Wednesday, December 31, 2008
In an update to a story we brought you yesterday, Viacom and Time Warner came to a virtual last second deal. We were wrong this time - and that's a good thing.
LOS ANGELES -- Just before midnight New Year's Eve, Time Warner Cable Inc. says it has reached a deal with Viacom Inc. on carriage fees, avoiding a blackout of 19 cable channels, including MTV and Comedy Central.
The two sides, citing disagreement over fee hikes, had threatened a damaging blackout at midnight that would have cut off shows such as "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "The Colbert Report" to about 15.7 million subscribers.
Shortly after agreeing to extend a midnight deadline by an hour, Time Warner Cable spokesman Alex Dudley said the sides agreed on a new contract.
Details of the deal were not immediately available.
It's turning out to be a battle between media giant Viacom and Time Warner Cable over carriage consent which expires tonight (New Year's Eve) at Midnight.
Our bet is: Time Warner customers lose Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and 16 other channels.
Up to 13 million subscribers will see their screens go dark or to alternate programming on those channels if - I mean, when - Time Warner and Viacom fail to reach a last minute deal by midnight.
According to reports, Viacom wants an extra 23 cents a month per suscriber. Time Warner calls it an undoable deal.
Get those DVR's up and running now to record as much of Viacom's programming as possible for the kids before the end comes.
We'll have updates as receive them.
Monday, December 29, 2008
First of, we are back from a few weeks of vacation and ready to take on a new year which will be just as challenging as 2008. Hopefully, a better economy and a new direction for the nation will allow us to recover from what can only be described as a miserable local and national economy - especially with TV being so tied to the fate of the automotive industry and their large advertising budgets. Plus, we have to deal with the huge costs of the digital tv transition and a never ending need to upgrade equipment with the new technology - a challenge WKYC is ready to tackle head on in '09.
Director's Cut Reaches Another Milestone
As we approach our 2nd year on the web in January, the Director's Cut Blog has once again surpassed our expectations as your source for local news and information about WKYC. Over the holidays, we hit a quarter million page views. So, again thank you for your continued readership.
More Delays On Our New Broadcast Tower
Thanks to the crazy weather both here and where our contractors have been working on another tower raising, we are a little behind now in getting our new broadcast tower up in Parma. Once the construction begins in earnest, we need about 4 to 6 weeks to get the work finished...which puts us periously close to the transition deadline of February 17th. As Ohio Media Watch first pointed out, the station has had to request a possible extension with the FCC out of "an abudance of caution" should construction not be finished in time. In that case, we would continue broadcasting on digital channel 2 until we can make the move to digital channel 17 as soon as possible.
NBC Weather Plus Ends Its Broadcast
As we mentioned in early fall, NBC is pulling the curtain down on NBC Weather Plus this week as the channel shuts down. However, there is some good news for Weather Plus trekkies in that WKYC will continue a local version of the channel featuring a local "L" bar for your area temperatures and forecast conditions. However, this service will now be mainly seen on just our digital subchannel 3.2 instead of on your local cable company channels which will not carry the channel after this week. This feed will also be available on wkyc.com on the main weather page.
"Meet the Press" Holds Its Own
NBC has announced that "Meet the Press" with new host David Gregory continues to do well after its second week. This Sunday's broadcast led the Sunday morning news pack with 4.78 million viewers. ABC's "This Week" ranked second with 3.67 million viewers, followed by CBS' "Face the Nation" with 3.12 million viewers and "Fox News Sunday" with 1.57 million viewers. Gregory continues to impress viewers with his knowledge of politics and smoothness in presentation. "Meet the Press" airs Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on WKYC.
While I can't always give secret information away - cause that would be unfair - I am thrilled to answer your general questions about the television station or listen to suggestions for new things you'd like to see featured on the blog.
You can email your questions to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
CLEVELAND -- Here is a look at what's coming up just in time for Christmas on NBC and WKYC:
WEDNESDAY, 12/24 through THURSDAY, 12/25
Regular programming until 8 p.m.
