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Archive Date 2013-12-12


ROCKY MOUNTAIN MONOPOLY

We told you yesterday of Gray
Televisions
slick sidecar deal to use KKCO-11-NBC in
Grand Junction, CO (Market #185) to run Excalibur
Broadcastings KJCT-8-ABC.

We neglected to tell you that Gray
Television
is thisclose to controlling the OTHER three
stations in town, too. Yes, all five stations in one market
under one roof.

In a deal far too complicated for even us
to understand, Gray Television and its thinly veiled beard,
Excalibur Broadcasting, agreed
last month
to pay a combined $342.5 million for 17 Hoak
Media
and Parker-owned stations in eight small to
mid-sized markets.

Three of the stations are in Grand
Junction. KREX-5-CBS and KGJT-27-MyTV are a
co-located duopoly owned by Hoak Media. Parker Broadcasting
owns KFQX-4-Fox, which is co-located with KREX and KGJT
and is operated by Hoak under its own sweetheart sidecar
local marketing agreement.

Gray Television plans to continue
the LMA, using Excalibur Broadcasting to own KFQX
under the same roof with Grays KREX and KGJT, plus,
of course, KKCO and Excaliburs KJCT. Got that?

Essentially, after the FCC
rubber-stamps the deal, Gray Television will own three of
the stations (CBS, NBC, and MyTV) and Excalibur
will own the other two (ABC and Fox), which Gray
will operate via a LMA. One company will control all five
television stations in one market
seven
stations, if you include KREX satellites KREG-3-CBS
in Glenwood Springs and KREY-10-CBS in Montrose.

This may seem like a monopoly and, after
all, its only the 185th market…tiny by FCC standards.
According to Nielsen, there are just 72,040 households
at stake. Barely enough people to fill an NFL stadium. Some
might argue that a market that small cant support five television
stations, and five news departments, and five sales departments.

By sharing facilities, equipment, and
staff, Gray Television (and others like it) can seriously
reduce the monthly overhead of salaries, utilities, and property
taxes. They also have more muscle when negotiating retransmission
fees or setting advertising rates. From a business standpoint,
duopolies and sidecars make perfect sense.

"All of us are trying to rationalize
how we can continue to do news in a world where news does not
make, frankly, a lot of money," said
Gray Senior Vice President Kevin Latek
.
"Wherever we can pull costs together and run things out of
one operation ? it?s just more efficient."

Others argue that interchangeable
reporters and anchors result in duplication of news and
repetition of stories
. One set of managers is making coverage
choices that affect every viewer in the market. There is no
diversity in the news
.

"We know this is just about the
bottom line," said Todd O?Boyle, program director
for media and democracy at Common Cause, a national
nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization. "They often
make nice pronouncements about how we?re going to have new
resources to invest in local reporting and investigative coverage,
but we really know this is about mining broadcast properties
for all they?re worth
."

<<<>>>

Perry Sook, the president and CEO
of Nexstar, one of the biggest players in TV station
mergers and acquisitions, says the torrid pace of media
consolidation is only in the ?6th
or 7th inning
.?

<<<>>>

Gray Televisions KBTX-3-CBS in
Bryan, TX (Market #88) says former chief meteorologist Bob
Frenchs
claim of age and disability discrimination is "utterly
without merit
." Well, what did you expect them to say?
Billable hours and a quiet settlement will ensue.

<<<>>>

SUING THE WEASELS

George
Hyatt
, 60, a former cameraman for Chuck Todd?s ?Daily
Rundown?
on MSNBC is suing
NBC for age discrimination
. Hyatt claims he was
fired by an NBC News Washington bureau supervisor who told
another employee he wanted to get ?young blood in here.? 

Hyatt, the former director of
photography at Tribune Broadcasting, described NBC News
as ?a sack full of lying weasels.?

<<<>>>

Ann Currys $12 million employment
contract with NBC News has
a window in early 2014
and shes eager to move on. But where
to? Al Jazeera America?

<<<>>>

FLAPPING FLAP

A man, who stood inches from President
Obama
and other world dignitaries while providing sign
language of Nelson Mandelas ceremony in Johannesburg, was
just "flapping his arms around," according to the
national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa.

Reporting on the embarrassing gaffe during
yesterdays "Today" show, NBC inserted its
own fake translator in a lower-third window. Natalie Morales, when she saw it,
was appalled. NBC
later apologized
for the "offensive" joke and
scrubbed the video from its website. 

But, of course, it
survives on YouTube
.

<<<>>>

CANT TAKE A JOKE

Martin
Pierro
, 41, a well-known comic book writer and publisher
in South Florida, was so irked by the smarmy news promotions on WPEC-12-CBS
in West Palm Beach (Market #38), he sent a tongue-in-cheek tweet
to news anchor John Discepolo. "Someone is hiding in
your house waiting to kill you ? find out where ? tonight at
11."

Discepolo
(right) tweeted back: "Not
something to joke about ? not cool."

"Oh come on that?s an old school
broadcasters joke," responded Pierro. "I was just
poking fun at your ?teases? for the nightly news."

