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News Notes

When News Breaks, Networks Increasingly Turn to Affiliates

TVNewsCheck takes a look at the relationship between national networks and their affiliates during breaking news situations and find that networks are increasingly looking to local stations for regional expertise:

Al Prieto, VP of ABC NewsOne, the network’s affiliate news service, says it’s an important alliance to nurture. “We know a lot, but the local stations are on the ground; they are covering their cities,” he says. “When the value of that relationship kicks in, it pays off.”

Despite the mutual benefits, cooperation has not always been a given.

“It used to be that networks would sort of parachute into our backyards and we wouldn’t even know they were there,” says Mike St. Peter, the news director at NBC-owned WVIT Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (DMA 30), which won a Peabody for its coverage of the Newtown shootings late last year.

“The networks didn’t always let the local stations know what they were doing and they didn’t seem to care what we were doing,” he says. Read more

COZI TV Adds Three Stations, Names Director of Programming and Promotion

With the addition of three new affiliates, COZI TV, the network developed by the NBC Owned Television Stations, is now available in 47.5 million homes, or 42 percent of the country. WMFP in Boston, KUBE in Houston and KSHB in Kansas City are latest stations to sign on.

COZI TV has also announced the hire of Diane Petzke, who will join the network as director of programming and promotion. In her new role, she be tasked with scheduling and expanding awareness “through an aggressive marketing and social media strategy,” according to NBC. Petzke was most recently general manager and director of programming for NYC Media, non-commercial channels devoted to local culture and lifestyle.

“We’re excited to bring someone of Diane’s caliber to COZI TV,” Meredith McGinn, vice president of COZI TV and LX.TV, said in a statement. “Her talents and experience are sure to help launch COZI TV to the next level.”

More in the official release after the jump. Read more

Newseum to Open ‘Anchorman’ Exhibit

Newseum visitors … assemble! The Washington, D.C. museum has announced the opening of “Anchorman: The Exhibit,” timed with the release of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” later this year.

The exhibit “explores the reality behind the humor of ‘Anchorman’ and tracks the rise of personality-driven news formats in the 1970s,” according to the Newseum. Costumes and original props from the movie will be on display, and the exhibit will feature a replica KVWN-TV anchor desk where visitors can pose.

The exhibit will open in November and remain on display until August 2014.

‘Conversations’ Host Ed Gordon on His Partnership With the NBC Owned Stations

Former NBC and CBS correspondent Ed Gordon is the subject of Mediabistro’s latest “So What Do You Do?” interview. Gordon, who hosts an interview series that airs debuted on the 10 NBC-owned stations last month, talked about how the partnership with the station group came about:

I wish I could tell you that I had a lot to do with that, but we have a great team that works with us, and the gentleman who was in charge of going out there and selling the show in syndication reached out to the folks that make those decisions, and we were very pleased that all 10 NBC O&Os took the show. Over the years, I’ve been very proud of the [interview subjects] I’ve been able to get, and the caliber of them and, most importantly, what they’ve talked to me about. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people who open up to me in ways that they don’t open up to most interviewers, and I hope that the people that made the decision that they were going to take the show saw some of that.

Gordon also offers advice for securing “exclusive” interviews, which he says is harder than it used to be: Read more

Pittsburgh Watches the Most Live Television, Study Finds

According to a study of average daily viewing habits among adults 25-54 during the February sweep, Pittsburgh residents watched more live television than any other Nielsen market. St. Louis was tops for time-shifted viewing, according to MediaPost:

Pittsburghers in the segment watched an average of nearly five-and-a-half hours of live TV a day. The figure was five hours and 23 minutes in St. Louis, while Baltimore, Philadelphia and Detroit all had averages of five hours and 15 minutes or higher.

In time-shifted viewing, Clevelanders in the demo watched an average of 52 minutes a day, with Sacramento residents at 49 minutes. Those in Charlotte and Dallas residents were both at 47 minutes each. Orlando residents watched an average of 45 minutes to finish out the top five.

San Francisco residents watched the least amount of live television, averaging 2 hours and 57 minutes daily. Minneapolis residents watched the least amount of time-shifted television.

