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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Comcast Says Stations in TWC Markets Will ‘Have Greater Protections’

comcast time warnerWith Comcast preparing to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, the company has released several documents related to the merger. In one memo, called “Day One Undertakings,” Comcast EVP David Cohen details the effects for local stations in Time Warner markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Cleveland:

Broadcast stations in the acquired markets will have greater protections in their retransmission consent negotiations with the acquired systems. Among other things,  NBC affiliate market integrity in these markets would be protected, and Comcast’s negotiations with broadcast stations would be without influence by NBCUniversal’s retransmission consent or affiliate negotiations.

TVNewser has the full memo.

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NBC Stations to Sell Advertising for Comcast Regional Sports Networks

NBC stations are about to become more entwined with Comcast’s regional sports networks.

NBCUniversal announced today that its local stations will begin selling national advertising for four Comcast SportsNets.  The sales partnership will be phased in over the next several months, with local NBC stations beginning to sell advertising for Comcast’s New England and Mid-Atlantic networks this month, followed by Northwest at the end of May and Philadelphia at the end of June. Read more

KNBC’s Commitment to Diversity Questioned Following Demotions of Hispanic Talent

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has sent a letter to Los Angeles NBC O&O KNBC and its corporate parent Comcast expressing concern over an alarming number of recent demotions among the station’s Hispanic on-air talent.

According to data compiled by a KNBC staffer and shared with NAHJ, the station has taken action against the majority of its Hispanic on-air staff this year. Of the nine Hispanic anchors, reporters, and weathercasters at KNBC, since January 10th, five have either been demoted or terminated. And as of last week, none of the station’s on-air hires in 2011 are of Hispanic heritage.

KNBC, which just announced the promotion of Robert Kovacik and hiring of Stephanie Elam to anchor weekends, currently has no Hispanic anchors on its prime p.m. newscasts while 30% of reporters appearing during these programs are Hispanic. This seeming lack of Latino representation is especially significant in the Los Angeles market, where nearly half of viewers are Hispanic.

“We’re very concerned about what’s being reported,” NAHJ president Michele Salcedo tells TVSpy. “It’s very important for a newsroom to reflect the community in which it operates.”

Read more

NBC Uses Upfront to Gain Affiliates’ Confidence in Comcast Marriage

More than a chance to hype new programs, NBC’s upfront presentation today was an opportunity for the network to gain affiliates’ confidence in its new marriage with Comcast.

Affiliates were reportedly impressed with NBC’s new slate of shows, including the “Glee”-esque “Smash” and the Chelsea Handler comedy “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” but more importantly, according to Broadcasting & Cable, they saw a long-term strategy taking shape.

“We saw a plan,” Brian Lawlor, chairman of the NBC affiliates board, told B&C. “We saw a long-term strategy designed to return the network to its heyday.”

After NBC previewed the upcoming season, network executives met with affiliates and stressed their commitment to broadcasting.

“We’re all very excited about the management team,” Jordan Wertlieb, executive vice president of Hearst TV, said following the meeting.

NBC Launching Three Local 24-Hour Channels

Making good on a promise made to the FCC during merger talks, Comcast-NBC Universal is launching three 24-hour news channels at NBC O&Os in Miami, Dallas, and California.

In pitching the merger to the FCC, the two companies said that NBC Local Media would add 1,000 additional hours of local news per year and the new 24/7 channels will deliver this extra coverage.

“We’re happy to announce that we’ve begun to fulfill the localism commitment we made on the day we announced our transaction,” said NBC Local Media president John Wallace. “These new offerings continue our ongoing effort to expand our local news and information programming in our ten O&O markets.”

Miami’s WTVJ and Dallas’s KXAS will launch “Nonstop” digital subchannels in their respective markets, while LA’s KNBC, San Francisco’s KNTV, and San Diego’s KNSD will work together to debut a 24-hour channel covering California.

In First Sign of Synergy, NBC Announces that Comcast Will Provide Sports Coverage for Bay Area O&O

In the first sign of corporate synergy between Comcast and NBC’s local stations, NBCUniversal announced today that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area would begin providing live daily sports segments for Bay Area O&O KNTV.

The move comes just a day after the NHL signed a new 10-year TV deal with NBC and Versus, indicating that the newly formed media power clearly plans to use Comcast’s assets to increase NBC’s sports footprint.

KNTV will include SportsNet segments, hosted by existing Comcast anchors and reporters, on its 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

KNTV’s president and general manager Richard Cerussi has made it clear, though, that the partnership will not lead to layoffs (at least for now), telling the San Franciso Chronicle that the additional resources mean the station is “no longer be dependent on the hard work of a small team.” Read more

Sinclair Reaches ‘Agreement-in-Principle’ with Comcast

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today that it has reached an “agreement-in-principle” with Comcast on a new, multi-year retrans deal.

The new deal means that 36 Sinclair stations in 22 markets will continue to be carried by Comcast.

Sinclair has been at the negotiating table a lot over the past few months as it has aggressively tried to establish the value of its stations with cable providers.  In January, Sinclair signed a multi-year retrans deal with Bright House Networks, which carries six Sinclair stations in Florida and Alabama.  And after months of back-and-forth, including threats of a black-out, the company finally reached an agreement with Time Warner Cable in early February.

GMs of NBC O&Os Meet with Comcast Executives

The general managers of NBC O&Os are meeting with Comcast executives today in San Diego to discuss what the Comcast-NBCUniversal deal means for local stations.

The meeting is being run by John Wallace, the head of NBC Local Media, and attended by the Comcast-appointed chairman of NBC Broadcasting, Ted Harbert, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

The NBC O&Os regularly meet twice a year to discuss various issues facing their stations. This week’s conference, though, is especially significant now that NBC is a part of cable giant Comcast.

One NBC GM told B&C that a major topic of conversation will be how NBC O&Os can collaborate with Comcast entities such as its regional SportsNet channels.

NBC Universal Sells Los Angeles’ KWHY

NBC Universal has agreed to sell Los Angeles Spanish-language station KWHY to Alex Meruelo, a prominent Hispanic businessman in Southern California.

Meruelo Group, Meruelo’s investment company, announced today that it had reached a deal with NBCU to acquire the independent station.  Financial terms have not been disclosed and the acquisition must gain FCC approval.

“We are honored to be the only Latino-owned station in Los Angeles, and look forward to continuing KWHY’s proud tradition as we bring the very best in entertainment, news, and community affairs programming to the people of Los Angeles,” said Meruelo in making the announcement.

With the deal, NBCU is getting rid of one of its three stations in Los Angeles (in addition to KNBC, the company owns Telemundo station KVEA).

NBCU had been operating KWHY on a special FCC waiver but agreed to sell it off as the company merged with Comcast.

Comcast-NBCU Deal Goes Through

Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal was approved by the FCC and the Justice Department on Tuesday, clearing the way for the formation of a massive multimedia company that spans the cable-broadcast divide.

The FCC voted 4-1 in approving the merger, which is now expected to close on January 28.

The approval comes with conditions attached to it, especially surrounding the growing world of online video.  FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement:

After a thorough review, we have adopted strong and fair merger conditions to ensure this transaction serves the public interest. The conditions include carefully considered steps to ensure that competition drives innovation in the emerging online video marketplace.

The move is not without its critics. Three Republican congressmen, including the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, released a statement blasting the review process.

“We are glad Comcast can now get back to doing business and creating jobs, but the price of doing so should not be coerced compliance with the heavy-handed tactics of an overreaching FCC,” Upton, along with Greg Walden of Oregon and Lee Terry of Nebraska, said in the statement.

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