TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllTwitter AllFacebook InsideFacebook InsideSocialGames InsideMobileApps

Merrill Knox

Merrill Knox is a contributor and former Senior Editor of TVNewser and TVSpy. She joined Mediabistro in 2011 after four years working for "Your World with Neil Cavuto" at Fox News Channel. When she's not reading or writing, Merrill is most often found trying to anticipate the next plot twist on "Homeland." Follow her on Twitter @merrillknox or email her at merrill@mediabistro.com.

Stations Ramp Up Political Coverage Ahead of Midterms

local newsroom_304x200TVNewsCheck has an in-depth look at how station groups are preparing for the midterm elections. “Debates, roundtables, aggressive campaign beat reporting and political fact-checking will be more prevalent on-air between Labor Day and Election Day than they have in the past,” Diana Marszalek writes:

It’s particularly notable that the activity is occurring in a mid-term election year, since local TV has traditionally paid little attention to non-presidential politics long considered “dull and boring to a lot of stations,” says RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender.

Cavender says he’s not surprised that local broadcasters are ramping things up considering they are serving a progressively more disgruntled electorate. “Stations read that as a heightened interest in how the November mid-term elections turn out,” he says. “So they are going to make them increasingly important.” Read more

Q2 Earnings: Tribune Broadcasting Revenues Up 63%

TribuneMedia_CMYK_pri_LrgTypeTribune Media reported $425.8 million in broadcasting segment revenues for the second quarter of 2014, a 63% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Broadcasting segment revenues in the second quarter were up 4.9% pro forma for the acquisition of Local TV, which was completed in December. On the same basis, retransmission consent revenues were up 78% and advertising revenues were down 2.2%.

“I am very pleased with our accomplishments in the second quarter,” Tribune Media president and CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement. “While the core advertising market experienced headwinds in the first half of the year, we continue to be encouraged by the strength of our new broadcast scale, as evidenced in our year-over-year retransmission fee increases, and feel positive about the opportunities presented by the political advertising landscape in the second half of 2014.”

Atlanta’s WAGA Debuts New Set

WAGA 6

WAGA, the Fox-owned station in Atlanta, today unveiled a new set designed by Devlin Design Group. The set features a social media pod, a video kiosk, as well as video presentation towers. According to DDG, the most unique part of the set is the “innovative pivoting storytelling wall”:

Here is how it works: A portion of the LED video wall positions itself at a ninety degree angle from the rest of the video wall to allow the reporter or talent to set up their story, much like the opening of a book cover. After the initial story setup, the intro section of the video wall pivots mechanically and then blends back into the main video wall and becomes part of the continuing story. The storyteller now has the option to share their story while walking along the larger storytelling wall.

More pictures after the jump. Read more

On the Move, 8/11/14

Ingrid Allstaedt has been promoted to the morning and noon weather anchor for WLOS in Asheville, N.C. She joined the station in 2010 as a reporter.

Hope Hanselman joins WLOS from KVLY-KXJB in Fargo. Hanselman will be a reporter at WLOS.

To report a move, send an email to tvspy@mediabistro.com with the subject line “On the Move.”

CBS Switching Affiliates in Indianapolis

CBSEyeCBS has announced it is switching affiliates — from WISH to WTTV — in the Indianapolis market. WTTV, currently the CW affiliate in Indianapolis, will be the CBS affiliate beginning January 1, 2015.

WTTV is the sister station to WXIN, the market’s Fox affiliate. Tribune has owned WTTV since 2002. It has been a CW affiliate since 2006; prior to that, it was an affiliate of The WB and, earlier, UPN. WTTV was the second station to go on the air in the market, in 1949, and was an NBC and ABC affiliate throughout the 1950s.

As part of the shift, Tribune will move the CW to digital channel 4.2, leaving WISH as an independent station as of January 1. WISH had been the CBS station in Indianapolis since 1956. Tribune already has plans to produce local newscasts for the new CBS affiliate. WXIN resources will likely be tapped to get the new WTTV newscasts on the air. Right now, WXIN produces 10.5 hours of news every day.

wttvTribune also announced it has renewed existing agreements with its other CBS affiliates: WREG in Memphis, WHNT in Huntsville, Ala., KFSM in Fort Smith, Ark., and WTVR in Richmond. CBS has also renewed its affiliation agreement with WTKR in Norfolk, which it operates under a shared service agreement.