Cops showed up at Pierros door on
Friday and arrested
him on charges
of "intimidation through a written threat
to kill or injure."

<<<>>>

Time Warner Cable will drop New
England Cable News
from
its regional lineup Dec. 31
and replace it with Al Jazeera
America
, affecting about 300,000 subscribers in Maine. ?We
do not believe NECN represents a good value for our
customers,? said Time Warner. Translation: Al
Jazz
is cheaper.

<<<>>>

Appearing on Howard Stern?s Sirius XM
radio show yesterday, "The Talks" Julie
Chen
said
"The View" may have made a
mistake by hiring Jenny McCarthy.

<<<>>>

Frank
Wiley
, a weekend news anchor and reporter at Cox-owned
KOKI-23-Fox in Tulsa (Market #60), will
start next month
as the new "Better Mornings"
co-anchor at Merediths last-place WGCL-46-CBS in
Atlanta (Market #9). 

He replaces muscle-bound, heavily tattooed
Brandon Rudat
, who abruptly disappeared in July.

<<<>>>

Chris Ford, the assistant news
director for the past year and a half at Gannetts WTSP-10-CBS in
Tampa (Market #14), starts in January (brrrrr) as news director at
Hubbards WHEC-10-NBC in Rochester, NY (Market #78). He
replaces Steve Richards, who abruptly disappeared in
August. "Roc City, here I come!" tweeted
Ford
.

<<<>>>

David Lee, the assistant news
director at KCOY-12-CBS and KKFX-11-Fox in
Salinas/Santa Maria, CA (Market #123), has been named news
director at Calkins-owned WTXL-27-ABC in Tallahassee
(Market #106). 

He replaces LaQunta Dixon, who
held the job a little more than a year and abruptly disappeared in
September.

<<<>>>

Jeremy Rauch, the weekend sports
anchor and reporter at Sinclairs WICS-20-ABC in
Springfield, IL (Market #84), starts
Monday
as a sports anchor and reporter at WXIX-19-Fox
in Cincinnati (Market #35). 

He fills the vacancy created by sports
director Brian Giesenschlags leaving in September to work
for Fox Sports Ohio, and the promotion of Joe Danneman
from weekend sports anchor to sports director.

<<<>>>

UGLY HAT LIKES

When winter weather hits Nashville (Market
#29), WSMV-4-NBC reporter Dennis Ferrier puts on his
ugly hat (a ushanka). 

His wife, Lindsay, hates the thing.
"It looked as if our dog had perhaps used the ushanka as a
plaything at some point," she
wrote in a column for Suburban Turmoil.

Dennis Ferrier loves the hat.
"I?ve had that hat for 20 years," he said.
"People like the ushanka! It makes them laugh!"

The couple decided to put it
to a
vote…let viewers decide. 265 comments and 515 "likes"
later, it was official. People in Nashville, with nothing better to do than troll the WSMV
Facebook
page, love the ushanka.

In fact, Ferrier?s hat has become so
popular, it now has its own Facebook
and Twitter
accounts. And replicas of the ugly hat have begun to mysterio
usly
appear on the heads of other WSMV
reporters.

<<<>>>

Charles Thomas, the dapper
political reporter at WLS-7-ABC in Chicago (Market #3),
lost his mustache in a ?weekend shaving mishap.? Robert
Feder

investigates
.

<<<>>>

Rich Lieberman, the Bay Area
blogger who hovers somewhere between insanity and idiocy, has penned
an online rant
calling out local media "schmuckos."

<<<>>>

PROMOS R US MOST DEF

WXYZ-7-ABC in Detroit (Market #11)
may have had some of the lamest slogans weve ever seen,
but their news promos in the mid-1980s, featuring anchor star Bill
Bonds
, were
some of televisions best ever.

<<<>>>

MRS.
BLUEZETTES GRAMMAR YAMMER


"A PBS mind in a Twitter world."

Lets begin todays lesson with a
quick assignment. Google "first discovered." Go ahead.

Did you see this one?

The snails were first
discovered in the lake in 2009 and no one knows how the snails
were transported to the lake. ("Cold snap puts the deep
freeze on invasive mudsnails," q13fox.com, 12-5-2013)

Discovered means first found,
so drop "first."

~The snails were discovered in the lake in 2009…

Heres another one:

But the judge raised
questions about the way investigators first discovered details
of the deadly incident last summer in Glacier National Park.
("Legal arguments continue as brides murder trial
rapidly approaches," ktvq.com, 12-4-2013)

Since discovered means first
learned of, first discovered details is redundant.

Mrs. B ends this redundancies series with a quotation from
newswriting coach Merv Blocks "Writing Broadcast News
Shorter, Sharper, Stronger: A Professional Handbook, 3rd
ed.":

In newscasts, economy in
language is not merely desirable, its essential. Redundancies
waste time, blur meaning and lessen impact. The fewer words
used to tell a broadcast news story, the clearer and more
forceful the communication. Flab weakens communication and
crowds out other news. With leaner stories, you can fit more
stories into a newscast and make your newscast newsier.

 

 

More News from Thursday, December 12, 2013


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