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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Abernethy’

FOX Said to Be Eyeing KCPQ in Search of NFL Dollars

Fox-2Last July, FOX pulled its affiliation from Bahakel owned WCCB in Charlotte, N.C. and launched WJZY an owned station. Recently, FOX announced a swap with Cox media, getting San Francisco Bay Area affiliate KTVU and giving up a station in Memphis and one in Boston.

FOX has the NFC package for the NFL and Charlotte is home to the NFC’s Carolina Panthers. You could say KTVU is in the home of the AFC’s Oakland Raiders, but you don’t need to leave the SF Bay Area DMA to watch the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers play in their new Santa Clara home. The stations FOX gave up are in markets with AFC teams. See a pattern?

Now, the New York Post reports, FOX Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy has his sights set on Tribune’s Seattle FOX station KCPQ.

Fox is set to yank Tribune Media’s Fox affiliation KCPQ-TV (Fox 13) in Seattle, The Post has learned.

Seattle is the home of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, which translates into big ratings in its hometown market.

Currently, Tribune’s Fox affiliation allows it to capitalize on the big NFL viewership numbers in negotiations with distributors such as cable companies. Tribune then kicks back a portion of those carriage fees to Fox.

Broadcasters, however, have been pressing their affiliates for larger kickbacks or risk having their lucrative network affiliations yanked, so the network can capture all of the revenue.

Read more

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Fox Television Stations and Nielsen to Continue ‘Longstanding Relationship’

Fox_logo-reflectionFox Television Stations and Nielsen have agreed on a new contract, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Nielsen president of U.S. Media Lynda Clarizio announced in a joint statement today.

“Nielsen and FOX Television Stations Inc. have come to a mutually beneficial resolution to continue their longstanding relationship.  Both companies are committed to more meaningful and accurate measurement in local markets,” the statement reads. “We look forward to a strong and productive relationship going forward.”

Earlier this month, Fox signed a long-term agreement with Rentrak for local market ratings services for all of its 28 owned stations in 18 markets.

Fox Stations Expand Newscasts in Several Markets, Including LA, Atlanta and Philly

fox logoFox Television Stations is adding newscasts in several major markets this year. Newly-announced expansions are at KTTV in Los Angeles, WAGA in Atlanta, KMSP in Minneapolis, WJZY in Charlotte, WTXF in Philadelphia, KTBC in Austin and WHBQ in Memphis (which Fox will give up control of later this year).

Fox had previously announced additional newscasts at WTTG in Washington and KSAZ in Phoenix.

“Uninformed critics say big companies are cutting local news,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “However, the opposite is true at FOX. We are expanding in a big way.”

A full list of the planned expansions is after the jump. Read more

Fox and Cox Swap Stations in San Francisco, Boston, Memphis

cox media fox logosFox Television Stations and Cox Media Group have announced they are swapping stations in three markets: Fox will get Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in San Francisco, and Cox will get Fox-owned WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston. After the deal closes, WHBQ and WFXT will remain Fox affiliates.

“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” CEO of Fox Television Stations Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights. I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do. We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”

“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman said. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”

More in the release after the jump. Read more

FOX Owned Stations to Go With Rentrak

fox logo_304x200FOX Television Stations and FOX Stations Sales has signed a long-term agreement with Rentrak for local market ratings services for all of its 28 owned stations in 18 markets.

“We are happy to have immediate access to Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics data,” Jack Abernethy, CEO of FOX Television Stations, said in a statement. “More importantly, we expect this will accelerate the long overdue progress toward an accurate digital measuring system in local TV, one based on a census, not estimates, and one that measures all screens.”

“We are excited to welcome FOX as the first owned and operated Network TV group to go ‘all-in’ with Rentrak,” said vice chairman and CEO of Rentrak, Bill Livek. “We look forward to helping FOX grow their business using the power of Rentrak’s census-like measurements and our Advanced Demographics.”

‘Good Day New York’ Producers Protest Proposed Pay Cuts

good day new york logoSegment producers and writers for “Good Day New York,” the morning newscast on WNYW in New York City,  have delivered a petition to station management protesting proposed pay cuts in contract negotiations between the Fox-owned station and the Writers Guild of America, East. The group has been working without a contract since last year.

Forty-one members signed the petition, which was emailed to Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and CFO Betsy Swanson and delivered in person to WNYW assistant news director Emad Asghar.

The petition, obtained by TVSpy, asks that station management “return to the negotiating table and quickly come to terms on a fair contract”:

At this point the company shows no sign of coming off of a host of unreasonable positions, including big cuts to segment producer salaries, an unwillingness to increase pension contributions to secure our retirement security, meal period give backs, a reduction in night shift differential, and other concessions. Enough is enough.

