Bill Baker's Blog

Perspectives on the Media from New York Public Television

Media Briefing for Thursday, June 11, 2009

staff | June 11th, 2009

Analog TV broadcasting ends Friday. Latest figures show 5.1% of blacks, 4.3% of Hispanics and 4.6% of those under 35 years of age are unprepared for the transition to all digital telecvasting. (TV Newsday)

Quarter million Los Angeles area viewers not ready for DTV switchover Friday. (Los Angeles Times)

Some are still not ready for the DTV switch. (Wall Street Journal)

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke discuss the transition to all digital television Friday. (Washington Post)

Friday is the final curtain for analog TV broadcasting, with the transition to all digital telecasting. (Associated Press)

Friday is your antenna’s big day, with the transition to all digital TV broadcasting. (Washington Post)

There will be no more analog TV broadcasting as of Friday. (Hartford Courant)

Analog TV fades to blue Friday. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The long heralded switch to all digital TV is here. (New York Times)

Things to remember with the DTV switchover. (Washington Post)

The CW network stands to gain from the DTV switch. In New York the CW affiliate is WPIX channel 11. (Variety)

WNYW channel 5 New York and KPIX channel 5 San Francisco may lose more than 2% of their coverage with the DTV switch Friday. (Media Daily News)

The FCC continues to operate its DTV information Web site for the public. (FCC)

Losing yourself in a 50-inch HDTV set. (New York Times)

Verizon out a cellphone customer through the wringer, claiming he owed $10,000 for a single month, when he did not. (Los Angeles Times)

The Silicon Valley is a beauty contest for startup tech firms. (San Jose Mercury News)

Online businesses are opposing the 10 worst proposed Internet laws, and they have a Web site, Awful.com. (San Jose Mercury News)

Microsoft’s new search engine Bing – aimed at competing with Google – is off to a good start. (New York Times

Revenue at Craigslist is said to top $100 million. (New York Times) (San Francisco Chronicle)

Not everyone is excited about Facebook vanity URLs. (New York Times)

Starting Saturday, Facebook’s millions of users will be able to claim a name to use as part of their profile page’s Web address — as in http://facebook.com/janedoe. (Associated Press)

An ex Apple executive who led Apple’s iPod division has been named head of Palm. (New York Times)

Sarah Palin has attacked David Letterman over a “sexually perverted” joke. (New York Daily News)

The program director of New York City AM station WABC 770 defends the lack of local programming on the station. (New York Daily News)

Is singer Bono of U2 being denied radio airplay because of his support for the so-called performance tax on radio stations? (Associated Press)

In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is putting pressure on a defiant TV network that opposes his administration. (Washington Post)

A Somali broadcaster has been shot and killed. (Associated Press)

Al Gore may go to North Korea to help 2 journalists from his Current TV channel, who are being held for 12 year prison terms. (Fox News)

China is revamping its staid TV newscast. (Associated Press)

China is facing criticism over its new censorship software. href=http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/world/asia/11censor.html?ref=technology> (New York Times) (Associated Press)

A French court has defanged a plan to crack down on Internet piracy. (New York Times)

The iPhone is a subscription. (New York Times)

The U.S. Justice Department is pressing an antitrust inquiry into the Google book settlement. (New York Times)

Google is unphased by 3 U.S. government inquiries. (Associated Press)

WNYW channel 5 New York is streaming its morning show on Livestream. (TV Newsday)

NBC News has launched a Web site aimed at blacks. (The Grio.com)

A search engine Web site geared toward blacks is being shut down. (Associated Press)

Stephen Colbert took his show on the road – all the way to Iraq. (New York Times)

NBC’s 2-part documentary on Barack Obama was a ratings winner. (Associated Press)

Radio station group owner is ramping up its strategy to stream radio to mobile phones and computers. (Associated Press)

U.S. ad spending plumeted $3.8 billion in the first quarter. (Media Daily News)

Broadcasters are competing to put TV on cellular telephones. (Los Angeles Times)

TV commercials that cannot be zapped – they are embedded in the show content. (New York Times)

Verizon and Bank Of America pulled their ads from Sacramento FM station KRXQ 98.5 after a segment of anti-transgendered remarks. (Associated Press)

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has established a diversity council in the wake of a controversial New York Post cartoon about Barack Obama. (Associated Press)

Fred Rogers Scholarships have been presented to 3 students. (Associated Press)

Media Briefing For Friday, June 5, 2009

staff | June 5th, 2009

A new study shows Twitter is a broadcast medium. (PC World)

The danger has not passed. The Boston Globe could still be closed by the New York Times Company. (Boston Phoenix)

“If you cut your wrists long enough and deep enough, you will eventually commit suicide.” This is how former Baltimore Sun publisher Michael Waller describes what is going on at many newspapers as they cut back and keep cutting back. (Daily Record)

