LETTER TO THE EDITOR

IB: Gannaway’s IB ‘Facts’ Mostly Fiction

Internet Broadcasting VP John Sailer says that Woldnow CEO Gary Gannaway twisted the truth about IB in his Executive Session interview with TVNewsCheck earlier this week. Contrary to Gannaway's assertions, IB did not outsource its CMS, it has a fully integrated video player and draws far more than 5% of its traffic from national content. Also, he says, Gannaways estimate of IB's ad impressions is "entirely incorrect."

We found [TVNewsCheck‘s] Gary Gannaway interview [on March 24] entertaining but highly inaccurate. While we aren’t overly concerned about what our competition says about Internet Broadcasting (IB), we felt it appropriate to correct Gary on several of the “facts” that he mentioned.

First, he said IB “went through two separate CMS builds and then outsourced their CMS to a European company who didn’t work with any TV news organizations. They weren’t a multi-tenant or SAAS provider, which makes it so challenging to scale any technology advancement.”

IB did not “outsource” our CMS (IB Publish) but rather chose to license a base CMS built on modern technology. This technology is designed to ensure clients’ flexibility to adapt as the digital ecosystem continues to evolve at an intense pace. We went through an extensive process to determine the best approach to offer a next-generation platform.

In today’s world, a basic CMS is readily available and inexpensive (Drupal, WordPress and others). Building your own distracts from development of innovative new products and the core mission of solving client problems. 

After an extensive search, IB licensed a technology, giving us and our clients the flexibility and adaptability to support future requirements dictated by the changing industry. By building a community of a few key strategic technology partners including Akamai, Kaltura, CoreMedia and Google, IB has taken what each of those partners brings to bear, assembled them together and added a lot of unique features, capabilities, workflows and integrations to build a best-in-class SaaS-based platform focused on the unique needs of local broadcasters. The best part is that this community is not sitting still but rather innovating together, leveraging technology that will be relevant for many years to come.

Second, Gary claims IB never developed a video or mobile Web platform.

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In fact, IB has a fully integrated video CMS, including in-CMS video and image editing, syndication and players, with a wide range of advanced video ad serving capabilities.

IB deployed fully-integrated mobile capabilities in 2012. Today, all of IB’s platform clients use our responsive mobile websites, and most are on IB’s mobile app platform. More than half of the audience on IB-supported digital platforms is going to our mobile websites and apps.

Third, he claims that, “At the end of the day, less than 5% of their stations’ traffic comes from their wonderful national content they created.”

This number is wildly inaccurate. The true numbers are several times higher than what Gary states. While they are proprietary by station group, our clients clearly understand the volume of traffic and the value of this content.   

Lastly, he states: “To the best of my knowledge, Perry’s ad impressions went from less than 10% of Worldnow to now 20%.”

Again, this number is entirely incorrect. IB traffics and serves well over 2.5 billion ad impressions per month, without taking into account any of the Nexstar-generated impressions. 

Gary’s comment, however, does highlight one of the fundamental differences between IB and Worldnow. Worldnow continues to promote its ad network, in which it takes a substantial portion of its clients’ inventory and sells through its own network for its own profit. Years ago, IB decided against running an ad network. Our digital agency strategy is very simple. We put great digital products in the hands of our clients’ sellers and provide ad-operations capabilities as needed, so that the sellers can sell and stations can maximize their own digital revenue. IB is on track to execute 30,000 digital ad campaigns this year.

It’s worth noting that, over the last year, we renewed our client agreements with Hearst Television, Post-Newsweek Stations, Morgan Murphy Media and Bonten Media Group. We continued to grow our base by adding clients including Schurz Communications Inc., Hubbard Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast and Sinclair Broadcast Group. We are excited about the future as part of Nexstar. We are looking forward to a strong NAB Show in two weeks and in continuing to deliver value and innovation to our media clients.

John Sailer, vice president, sales and marketing, Internet Broadcasting


Comments (10)

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Brad Dann says:

March 27, 2014 at 9:41 am

Gary would twist facts? Not understand what he’s even saying? “I’m shocked, shocked to find gambling here at Rick’s”

Jay Miller says:

March 27, 2014 at 10:01 am

Anyone who has worked with Gary Gannaway is not surprised.. Gary “the greatest story ever told Gannaway” is his nickname in the business

Shelby Marion says:

March 27, 2014 at 10:23 am

the best part of this “letter to the editor” is where ib’s mr. sailer disputes mr. gannaway’s assertion that IB NEVER MADE ANY MONEY.

oh, wait…

Michelle Stone says:

March 27, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Gannaway is a buffoon. He’s soooooo spiritual and ‘helping out’. Yeah. Right.

