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Updated: 29 min 16 sec ago

Key House E&C Democrat To Retire

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 14:22

One of the two leading Democratic voices on the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee — the individual who oversees the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology — has announced he will not seek re-election.

As such, he will be saying goodbye to Capitol Hill in January 2023.

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Categories: Industry News

Dish Files ‘Bad Faith’ Complaint Against TEGNA

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 12:25

Updated at 12:25pm Eastern

On the evening of October 6, the latest fight over retransmission consent fees commenced. At 9pm Eastern, TEGNA-owned stations were no longer accessible to Dish customers, as the companies’ accord had expired without a new deal put into place.

TEGNA and Dish exchanged words, each blaming each other for the “blackout,” by law, of TEGNA stations to Dish’s paying clientele.

On Monday (10/18), Dish took things up a notch by reaching out to the FCC.

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Categories: Industry News

Lotus/Seattle Impacted by Sinclair Cybersecurity Snafu

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 12:15

By Jackson Weaver, with additional reporting by Adam R Jacobson

kIRKLAND, WASH. — On September 10, Lotus Communications, the privately held media company run by the Kalmenson family from Los Angeles, officially closed on its acquisition of the lone radio stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Today, those stations’ continued link to Sinclair has led to widespread challenges for the three audio brands, as a crippling cybersecurity incident at the stations’ former owner has led to severe disruption for Lotus in Seattle-Tacoma.

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Categories: Industry News

A New Look For Nielsen

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 09:58

Its shares are presently trading at a year-to-date low. Industry groups including the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) aren’t pleased with its TV audience measurement services. The Media Ratings Council is working on accreditation issues.

Nielsen has had a bruising 2021. Now, it believes a new brand campaign, including a “new identity” will help in sharing the story of the company’s “transformation of its culture” and “a redefined strategy focused solely on the global future of media.”

Nielsen’s new look and feel, it says, “represents a commitment to innovation and the company’s role and purpose of powering a better media future for all people.”

Following the sale of its Global Connect business in March 2021, Nielsen reiterated that it is now focused on delivering “digital-first and global-first media solutions” in the “measurement, audience outcomes and content services” arenas.

This includes the previously announced integration of its measurement products into Nielsen One.

The company says, “With an unmatched foundation of cross platform measurement, Nielsen offers a full suite of planning and outcomes solutions for marketers and agencies to enhance their return on investments. Nielsen also continues to enhance its Gracenote content services business, delivering leading metadata and analytics for On Demand content globally.”

“While our business has transformed dramatically over the past few years, it became clear that perceptions of the company have not evolved at the same pace,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “The rebranding marks a new Nielsen both inside the company and out, with a strategy hyper-focused on the global audience and the changing media environment. Nielsen’s core values of inclusion, courage and growth, along with its clear strategy, will power the company’s transformation as we partner with the industry and our clients to help them better understand how evolving audiences consume media and find content.”

The new brand identity will be unveiled at Advertising Week New York, which will be held October 18 – 21. Signage showcasing the elements of the rebranding will be prominently displayed on the fifth and sixth floors of Hudson Yards. Nielsen will also host a daily breakfast at its lounge, which will feature the new logo, images and colors, in line with the company’s new brand identity.

Initial elements of Nielsen’s brand evolution include:

New Logo: As a prominent representation of the company, people and brand, the new logo is playful, optimistic and smart. Inspired by the universal play button as well as ratings, the forms come together subtly to create an ‘N’ letterform in the negative space, signifying insights revealed by Nielsen’s data and the constant momentum in media.

New Brand Colors: The multitude of fresh colors speaks to the diversity and richness in media representing or containing a piece of data, a piece of music, a show, a content creator, or a member of the audience, all working together to move media forward. The green and orange triangles represent movement upwards and downwards, an expression of ratings and the popularity of content across all platforms. The red triangle nods towards the content not seen or heard. Data and insights are just as much about what people don’t choose to consume, as what they do consume.

New Brand Purpose Statement: Powering a Better Media Future for All People.

Categories: Industry News

ViacomCBS, Altice USA Ink A Carriage Deal. It Includes OTT Access

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 09:47

Chalk up another carriage agreement between a television network owner and a MVPD that includes cable TV customer access to an “Over the Top,” or OTT, offering.