Looking for information about Microsoft’s new search service Bing? It will be “baked” into TV shows and Internet fare. (New York Times)

Digg will charge less for ads its users like. (New York Times)

Venezuelan prosecutors have brought usury charges against the head of a TV station that is anti-Hugo Chavez. (Associated Press)

Two American journalists from Al Gore’s Current TV could receive up to 10 years imprisonment, as they go on trial in North Korea on espionage charges. (Associated Press)

As the new host of NBC’s Tonight show, Conan O’Brien is targeting his humor at a line between his own on his Late Night show and the more traditional of Jay Leno. (New York Times)

The first Tonight show hosted by Conan O’Brien was a good start for Conan. (Buffalo News) (Los Angeles Times)

Air America is coming back to the Washington, D.C. AM radio dial – at 1050. (Washington Business Journal)

Did NBC use Barack Obama to promote other NBC shows? (Newsday)

Clear Channel Communications’ big lenders are threatening a refinancing plan. (Financial Times)

Hulu may begin charging for content. (PC World)

A new Web site, TOS Back.org, tracks changes at Internet sites such as Google and Yahoo. (Associated Press)

TV ads from the year 1980 are more like ads of the 60s and 70s than 2009 ads. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Intel, an infrequent of other companies, has just snapped up Wind River. (Associated Press)

The White House used the Web during Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim World in Cairo, Egypt. (Associated Press)

The Federal Trade Commission has shut down a rogue Internet provider. (Associated Press)

Simplify your life with free Web services. (PC World)

A New York University student has launched a site, RedGage.com, that pays people for posting their photographs and other offerings. (San Francisco Chronicle)

As Web communications such as Twitter messages shrink, those posting do not want to waste space with lengthy URL links. (Associated Press)

In your Twitter profile, leave out the punctuation. (PC World)

Online job postings increased by 250,000 in May 2009, the largest increase since August 2006. (Associated Press)

Palm’s big bet – its new smart cellular telephone. (San Jose Mercury News) With the new phone Palm is seeking a “second act.” (San Jose Mercury News)

Some 10,000 songbirds have died smashing into broadcast and communications towers. <a href=
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a_CYd6qzxZSE > (Bloomberg News)

An Internet radio host in New Jersey is charged with inciting violence in Connecticut and making threats against 2 Connecticut state legislators. <a href=
http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-turner-arrest.artjun04,0,99236.story > (Hartford Courant)

A new study shows Utah and Mississippi as states with the highest percentages of people looking at Internet pornography. (New Scientist)

Media Briefing for Thursday, June 4, 2009

staff | June 4th, 2009

Information about U.S. nuclear power plants was inadvertantly and erroneously posted on the Internet. (Associated Press) (Washington Post)

China’s government ratcheted up its censorship of the Internet by blocking Twitter, Yahoo’s Flickr and Microsoft Hotmail, two days before the 20th anniversary of the military’s attack on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Small businesses are taking tentative steps toward online networking. (New York Times

In your Twitter profile, leave out the punctuation. (PC World)

An unwritten code exists among tech firms in the Silicon Valley. (New York Times) But the U.S. government is investigating. (Washington Post)

Microsoft and Sony are unveiling plans similar to Nintento’s Wii. (Washington Post)

How startup tech companies and venture capital companies are dealing with the sharp economic downturn. (San Jose Mercury News)

Even large tech firms in the Silicon Valley are being affected by the economy. (San Jose Mercury News)

How those laid off by Silicon Valley tech companies are coping. (San Jose Mercury News)

A new opera Web site is offering more options. (Associated Press)

Craigslist has removed certain erotic ads, but will they return? (Boston Globe)

Sexual assault in Arizona posted live on Web; alleged assailnt is charged by police. (Associated Press)

In Mexico, Televisa and the social networking hi5 are joining to expand their reach. (Associated Press)

Two British citizens who came to the U.S, after being accused of running a Web site with anti-Jewish hate speech, are being returned to the U.K., a year afterr languishing in a California jail. (Associated Press)

Microsoft says the search services on the Internet are “sick” and the cure is Microsoft’s new Bing. (Associated Press)

With Bing, Microsoft is hoping to shift the spotlight away from Google. (Seattle Times)

YouTube is moving closer to TV. (New York Times)

A patent court judgement on TiVo has been stayed. (New York Times)

In very tough economic times, Buffalo PBS affiliate WNED-TV channel 17 is asking for its fair share from viewers. (Buffalo News)

Supporters of the two television reporters from Al Gore’s Current TV channel who are being held by North Korea, gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall to call for their release. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Ratings for Conan O’Brien as host of the Tonight show on NBC are off to a strong start. (New York Times)