Netflix CEO: ‘Over the Coming Decades … Internet TV Will Replace Linear TV’

As we’ve been reporting recently, streaming television technology — used by Aereo and the Dish Hopper — has the potential to cause a dramatic shift in the television business going forward. With Fox and Univision already contemplating converting to cable networks, another executive is weighing in about the future of the television business: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

In a letter to shareholders this week, Hastings lays out the 10 reasons why Internet TV will continue to gain popularity, concluding that “over the coming decades and across the world, Internet TV will replace linear TV. Apps will replace channels, remote controls will disappear, and screens will proliferate”:

People love TV content, and we watch over a billion hours a day of linear TV. But people don’t love the linear TV experience where channels present programs at particular times on non-portable screens with complicated remote controls. Consumers click through a grid to choose something to watch. DVRs and VOD add an on-demand layer, at the cost of storage and increased complexity. Finding good things to watch isn’t easy or enjoyable. While hugely popular, the linear TV channel model is ripe for replacement.

Aereo ‘Prepared for the Controversy’ as Fox, Univision Threaten Cable Switch

On Monday, Fox and Univision both threatened to take their programming off the broadcast airwaves and convert to cable channels if Aereo continues to have legal success, The New York TimesBrian Stelter reports:

While viewed largely as saber-rattling, the idea that the networks could be converted into cable channels gained attention in the television world because such a move would have wide-reaching implications for viewers and station owners.

The possibility had not been publicly broached by a major broadcaster until Chase Carey, the chief operating officer of Fox’s parent, News Corporation, spoke at a conference of broadcasters on Monday morning.

Later in the day, Haim Saban, the chairman of Univision, lined up with Fox, calling Aereo a pirate and saying, “To serve our community, we need to protect our product and revenue streams and therefore we, too, are considering all of our options — including converting to pay TV.”

In an interview with The Washington Post‘s Cecilia Kang, Aereo chief executive Chet Kanojia said the company was “prepared for the controversy.” Read more

How Aereo and the Dish Hopper Could ‘Dramatically Reshape’ the Television Industry

A pair of articles in Reuters and The New York Times take a look at the shifting television landscape. Reuters looks at Aereo and the Dish Hopper, “two fledgling technologies could dramatically reshape the $60 billion-a-year television broadcast industry”:

A favorable outcome for Aereo and the Hopper in court would push TV operators to dramatically reshape themselves. It could even force them to trade in their broadcast towers and become cable channels alongside networks such as Bravo, AMC and ESPN, says Garth Ancier, who has been the top TV programmer at Fox, NBC and the WB networks.

“They won’t have a choice,” Ancier said. “When someone attacks your business, sometimes you do something radical.”

Some of the top four major networks have been considering just such a move for months, and the emergence of the two technology threats could accelerate their decisions, according to Ancier. Read more

Mobile Local Ad Revenues Projected to Reach $9B by 2017

Mobile local advertising revenues will grow from $1.2 billion in 2012 to $9.1 billion in 2017, BIA/Kelsey projects in its U.S. Local Media Forecast. Location-targeted ads represent a .9 percent share of local media ad revenues in 2012 and will grow to a 6.1 percent share in 2017.

BIA/Kelsey projects total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $3.2 billion in 2012 to $16.8 billion in 2017. Local targeted mobile ads are expected to grow to 54 percent in 2017, from 38 percent in 2012. The report says the growth will be driven by increased usage of smartphones, which reach 56 percent of mobile subscribers.

WXII GM Hank Price: ‘We live in a new golden age of over-the-air television’

Last week, former NBC News correspondent Ed Rabel excoriated local news, saying the industry is “populated by bubble-heads and glib, young, sometimes pretty know-nothings.” WXII president and general manager Hank Price disagrees, making the case in TVNewsCheck that “leading stations with strong newscasts find themselves offering more services to more people than ever before”:

With the unfortunate weakening of local newspapers, television news has also taken the lead in “accountability journalism,” the investigative, political and consumer journalism that holds government, institutions and businesses accountable to the public.

Perhaps most important, the people who work at television stations live in and are part of their communities.

That sense of community is the reason … North Carolina’s television and radio stations, working together in our state association, the NCAB, [last year] decided to create the largest Vietnam veterans’ “welcome home” celebration ever held.

More than 70,000 people attended. Every television news station in North Carolina produced stories leading up to the event. Stations donated more than $1.5 million in public service announcements, and they jointly aired the event live, all at no charge and with no advertising. No other medium could have pulled it off.

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