"It's a Wonderful Life" - 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
"Channel 3 News at 11" - 11 p.m. to 11:35 p.m.
"Christmas Eve at St. Peter's Basillica in Rome" - 11:35 p.m. to 1:05 a.m.
"Little Shepherd" - 1:05 a.m. to 1:35 a.m.
"Meet John Doe" - 1:35 a.m to 4:00 a.m.
"Holiday Festival on Ice" - 4:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.
"Christmas at Cadllac Jack's" - 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
"City That Forgot About Christmas" - 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
"Christmas Is" - 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.
"Today Show" - 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
"Christmas at Maxwell's" - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"Days of Our Lives" - 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
"Rachel Ray" - 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
"Hot Ice, Cool Sounds" - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
"Wild and Wacky Christmas" - 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
"Homecoming with Jim Brickman" - 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
"NBC Nightly News" - 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"Little Shepherd" - 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
"Entertainment Tonight" - 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"Deal or No Deal" - 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
"The Office" - 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
"Channel 3 News at 11 PM" - 11:00 p.m. to 11:35 p.m.
"The Tonight Show" 11:35 p.m.
Monday, December 22, 2008
I've had the priviledge of working with Lydia since she joined us from Channel 8 and will miss her great enthusiasm, warm personality and popcorn. Yep, she always had a stash of "ready to pop" popcorn to make in the classic popcorn machine she was given after doing a story about it several years ago and kept in the Channel 3 backroom.
We wish you nothing but the best Lydia - and thanks for all the great weekend memories when I was fortunate enough to direct your weekend shows in the past.
You can reach out to Lydia on Facebook.
Photo courtesy: Carrie Young
He knows we've been good this year heaven's sake.... so -
The Top 5 List of Things We'd Like For Christmas at Channel 3
#5... A shiny, new broadcast tower
#4... A smooth transition to digital on February 17th.
#3... Better prime time shows from NBC
#2... Success for Channel 3's new direction
#1... A much better economy in 2009
Happy Holidays everyone!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Ohio Media Watch says, "The Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office says Gordon was found dead in his Euclid apartment Thursday, and that the death is believed to be of natural causes."
According to the Plain Dealer's Michael Heaton article, "Gordon was known as 'Smoochie' for his signature sign-off, 'Stay smoochie, you rascal,' accompanied by a smooch of such gusto it could take the chrome off a bumper."
Gordon had over 50 years of broadcasting experience in radio and television. Cleveland was first introduced to Gordon in 1950, when he became a deejay for WHK AM after leaving Memphis, Tennessee.
Besides his work with WHK, Gordon co-hosted the "One O'Clock Club" with Dorothy Fuldheim on WEWS Channel 5 and had a conversational phone talk show on WERE AM/1300.
A native of Memphis, Gordon was a survivor of the battle of Bunker Hill in World War II and was also awarded a purple heart while in the Navy.
Although I never had the pleasure of working with Bill, I have heard many stories and good memories of one of Cleveland's legends. It's surely is a sad day.
Photo courtesy: The Plain Dealer
In today's tough economic environment, local newsrooms have to be smarter, more efficient and budget conscious while still gathering the same amount of content that is needed to fill hours each day on their newscasts.
But does it make sense still to have 4 local stations in the market cover the exact same general news of the day when a pool could do the same job? The answer is absolutely NOT.
Welcome to the concept of LNP or Local News Pool (or Service) - a locally developed pool system to cover the basic local news of the day - the fires, the shootings, the KFC robberies. Why send 4 reporters and 4 cameras from 4 different stations to cover the same event. In the current structure, when the story airs now, the most you'll notice is different cameras angles or sounds bites.. but does anyone care at home? That is the big question.
NBC and FOX owned and operated stations have been quietly working together to see just how fruitful sharing resources can be, without losing their own station identities, franchises or competitiveness.
In Philadelphia according to Television Week, both group operators have created an LNP which has its own set of assignment editors, reporters and shooters, selected from each station who are assigned to cover the basic news of the day. This is their job.