Radio & Records – trade industry publicatoion of record for radio for 36 years, is ceasing at the end of this week. (Inside Music Media)

Classic rock, declared dead on WNEW 102.7 New York in the 1990s, is thriving on WAXQ 104.3 New York today. (New York Daily News)

Air America Radio, absent from the Washington, D.C. radio dial since last year, is returning on 1050 AM. (DCRTV)

Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich still have enormous impact on media. (Washington Post)

Talk radio host Jay Severin returned to the airwaves at Boston all talk FM station WTKK 96.9, with an opening statement apologizing for his anti-Mexican immigrant comments. (Boston Globe) A Boston Globe columnist is proposing a “Jay Watch” group to monitor his show and report incidents of outrageous and unacceptable comments.

Could General Motors’ woes affect Sirius XM satellite radio? (The Street.com)

Are some gloing too far in trying to link Bill O’Reilly to the shooting death of abortion doctor George Tiller, because of O’Reilly’s on-air colmments criticizing him over the years? (Washington Post)

Media Briefing for Friday, May 29, 2009

staff | May 29th, 2009

The Pentagon is planning a new arm to wage war in cyberspace. (New York Times)

Microsoft’s new search service to compete with Google is called Bing, which Microsoft hopes will become a word in everyday conversation like TiVo or Google. (New York Times)

Siri, a San Jose company, has announced that it would offer an “intelligent agent” for Apple’s iPhone that would, the company said, be able to find movie theaters, book restaurant reservations and airline flights, buy from online retail sites and even answer trivia questions like “How many calories are in a banana,” all by understanding spoken commands. (San Jose Mercury News)

The iPhone can be turned into a canvas. A few apps let anyone use an existing photo as the basis for an artistic illustration. (New York Times)

Google Wave is a new application running in a Web browser that creates a shared online desktop where two or more users can interact easily. They can exchange messages as they would do in e-mail or instant messaging conversation. They can share and edit rich documents that include formatted text, images and graphics. They can also drag and drop simple applications called widgets into a Wave to, for example, play a game together. And they can save and publish any Wave resulting from their collaboration to the Web. (New York Times)

AOL and Time Warner are parting ways, ending their merger than took place in 2001. (New York Times) (Associated Press) (Los Angeles Times)

Lions Gate has sold a 49% stake in its TV Guide cable channel and Web site. (Los Angeles Times)

Blood is boiling over Gawker’s vampire Web site. (Associated Press)

Vista has won the bidding war for SumTotal. (San Jose Mercury News)

A new report says 83% of the Internet population (ages 13 to 54) participates in social media, with 47% on a weekly basis. However, less than 5% of social media users regularly turn to these sites for guidance on purchase decisions in any of nine product/service categories. In addition, only 16% of social media users say they are more likely to buy from companies that advertise on social sites. (Media Post)

There is a new Web site to amplify the debate on the Google book deal. (Associated Press)

The legal posturing between Craigslist and the South Carolina prosecutor’s office is over. There will be no legal fight. (Associated Press)

DTV transition efforts step up as the clock ticks down to June 12, the day of the end of analog broadcasting in the U.S. Philadelphia PBS affiliate WHYY-TV channel 12 has opened a special walk-in center for viewers to learn about DTV. (TV Newsday)

A total of 2.7% of U.S. households remain unprepared for the transition to all digital telecasting on June 12. (TV Newsday) (TV Week)

More households are cutting the cord on cable TV. (Wall Street Journal)

Newspaper editors are meeting to examine options for their Internet sites, with the simultaneous sharp decline in their print circulations. (Associated Press)

Online news fees: financial salvation or suicide for the newspapers? (Associated Press)

Two key unions at the Boston Globe have agreed to cuts, to help save the newspaper from shutdown. (Media Daily News)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to a New York Observer reporter as “a disgrace” for questioning the mayor’s rationale for running for a third term. (New York Daily News)

Speaking at the University Of Buffalo 3 years ago, Conan O’Brien said that in TV, “nobody really knows” what will succeed. (Buffalo News)

For the first time in years, WCBS-AM 880 beat WINS-AM 1010 in the New York metro Arbitron ratings. Both all news stations are now owned by CBS. (New York Daily News)

A new 3 hour morning all news program from the Washington Times is scheduled to debut June 15. (Washington Times)

Political consultant and columnist Dick Morris says Barack Obama’s FCC is conducting a war against talk radio with its probe of Arbitron’s Personal People Meter in gathering ratings information.

