leadership Foundation To Honor JPMorgan Chase With Corporate Leadership Award

The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF) today announced JPMorgan Chase as the recipient of the 2023 Corporate Leadership Award. The award will be given during the 2023 Celebration of Service to America Awards, presented by Bonneville International and Hearst Television and held in Washington, D.C., on June 6 at The Anthem. Each year, […]

NATPE Global Announces Return To Miami

Set for Jan. 16-18, 2024, the marketplace will be headquartered at the InterContinental Hotel.


The Hollywood Writers Strike Could Have Lasting Impact

Just as with the previous writers strike, the longer this one goes on, the more likely its effects will be permanent and significant. Nor is that only a problem for writers; in the era of TikTok and YouTube, producers also have a lot on the line.

Disney Leans Into Spectacle In Extensive Upfront Pitch

There weren’t any actors at Disney’s Tuesday presentation at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center, but Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Serena Williams and Damar Hamlin were brought out to wow the crowd of media buyers.


Local TV News Should Drill Even Deeper

There’s a missed opportunity in local markets for TV stations to capitalize on: Super serve smaller communities within DMAs where competition is scant.