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ShopTalk

The 24/7 Newsroom Blog To Go Dark

Tom Petner, editor and publisher of The 24/7 Newsroom has announced he is shutting down the news blog at the end of the month.

On his “about us” page, Petner wrote his mission for the blog, “I will strive to make the content timely, without the name calling, put downs and bad mouthing about our business.  While I believe there are many things wrong in the broadcast industry and our newsrooms, local news is far from dead – it’s changing.  My hope is that the247newsroom will help you stay ahead of the curve and keep you informed about the changes and trends.”

Petner wrote for ShopTalk/TVSpy.com until being laid off by the blog’s then parent company Vault.com. WebMediaBrands acquired TVSpy in November 2010, adding it to its mediabistro blog network. You can read Petner’s goodbye column by clicking here.

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The Shift Before Christmas*

In an effort to bring in the cheer this holiday, TVSpy has obtained a poem that reminds us what we’re really working for this Christmas.

As a young assignment desk editor at St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK, Steven K. Rosenbaum found that he was consistently spending Christmas — not to mention Thanksgiving, July 4th, Super Bowl Sunday, Arbor Day, etc. — in the newsroom.

“Looking at my haggard associates, grazing on catered food between assignments, I took it upon myself to place the imprimatur of television news on the beloved Christmas classic,” Rosenbaum, who now works for Fox News Channel as senior information specialist, told TVSpy. So here it is:

The Shift Before Christmas*

By Steven Rosenbaum

* with deepest appreciation and apologies to Clement Clark Moore

‘Twas the shift before Christmas and all through the station,

not a creature was stirring, nor graphics or animation.

The rundowns were set in the prompters with care, in hopes that an anchor soon would be there.

Read more

Welcome to the New TVSpy Website!

Come on in and take a look around.  We think you’ll be happy with our new digs.

The TV News business is a fast-paced, up-to-the second industry that is continually looking for ways to innovate.  And it’s about time that TVSpy had a website that is able to keep pace.

With the new site, TVSpy’s core features and its focus on local TV news remain in tact but we now offer better ways for you to receive the latest industry news and gossip as well as interact with others in the local TV community.

Here is some information regarding elements of the new site…

New Ways to Discuss, Debate, and Interact

With the new site, we’ve adopted the conventional blog format of posts with individual comments sections.  The blog-style commenting is powered by Disqus.  If you don’t have a Disqus account already, you can sign up for one at Disqus.com or by simply clicking on the Disqus link next to the comments section (don’t worry, it’s easy to sign up and completely free).

We also have a brand-new interface for the TVSpy Watercooler message board. The link to the new Watercooler is located at the top of the TVSpy site…

Your existing TVSpy log-in will continue to work with the new Watercooler interface so it should be an easy transition.

We Want to Hear From You

Now getting in touch with TVSpy is easier than ever. If you have a hot tip that you’d like to send to us, you can enter it anonymously at the top of the site…

You can also send tips, as well as On the Move submissions and press releases to tvspy@mediabistro.com Looking forward to hearing from you!

Daily Email Newsletter

Having been around for nearly three decades, TVSpy has undergone several transformations and changed its methods of distribution along the way. We understand that a large portion of our audience relies on the daily e-newsletter to be their go-to source of industry news and information. If you’re already signed up, you will continue to receive the “ShopTalk” email Monday-Friday.  For up-to-the-second news updates, check in to tvspy.com throughout the day and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @TVSpyNews.

Take a Look Around and Let Us Know What You Think

We’ve worked hard to retain the core aspects of TVSpy while advancing the ways that they’re delivered. We understand that the new site will take some getting used to so please let us know if you have any questions, ideas, etc. You can leave them in the Disqus comments section below or sound off on the new TVSpy Watercooler.

For specific membership/account inquiries, please email tvspy.info@mediabistro.com

For all other concerns, including editorial suggestions and publicity submissions, please email tvspy@mediabistro.com

Here’s to the future!

Veteran Orlando Reporter Lands at Cable Company

TVSpy

Donald Forbes Veteran Orlando reporter Donald Forbes has accepted a position with Florida cable company Bright House Networks. Forbes will serve as Bright House’s senior director of corporate communications.

Forbes was the victim of cutbacks at Orlando’s WKMG earlier this year after a 14-year run with the CBS-affiliate. During his time at WKMG, Forbes won numerous awards, including two Emmys. He headed up the station’s Brevard County bureau for a decade.

“Donald is an excellent communicator with a wealth of broadcast journalism experience,” said Kimberly Maki, Bright House’s vice president of corporate communications.

Bright House is the largest cable provider in Central Florida. In his new job, Forbes will oversee strategic communications and consumer media.

