ICYMI: Executive Session Shares A Variety Of Views From The Top

TVNewsCheck’s long-running conversations with top television executives brought key insights and predictions from all corners of the industry. Catch up with them as you ready yourself for 2022.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ROBERT CORN-REVERE

Corn-Revere: Broadcasting Deserves Full 1st Amendment Protection, And Social Media Should Keep Theirs

Robert Corn-Revere, a veteran First Amendment attorney and former legal assistant to late FCC Commissioner James Quello, argues that the right case might just unlock FCC ownership restrictions and that social media platforms deserve no less protection from government censors and regulators than any of their predecessors.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH HILTON HOWELL PT. 1

Gray’s Howell: ‘It Is Past Time For Us To Get Back To Business’

Hilton Howell, chairman and CEO of Gray Television, stands by the company’s vaccine mandate as necessary to resuming something closer to operational normalcy. In an exclusive interview with TVNewsCheck, he also weighs in on the FCC’s ownership cap, the prospect of more Gray original productions and where he sees retrans’ future.

BRAND CONNECTIONS
EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH MORT MARCUS & IRA BERNSTEIN

Debmar-Mercury: Stations Still ‘Need Shows Like Ours’

Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of syndication company Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, say that even as syndicated options recede and station groups ramp up their own programming, there’s still a business ahead for syndies.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH DAISY VEERASINGHAM

Live Video Is Top Priority For AP’s New Chief

Daisy Veerasingham, the Associated Press’ incoming president and CEO, says that live video reporting, along with automating functions like transcriptions and translations around it, will be a key focus for the organization. Does that mean an AP streaming service could be in the offing? Note: This story, which is available to all, would normally be reserved for TVNewsCheck Premium members only.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH DAN SHELLEY

Delta Be Damned, RTDNA Presses On With Live Conference

RTDNA will be the canary in the coal mine for journalism conferences in September, when it convenes in Denver without the Society of Professional Journalists, its longtime partner. Executive Director Dan Shelley discusses plans for navigating the live event amid the Delta surge and the most pressing dangers and prerogatives facing journalists as unsteady times continue and attacks on reporters persist.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH NATE JOHNSON

NBCU Local Adds AR To Weather Coverage Arsenal

Nate Johnson, director of weather operations for NBCUniversal Local, says the group’s NBC and Telemundo stations are using augmented reality to enhance weather reporting. Every tool counts, he emphasizes, since competition for talent is getting stiffer as Fox readies its own weather network. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JAN GOLDSTEIN

Gray: Work From Home Won’t Go Away

Jan Goldstein, SVP of human resources at Gray Television, says the 9-to-5 status quo has been permanently disrupted at TV stations by the pandemic. The new world of TV HR has also been reshaped by a deeper commitment to diversity and inclusion, a greater scrutiny of future work-related travel and the blurred lines between employees’ professional and personal lives after 15 months of remote work. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JOE WEIR

Cox Media Group: TV In A ‘Great Position’ Against The Cookie Apocalypse

TV’s digital businesses are in a strong position to withstand Google’s eventual phase-out of third-party cookies in 2023, says Joe Weir, Cox Media Groups SVP of digital, but that means cultivating its own walled gardens in the process. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM WARE

Sinclair’s STIRR: Streaming Revenue Gold In ‘Long-Form’

Adam Ware, VP of national networks and platforms for Sinclair Broadcast Group, says the company’s STIRR network of local streaming channels is seeing robust revenue growth in spinning up bespoke channels and “long-form” advertising content for local advertisers. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH KATE O’BRIAN

Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News

Kate O’Brian, E.W. Scripps’ newly-installed head of news for its national television networks, is overseeing Newsy’s HQ move to Atlanta and the addition of more than 55 new positions and nine new bureaus on the network’s trajectory to OTA distribution and a 24/7 news schedule. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH RADHA SUBRAMANYAM

Executive Session | CBS: Broadcast-Streamers Relationship Depends On ‘Synergy’

Radha Subramanyham, chief research and analytics officer at CBS Corp., says AVOD and SVOD streaming options and linear TV can coexist without enmity. “It is our job to understand our customer base and move people seamlessly through our experiences,” she says. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH PERRY SOOK

Executive Session | Nexstar: ‘There Is No Plan B’ On NewsNation

Nexstar CEO Perry Sook weighs in on NewsNation’s struggles; the prospect of increasing reverse comp fees for less programming exclusivity; NextGen TV’s monetization horizon; the industry’s need for a single, impressions-based currency and much more in this exclusive TVNewsCheck interview. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH MIKE MEARA

TVN Executive Session | NPG Still In The Hunt For More Stations

Mike Meara, president of News Press & Gazette Broadcasting, says the family-owned company has no plans to get swallowed up in the industry’s consolidation trend and is very interested in picking up more stations itself. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ERNESTO MOURELO

TVN Executive Session | For Hearst, Digital Amps Storytelling Reach

Hearst Television’s national digital team “amplifies” stories from across the group to share across its markets. Digital News VP Ernesto Mourelo says it’s an opportunity to give those stories “attention that they deserve, which a lot of national media isn’t very good at.” Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SETH GEIGER

TVN Executive Session | Geiger: News Space ‘Wide Open’ In Streaming

SmithGeiger Co-Founder and President Seth Geiger says no TV news organization has yet made a mark in the crucial streaming space, and the decade or less that the industry’s new NFL deal just bought demands a broadcast reinvention where OTT will play a key role. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM OSTROW & JONATHAN FORSYTHE