The National Public Radio freelance reporter held for 4 months in Iran says she falsely pleaded guilty to spying, under force. (Associated Press)

Sources say NBC is considering creating a 5 p.m. weekday lifestyle show for the network, which would eliminate local newscasts at that hour including Live At Five at New York’s WNBC channel 4. (New York Observer)

The Goode Family Wednesday nights on ABC makes fun of the world’s do-gooders. (Miami Herald)

All sports Miami AM station WQAM 560 suspends a talk host after an expletive slipped onto the air. (Miami Herald)

Media Briefing for Thursday, May 28, 2009

staff | May 28th, 2009

The BBC is launching a U.S. children’s channel. (Variety)

Microsoft is launching a new Zune music player, with some good news for radio — as the player will include a built-in HD Radio receiver. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox Live internationally this fall. This marks an interesting development in the ZUNE strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox Live subscribers. (All Access)

Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor – Barack Obama’s nominee to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice – will be the first tech-savvy Justice. Unlike retiring Justice David Souter, who has never even owned a computer, Sotomayor has ruled on a number of cyberlaw decisions – and has experience as an intellectual property lawyer. (All Access)

The Web needs TV but TV does not need the Web. (TV Newsday)

The DTV “soft test” in Chicago earlier this week indicates many are still unprepared for all-digital telecasting and the end of analog TV broadcasting June 12. (Chicago Tribune)

The FCC is holding an open meeting this coming Wednesday (June 3) focusing upon the transition to all digital telecasting and end of analog TV broadcasting June 12, at the FCC on 12th Street in Washington, D.C. (FCC)

Robert Schuller Jr. – son of the charismatic host of TV’s Hour Of Power for decades – is starting his own show – after being ejected as host of his father’s show several months ago. (Associated Press)

New York City is to renew its popular film tax incentive. (Associated Press)

Sixteen months after the decision, the FCC has released its order extending the continuation of the waver for Rupert Murdoch, allowing him to own WNYW channel 5, WWOR channel 9 and the New York Post daily newspaper in the New York market. (Multichannel News)

A federal appeals court has ruled that cable TV companies may not use exclusive contracts with premium channels tl block competiong providers from condominiums and apartment buildings. (Bloomberg News)

Ratings for the TLC reality series “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” which tracks the day-to-day life of a Pennsylvania couple with eight children, reached record levels this year as nearly 10 million viewers tuned in for the season premiere, which focused on the couple’s troubled marriage. (New York Times)

Advertising growth is spreading on all mobile fronts. (Media Post)

Two New York state legislators are proposing to extend the state’s shield law to professional journalists who blog. (Media Daily News)

Smartphones comprise only 12% of device sales yet account for 35% of mobile ad impressions. (Media Daily News)

Women over 55 are fleeing Facebook. (Media Daily News)

MySpace’s new CEO is promising innovation on the social networking site owned by Rupert Murdoch. (Associated Press)

Neal Gabler, a regular on Reel 13 Saturday nights on Thirteen/WNET and an author and journalists, discusses hate-mongering in the media today and over the years. (Boston Globe)

Bluetooth wireless headsets have improved quite a bit in recent years. (Associated Press)

Some – including Ashton Kutcher – oppose marrying Twitter and TV. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Twitter which asks what everybody is doing right now – wants to do a TV show. (Associated Press)

Twitter is targeted by a worm-like phishing attack. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Twitter’s cofounders say Twitter will eventually charge fees. (Associated Press)

Twitter’s cofounders say they are in for the long haul. (New York Times)

Some celebrities think Twitter is their own public rrlations representative. (Saint Petersburg, Florida Times)

NBC set a low water mark of historic proportions in primetime ratings last week. (Associated Press)

The ratings for CNN’s Anderson Cooper are down. (New York Post)

On newscasts, news reporters are not supposed to give their views on which side they support. But does this rule apply to sports? That question is being asked about a sports anchor on Cleveland, Ohio ABC affiliate WEWS channel 5. (Maynard Institute)

Barack Obama wants a review of the federal gpoverment’s classified information systems and procedures. (Associated Press)

Iran has lifted the block it had imposed on Facebook. (Associated Press)

The controversy swirling around the erotica ads on Craigslist being focus on society’s views about prostitution. (San Jose Mercury News)

A Canadian French language broadcast is being criticized for a joke about an assassination of Barack Obama. (Associated Press)

Media Briefing for Friday, May 22, 2009

staff | May 22nd, 2009

To attend University Of Missouri journalism classes, students must have an Apple laptop and an iPhone. (Missourian)

Among the developed nations, the United States is in the middle of the pack as far as access to broadband. (New York Times)

A new law in France to stop Internet piracy is drawing skepticism. (Associated Press)

Tweeting one’s way to a job. (New York Times)

Smartphones can be transformed into mobile entertainment centers. (Washington Post)

NebuAd is closing its doors after Internet privacy woes. (Associated Press)