ViacomCBS and Altice USA on Monday revealed that they’ve reached a “comprehensive agreement” for the continued carriage of ViacomCBS’ networks for Altice USA’s Optimum and Suddenlink customers.

The pact also provides Altice USA with rights to ViacomCBS’ suite of streaming services, including Paramount+, SHOWTIME OTT, Pluto TV, BET+ and Noggin.

“We are pleased to have reached a new multi-year agreement with our partners at Altice USA that underscores the strength of ViacomCBS’ brands and streaming services,” Ray Hopkins, President of U.S. Networks Distribution at ViacomCBS commented. “Altice USA through its Optimum and Suddenlink brands is an important partner and we look forward to continuously serving subscribers with our outstanding collection of content.”

Yossi Benchetrit, Altice USA’s Chief Programming and Procurement Officer, added, “As Altice USA continues to focus on providing our Optimum and Suddenlink customers with a robust array of content to meet their evolving entertainment needs, we are pleased to reach a new agreement with ViacomCBS that ensures the continued delivery of their networks plus added rights to the ViacomCBS streaming services portfolio.”

ViacomCBS and Altice USA will continue to collaborate on addressable media and advanced advertising capabilities.

Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Categories: Industry News

Sinclair’s Sunday Scramble: ‘Technical Difficulties’ Is Ransomware Attack

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 09:40

Updated at 9:40am Eastern

“We are experiencing technical problems and are working to resolve them.”

That was the short but succinct Tweet sent in the 8pm Eastern hour on Sunday evening by a dual CBS/FOX affiliated property licensed to South Bend, Ind.

Six hours earlier, a nearly identical Tweet was posted by the ABC affiliate serving Portland, Ore.

Those “technical difficulties” were seen at sibling television stations across the U.S., including a pioneer in broadcast television that was perhaps the first TV station to broadcast in color — WRGB-6 in Schenectady, N.Y.

On Monday morning, the stations’ leadership still wasn’t commenting. But, it submitted the facts in a SEC filing. Indeed, Sinclair Broadcast Group has become the latest media company to suffer a severe ransomware attack.

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Avoid A Ransomware Scare With These Forecast Facts

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 09:29

As Sunday, October 18, came to a close on the East Coast of the U.S., it became very clear that Sinclair Broadcast Group had apparently become the latest owner of radio and/or TV stations to become victim of a crippling ransomware attack.

With cybersecurity concerns bigger than ever for broadcast media, expert Steve Morgan‘s upcoming Forecast 2022 appearance couldn’t be more timely to tackle the subject.

From Sinclair to Cox Media Group, Audacy, Townsquare Media, Urban One and smaller broadcast media companies such as Max Media of Norfolk, Va., and Bicoastal Media, in the Pacific Northwest, cyber adversaries are wreaking havoc at some broadcast media companies, catching them off-guard and ill-prepared. Learning how the cyber adversaries do it and discovering why people and companies remain largely in the dark about cybercrimes could be one of the biggest opportunities of the year.

Morgan is the founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and Editor-in-Chief at Cybercrime Magazine. At Forecast 2022, he’ll chat with WABC-AM in New York talk show host Juliet Huddy for a provocative interview delivered free of technobabble.

Morgan has written more than 500 articles for Forbes, CSO, and others. He is co-author of the book “Women Know Cyber: 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime” and named on numerous lists including LinkedIn’s 5 Security Influencers to Follow, Onalytica’s Who’s Who in Cybersecurity, and the Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencers at RSA Conference.


“The value of a business depends largely on how well it guards its data, the strength of its cybersecurity, and its level of cyber resilience,” Morgan says.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what Morgan has to say. Make your plans to day for Forecast 2022, November 16 at the Harvard Club in midtown Manhattan.

Forecast 2022 explores the most critical challenge facing business and industry today — cyber security — with a session packed with information you need to know and answers to questions you have – or should have. Seating is limited. Register today for Forecast 2022 and take advantage of early bird pricing. Registration include admittance into the Broadcast Leadership Reception honoring the 2021 Top Radio and Television Leaders. Always a great networking event, this may be a one-of-a-kind opportunity this year!
Categories: Industry News

Rosenworcel-Penned Proposal Seeks To Thwart Robotexts

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 08:25

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has shared with fellow Commissioners at the FCC a proposed rulemaking that would require mobile wireless providers to block illegal text messaging.

