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Recovering Producer

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Posts posted by Recovering Producer

  1. 10 minutes ago, mrschimpf said:

    Just noting something that sticks out like a sore thumb as WJZY does carry most of the Fox First Run schedule besides this show. I understand exactly why they wouldn't carry it, but that it's unusual for Fox to crawl back to their old affiliate to carry something.


    I'm guessing they wanted a partner in North Carolina; WCCB was willing to take it and had the flexibility to schedule a limited-run show. 


    Nexstar may make a lot of questionable choices, but they aren't going to enter into new contracts for limited-run external news programming in a world where NewsNation could do something similar,  with all the potential revenue staying inside the company.

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  2. 11 hours ago, Rusty Muck said:

    Serious question: why in the wide wide world of sports would any of those groups want basketcase stations that need a massive amount of investment just in order to be remotely competitive in a declining industry?


    Plus Apollo Global Management isn't buying anything and Byron Allen is too badly overleveraged. With all due respect, what makes anyone think Apollo is going to have the soulless husk of Cox Media Group buy anything or that Byron is going to do anything but make vacant empty promises he can't deliver?


    I have to wonder if any of the people wish speculating about future owners for stations that may or may not be for sale have set foot in a TV station as an employee or have any glimpse of the reality of the economics of local TV in 2024. I'm three years removed from TV employment, and it was bleak then. Friends left in the business (who are all looking to get out) say it has only worsened. 


    I am cheering for the unlikely fairy-tale outcome of new financial success for the local TV business, but that won't happen with more of the same that got us to where we are today.

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  3. Time to be realistic. Don't waste your energy speculating which existing broadcasters with cap space could buy these stations. It's not happening. 


    These station sales will be the broadcasting industry equivalent of selling bundled mortgages or medical debt. 


    Sinclair needs cash. The companies that will purchase these assets will be private equity investors who can drain these stations dry without remorse and then hold on to them until there is another opportunity to sell the spectrum these stations broadcast on back to the federal government. 

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  4. 7 minutes ago, MediaZone4K said:

    My question is.... does this ban now mean that a reporter can work at say ABC 7 and NBC 4 simultaneously, or does it just mean that ABC 7 cannot tell a reporter they are banned from working within X miles of their station for X months (post employment)? I'm thinking the latter.

    Absolutely the latter.


    Every contract I signed and have seen for full-time employees has an exclusive service in the industry clause, which would almost certainly hold up in court. 


    Some employers have tried to extend that to no or must get management approval for outside broadcasting second jobs - especially for people who appear on-air. That's more of a tell on the state of pay in small-market TV than anything. 🙃


    Freelance employment is a different monster. 

  5. 1 hour ago, Rusty Muck said:

    Surprise! The FCC approved the $75 sale of WADL to Mission Broadcasting earlier today. But there's a catch: Nexstar is legally prohibited from directly being involved in Mission's operations of the station.


    I'd argue this is much worse for Nexstar than the WPIX decision, because Mission is incapable of operating a television station by themselves. Moreover, the $75M price tag does not include WADL's current facilities, all of which were retained by Kevin Adell.


    FCC order is here (it boggles the mind that some websites paywall documents that can be found in two minutes)


    It feels like the FCC is doing a case of malicious compliance by allowing the sale under these conditions.


    And I love it. :)

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  6. 39 minutes ago, Rusty Muck said:

    Excuse me? You really think Joe Sixpack of Anytown, USA, really gives a damn about the set design of Channel 2 News or the graphics or the music or if the station has the network logo in your preferred use? Come on.


    The TV fandom is a fringe community of people who have a massively oversized feeling of self-importance they don't deserve and posts like these are ironclad proof of this.


    And for the record, I am not an executive. But at least I have a job and a life.

    With all due respect, this is just ridiculous. The local news audience—what little of it still exists altogether—would not care. At all.


    I'll back this up with a line I heard repeated in research presentations at TV stations across the country under multiple ownership groups in an era when viewership was higher than it currently is: The most reliable viewers in the key demographics stations target watch one or two quarter hours of a newscast a week, across all stations and all dayparts. I am sure that time spent watching has only decreased since I last heard a research presentation just before 2020 turned all 2020. 