Craigs List is suing the South Carolina attorney general. (Associated Press) (Los Angeles Times)

Some parents are turning to cellular telephones as high tech rattles. (Associated Press)

TV stations need a clear Internet vision. (TV Newsday)

TV stations in the San Francisco – San Jose area are being hit hard by the economy. (San Jose Mercury News)

Will Conan O’Brien’s brand of humor fly on the Ton ikght show? (New York Times)

The CW network is adding shows to text about. In New York the CW affiliate is WPIX channel 11. (New York Times)

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann responds to Rush Limbaugh’s challenge to never mention Limbaugh’s name for 30 days. (Associated Press)

Radio talk show host Michael Savage has described Rush Limbaugh as a “fraud”. ( (San Francisco Chronicle)

Democrats are seeking a bailout for minority radio. (The Hill)

The Detroit newspapers are keeping more readers than expected. (Associated Press)

The CEO of the McClatchy newspapers sees good times ahead for newspapers. (Associated Press)

In Arizona, the Tucson Citizen will not resume publication, after a federal judge declined to order its owner – Gannett – to do so. (Associated Press)

The ongoing cuts at newspapers make it difficult for wrongly accused individuals to receive coverage for exoneration. (New York Times)

The White House is producing its own news reports, shutting out the press pool. (TV Newswer)

Media Briefing for Thursday, May 21, 2009

staff | May 21st, 2009

Got an unusual name? Facebook may think it’s fake and may take it away. (Associated Press)

In these difficult economic times, TV stations are sharing raw news video in an increasing number of markets. (TV Newsday)

The economic tailspin is battering local TV stations and local news. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Ion Media has files bankruptcy with a deal to swap debt for equity. The New York City flagship station for Ion, a national group of TV affiliates, is WPXN channel 31. (Bloomberg News)

Long before the decision to place Jay Leno in primetime, NBC considered Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman, and – in the 1980s – Johnny Carson. (Variety)

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into a number of fixes for the ailing news industry. (Broadcasting & Cable)

The McClatchy newspapers have launched a new sales strategy that emphasizes the Internet and aims at reconnecting its papers with former advertisers. (Sacramento Bee)

TV, radio and Web advertising are taking a big hit. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Accepting the Fred Friendly Award, 77-year-old Morley Safer said he has no intentions of leaving the broadcasting any time soon. (New York Daily News)

Television networks are offering advertisers closer connections to content of shows. (New York Times)

The digital TV transition coming June 12 remains a struggle for some. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Associated Press is offering buyouts to employees. (Editor & Publisher)

Google has reached an agreement to give libraries a say in how much is charged for books in its vast digital library. (New York Times)

A West Bank TV station is broadcasting real news. (San Francisco Chronicle)

The last anti-Hugo Chavez TV station in Venezuela is facing an investigation and possible shutdown. (Associated Press)

Yahoo is searching for ways to show fewer Web links. (Associated Press)

Wiggle is moving to the Sprout TV network, which is operated by PBS and others. (Associated Press)

Despite their successes, Asians are not fully breaking the glass ceilings in California’s Silicon Valley. (San Jose Mercury News)

Hewlett Packard is cutting 6,400 more jobs. (San Jose Mercury News)

The CEO of Google has urged a graduating class to turn off their computers. (Associated Press)

The FCC is examining Arbitron’s method of counting minority listeners for its radio ratings. (Washington Post)

A smaller but better Newsweek magazine? (Washington Post)

Syracuse University is opening a satellite campus in Los Angeles focusing on entertainment. (Syracuse Post Standard)

An AP reporter is quarantined in China after his plane made a stop in Mexico. (Associated Press)

IBM has unveiled a software system that allows the gathering and an analysis of vast amounts of data in very short time periods. (New York Times)

Seven have been indicted on charges of operating a 24/7 prostitution ring on Craig’s List. (Associated Press)

Former FCC chairman Richard Wiley says there should be no expectation that ownership rules will be relaxed any further and more consolidation of broadcast stations – now that the Democrats are in control. (TV Newsday)

Media Briefing for Friday, May 1, 2009

staff | May 1st, 2009

Discovery Communications and the toy maker Hasbro are teaming up to launch a children’s cable TV channel. (Los Angeles Times) (Washington Post)

The Independent Film Channel Media Project examines how news is covered in the United States. (Associated Press)

A new portal is bringing many PBS shows to the Internet. (New York Times)

A man has been sentenced to 6 years for relaying Hezbollah TV into New York City. (Associated Press)

Some local TV stations are cutting news staffs, and yet adding news programming to their schedules. (Associated Press)

Amid calls for elimination of the sex portions of Craigslist in the wake of sex-related murders in Boston and New Yoirk City, Craigslist will maintain them, and ensure they comply with the law. (Boston Globe)