“As the FCC continues to combat unwanted robocalls, it recognizes that it must adapt to the latest scamming trends—including the rise of robotexts,” the FCC said on Monday.

In 2020 alone, the Commission received approximately 14,000 consumer complaints about unwanted text messages, representing an almost 146% increase from the number of complaints the year before.

Thus far in 2021, the Commission has received over 9,800 consumer complaints about unwanted texts.

Meanwhile, data from other sources reaffirm evidence of the problem. For example, RoboKiller reports 7.4 billion spam texts were sent in March 2021.

“In a world where so many of us rely heavily on texting to stay connected with our friends and family, ensuring the integrity of this communication is vitally important,” Rosenworcel said. “We’ve seen a rise in scammers trying to take advantage of our trust of text messages by sending bogus robotexts that try to trick consumers to share sensitive information or click on malicious links. It’s time we take steps to confront this latest wave of fraud and identify how mobile carriers can block these automated messages before they have the opportunity to cause any harm.”

If adopted by a vote of the full Commission, the rulemaking would explore steps to protect consumers from illegal robotexts, including network level blocking and applying caller authentication standards to text messaging.

Categories: Industry News

Amazon’s Big Move Into Spot Cable

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 06:18

The leader once again at Spot Cable, according to the latest report from Media Monitors, dominates by play count.

That said, there is a new challenger to the throne. And, it is one of the “GAFAN” group of tech giants many broadcasters want to regulate — because, ironically, they are draining broadcast media of local ad budgets.

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Categories: Industry News

Radio’s Best Spot Users, Shining Again

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 06:10

The latest Media Monitors Spot Ten Radio report is out, and it shows that the brands that believe in AM and FM radio are sticking with the medium.

For the week ending October 17, Indeed and DuckDuckGo remain big users of spot radio, by play count.

The dollars invested in radio for these campaigns is not known.

Other active users of radio include Vicks, State Farm, UnitedHealthCare and Capital One, which returns to the Spot Ten report.

Categories: Industry News

Is Wall Street Too Upbeat On Disney’s DTC Path?

Mon, 10/18/2021 - 05:07

During a roughly five week period in 2020, the Walt Disney Co.’s stock value surged from the $120 range to a price upward of $170. The company’s shares were buoyed, in part, by Pfizer’s successful Phase-3 vaccination trial and Disney’s second Direct-to-Consumer investor day.

The one-year anniversary of these events is approaching and, MoffettNathanson Senior Analyst Michael Nathanson notes, “the stock is seemingly stuck in neutral.”

Has the market — or Disney — gotten it right?

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A Day Without SiriusXM: ‘Dial-itis’ Diagnosis

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 15:59
Is a subscription to SiriusXM really worth the money, especially in a locale where HD Radio multicasts abound and Bluetooth connectivity puts audio from around the world through one’s car speakers in a matter of seconds? According to our Editor-in-Chief, the answer is an easy one: Yes. One day without SiriusXM wasn’t exactly a pleasant one, he writes in this RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION.

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The State of Converged TV Revealed

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 15:45

Across three continents, more than 75% of buyers surveyed agree that “TV” is now both linear and streaming platforms. Concurrently, more than 70% of respondents believe that all forms of TV should be sold on impressions.

That’s the key conclusion from a global analysis of “converged TV” from TVSquared, which combines insights from close to 1,000 buyers in the U.S. and in the U.K., Germany and Australia.

Analyzing billions of ad impressions across 20 converged TV campaigns active on TVSquared’s ADvantage platform, the report also uncovers insights on incremental reach and how to best approach converged TV strategies.

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Sheeder Rises in iHeart’s Twin Cities Sales Dept.

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 15:24

The individual who rose from an account executive to Local Sales Manager in December 2020 for iHeartMedia‘s Minneapolis-St. Paul radio stations has been promoted once again.

Meet the new VP of Sales for the company’s Twin Cities radio properties.

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CBS Boston Gets A New Leader

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 14:45

From 2006-2010, he served as the financial controller of CBS Boston, comprised of WBZ-4 and MyNetwork TV affiliate WSBK-38. 

Now, ViacomCBS has chosen this company executive to serve as the successor to Mark Lund by taking the President/GM post for the stations, and its CBSN Boston OTT-delivered all-news offering.

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Nielsen Board OKs Quarterly Cash Dividend

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 13:54

The Board of Directors of Nielsen Holdings plc has declared a quarterly cash dividend.