TVN Executive Session | Tegna’s Verify Gets National Boost

Verify, a six-year-old reporting project within Tegna that presents stories in direct response to viewer queries, is ramping up dramatically with an expanded national team and multiplatform iterations including younger-demo social platforms like Snapchat and TikTok. Adam Ostrow, Tegna’s chief digital officer, and Jonathan Forsythe, Verify’s managing editor, frame out its ambitions. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH GORDON SMITH

TVN Executive Session | NAB Prioritizes Antitrust Exemption, Relaxed Ownership Rules

NAB President Gordon Smith says the organization is shifting into offense with the new Democrat-led FCC, pairing with newspaper publishers for an antitrust exemption in dealing with Big Tech along with pressing for a relaxation of antiquated TV ownership rules. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH LISA KNUTSON

TVN Executive Session | Scripps’ National Networks See The Future In ‘Self-Bundling’

Lisa Knutson, president of E.W. Scripps’ national networks, says the company is targeting cord-cutting viewers who are pairing a handful of paid streaming subscriptions with free over-the-air options and “assembling their own TV packages.” Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SHAWN MAKHIJANI

TVN Executive Session | NBC’s Spot On Sees $1.2B Local OTT Business In ’21

Shawn Makhijani, SVP of NBC’s advanced advertising service for local and regional buyers, says TV buys are becoming more holistic to embrace OTT, driven by a dramatic uptick in streaming viewing. “The rule of thumb is you want to get 20% of your local TV campaign to be OTT,” he says. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH EMILY STONE

TVN Executive Session | Social Media Commenting Gets Messy, But Fox Stations Are Hanging In

Tempers and temperatures may be rising on social media platforms, but Fox Television Stations’ Emily Stone, VP of digital content operations, say they’re still an essential conduit between viewers and stations and often prompt new story ideas. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ASHLEIGH BANFIELD

TVN Executive Session | ‘Banfield’ To Target ‘Unserved’ Moderate Viewers

Veteran anchor Ashleigh Banfield will helm an eponymous new primetime interview show for Nexstar’s WGN America in March. Her value proposition: offering an in-depth, quieter retreat from the ideological echo chambers elsewhere on cable news. “Eventually, you need a cleanse,” she says. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JULIE WOLFE

TVN Executive Session | For Tegna, A Proactive Take On Hiring, Onboarding During The Pademic

Julie Wolfe, news director at Tegna’s WHAS Louisville, Ky., has tackled hiring and training new personnel during COVID by leaning on pre-pandemic habits. Those include constantly networking even before newsroom positions open, lots of one-on-one communication with new personnel and building a newsroom culture with a ready embrace of digital tools.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SHELLY PALMER

TVN Executive Session | Virtual CES Foreshadows Post-Pandemic Glimpses

Next week’s CES will feature virtualized presentations of new 8K TV sets, streaming technology and ever-improving home video production tools that will be of interest to broadcasters. Veteran consultant Shelly Palmer says smart TVs will take a leap forward, smartphone tech will pause until post-pandemic mobility returns and huge trade shows like CES itself will never be the same again.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH FRANK COMERFORD

TVN Executuve Session | NBCU Grows Pay-Per-Performance Deals

Frank Comerford, NBCU Owned Television Stations’ CRO and president of commercial operations, says its Post-In Flight deals are starting to take off and could eliminate much of the post-buy work for both the station group and ad agencies. He says Spot ON, NBCU’s OTT/CTV product, is also bolstering business development and making it easier to communicate with advertisers.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JACK ABERNETHY

TVN Executive Session | Fox’s Jack Abernethy: TV Leadership Has ‘Never Been Tested’ Like Now

Political is bolstering a comeback for TV advertising, but as COVID-19’s uncertainties continue to loom, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy says managing in a climate of fear continues to be challenging.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ELLEN CROOKE

TVN Executive Session | Tegna: BLM Will Have Lasting Newsroom Impact

Ellen Crooke, Tegna’s VP of news, says the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted greater “intentionality” in the group’s efforts for diversity and inclusion in its news organizations and leadership. She adds that COVID-19 has also supercharged Tegna’s Verify fact-checking project and data visualization efforts.

TVN TECH EXECUTIVE SESSION

TVN Tech | Michelle Munson Opens New Chapter With Eluvio

The networking tech veteran’s latest venture aims to replace traditional content-delivery networks and their myriad copies of different files suited for different devices with the Eluvio Content Fabric, a blockchain-based software service platform. She talks about Eluvio and how she sees the media technology landscape heading into IBC.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive Session | No Standing Still For Lougee And Tegna

Tegna President-CEO Dave Lougee says he will continue to look for stations that meet his performance and market criteria to the extent the FCC ownership limits allow. He also addresses the advantages of scale, automated spot buying, retrans threats, his decision to take national sales in-house, regulation, the weakness of auto spot, the strength of political spot and his hope for ATSC 3.0.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH STEVE KAZANJIAN & RICK SWANSON

Promax Summit Targets Station Concerns, Needs

Promax CEO Steve Kazanjian and Station Summit VP Rick Swanson talk about this year’s summit with its emphasis on growing the broadcast audience, training and recruitment. It’s also a vital gathering spot where the broadcast networks and Hollywood syndicators can share and coordinate plans for the fall TV season with the stations that air their programs.