Afghanistan is a new center of journalism for U.S. news organizations, such as NBC. (New York Observer)

The Fox News Channel has cancelled The Beltway Boys. (U.S. News & World Report)

A Web site has opened which covers the journalists covering the White House. (White House Correspondents Insider)

Newspapers have halted their decline in share of local online advertising revenue. (paidContent)

A report shows press freedom worldwide has declined. (Associated Press)

A radio talk show host on WTKK-FM 96.9 Boston has been suspended after making comments about Mexicans and immigrants. (Boston Globe)

ABC has joined NBC and Fox in offering shows on the Internet site Hulu.com. (New York Times)

The CEOs of two media giants – Viacom and News Corp. – speak at a California forum. (Los Angeles Times)

Time Warner is looking to spin off AOL. (Los Angeles Times) (New York Times)

President Barack Obama has named a former South Carolina weekly newspaper publisher to be an FCC commissioner. (Reuters)

Keeping the news crawl running during ad breaks on TV is endorsed by ad agencies. (New York Times)

The FCC has a backlog of thousands of indecency complaints against broadcast stations. (Wall Street Journal)

Online video is growing, but very slowly. (Media Daily News)

A Nielsen probe has found some viewers are not pushing the buttons correctly to properly record shows as having been watched. (Media Daily News)

Miami Fox affiliate WSVN channel 7 is suing the Nielsen ratings company, alleging it has a monopoly. (Miami Herald)

The WSVN vs. Nielsen case is examined more closely. (Miami Herald)

Media Briefing for Thursday, April 16, 2009

staff | April 16th, 2009

Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell says buying the Tribune Co. was a mistake. The Tribune owns a group of TV stations including WPIX channel 11 New York, WGN-TV channel 9 Chicago and KTLA channel 5 Los Angeles, WGN radio 720 Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, and other newspapers. Chicago Tribune

Newspaper advertising revenue could fall 30% in the year 2009. New York Times A new venture is working to introduce fees on news obtained online. Associated Press

Hyperlocal Internet sites are offering ultra-localized news in some localities.” New York Times

A survey shows there is more politics and partisanship online. Associated Press

Just when you thought the saga of ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich couldn’t get any stranger, it has. Blagojevich wants to star on the NBC reality show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” Associated Press

The state of California wants to impose standards and restrictions on energy-guzzling TV sets. San
Francisco Chronicle

On Twitter, CNN and Ashton Kutcher, star of That 70s Show, are squaring off. Associated Press

Venezuela’s president Huge Chavez wants sanctions imposed on Venezuelan TV networks that allegedly backed a military rebellion that briefly ousted him 7 years ago. Associated Press

Israel’s 85-year-old president Shimon Perez is kicking off a new career – as a TV host. Associated Press

Chris Wallace of the Fox News Channel loves politics. Broadcasting & Cable

Glenn Beck’s act is a show-stopper at the Fox News Channel. Associated Press

Fox’s Glenn Beck is taking a comedy tour across the nation. Associated Press

There is a forecast that advertising globally will fall nearly 7 per cent in 2009. Associated Press

A National Public Radio freelance journalist arrested in Iran is awaiting her fate after a 1-day secret trial on espionage charges there. London Times

The manager of an Afghan TV station is under arrest after allowing images of women with skirts too short and necklines too plunging to air. Associated Press

Radio station values sank in the first quarter of 2009. Radio & Records

Standard And Poor’s increased the credit rating of Sirius XM satellite radio from CCC to CCC+ Barron’s

Clear Channel Communications, which owns the largest number of strong-signal AM and FM radio stations in the nation, is promising improved programming with a new plan. Radio Online

Clear Channel New York City FM station WLTW 106.7 was the highest billing radio station in the city in 2008. New York Daily News

Goom Radio, a new Internet radio service, raised $16 million in its first round. paidContent

U.S. telecommunications companies are eager to get into Cuba. Washington

There is a new show about making advertisements for television, airing on Discovery.” New York Times

Have NBC’s ratings turned the corner? Los Angeles Times

On location TV and film shoots in Los Angeles have hit their lowest level on record. Los Angeles Times

Centuries of Native American valor are celebrated in a PBS series. New York Times

Filmmaker Ric Burns is involved in the PBS multipart series about the survival of Native Americans. New York Times

There is a documentary film on NPR’s Garrison Keillor being shown at theatres in Syracuse, Oswego and Utica in May. CNY Radio

March 2009 streaming video viewership is up 40% from March 2008. Nielsen Wire

NBC’s cable channel the USA Network is booming. New York Times

Media Briefing for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

staff | September 30th, 2008



Dual scoreboards on live television flashed the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on a financial bailout and the Dow Jones industrial average. In the end, they both came up losers. The nation’s teetering economy played out in an extraordinary TV drama Monday. No one was certain about what would happen when those numbers finally stopped moving: at 228 to 205 against the bailout and a 777-point drop in the Dow. Associated Press reports.

