Media & Entertainment

Broadcasters to the Rescue…Again

Back in October of 2017, in the days following the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival Shooting in Las Vegas, I wrote about how it was local broadcasters — not digital streaming platforms — that served as the most important source of news and information about the incident, the response, and the community's recovery (see In Praise of Local Media). This morning, millions of students are waking up without anywhere to go. As the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread...

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If ‘PLJ Isn’t (Wasn’t) A Brand, I Don’t Know What Is

I may be a little late (or maybe I'm perfectly timed for the one-week anniversary of the sign-off?), but like everyone else who’s been around radio for any length of time, I have some thoughts about last week’s sign off of two storied media brands – PLJ in New York and Mix 107.3 in Washington, D.C. In case you missed the news, both stations signed off the air Friday after their owner, Cumulus Media, sold the stations to the Educational Media Foundation (EMF), a not-for-profit Christian...

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Do TV Stations Compete for Carriage?

According to this article just posted by Broadcasting & Cable, Time Warner Cable asked the FCC "to deny the sale of two TV stations over the issue of joint retransmission-consent negotiations, or put retrans conditions on the sale if the agency does allow them."  This isn't the first time that cable operators have complained about stations jointly negotiating retransmission consent -- about a year ago both Mediacom and Comcast were complaining about Sinclair...

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So long, Arbitron

This morning's Inside Radio features several stories about small market broadcasters dropping Arbitron's ratings services.  Citing rising costs, falling revenues, lousy sample sizes, the perennial errors and restatements, and inadequate coverage of minority populations, a handful of broadcasters -- namely those in smaller markets -- are beginning to sell inventory based on results alone.  And according to several of the quoted broadcast executives, it's working. It begs the question: did...

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In Praise of the Twittersphere

I first learned about yesterday's incident at the Discovery Communications headquarters via Twitter.  It started with a simple tweet about traffic issues in the Silver Spring area and quickly mushroomed into a torrent of information, updates, and pictures of the scene.  Media outlets, people who worked in the area, and others posted what they saw, and allowed those of us who weren't at the scene to keep abreast of the rapidly developing story. I briefly was...

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“Party” Goes On; Cover Charge for Clear Channel

I'm usually on top of trademark issues in the radio industry, so I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I missed this one, particularly because it's apparently been going on since 2006. Tradepub All Access announced that Clear Channel has settled claims brought by The Cromwell Group, Inc., a small radio outfit that, according to its web site, owns stations in Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, and Indiana. Of the 22 stations Cromwell owns, three use the brand "The Party" to identify...

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D.C. Gets a “Fresh” But What’s a “Fresh?”

A few weeks ago (Mon 4/6) Washington, D.C. radio listeners woke up to a new radio station, as CBS Radio flipped it's classic rock station WTGB to become 94.7 Fresh FM. "Fresh" is a relatively new format launched a year or so ago by veteran adult contemporary programmer Greg Dunkin. According to Vallie-Richards-Donovan, a radio consultancy that briefly handled licensing of the brand, Fresh is targeted at "[t]he much sought after 25-49 audience" by being "contemporary without being too...

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