This pool feed is then shared between participating stations or sold to other news outlets in the market, crossing the medium to include newspaper and radio who are finding more uses for on-line video from their own websites, but can't afford their own video staff.
Stations can still pick and choose what they wish to use in their newscasts and how. Other journalists and beat reporters are freed up to work on more in depth projects where the ultimate goal is a broader depth of coverage than ever before.
Executives say this isn't so much about saving money, as it is to bringing more news and better coverage to the audience on a local level.
For years, local stations have used the same feeds from CNN or AP that act as a pool for national and international event that a local station could never cover themselves because of the cost. This same footage airs on every station...just edited differently or placed in positions in the rundown.
Now, broadcasters are understanding how that same concept can be applied to the local level as well.
I truly feel this will be next move for local stations as we head into 2009.
Cleveland is one market where such enterprising of ideas is likely to take shape, sooner than later - and by necessity. With all local stations hurting financially thanks to a lose of advertising revenue from car makers, you are going to see more cooperation between rivals in certain areas you would never have dreamed of seeing until now.
While newsrooms won't merge completely and it's highly unlikely stations will fold given they serve the public interest, the dynamics of news gathering are going to change dramatically.
Something to watch as head into 2009.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this spotlight feature are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Watermain Break Leaves Station High and Dry
WKYC once again is a little too close to the news on Wednesday as a large watermain break, just east of downtown Cleveland, leaves a large area without water for several hours this morning, including at WKYC. Bottled water was golden and coffee making was scarce. But in the end, everyone survived. Footage at 11.
It's Just a Test Tonight
Again, a reminder, WKYC will participate in a DTV preparation test this evening with most other Ohio TV stations that will alert over the air viewers if they are ready for the digital transition or not. The test will occur between 7:31 and 7:36 p.m. Please see our previous posting for more details.
Call for Emmy Entries
The "Emmy Call for Entries for 2008" is now available online at www.nataslgl.org. The entry deadline is Friday, February 20, 2009. Please note the "Call for Entries" is available on-line ONLY, and that on-line membership registration and renewal, along with on-line Emmy entry will begin December 30, 2008.
All NATAS Lower Great Lakes Chapter members who will be in the Cleveland area during the holidays are welcome to join with your Emmy friends and associates for our networking and unwinding party at the fabulous Dave and Buster's located at 25735 First Street in Westlake, OH just off I-90 at the Columbia Road exit. The big bash is scheduled for Tuesday, December 30th from 6-9 PM.
Also in a newsletter to us, we are told that all NATAS members who lost their jobs in recent staff reductions are welcome to come and network FREE!. That's right, NATAS members who recently got the ax will get in FREE ... the Chapter will pick up their admission fee. However, if you bring a guest, you will be charged for the additional person. Visit the website for more information.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
WKYC will participate in a reminder test that will occur on (tomorrow) Wednesday, December 17th from 7:31 p.m. to 7:36 p.m.
At that time, the station will broadcast a graphic on our over the air signal, that if you are see it, will tell you that your television set is NOT digital and will not receive the new digital broadcasts. You will need a converter box.
For those connected to satellite or cable - or already have the digital converter boxes for over the air broadcasts, you will continue to see regular programming.
During the test, the Ohio Association of Broadcasters will give a help-center hot line number to call with questions. The hot line will be staffed by local station engineers from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Read more about the all digital conversion and how to get your TV ready: CLICK HERE
Ohio stations involved in the test:
Akron (Cleveland) -- WDLI-TV.
Cincinnati -- WCET-TV, WCPO-TV, WKRC-TV, WLWT-TV, WSTR-TV, WXIX-TV.
Cleveland -- WBNX-TV, WEWS-TV, WJW-TV, WKYC-TV, WOIO-TV, WVPX-TV, WUAB-TV, WVIZ-TV.
Columbus -- WBNS-TV, WCMH-TV, WOSU-TV, WSFJ-TV, WSYX-TV, WTTE-TV, WWHO-TV.