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  7. In hindsight, the fact that the KAZT/Phoenix deal was a time brokerage agreement and not a sidecar sale with an LMA is a pretty big clue that Nexstar knew the FCC was looking at the WPIX situation seriously and may have been aware this kind of proposed punishment was in the realm of possibilities. 


    It is now a waiting game until March 31 to see if the Mission purchase of WADL/Detroit gets blown up. 


    Whatever happens with WPIX and WADL, the real winners are lawyers getting lots of billable hours. 

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  8. 20 minutes ago, mre29 said:

    How many stations would Nexstar have to sell to get back under the cap?


    NYC market is 6ish% of the country, and WPIX transmits on VHF, so there is no 50% UHF discount (which is dumb in the digital world because PSIP and transmitter frequency are no longer tied and UHF signals perform better than VHF with digital transmission)


    So, the answer is variable, depending on their strategy to get as close to the cap as possible,  but if they divest from the smallest markets they own, it would be a decent number. That's assuming every appeal goes poorly for them, the FCC makeup doesn't change due to a change in which party is in the White House, and ownership rules don't change during the appeals process. 


    Also, this is a notice of apparent liability. So, in theory, the FCC could change its mind. Don't hold your breath, is all I'm saying.

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  9. 38 minutes ago, who?cares said:

    Pay raises shouldn't be the only part of an answer. Extra pay is always nice.

    But there needs to be a larger more complex answer, and one person shouldn't make the decision.

    Station groups need to add to newsroom staff. But again, that's not sole answer. 

    I think the two bits I mentioned above are small pieces to the overall answers.

    Many newsroom staff members feel like the entire shift rides on them.

    It's a feeling that is very overwhelming and quickly draining.


    As an elder millennial who spent more than a decade in the business, burned out, and quit without a plan, solving this problem is a complex puzzle—and to be quite honest, I don't think there is a simple fix if there is one at all.

    Some key points from my experience... 

    1. The business expects people to treat it as a lifestyle, not a job. People coming out of college recently have (SMARTLY!) refused to accept this, which leads to potential broadcast journalists not entering the field. And those who do enter still have their priorities in the correct place of needing balance. Just as an anecdote, in late 2016, when it appeared the minimum salary to be exempt (salaried) under Fair Labor Standards Act regulations was going to go up, producers where I worked at the time were switched from salary to hourly pay. They were upset they would get overtime pay for working over 40 hours a week instead of getting a comp day for an extra day or double shift. 

    2. The quality of life is crap, and the have/have not with desirable schedules is ugly in a 24/7 business. People would weaponize incompetence themselves into roles where they had maximum supervision but desirable schedules rather than advance into roles where they could be trusted with less management intervention. Drive and ambition lead to a lower quality of life, and if you say "yes" too much to management's requests to work a shift that isn't normal for you or an extra day - you'll get guilted if you stand up for yourself when you need to prioritize your life over work. Refuse to help, and you'll get left alone. 

    3. Every role in the newsroom is doing more with less, and every added platform needs your full attention and dedication - even if it is of minimal value to the operation. Does TikTok generate revenue? No. But it still matters for some reason. 

    4. The industry is delusional about its prestige and standing in 2024. Companies are still convinced there are 1994 levels of job applicants and still try to sign employees to employment agreements with MASSIVE financial penalties should they resign or quit—even if they leave the industry. Those tactics drive people away before they even start. 

    5. There's no delicate way to say this, but the only way to survive in TV news as you start your career - is to have financial support. Even as companies have pushed minimum salaries higher - they still aren't matching the escalating cost of living. This leads to newsrooms full of people from privileged backgrounds who don't understand what matters to the audience members living paycheck to paycheck. An anchor once told me the only place they got recognized was at Walmart or K-Mart, and smartly reminded our team we must keep that in mind as we decide what we will cover. 

    6. COVID-19 opened a lot of eyes and accelerated the brain drain. The people who got to work from home realized a higher quality of life was possible and were inspired to find their next career because of it. Many people who were forced to come into the station or work in the field during lockdowns felt like bosses considered their health and safety less important than the people who got to stay home. They got (very understandably) frustrated and left.


