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Posts Tagged ‘David Smith’

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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It’s Trading Day! Five Station Groups Buy and Sell Ten Stations

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Five station groups have undertaken a station swap similar to what happens at the trading deadline in professional sports. This time, though, the moves affect hundreds of people.

Media General and LIN Media, looking to comply with Federal regulations over ownership rules have initiated a TV station swap involving Sinclair Broadcast, Meredith and Hearst Corporation.

Here’s the breakdown:

Sinclair will buy from Media General: Providence NBC affiliate WJAR

Sinclair will buy from LIN Media: Green Bay FOX affiliate WLUK, Green Bay CW affiliate WCWF and certain assets of Savannah, GA, FOX affiliate WTGS and the rights to acquire the principal assets of WTGS, which is operated by LIN but owned by WTGS Television, LLC.

Media General will buy from Sinclair: Tampa, FL, MyTV affiliate WTTA, creating a duopoly since they already own NBC affiliate WFLA, and Colorado Springs stations KXRM (FOX) and KXTU (CW).

Media General will sell to Hearst: Birmingham, AL NBC affiliate WVTM.

LIN Media will sell to Hearst: Savannah, GA ABC affiliate WJCL.

Meredith will buy from LIN Media: Mobile-Pensacola FOX affiliate WALA. Read more

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.”

Sinclair Launches College Sports Network

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today it’s getting into the sports programming game by launching a collegiate sports initiative called the American Sports Network.

The network plans to air its programming on Sinclair’s CW and MyNet stations and has deals with Division I conferences like Conference USA, the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South Conference, Southern Conference and Patriot League.

The initiative, headed up by Doron Gorshein, CEO of Sinclair Networks, will air live football, basketball, soccer and other games. The station group also added, “the Company’s plans may include potential development of new cable networks and digital platforms focused on these new content initiatives” if it can secure carriage agreements with distributors.

“This is another example of our foray into the content creation business,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. “The launch of ASN will provide important and valuable content that is directed at serving our local communities, while improving the value of our CW and MyNet affiliates. We are confident in Doron’s ability to lead this endeavor, given his acumen in this arena.”

Q1 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenues Up 48%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported $373.9 million in net broadcast revenues for the first quarter of 2014, a 47.8% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $81 million, up 27.2% from the prior year period. Political revenues were $6.1 million compared to $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2013. Sinclair reports $8.2 million in revenues generated by the Super Bowl, and $3.7 million in revenues generated by the Sochi Olympics.

“There were many positives in the first quarter that reflect our solid underlying fundamentals, despite the slower than usual start to the year due to the impact of the severe and frigid weather in many of our markets,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “The first quarter benefited from incremental Super Bowl, Olympic and retransmission consent fee revenues, while political revenues exceeded expectations. We also benefited from lower television operating expenses across many of our stations. Our main focus now is on closing the Allbritton station acquisition and lobbying to reform broadcast ownership regulatory inequality.”

Sinclair Offers to Sell Stations Ahead of FCC Decision

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group told the FCC it will restructure its deal to buy Allbritton by selling some stations and stop providing services to others in order to comply with the proposed ban on shared service agreements.

Sinclair said it would sell WHP (CBS) in Harrisburg, PA, WMMP (MyTV) in Charleston, SC, WABM (MyTV) in Birmingham, AL, and would stop providing services to WTAT (FOX) in Charleston, SC, and would give the buyer of WHP the rights to an existing agreement to provide services to Harrisburg CW affiliate WLYH.

“The proposed changes to the transaction will have an immaterial impact on Sinclair as a whole and on the Allbritton transaction in particular,” David Smith, Sinclair’s president and CEO said in a statement. “Although we believe the shared services arrangements that were contemplated would have provided significant public interest benefits, including promoting minority ownership of broadcast stations.”

Q4 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenue Up 33%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $382.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 33.2% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $103.3 million, a 13.3% drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was due to the absence of political revenue in the non-election year, as well as one-time acquisition costs and a loss on the sale of WSYT in Syracuse. Local net broadcast revenues were up 58.1% and national net broadcast revenues were down 14.2% because of the drop in political advertising.

“2013 was a historic year for us, including growing broadcast revenues 32.3% to a record-breaking $1.2 billion, and once again leading the industry on station acquisitions,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “During the year we closed on the purchase of 63 television stations and added over $1.0 billion in assets, which contributed $148.4 million in revenues in 2013.”

Sinclair Hires Former FCC Adviser for New Washington Office

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced the hiring of Rebecca Hanson as senior vice president, Strategy and Policy.

Hanson, who comes to the station group from the Media Bureau of the FCC where she was senior adviser, Broadcast Spectrum, will be responsible for starting up a new Washington, D.C. office for Sinclair “dedicated to a broad range of policy and business matters.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement, “As Sinclair continues to grow into the nation’s largest television station group, we need a presence in Washington to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we will face in the coming years. Rebecca’s experience at the FCC and in the wireless and media industries makes her uniquely qualified to lead this office.”

While with the FCC, Hanson served on the Incentive Auction Task Force as the go-to person for broadcaster participation and issues affecting non-participating broadcasters. Before joining the commission, she was vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Sprint Nextel. She has also worked at XM Satellite Radio as senior vice president of Business Development and VP and deputy general counsel. She started her career at Brownstein and Zeidman and later Shaw Pittman (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) where she specialized in technology, commercial finance and venture capital.

Free Press Fires Back at Sinclair in Station Group’s Own Backyard

sinclair_304Free Press, the non-profit media watchdog and authors of a recent article targeting Sinclair Broadcasting is taking another shot at the media giant. This time, the organization has published an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun.

In the latest piece about Sinclair, which is based in nearby Hunt Valley, MD, two Free Press authors again take aim at the station group’s use of shell companies and its focus on the bottom line.

“These companies are doing everything they can to maximize profits,” said the authors. “Just last month, Sinclair fired nearly 30 employees from Seattle’s KOMO and Portland, Ore.’s KATU. This is par for the course for Sinclair, where the average number of employees per station has declined by nearly 20 percent since 2001.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith responded to the last Free Press article with a missive of his own titled, “Sinclair Comments on Inaccurate and Irresponsible Report Released by Free Press. Read more

Q3 Earnings: Sinclair Net Broadcast Revenues Up 35%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $303 million for the third quarter of 2013, a +34.7% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Net income was $36.3 million for the quarter, up from $26.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. In the non-election year, political revenues were $2.7 million, down from $27.8 million in the year-ago period. Local net broadcast revenues were up +53.3%, while national net broadcast revenues were down -7%. In terms of advertising, automotive, services, grocery, media, furniture and home products were up on a same-station basis, while telecommunications and paid programming were down.

“We are pleased with our solid third quarter results and expect to continue to grow our revenue share and provide additional value to our shareholders through our station acquisitions and the synergies and efficiencies of scale that we are creating as we continue to consolidate,” SBG president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “…As we look ahead, we are beginning to assess other possible avenues for growth after the after the industry consolidates, including enhancing our original content offerings and distribution, the pursuit of strategic partnerships and monetizing spectrum holdings, all with the intent of creating additional value for our shareholders.”

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