Dayton -- WDTN-TV, WHIO-TV, WKEF-TV, WRGT-TV, WPTD-TV, WPTO-TV, WBDT-TV.
Portsmouth (Charleston, WV) -- WQCW-TV.
Sandusky (Cleveland) -- WGGN-TV.
Steubenville (Wheeling, WV) -- WTOV-TV.
Toledo -- WGTE-TV, WLMB-TV, WNWO-TV, WTOL-TV, WTVG-TV, WUPW-TV.
Youngstown -- WFMJ-TV, WKBN-TV, WYTV-TV.
Monday, December 15, 2008
New 7 pm Broadcast Debuts Tonight
Carole Sullivan and Eric Mansfield join Channel 3 News at 7 PM for the debut of our brand new show as anchors. You'll see more interviews, longer stories and more in-depth reporting, drawing on Channel 3's experienced beat reporters and videographers. Eric and Carole both worked at the old WAKC/TV 23 in Akron at one time, so this is a reunion of sorts for them.
Weekend Anchor Changes
As you may have heard, Kim Wheeler will be taking over as solo anchor of Channel 3 News at 9 am on the weekends, while her long time co-anchor Jeff Maynor moves to the evening newsdesk as solo anchor of Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 PM begininng at the end of the month.
From the Editor's Desk...
Your blogger is taking a few weeks off from TV land to regroup, so we may not have much news to post as normal during the holidays. However, if something major develops, we'll be on it. We'll return to our normal routine on Monday, December 29th. So, I wish you the happiest of holidays and hope for 2009.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here are another few new blogs to check out when you get a little web surfing time.
- Wendel on the Web - WKYC web reporter Kim Wendel has an interesting look at the days news around the Cleveland area.
- It's the Mommy In Me - a blog from WKYC evening Meteorologist Betsy Kling about life as a mom, - from our newest website, "Cleveland Moms Like Me."
For more blogs from the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center: CLICK HERE
Many of our staff members also have profiles on Facebook. You can sign up for a free account and join our groups to interact with many of us online about the station and the news stories we cover. Just search "WKYC". To join Facebook: CLICK HERE
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tim's Final Day at WKYC is Friday
Join Channel 3 News at 6, 7 & 11 PM for WKYC Anchor Tim White's final appearance on the big broadcasts. As previously reported, Tim and WKYC were not able to reach agreement on a new contract. Beginning Monday, Romona Robinson will solo anchor the 6 & 11 PM newscasts, while Carole Sullivan and Eric Mansfield take over the anchor desk at 7 PM. Meteorologist Betsy Kling and Sports Anchor Jim Donovan remain on all 3 broadcasts.
Update: New Tower Rising Soon
WKYC will likely start assembly of our new broadcast tower in Parma next week as we get set to make our digital switch to Digital Channel 17 on February 17, 2009. The brand new tower will support antennas for both WKYC and WVIZ right next to our current tower location. After the transition is complete, the old tower will be brought down which currently transmits WKYC-TV 3 on analog and Digital Channel 2. So, keep an eye out for a new stick poking skyward like the "moon rising over Parma."
Jimmy Fallon Preview "Late Night" on Web Site
The future of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" is reality...at least on-line. Jimmy has started taping video blogs with a behind the scenes preview of the show and his warm up to the big time. Jimmy will take over for Conan O'Brien, who moves to "The Tonight Show" starting in early 2009. Each of Jimmy's "vlogs" are available each weeknight at 12:30 a.m. Check out: www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com
Gannett Says Revenue Down, More Job Cuts Coming
Gannett executives speaking on Thursday at a UBS Media and Communication conference said 2008 reveiw will fall to $6.8 billion, down from $7.4 billion last year - according to a report today in the New Mexico Business Weekly.
Craig A. Dubow, chairman, president and chief executive officer discussed the impact of the difficult economic environment but stressed: “Our philosophy and operating premise is that we have been in bad times before and we know how to manage through them. We are doing that aggressively now, while continuing to execute on our strategic plan. We believe these steps will prepare us for the return of the economy."