Forbes’ last day with WKMG was June 18. “I was given some warning that my contract would not be renewed,” Forbes said upon leaving. “In a newsroom situation, it’s almost like a family. It’s hard to say goodbye.”

In Baltimore, WBFF Set to Expand Morning Newscast

Baltimore Sun

WBFF Logo WBFF-TV (Channel 45) will expand its morning news show by an extra hour each weekday starting next month, General Manager Bill Fanshawe said Monday.

Building on its success as the station offering the most local news weekdays mornings in Baltimore, the Fox affiliate will air local news from 5 to 10 a.m. starting Jan. 24. The Sinclair-owned station currently airs local news from 5 to 9 a.m.

“We are expanding the FOX45 morning news to provide more local news content to the market,” Fanshawe said in an email confriming the expansion. “The morning news television market and our morning news has been growing since 2007.” More…

Did Fox Throw Affiliates Under the Bus in Retrans Deal?

Mediaweek

FOX Logo Retransmission consent negotiations may never be the same.

A deal struck last January between Time Warner Cable and News Corp. included a precedent-setting condition to allow TWC to carry Fox’s network programming if retransmission negotiations with Fox affiliates break down. Many TV execs likened Fox’s move to throwing its non-owned Fox affiliates under the bus.

Just how much leverage Fox affiliates could lose in retransmission negotiations is getting tested right now as Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest Fox affiliate group with 20 Fox affiliates, and TWC try and hammer out a deal before the current one expires at the end of the year. In the case of Sinclair, negotiations will center on the value of the local news or syndicated line up. More…

Lawmaker Urges FCC to Move Forward with Comcast-NBCU

The Hill

Comcast Incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) wrote to the Federal Communications Commission on Friday urging them not to impose net-neutrality conditions on Comcast as part of the proposed acquisition of NBC Universal.

Upton said the only thing the commission should be reviewing is whether or not the new entity would be able to unfairly influence the markets for video content creation and distribution to the detriment of consumers. He warned against using the merger as an excuse to impose net neutrality or achieve other political goals.

“I will be troubled if it appears that the Commission is using this transaction to accomplish broader, partisan objectives” More…

Thomson Reuters Launches US News Service

Reuters

Reuters logo Thomson Reuters Corp has launched a news service for U.S. publishers and broadcasters in a bid to win business from the Associated Press and CNN.

The new service, Reuters America, provides text stories, photos and video by Reuters journalists for newspapers, television stations and online publishers. Newspaper publisher and broadcaster Tribune Co is its first customer.

As part of the service, Reuters America also will offer sports and entertainment news from six partners: the Wrap, SportsDirect Inc, the Sports Xchange, US Presswire, SB Nation and Examiner.com More…

Future of Web Video at Heart of Comcast-NBCU Review

Associated Press

Hulu The Office It won’t be long before video from the Internet is always within reach–whether it’s on a smart phone, a tablet computer or a high-end television in your living room.

But what if there’s nothing worth watching?

Just as the online video market is starting to take shape, federal regulators have a rare opportunity to help protect its future as they scrutinize Comcast Corp.’s proposal to take over NBC Universal.

Regulators are pushing for tough conditions to ensure that Comcast can’t stifle online video services by withholding content or pushing up prices for marquee NBC programs More…

Dallas Reporter Loses Lawsuit Against KDFW

TVSpy

Rebecca Aguilar Rebecca Aguilar, who was suspended and eventually fired by Dallas’s KDFW in 2008, has lost her wrongful termination suit against her former employer. On Monday, a 12-person jury ruled unanimously in favor of the Fox-affiliate.

The lawsuit stems from an incident in 2007 in which Aguilar, a veteran reporter who had been with the station for nearly 13 years, confronted James Walton, the 70-year-old owner of a local salvage business, in the parking lot of a sporting goods store. Walton, who had allegedly shot and killed two burglars, was walking away from the store with a new shotgun. Aguilar pressed Walton on the shootings, asking, “Are you a trigger-happy kind of person? Is that what you wanted to do, shoot to kill?”

KDFW, as well as many Dallas viewers, took issue with Aguilar’s aggressive questioning of a visibly weak 70-year-old man, considering it an ambush more than an interview. The station suspended Aguilar with pay before eventually cutting her loose in 2008 at the halfway point of her contract.

In bringing her former employer to court, Aguilar accused KDFW of racial discrimination and retaliation but the jury found that her dismissal was based on repeated misbehavior, including insults hurled at fellow reporters, as well as declining performance. Michael Shaunessy, Fox’s lead attorney told Dallas media reporter Ed Bark, “KDFW did everything it could to make her a good employee. In the end they couldn’t save her from herself.”

(Ed Bark’s blog, unclebarky.com, has in-depth, day-to-day coverage of the trial. Check it out here).

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