Our last raise was in 2011. Inflation has increased significantly since then and the cost of living and working in New York City has increased even more. At the same time, the company has realized cost savings by shutting down the WWOR evening news program and then eliminating the WNYW investigative unit. Similarly, our productivity has increased as we have taken on new duties. Of course, the company is also saving money by keeping the contract open and avoiding pay increases. This appears to be a part of the plan, as no reasonable person would be likely to agree to the kinds of cut backs that remain on the table.

A station source tells TVSpy that the producers and writers have been offered a 6% pay increase over the next three years. The previous contract, which ran from 2008-12, was a 12% increase over four years. Read more

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy on How Social Media Has Changed Local News

jack abernethyFox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy gives a wide-ranging interview to TVNewsCheck about expanding his station group, projected growth for 2014 and the ways social media has changed the local news industry:

I can think of at least three ways social media and Twitter have really had an impact. When you have a station that’s very aggressive with using that kind of stuff, it changes the way they do news. The late news is going to come on and cover fires, car accidents and the traditional police blotter news. As you get into social media, you may find out people aren’t as interested in that as they are in other stories. So if your anchor is tweeting, if your people are on Facebook, they find out. They say: “You know something? We could do more interesting  stories.” So, the back and forth that you get from social media will change the focus of a news operation.

Second is newsgathering. We had an example in Detroit. There is a standoff. We show up. Somebody is barricaded. We have no information. We sent a tweet to the police chief and he sends back information. So now we have something. Then somebody two rooms down — it was in a hotel — is also following our reporter and sends information to our reporter: “I’m two rooms down; I’m hearing noise.” Read more

Fox Reportedly Eyeing Stations in Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco

With the acquisition of a Charlotte duopoly in the rearview mirror, Fox Television Stations is looking to purchase more stations, Variety reports:

The station arm of 21st Century Fox is sniffing around acquisition targets in several major markets, including Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco. The push is part of a larger strategy to add to its station holdings in NFL markets, particularly markets with NFC teams, the conference for which Fox has a TV rights package. Fox at present has O&Os in 11 of the 16 NFC markets.

Industry sources say Fox is actively looking at stations in the Seattle market. [sic] where Tribune owns the existing Fox affiliate, KCPQ-TV. There’s speculation that Fox has its eye on Cox Enterprises-owned KIRO-TV, a CBS affiliate. But sources cautioned that Fox is “turning over a lot of rocks” right now in the market and hasn’t zeroed in on a specific acquisition target.

Presenting to investors earlier this month, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy hinted that the station group was looking to add to its portfolio.

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy: ‘We Are Retiring the Typical Anchorman’

In a presentation to 21st Century Fox investors today, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said the station group is “retiring the typical anchorman and replacing him with multi-skilled personalities and journalists” as part of a push to evolve the local news model.

Abernethy said the financial success of local news over the last four decades has “made the news business very resistant to change and innovation and stagnant in style and form,” but said the Fox owned stations are evolving in a number of ways, including replacing the traditional anchor and newscast models and using technology and social media more effectively.

Abernethy also cited “Chasing New Jersey” as an example, saying the launch of the WWOR show — which replaced the station’s only newscast — was because it’s “easier to start from scratch at times than waiting to evolve.”

“It replaces a traditional newscast, uses new technology in a fast-paced, cost-effective environment that can best be described as TMZ for local news,” Abernethy said. “We are located in Trenton, the state capital, and we are fortunate to be focusing on Jersey at a great time with Chris Christie and Cory Booker in the national spotlight.”

Abernethy also said the company continues to look for opportunities to acquire new stations, echoing an industry-wide trend. He noted Fox’s recent purchase of a duopoly in Charlotte as an example of the purchase of “under-performing stations that are accretive.”

“This investment will pay for itself in less than two years as a result of our ability to operate highly successful stations and the bottom-line impact of retrans,” he said.

Fox Names Patrick Paolini VP-GM of WTTG

Patrick Paolini has been named vice president and general manager of WTTG-WDCA, Fox’s duopoly in Washington, D.C.

It is a return to D.C. for the longtime Fox executive, who worked at WTTG-WDCA as vice president and general sales manager earlier in his career. He has also been VP-GM for WTXF in Philadelphia and VP and director of sales for WNYW-WWOR in New York City. Most recently, he was senior vice president of Fox Station Sales.

“Patrick has done a stellar job in leading our FSS sales team. His past success as a General Manager make him the ideal choice as we look to grow WTTG’s position in the DC market,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement.

Paolini replaces Duffy Dyer, who announced his retirement yesterday. Dyer will remain with the station through the transition period.

The full press release from Fox is after the jump. Read more

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