Like other media publishing companies, Gannett has been hit hard by falling advertising revenue in 2008 with jobs cuts across both its publishing and broadcast business.
The company also warned, according to the published report, that it is planning more job cuts into 2009 - although executives hope those numbers will be in the "mid to high single digits" next year for its broadcasting division.
You can read more of Gannett's press release today: CLICK HERE
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
If the actors are smart, they'll settle this before the put us all out of business. In these lean times, we all must compromise.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Screen Actors Guild says it will send strike authorization ballots to its 120,000 members on Jan. 2.
The votes will be counted on Jan. 23, which will not be in time to potentially disrupt the Golden Globe Awards like the writers' strike did last year.
Approval by 75 percent of members is required to pass the measure. If approved, the SAG national board can call a strike.
Guild President Alan Rosenberg said in a statement Wednesday that the future of professional actors is at stake. The guild remains at odds with Hollywood studios over treatment of Internet productions and actor benefits in the event of unplanned work stoppages.
Monday, December 08, 2008
NEW YORK -- Jay Leno is staying at NBC, and he's moving to prime time.
The network announced on the "Today" show Tuesday that Leno will host a show on weeknights at 10 p.m. Eastern, after he leaves the "Tonight" show. The network had announced earlier that Conan O'Brien would move to the "Tonight" show and succeed Leno.
The deal not only prevents Leno from moving to another network and competing with O'Brien, it also has the potential to be a big cost savings for NBC.
Dramas at 10 p.m. Eastern used to be a mainstay of network schedules, but they have been fading -- particularly on NBC. One reason is digital video recorders; more people are watching shows they taped earlier than the live 10 p.m. shows.
The deal was first reported Tuesday in The New York Times.
Our Original Posting from 12/8/08
Things at NBC are moving fast and we have learned another piece of the puzzle which seems to be coming together quickly.
The Director's Cut Blog has learned that Jay Leno will stay with NBC and launch a new 10 p.m. broadcast in the Fall of 2009.
TV Week.com reports this evening that Jay has apparently signed a multi-year deal to do a Monday through Friday talk/variety show at 10 p.m. weeknights, leaving the network with 5 less additional hours to program each week.
The announcement is expected on Tuesday, with NBC declining comment.
This new program would keep Jay at the network, give him a substantial pay increase and keep Conan O'Brien happy as the new host of "The Tonight Show" starting this summer.
Jay had been expected to jump to ABC or FOX.
Finally, NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker said Monday afternoon that it's a very realistic possibility. All options are now on the table for the struggling network which has yet to regain significant footing.
According to today's Hollywood Reporter, Jeff made the comments as part of Monday's keynote at the annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
"Can we continue to broadcast 22 hours in prime time? Three of our competitors don't," Zucker said. "Can we continue to broadcast seven days a week? One of our competitors doesn't."
Again, we have nothing specific on this more than what we read...but scaling back prime time to 2 hours (from 8 to 10 pm) would certainly allow NBC affiliates a better advantage for late news by shifting to a 10 p.m. newscast as ONE possibility.
The other possibility with a 2 hour prime time schedule from 9 to 11 p.m. would be to give local station's another hour in early prime to program locally.
This is something to watch carefully in 2009.
To read more from the Hollywood Reporter: CLICK HERE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Media conglomerate Tribune Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The owner of the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Cubs and other properties has $13 billion in debt.
Severe reductions in advertising this year because of the recession has put pressure on the company. Most of its debt comes from the complex transaction in which the company was taken private by real estate mogul Sam Zell last year.
Although the next major principal payment isn't due until June, analysts say Tribune has been in danger of missing lender-imposed financial targets.
Tribune made the filing Monday in bankruptcy court in Delaware.
Friday, December 05, 2008
It's the new Flip minoHD, the world's smallest high definition camcorder that takes video that can only be described as breathtaking, considering it's coming from a camera so small it fits in a shirt pocket.