Gayle Artino says:

March 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I’m not surprised IB has renewed contracts with their 5 CMS clients, considering 2/5 (40%) of their clients (Hearst and Post-Newsweek) just sold IB to Nexstar. I know Hubbard and Journal have their own CMS- has this changed? I was under the impression they only use IB’s ad trafficking product. Could someone shed some light on this and if Sinclair is an IB client? I think it would be beneficial for readers if TvNewsCheck did an investigative follow-up to fact check Sailer’s and Gannaway’s claims.

Rick Andrycha says:

March 30, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Personal feuds aside, this polemic has left those of us with an interest in the industry with many unanswered questions. I believe everyone would welcome an investigative follow-up from TVNewsCheck (as suggested by user “brad” above) shedding some light on the conflicting statements from WorldNow and IB. Some of the issues worth exploring:

– technology: WorldNow has built its technology platform in house and controls 100% of the code base; IB has licensed technology from third parties, giving up the concept of controlling the code base and the intellectual property of its platforms, and focusing on building a community of strategic technology partners; it would be interesting to know which one of these highly different approaches benefits most local broadcasters;
– client mentions: on this note, WorldNow’s messaging was clearer; in IB’s case it was not clear if the newly acquired clients – Schurz Communications Inc., Hubbard Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast and Sinclair Broadcast Group (which to date, with the exception of Schurz, are not using any of the technology platforms from IB’s community of partners) intend to switch from their existing technology platforms to a solution supplied by IB;
– local content vs national: I appreciate the information shared by both parties, but at the end of the day, from a local media outlet’s perspective, the most meaningful contribution that we can make to our communities is accurate, in depth reporting on local news; this is not only my “two cents”, but it has been vetted over and over again by results in the field – whoever does local news best dominates the market; TVNewsCheck can help validate (or invalidate) this postulate.

I’m sure TVNewsCheck will step up to the plate and shed some light on these industry issues… that is why we read it every day.

Nic Wilson says:

March 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

I read, with interest, Mr. Sailer’s rebuttal of the Facts that differ from Mr Gannaway’s in the “Gannaway’s IB Facts Mostly Fiction” letter.

His assertion that Mr. Gannaway stretched or distorted the truth in his comments about IB seems to be an attempt to prop up what otherwise might be considered a less than successful attempt by IB to compete with World Now.

I do not work at World Now or its competitors, but I am privy to information that involves these digital companies. I can attest that Mr. Gannaway’s disputed comments are more accurate than Mr. Sailer’s. For instance, Mr. Sailer is taking liberties when he claims to have 3 specific station groups as clients when clearly those station groups don’t fit the accepted business standard for being full time all-in clients. IB is not even their platform provider. There is some fast and loose use of semantics and shades of gray in Mr Sailer’s claims.

But perhaps, more importantly, I’d like to address those who followed the letter to the Editor with demeaning writings about Mr. Gannaway.

Those who childishly attacked Mr Gannaway clearly don’t know the man. He is perhaps the hardest working CEO In the business. It’s no surprise that his company has achieved the heights it has and is the leading company in the field. And while he is a focused, determined and relentless leader, he is also kind, loyal, soft hearted and caring. He has been a mentor to many of our industry’s leaders.

One writer insinuated that Gannaway’s spirituality is fake and that he lives in “a world according to Gannaway” . And what does this writer base that claim on? Perhaps the writer is too easily bored by someone who can dream the dream, make it reality and explain the complexities. It’s true there are people in our business who haven’t taken the time or had the intellect to understand Gannaway’s passion , brilliance and yes – spirituality. Perhaps in their 8 hour work day there isn’t enough time to sit down and learn about a man who puts at least twice that time daily into the health and well being of his company and employees.

As the digital world continues to evolve, don’t bet against Gannaway’s ability to not only predict the future , but be on the forefront of building it.

Lawrence Bernstein says:

March 31, 2014 at 12:24 pm

I’m smaller market GM and Gary has made it a priority to visit me and our station. The fact that a CEO would provide that level of attention speaks volumes. He spent time with my people and there was nothing false about his being inspirational. Gary is a passionate individual and very smart. World Now has helped our station in so many ways. I appreciate the relationship we have with Gary and WorldNow very much.

Jennifer Payne says:

April 7, 2014 at 10:25 pm

“Schurz Communications Inc., Hubbard Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast and Sinclair Broadcast Group (which to date, with the exception of Schurz, are not using any of the technology platforms from IB’s community of partners) “… After doing my research, no comment sums it up as well as this line


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