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Raycom and DirecTV Say What They Really Think After Retrans Agreement

directv raycomAfter the retrans dispute between DirecTV and Raycom was settled Sunday, you’d think each company would forgive and forget, after all they’ll have to negotiate all over again one day. Instead, each company took a parting shot at the other on their company websites.

On Sunday, DirecTV posted:

“We thank all of our affected customers for their patience over these past several days and regret that Raycom and too many other broadcast stations are willing to resort to these contrived blackouts to antagonize the public rather than serve it,” said Dan York, chief content officer at DIRECTV.

“Broadcast station groups who ransom their content back into their communities at exorbitant fees deserve the scrutiny of the Federal Communications Commission and local Congressional representatives. Raycom’s intentional recent black outs of DISH, Cox and now DIRECTV customers creates an even greater sense of urgency for lawmakers to review and overhaul this anti-consumer retransmission consent process once and for all.”

Raycom later posted: Read more

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ABC Announces All of Its Owned Stations Now Using Rentrak

ABC_304All of ABC’s Owned Television Stations are using Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics ratings info.

The station group announced WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, WPVI in Philadelphia and WTVD in Raleigh-Durham have joined KGO in San Francisco, KTRK in Houston and KFSN in Fresno in using the audience measurement system.

“We believe in providing our advertisers and agencies with the most accurate level of measurement,” Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group said in a statement. “We have confidence that Rentrak’s larger sample sizes, along with its automotive and political data, provide us with the information we need.”

Dayton Station to Air Local Reality Show About Teens


WBDT, the LIN Media owned Dayton CW affiliate, has announced it’s airing a reality show about local teens called The Valley.

The locally produced show follows six local high school grads who are “preparing for the next big step in their lives and tackling important issues along the way, including drinking and driving, self-exploration, peer pressure, etc…”

The Valley isn’t your typical reality show. This is reality with a purpose,” said Joe Abouzeid, president and GM of WBDT. “The show is enlightening and entertaining for viewers of all ages. It really captures what teenagers are going through during this important right of passage and helps deepen our connection to the local community.” Read more

Sinclair Buys Las Vegas Station for $120 Million

Sinclair BroadcastSinclair Broadcast Group has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV for $120 million.

Since Sinclair already owns CW affiliate KVCW and MyNet affiliate KVMY in Las Vegas, the station group said it plans “to sell the FCC license and related assets (but not the programming) of one of the three stations in Las Vegas.” The NBC, CW and MyNet programming will then air on the remaining two stations. Sinclair didn’t provide any further details.

“We are pleased to add KSNV to our portfolio,” Steve Pruett, co-chief operating officer of  Sinclair’s TV group said in a statement. “With the addition of the station, our news footprint will cover all the major cities in the state of Nevada, allowing us to be a leading provider of local and regional news.”

53 Raycom Stations Go Dark on DirecTV

raycom_logoRaycom announced Monday its 53 stations, including WBRC in Birmingham, WBTV in Charlotte, WVUE in New Orleans and WOIO in Cleveland, had been dropped on DirecTV:

For three months Raycom Media has been working with DirecTV to resolve this issue, so that DirecTV may continue to lawfully provide local news, weather sports and network programming to our viewers.

Because we have been unable to reach an agreement with DirecTV, Raycom Media stations are no longer available to DirecTV customers after August 31st, 2014.

According to Raycom Media President and CEO Paul McTear, “This is frustrating for DirecTV customers who rely on Raycom stations for information and entertainment. We share their frustration and are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue and have been for the last 12 weeks of discussions.”

DirecTV, meanwhile, has promised to provide NFL games to Raycom customers during the blackout:

Raycom Media is denying DIRECTV customers and some of its own most loyal viewers access to its local broadcast stations unless they pay more than double just to receive the same broadcast shows that remain available over the air for free. We will always work to protect our customers and prevent them from enduring any unnecessary interruptions, no matter how brief. We appreciate their patience since it has a direct impact on their bill. Despite Raycom’s unnecessary blackout, NFL and college football fans can see all of the first few week’s action uninterrupted, and the majority of ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC series won’t premiere for several more weeks.

Gannett Bumps WXIA News Director to Corporate Office

gannett_logoEllen Crooke, news director for Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, has been named VP of News for parent company Gannett Broadcasting.