“This comprehensive agreement further expands our strong partnership with CBS and allows us to provide an array of outstanding programming, including leading live sports, news and entertainment,” Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert said in a statement. “Through WTTV’s new affiliation, we look forward to significantly enhancing our sports offerings, local news coverage and commitment to the community.”

Come to Mediabistro’s Intern Party in NYC!

intern-party_304Part of a successful summer internship is making solid connections, which are always a plus in the television news industry (or any industry, really). So we’ve got good news for all the interns out there: Mediabistro is throwing an intern party in New York City next week, and you’re invited.

Please join us at Turtle Bay (987 2nd Ave., between 52nd & 53rd) on Tuesday, August 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. On the agenda: networking and conversation with your fellow interns, drink specials, complimentary appetizers, and the chance to win free admission for a Mediabistro course.

Register for the party here, and we’ll see you on Tuesday.

Q2 Earnings: Sinclair Net Broadcast Revenues Rise 45%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported $404.2 million in net broadcast revenues for the second quarter of 2014, a 44.7 percent increase on the year-ago quarter. Operating income was $103 million, an increase of 22.3 percent from Q2 2013.

Political revenues were $11.6 million for the quarter, up from $1.5 million in the year-ago period. Local net broadcast revenues (including local time sales, retransmission revenues and other broadcast revenues) were up 47 percent and national net broadcast revenues (national time sales and other national broadcast revenues) were up 36.3 percent.

“With the acquisition of Allbritton now complete, our focus will be on rationalizing and strengthening the portfolio, building upon our existing television station platform as it relates to investments in digital interactive and news content, and expanding our recently launched collegiate sports initiative,” Sinclair CEO David Smith said in a statement. “At the same time, we will continue to push for regulatory reform and building the next generation broadcast platform, both of which will allow us to more effectively compete with other forms of media.”

Q2 Earnings: LIN Media Net Revenues Rise 15%

lin media logoLIN Media reported $188.8 million in net revenues during the second quarter of 2014, a 15% increase compared to the year-ago quarter. The company’s net broadcast revenues were also up 8% compared to the second quarter of 2013.

Operating income was $32.7 million in the second quarter, an increase of 22% year-over-year. Net digital revenues, net political revenues and local revenues were also up, while net national revenues were down and net core advertising revenues were flat.

“Our strong results were driven by continued growth of our digital media business, higher pay-television subscriber fees and a 3% increase in automotive advertising. We are making progress on our pending merger with Media General, and I am excited about the numerous opportunities for the combined company,” LIN Media president and CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in a statement.

Teresa Woodard Says Goodbye to WFAA

teresa woodardWFAA reporter Teresa Woodard is leaving the Dallas ABC affiliate for a job in public relations, Dallas media blogger Ed Bark reports:

In an email to WFAA8 staffers obtained by unclebarky.com, news director Carolyn Mungo said that Woodard’s last day will be August 22nd. Mungo praised Woodard as “one of the best storytellers in the business.”

“It’s a loss for us and for our viewers,” she added. “Her stories informed, inspired, and on so many occasions, moved us to tears. All signs of a great storyteller.” Woodard, a Dallas native and Texas A&M grad, joined WFAA8 from Fox affiliate KTVI-TV in St. Louis, where she had worked since 2005.

Woman Sues KHOU After Report Claims She Locked Her Kids in Hot Car

khou kids car reportA Texas mother is suing Houston CBS affiliate KHOU after a report that falsely accused her of leaving her children in a hot car while she went to get a hair cut, the Houston Chronicle reports.

KHOU reported on the incident July 15 based on a witness who said shoppers “took matters into their own hands,” smashing the car window with a hammer while their mother, Araceli Cisneros, was inside the mall. In reality, Cisneros had actually accidentally locked the children — and her car keys — in the car, and had asked for help in smashing the windows to get them.

After the story went viral, Cisneros filed a suit claiming more than $200,000 in damages, the Chronicle reports:

The suit says KHOU and reporter Rucks Russell published the story with a “reckless disregard for its truth or falsity” and without doing the “most basic fact checking.” According to the suit, nationally syndicated TV personality Nancy Grace even picked it up, calling Cisneros an unfit mother. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>