The decision? To award a bonus payment of $0.06 per share of Nielsen’s common stock.

The dividend is payable on December 2, to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 18.

And, the dividend comes as Nielsen shares appear to have stopped a five-month dip in value. On May 17, a $28.10 finish was seen for NLSN, after starting the year just below $21. Since then, Nielsen shares have been on a steady downhill track, reaching $19.19 at the end of September for a year-to-date low.

As of 1:52pm Eastern on Friday (10/15), NLSN was trading at $19.83 — its lowest value since mid-December 2020.

Categories: Industry News

Bonneville Bay Area Trio To Get ‘Maxxcasting’ Booster Bump

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 12:15

Bonneville International Corp. has signed off on “modernizing and upgrading” its existing boosters for FM signals tied to three San Francisco radio stations.

In a filing made this week with the FCC, it became known that GeoBroadcast Solutions, the technology company behind Maxxcasting seeks Commission approval of the estimated March 2022 deployment of its FM Booster service at Adult Contemporary KOIT-FM 96.5, Top 40 KMVQ-FM “99.7 NOW,” and Adult R&B KBLX-FM 102.9.

A five-node single frequency network (SFN) with HD Radio operation, GBS seeks to improve each of the FM’s existing booster signals in a manner in which each station will share the antenna infrastructure through a multiplex system.

The improved signal in the terrain-challenged San Francisco Bay Area is designed to help the three stations’ detectability among holders of Nielsen Audio Portable People Meters (PPMs).

KOIT, KBLX and KMVQ were acquired in 2018 by Bonneville from Entercom, now Audacy.

“By implementing a MaxxCasting SFN system, the technology provides a solid, interference-free signal, sound, and HD Radio in the East Bay for all three Bonneville stations,” GBS explains.

Among the project partners is GatesAir, which manufactures the Flexiva transmitter.

KOIT presently uses a 3,300-watt booster in Martinez, benefiting listeners in San Ramon, Walnut Creek and Concord; KMVQ and KBLX each have a 185-watt booster in Walnut Creek.

Maxxcasting has been marketed by GeoBroadcast Solutions as a way for radio broadcast stations to fill-in signal holes in major metropolitan areas, greatly improving coverage. It has recently been put to work in Chicago, and for an Audacy Sports Talker in San Diego.


A Bustos Media FM Boosts With ‘MaxxCasting’ Plan RBR-TVBR There’s a Class C 64kw FM facility serving the Seattle-Tacoma region’s Hispanic audience by providing regional Mexican programming. It’s a big stick, hence its moniker: “La Gran D.” But, this station is licensed to Elma, Washington and uses a tower well to the southwest of downtown Seattle. The result: Signal holes in the metropolitan area. This issue has just been resolved in a big way, as the station is now the latest licensee of Maxxcasting technology.
Categories: Industry News

Is Univision Preparing a HQ Move From NYC To SoFla?

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 12:00

For decades, Univision Communications has maintained a strong presence in the Miami-Dade County, Fla., city of Doral. Here, it has television studios and office space on NW 36th Street, a stone’s throw from Miami International Airport. There’s also a spacious rented facility that is home to Univision Radio/Miami, and had been used for the Fusion cable TV network operation.

However, Univision’s corporate headquarters happens to be on Third Avenue between East 39th and 40th Streets, just southeast of Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan.

According to media reports in South Florida, that’s about to change, with Univision’s headquarters set to head out of New York.

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A ‘Cross Country’ Sale Transpires In Florida

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 11:59

The Big Bend region of Florida is still one of the more desolate, bucolic portions of the ever-growing Sunshine State, attracting more hurricanes than travelers or Snowbirds. It’s bigger communities include Apalachicola and Port St. Joe, due east of Panama City.

It is here that a 100kw FM is being spun, putting a “Cross Country” move in play.

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Pat Sajak Says Farewell to Annapolis AM

Fri, 10/15/2021 - 11:30

He’s known across the U.S. for his longtime role as the host of the syndicated early-prime TV game show Wheel of Fortune. But, in broadcast circles, he’s also known as the licensee of an AM radio station that has served Maryland’s state capital since 1949.

Now, Pat Sajak is selling the station’s license, while listing the land where this property’s studios and towers lie for a bit more than he’s collecting for the 72-year-old broadcast facility.

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Categories: Industry News