Crooke was also the and regional news executive for Gannett. She started with the station group in 2002 as VP of news for WGRZ in Buffalo. She joined WXIA in 2008.

“Ellen is a passionate and innovative leader who is committed to reinventing local journalism in this digital age,” Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting said in a statement. “We’re excited to have her on the corporate team.”

Crooke had also worked as news director at WNDU in South Bend, IN, assistant news director at WHAS in Louisville, KY, and as a producer for WOKR (now WHAM) in Rochester, NY, and WTEN in Albany.

LIN Media and CBS Renew Affiliation Agreements in Ten Markets

linmedia_304x200LIN Media announced today it has signed a “comprehensive, long-term” agreement to renew affiliation agreements with CBS in 10 markets.

The agreement includes WIAT in Birmingham, AL, WIVB in Buffalo, NY, KRQE, KBIM and KREZ in Albuquerque, NM, WPRI in Providence, RI, WANE in Fort Wayne, IN, WTHI in Terre Haute, IN, KIMT in Mason City, IA, KOIN in Portland, OR, WKBN in Youngstown, OH and WLFI in Lafayette, IN.

“We are pleased to have reached long-­term agreements with CBS,” Vincent L. Sadusky, president and CEO of LIN Media said in a statement. “Our stations are important assets to our local communities and these new agreements ensure that LIN Media and CBS will continue to serve local viewers with high-­‐quality network programming.”

LIN recently lost the CBS affiliation at its Indianapolis station WISH, the Indianapolis Star reported, LIN stands to lose as much as $100 million after its proposed deal with Media General was revalued after the loss.

Gray Finds Diverse Buyers for Six Stations

New_Gray_304Gray Television announced today it has found buyers for six full power TV stations that may have disappeared otherwise.

In June, Gray said it was transferring the programming of the six stations it operated under shared service agreements and also had the option to buy, to stations it owned in the same market. Rather than surrendering the licenses of the now program-less stations, it hired the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find new owners for the stations.

When it hired MMTC, Gray stipulated the buyers had to be “socially disadvantaged enterprises, such as businesses controlled by women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or non-profit entities such as a school or religious institution.”

The six stations are KXJB in Fargo, ND, KJCT in Grand Junction, CO, KHAS in Hastings-Lincoln, NE, KAQY in Monroe, LA, KNDX in Bismarck, ND, and KXND in Minot. Read more

LIN Fills GM Roles in Indianapolis and Savannah

linmedia_304x200LIN Media has named Les Vann president and GM of CBS affiliate WISH and MyTV affiliate WNDY in Indianapolis. The station group also named Steve Doerr acting GM of WJCL in Savannah.

Doerr replaces Vann, who was the president and GM of the Savannah, GA, LIN owned ABC affiliate.

“Les has done a terrific job in Savannah, rebuilding and launching a new brand, transforming its news department and strengthening the station’s commitment to localism,”Jay Howell, LIN Media’s VP of Television said in a statement. “He brings a unique skill set to WISH-­‐TV and WNDY-­‐TV that will be very important to these stations’ growth and development.”

CBS recently announced it is switching its CBS affiliation from LIN Media’s WISH to Tribune’s WTTV, starting January 2015.

Before working for LIN, Vann had been GM of WKRC in Cincinnati and had managed stations in Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina and New York. Doerr comes to LIN after working as VP and group manager, Northeast Region for Smith Media.

Sinclair CEO in Dispute with Maryland Farmer Over Leased Land and Destroyed Crops

Sinclair BroadcastAccording to The Baltimore Sun, Sinclair CEO David Smith is caught up in a tussle over 95 acres of Maryland farm land he is leasing out.

Stephen Pieper, the farmer who leases Smith’s land, is mad because he said Smith hired someone to plow under about $1000,000 worth of Pieper’s corn crop. Smith’s lawyer said in a lawsuit, Pieper was trespassing when he planted the crop and damaged the soil.

“All he wants is his farm,” said Francis R. Laws, Smith’s attorney. “He wants to enjoy the use of the property that he bought.”

Pieper, 62, said that in more than 30 years of farming from about 50 landlords, farms have been developed and changed hands, but he has never seen a crop destroyed.

“This is devastating to me,” Pieper said after watching the crop fall on July 20, when he tried to head off the tractor hired by Smith. “This crop would have been harvested in 75 days. It’s sickening.” Read more

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