The Washington Post looks at editorial opinion on the U.S. House rejection of George W. Bush’s bailout plan.

The appetite for information is good news for National Public Radio, says the New York Daily News.

National Public Radio, already strong online with free downloads from many of its shows, is boosting its digital ambitions with yesterday’s introduction of social-networking features akin to Facebook. Associated Press reports.

Optimism prevailed at the National Association of Broadcasters’ Small Market Conference, reports TV Newsday.

Today is the last day of publication for the daily New York Sun, after six years, report the New York Times and Media Daily News.

The free weekly Washington, D.C. newspaper City Paper has filed for bankruptcy.

TV Guide is for sale, says Variety.

The ratings for the presidential debate Friday night fell far short of expectations, says the Washington Post.

The spin doctors work their voodoo regarding Friday night’s presidential debate, says the Washington Post.

Sarah Palin is preparing for Thursday’s debate with Joe Biden. This is Thursday evening at 9. The moderator is Gwen Ifill of PBS’s Washington Week. Thirteen/WNET will televise it live.The Washington Post reports.

Gwen Ifill of PBS will likely have the largest audience of her career as moderator of the vice presidential debate Thursday evening, says the Maynard Institute Web site.

CBS has hired Dee Dee Myers as a political analyst, says Variety.

With Tom Brokaw as elder statesman, NBC is planning the future of Meet The Press, reports the New York Times.

NBC polling director Chuck Todd’s stock is rising to become host of NBC’s Meet The Press, says Washingtonian magazine.

Blacklisted television writer Oliver Crawford has passed away at age 91, says Associated Press.

There will be a presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain on Long Island. This will be Wednesday evening, October 15 at 9 p.m. at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, according to the Presidential Debates Commission.

The McCain campaign is attempting to do something unheard of in the modern political era. It is not just running against the mainstream media – it is running around it. The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In a letter to Arbitron President Stephen Morris, Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Barack Obama, along with U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, expressed “concern” over the rollout of its Portable People Meter (PPM) system to eight new markets, scheduled for October 8. The two senators urged Morris to delay the rollout until the system is accredited by the Media Research Council (MRC). Crisis say the system seriously undercounts minority listeners, and in New York, for example, has undercounted audiences for black oriented FM station WBLS 107.5, and Spanish language stations WPAT-FM 93.1, WSKQ 97.9, and WADO-AM 1280. Radio Online reports.

NBC CEO Jeff Zucker says the economy is having a profound impact on local stations, reports Reuters.

In the wake of the bailout defeat, ad budgets are dropping, says Media Daily News.

In the stock market plunge, tech stocks were hit hard, says the San Jose Mercury News.

After the bailout defeat and stock exchange decline, there was a steep drop in media stocks, say Broadcasting & Cable and Media Daily News.

In the wake of the bailout defeat, shares of Young Broadcasting, which owns the troubled San Francisco TV station KRON channel 4 and also Albany ABC affiliate WTEN channel 10, among a total of ten stations, dropped to 4 cents a share, says Media Daily News.

In the big stock market plunge, newspaper stocks were down less than expected, says Media Daily News.

The Society Of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is holding its 35th annual Broadcast & Technology Expo, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (October 7 and 8) at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York near Syracuse, with two days of programs and presentations.

Congress is poised to pass Internet radio legislation, say Associated Press and paidContent.

Congressman Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has introduced the Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act, which would require that satellite radio receivers that can receive AM and FM signals also be capable of receiving terrestrial digital radio, or HD Radio. Markey said in a press statement, “Millions of Americans today rely on local broadcast radio for news, public safety bulletins, sports, weather, traffic, and other information. As the broadcast radio industry migrates to digital broadcasting technology, this legislation will ensure that consumers are able to readily receive free service through consumer electronics systems that are otherwise receiving satellite digital audio radio and traditional AM or FM stations.” Radio Ink and Radio Onlinereport.

About 90% of the people in the U.S. are in listening range of HD radio signals, according to Caroline Beasley, vice president and CFO of Naples, Florida-based Beasley Broadcast Group and chair of the NAB’s HD Radio Digital Technology Advancement Force. One challenge is convincing automakers to install car radios that receive HD signals, she says. The Naples, Florida Daily News reports.

At the NAB Radio Show last week, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin suggested that broadcasters cut a deal with him on new localism rules this year, The clear implication was that the deal with him will be a lot less onerous that the deal they’ll get next year when Democrats will have a tighter grip on Congress and, lord knows, what kind of wild-eyed, liberal regulator will be heading the FCC. Don’t do it, says TV Newsday.