NBC reporter Mike Wendland has a demonstration:
Thursday, December 04, 2008
The New York Post reported today that NBC has apparently settled on David Gregory as the new host of Sunday morning's "Meet the Press." The problem is someone leaked the information to the media before NBC wanted it out, which is to come this week when Tom Brokaw will pass the chair to David.
As we reported earlier, Brokaw's last show as moderator is to be this Sunday, December 7th.
This leak has led the network brass to be a little cranky and refusing to confirm or deny that Gregory is its choice. However, given the star power of Gregory, we are pretty certain he's got the job.
The Post also reports that NBC Political Director Chuck Todd, himself a contender for the job, may have been the source of the early announcement.
Stay tuned on this soap opera. We wonder aloud why everyone seems to think keeping secrets can be done in this new age of bloggers and new media. Being open and honest can do more good than harm.
"Meet the Press" airs Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on WKYC.
Read more from the New York Post: CLICK HERE
Go green this holiday season and beware of how much energy that new television is going to use.
Unlike years past, most newer tvs are more efficient thanks to new standards being implemented this month by the government to lower energy waste.
Consumers will save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in wasted energy during the life of a new tv set. Many people think that TVs don't use energy when they are turned off...but they do if left plugged in. In fact, most household appliances and computer equipment devour energy when not used.
Today's new TVs are required to be 30% more efficient. And overall, LCD sets consume less power than plasma tvs. So as you shop for that new set this holiday season, think smart - think green - and save yourself money in the long term.
Tracy Davidson has more on this:
Carole returned to Channel 3 in a part-time capacity after moving to Michigan with her husband. Prior to that, she was the morning news anchor with Jon Anderson at WKYC.
Eric Mansfield has been Channel 3's Akron Canton Newsroom Chief and former anchor of the Channel 3 produced "Akron Canton News" which ended earlier this spring.
Both will bring a fresh new approach to our 7 pm newscast while Channel 3 News Anchor Romona Robinson will handle the 6 & 11 pm broadcasts as newsrooms across the nation begin shifting away from traditional two anchor teams for their newscasts.
While times are difficult, we look forward to the new challenges that our business has to offer and the opportunity this presents us in television to re-invent ourselves.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
These shows will include special editions of "My Name Is Earl," "The Office" and "ER" and more traditional specials including airing of "Miracle on 34th Street" and "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly."
For a list of what's airing through the end of the month of December: CLICK HERE
Hosted by Al Roker ("Today"), the star-studded 76th annual tree lighting extravaganza will feature musical superstars such as Beyonce, Tony Bennett, Neil Boyd, the Jonas Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., David Cook, Rosie O'Donnell and the Broadway Kids, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, and Solange Knowles as they perform current hits and holiday classics from Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Here's a preview:
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
In short, brevity is best!
Advertisers who buy online post-roll ads may want to read this. Online video distribution/measurement service Tube Mogul studied the issue of follow thorough, measuring what percentage of videos clicked on are actually watched until the end. A sample of 188,055 videos on 6 top sites (YouTube was not one of them) found that 10.39% of viewers clicked away after just 10 seconds and that over half of the audience left after one minute.
The longer the video, the quicker erosion; all but 16.62% of the audience left the building by the end of a 3-minute clip. Tube Mogul notes that the research indicates that overlay ads should also be placed as early as possible within the video stream.
Audience Attention Span
Video length % of Audience who watched the entire video
10 sec. 89.61%
20 sec. 80.41%
30 sec. 66.16%
60 sec. 46.44%
2 min. 23.71%
3 min. 16.62%
5 min. 9.42%
Source: Tube Mogul & Cynposis
Please visit the following link where you can upload your photos or find more useful information about the holidays including recipes, activities and the cutest costume contest from our "Moms Like Me" and the ulimate Metromix Cleveland guide to the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the winter wonderland that is C-town: CLICK HERE
You can also view photos that other users have sent us: CLICK HERE
Happy Holidays from all of us at WKYC and WKYC.COM!