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Recovering Producer

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Everything posted by Recovering Producer

  1. The time brokerage between the two stations started in 1994, and the terms of the TBA, while not allowable today, are grandfathered by the FCC because it was established before the federal government put new rules for the operation of TBAs/LMAs/etc. The transfer of WBBH from Waterman to Hearst included assigning the existing WZVN time brokerage agreement to Hearst.
  2. The odds of a Capitals to broadcast deal are 0%, with Ted Leonsis/Monumental owning the former NBC Sports Washington in addition to the team.
  3. Short of a sidecar LMA with commercially licensed godcaster WRXY, which seems unlikely, that market is full-power duopolied out. So a 36.x scenario seems most likely.
  4. For your planned events like Super Bowl/Olympics: The network broadcasting the event will offer their stations access to a live/standup location, transmission facilities, high-speed internet, feeds of the event, and workspace for a cost. A friend of mine at an NBC affiliate told me the overall cost NBC is charging stations for this in Paris for the 2024 games is in the tens of thousands of dollars per person. Anyone else going may have access for a fee with a credential to a media workspace from the organizers, but not much more. Same for your political conventions/debates/inaugurations minus the network exclusivity part. Anything else: Pack your bags, grab your LiveU/TVU/DeJero, and either get the crew to the airport or get on the road and hope for the best.
  5. Good journalism and responsible use of the public's airwaves are not Sinclair's objectives. Their endgame is more money for them and power for the politicians they agree with. They've done it every presidential election year since at least 2004.
  6. The real toxic part of contracts many station groups are making people sign are financial penalties if you resign even if you are leaving the business. Thousands of dollars. A one-sided agreement like that should scare away any reasonable person. Stations will argue it is the cost of the training they gave you and recruiting/hiring your replacement. And you can maybe justify some of that cost on a first contract, but in a second employment agreement the training cost isn’t there.
  7. Agreed. Should it happen, it will likely be part of a larger bill related to FCC rules and regulations. I'd compare it to the FAA reauthorization law that passed earlier this month, where lawmakers added five daily long-distance flights out of slot/perimeter restricted National Airport just outside DC. A small piece of a must-pass bill that got more noise than more consequential parts of the law, and was heavily lobbied for by an industry with a few big players. (In this case, most airlines that aren't named United, which wanted to protect its hub at nearby Dulles airport.)
  8. I think any serious discussion of whether Mission has to sell WPIX needs to be put on the back burner of everyone's minds until after the election, and I'm guessing "get past the election" is their legal strategy as well. A shift in partisan control of the FCC or Congress passing a law that loosens or eliminates ownership caps could make this all moot. And even if things remain the same, the backup plan is certainly to extend the appeals process as long as possible in hopes the regulatory environment shifts.
  9. Longtime KELO-TV anchor (and voiceover person post anchoring retirement) Doug Lund has died. https://www.keloland.com/news/local-news/doug-lund-longtime-tv-anchor-dies-at-78/
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Even more billable hours are coming... https://www.nexttv.com/news/owner-of-wadl-urges-mission-to-close-station-purchase
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Another 90-day extension between the two parties... (which, again, considering the FCC news last week feels like a moot point to close the deal) https://thedesk.net/news/wadl-termination-date-mission-extended-june-fcc/
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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)
  22. 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?) https://www.deseret.com/2023/6/20/23766592/utah-jazz-to-air-games-on-kjzz-and-new-streaming-platform-says-owner-ryan-smith It'll be interesting to see what they do to program this station when it launches.
  23. I believe every Sinclair anchor said it best: This is extremely dangerous to our democracy
  24. This also means "This is the Place" is running on three Western Slope stations if KFQX is still simulcasting some KDVR newscasts.
  25. Wonder how much money they paid someone to press CRTL X and CRTL B?
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