Fox’s Abernethy Set For ATSC 3.0 Summit

The CEO of Fox Television Stations and co-president of Fox News Channel joins David Smith of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Perry Sook of Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Pat LaPlatney of Raycom Media on a CEO panel at TVNewsCheck’s TV2020: Monetizing ATSC 3.0 conference in New York on Nov. 9-10.

Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations and co-president of Fox News Channel, will join other major station group CEOs in a panel discussion of the money-making potential of ATSC 3.0 in New York City in two weeks.

The other previously announced panelists are David Smith of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Perry Sook of Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Pat LaPlatney of Raycom Media.

TVNewsCheck’s TV2020: Monetizing ATSC 3.0 will take place Nov.9-10 at New York’s Javits Convention Center during NAB Show New York, with the CEO panel slotted for 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 9.

Broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers have been developing the new standard for the past several years under the aegis of the Advanced Television Systems Committee. The FCC is now considering allowing its use on a voluntary basis.

“Jack is among the most respected broadcasters in the business,” said TVNewsCheck Editor Harry A. Jessell. “And with his network connection and top stations in top markets, he will add new dimensions to the discussion.”

To register for TV 2020, click here.


Since 2012, Fox Television Stations has held the top position in the TVNewsCheck-BIA/Kesley’s annual Top 30 Station Groups, which ranks group by their annual spot revenue.

The group comprises 28 owned-and-operated stations and duopolies. Among them: WNYW-WWOR New York, KTTV-KCOP Los Angeles, KDFW-KDFI Dallas, WTXF Philadelphia, WTTG-WDCA Washington and KTVU-KICU San Francisco.

In addition running the group, Abernethy is the co-president of Fox News Channel, heading up the finance, advertising sales and distribution departments for cable network.

Abernethy also oversees Fox Television Stations’ first-run development and the programming service, MyNetworkTV. FTS first-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include Divorce Court and Dish Nation.

Prior to his current positions, Abernethy was the EVP of Fox News, where he led development for long-term strategic and business plans for the successful launch of the cable news channel. 

His responsibilities at Fox News evolved to include oversight of finance, human resources, legal affairs, affiliate sales and marketing. Abernethy also spearheaded the launch of Fox News Radio to more than 500 stations across the country, including an exclusive agreement with Clear Channel for hourly reports and a nightly news broadcast.

Before joining Fox News, Abernethy had a 15-year career with NBC, where he held a variety of executive finance management positions at the NBC Television Stations division, before being named VP of finance and operations for CNBC.

Abernethy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Georgetown University and his MBA degree from New York University.

Background on the other members of the CEO panel:

David Smith became CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group in the 1990s, taking the family business from three TV stations to 59 in that decade. He’s never looked back. In the 2000s, he oversaw the launch of the country’s first digital subchannel using syndicated programming, pioneered retransmission consent fees and led the industry movement for mobility and portability of the broadcast television signal. 

Now, he has been at the forefront of activity pushing for adoption of the ATSC 3.0 standard to provide broadcasters the mobility and portability of their television stations’ signals.

Perry Sook founded Nexstar’s predecessor in 1996. He has more than 33 years of professional experience in the television and radio broadcasting industries, covering all facets of the business including ownership and M&A, management, sales, on-air talent and news.

When various acquisitions underway — including purchase of Media General — are completed, Nexstar will own, operate, program or provide sales and other services to 171 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 62 markets across the country.

Pat LaPlatney never actually worked in a TV station, but he may be better qualified for his newest job — running Raycom Media with its 62 TV stations in 42 markets — than those who have because of his years of experience in digital media and program development and syndication where much of broadcasting’s future may lie. This is not to suggest LaPlatney doesn’t know TV stations.

He’s been around them his entire 35-year career, first as a sales rep and then as a syndicator of sports and traffic reports, a pioneering multicaster and a station group executive in charge of digital media.

TV2020 is a TVNewsCheck conference presented at NAB Show New York. With more than 6,800 attendees, 300 exhibitors and 60 educational sessions, NAB Show New York showcases the best in next-generation technology for media, entertainment and telecom professionals with conferences and workshops focused on television, film, satellite, online video, live events, corporate A/V, production and post. It is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters and co-located with InfoComm Connections, both of which run Nov. 9-10 at the Javits Center.

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