    The list could go on and on... But those are the big factors in my mind.


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  10. 26 minutes ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

    On the one hand, I’ll admit there are worse ways to make cuts than by producing a Scrippscast. Given that Sinclair has resorted to shutting down entire newsrooms and pumping in a questionable product from DC, it’s not so bad by comparison. Better to have a station continue to cover local stories with less than ideal resources/production than to have a local newsroom shut down entirely.


    However, I still don’t think that this is good for broadcast journalism. IMO, a lot of these Scrippscasts (for example, see WTXL) look hastily put together, and it seems as though they do the bare minimum to cover local stories. The national content often has little to no relevance to the viewer in that market. I’m not totally against the idea of reducing the role of the anchor to save costs, but unless that money is going into more robust local journalism and providing greater context to local issues, it’s a bit disingenuous for Scripps to frame this as a positive evolution in local news. It’s just cost cutting.


    It certainly seems like this is the future of local news, but we don’t have to like it.

    The cost is one part of it - but the other elephant in the room is staffing the endless newscasts most stations are doing. 


    Recruiting producers was a challenge before the pandemic hit four years ago, and the brain drain there has only gotten worse. 


    The Scrippscast model doesn't solve the retention problem - but it is one way to function in an environment where there aren't enough people willing to do the job. (and hopefully, lighten the load and reduce the misery for the ones stations have left) 

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  11. 1 hour ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

    I mean, the worst case scenario is that they get a station in Salt Lake City in exchange for some stations in very small markets, all without cash considerations. In and of itself, that sounds like a good deal to me.


    I'm sure they'll do something with that station though. KJZZ currently airs Jazz games, and I don't know when that agreement expires, but I agree that they could be in play to air sports if the NHL moves to Salt Lake City (via the Coyotes or an expansion team).

    The Utah Jazz decided not to sell their TV rights after ATT Sportsnet folded  - but this article describes the partnership with KJZZ/Sinclair as not super long-term. (Time buy, perhaps?)




    It'll be interesting to see what they do to program this station when it launches. 

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  12. 21 minutes ago, Rusty Muck said:

    David Smith wasting over nine figures to buy a newspaper easily, easily trumps the Diamond Sports disaster he committed in 2019.


    The three words that will make this vanity project a personal hell for him: "Cancel my subscription".


    I believe every Sinclair anchor said it best: This is extremely dangerous to our democracy

  13. 37 minutes ago, CoopInTheHouse said:

    Lemme ask you something. Who in their right mind even has the HARD-WORKING HANDS to leave a news station to be a person in a school?

    I can think of at least half a dozen friends from my 15 years in news who have jumped to school district communications jobs. 

    Holidays off, stable hours outside of the occasional evening school board meeting, an employer who won't be going anywhere any time soon, government benefits, and storytelling about the good things schools are doing rather than covering the crime of the day. 


    And the school district gets a trusted person in the community to serve as the face and voice of the district in their internal communication channels and external earned media opportunities. 


    No job outside of news is perfect, but this is a regular escape route for people who get out.

    • Like 11
  14. 3 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

    If anything, they’d be bound for Gray. WINK-WXCW is already being run like a Gray shop.

    If a Fort Myers Broadcasting WINK/Sun WXCW sale happens, under current ownership rules, unless they find a main owner and sidecar willing to take on radio properties, someone would need to find two different companies to divest the radio properties owned by FMBC and Sun. (By my count FMBC has three full-power FM stations, Sun has 4 FM stations - no current legal way for one company to own 7 FM stations in a market)  Those companies would need to have a similar relationship or unwind their connected operation on the radio side. Not impossible. But a piece of the puzzle that could complicate negotiations of any potential deal because of tax advantages for the sellers to sell whole rather than piece by piece. 

  15. 13 hours ago, KRAP-TV said:


    I saw his (kind of) cryptic tweet (Xeet?) before he made the announcement. It all seemed rather abrupt. I’m assuming he has another gig lined up, but we shall see…


    Down five channels and a few blocks north... 

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