The Intellectual Property Enforcement bill has passed the House, with a provision creating IP-enforcement-coordinating post in White House’s Office of the President. Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Why talk when you can text message? eMarketer reports.

Apple computers stock went down 17% in one day, say the New York Times, Barrons and Reuters.

Apple leads the tech bubble, says Business Week.

Circuit City has withdrawn its outlook after its loss widened, reports the New York Times. Circuit City’s loss has widened, says the Washington Post.

Google goes to Washington, gearing up to put its stamp on government, says the Washington Post.

Cloud computing is a trap, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman. Web-based programs like Google’s Gmail will force people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time, according to the free software campaigner. The Guardian of Manchester, England reports.

While Internet providers in the United States have backed off for now, from the idea they may be able to make money by selling information on where their customers surf on the Internet, British Telecom is still moving forward with the idea. The New York Times reports.

Sprint has taken wireless service to the max in Baltimore, Maryland, report IDG and USA Today.

MySpace is not the only free music game in town, says Time.

The Washington Post has purchased Foreign Policy magazine, report Media Daily News and the Washington Post.

In Manchester, Connecticut, five women who advertised their willingness to have sex for money on Craigslist reached an unintended market – the police. The Hartford Courant reports.

Proposition 8 in California which would ban gay marriage there, is bringing a large amount of TV advertising from both sides, says the San Jose Mercury News.

In movies and TV shows, never before have gay story lines been so prominent. Nor have there ever been so many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters on television – 83 by a recent count from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, not counting reality shows, daytime dramas or gay-oriented cable networks. Hollywood, with its depictions of cowboy lovers and lesbian neighbors, has done much to make gay men and women part of mainstream American life. The New York Times reports.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago has announced it will induct radio commentator Dr. James Dobson into its Radio Hall of Fame. Dobson runs a so-called “ex-gay” program and has said that allowing gay people to marry will “destroy the earth.” A gay group known as Truth Won Out is planning a protest at the event. It is scheduled for Saturday, November 8, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, 1 W Wacker Driver, Chicago, according to Truth Won Out.

The Library of American Broadcasting has honored ten individuals as Giants Of Broadcasting, in presentations at Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.

They include:

Dr. Bill Baker, president emeritus of Thirteen/WNET, and for more than two decades the president of the station, from 1987 to 2008. His roots were in radio, at Cleveland stations WGAR 1220, WERE 1300 and WKYC 1100. In 1971 he got into TV, joining WEWS channel 5 Cleveland. In 1978 he became vice president and g.m. of WJZ channel 13 Baltimore and quickly became president of parent company Group W Television. He created PM Magazine and was instrumental in introducing Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host. In 1987 he became president of Thirteen/WNET. During his tenure more than $1 billion was raised for the station, and he secured the largest endowment in public television history $100 million. He oversaw WNET’s acquisition of WLIW21 in 2003. In 2005 he was inducted into NYSBA’s Hall Of Fame.

Other honored were:

– Lucy Jarvis, renowned for multiple network television documentaries;

– Roger King, the man behind the creation of many top national TV shows including Wheel Of Fortune.

– Jerry Lee, owner of Philadelphia FM station WBEB 101.1, the only standalone locally owned FM station in the top ten markets in the United States; all others have been acquired by conglomerates. Lee has brought WBEB to enormous heights of success.

– Jim McKay, icon in network television sports and father of CBS news and sports president Sean McManus;

– James Quello, long-serving FCC commissioner who was unique in that he became from broadcasting, Detroit AM station WJR 760. He was a fierce defender of free over-the-air broadcasting. Last month he sent the U.S. Supreme Court a brief saying the FCC is on a “Victorian crusade” that is damaging to broadcasters, viewers, and the FCC.

– Cokie Roberts, commentator of ABC’s This Week, who earlier in her career provided news and public affairs broadcasts on National Public Radio and was a reporter on PBS’s MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour.

– Tim Russert, Buffalo native, who died suddenly at age 58. Known for 17 years as host of NBC’s Meet The Press, Russert – bringing the show to the top during his tenure – previously was a counselor in New York Governor Mario Cuomo’s office, during the 1980s.

– William Shatner, star of Star Trek and whose acting career included the acclaimed movie Judgement At Nuremberg.

– Robert Wright, born in Hempstead, Long Island, who spent most of his career at General Electric, and after the GE acquisition of NBC, became NBC president and chief operating officer, succeeding Grant Tinker. He was responsible for and oversaw NBC’s acquisition of one of America’s two Spanish language networks, Telemundo and has overseen NBC’s wide expansion in the high tech and multichannel age, including creation and development of CNBC and MSNBC.


©2017 WNET All Rights Reserved.   825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019