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MetroCity

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MetroCity last won the day on September 6 2017

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About MetroCity

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    Haver of Worst Nightmares & Hater of Tired Clichés
  • Birthday 06/06/1972

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  1. MetroCity

    Nexstar to acquire Tribune

  2. MetroCity

    Nexstar to acquire Tribune

    I think a little clarity about Washington/Hagerstown, and WDCA and WDVM is in order. Hagerstown, Maryland is 70 miles from Washington. It is a community of about 40,000 people. WDVM (formerly WHAG) is, in every way, a small market station. Suggesting it could cover Washington or supply a newscast for DC is unrealistic. When the station launched 40-some years ago, it was an NBC affiliate in a region that had no other stations. Western Maryland had cable decades before the rest of the country had ever heard of cable, bringing in a few DC and Baltimore stations. WHAG was the first regional station, and still, if you lived beyond the Hagerstown city line, you needed cable to see it. When WHAG launched, the Hagerstown market was in the Glendive, Montana neighborhood of the market list. If I remember correctly, Hagerstown was absorbed into the DC market, primarily to force cable companies in the western counties of Maryland and nearby counties in Pennsylvania and Virginia to carry it in addition to, or instead of WRC out of Washington. Other than that, there is absolutely nothing that justifies Hagerstown being in the DC market. Now that WDVM is an independent, that’s even more true. There doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason to still consider Hagerstown part of the DC market, other than it probably boosts ad rates. Nexstar might want to divest either WDCA or WDVM. But there isn’t really a good reason they couldn’t keep this “duopoly”, and there’s even less reason why it should be considered one. And, if Nexstar wants a newscast on WDCA, they’d be better off having their Richmond station produce it for them.
  3. Is there any way to get rid of the floating Facebook and Twitter link buttons on the right side (iPad)? They’re very annoying, and all they do is open the same page in a new tab. Thank you.
  4. MetroCity

    Cox Media Group up for sale

    If you have some time, I suggest you Google Disney’s annual report for 2017, and wade through it to find the figures for media networks and broadcasting. In 2017, Disney media networks made nearly 7 Billion dollars in profit on revenues of 23 Billion. That’s about a 30% profit ratio. And while it was down 11% from 2016 (which was a gargantuan election year), it is still twice the bottom line profit of the theme parks. The television station group profit accounted for 1.2 Billion of that. So, how is it television isn’t making Disney money? The fact that Disney isn’t buying more stations doesn’t mean they don’t care about television. It means, as a company, diversification is paying off enormously well. The stations are doing their part, and there are other things the company wants to do as well. And there are plenty of examples in the industry of broadcast groups that expanded for the hell of it, and wound up killing a good thing. Often, NOT expanding is the most profitable decision. One final thought: Disney is not a television broadcasting company like Tegna or Sinclair. Disney is not a media company like Hearst or Cox. Disney is an entertainment company, where broadcasting is one of its business groups, and not its only enterprise.
  5. MetroCity

    The Tribune Saga, Part 3: New Sale Talks

    Consider this: Tribune doesn’t care what the buyer does after the sale: keep them all; sell some; sell all; turn them into yogurt shops. What happens post-sale is someone else’s problem. So, why does Tribune insist on only selling in its entirety? It’s easier for Tribune. They’ll only have one buyer to negotiate with and one set of hoops to jump through. Imagine the boondoggle of having to deal with ten potential piecemeal buyers, ten individual negotiations with ten different groups of lawyers and ten sets of FCC filings. Working to integrate technical and personnel systems with ten different buyers, with who knows how many deadlines and closing dates. And that’s not even mentioning the countless number of investors to be satisfied with different deals on both sides of the bargaining tables. That’s Crazytown. The potential piecemeal headaches mean finding one single buyer is worth the wait.
  6. MetroCity

    Report: Charter launching new Spectrum News channels

    Belo (Gannett/Tegna) lauched TXCN (Texas Cable News) in 1999. It lasted about 15 years and was meant to be a statewide cable network. However, they couldn’t get on some of the big systems where they needed to be. Since no single cable company has all of Texas, and since the odds of any cable system carrying another’s state news channel are tiny, there doesn’t seem to be a good reason for anyone to try it again anytime soon.
  7. MetroCity

    NBC News Special Report question?

    Not true. Even the ABC O&Os are NOT required to take special reports.
  8. MetroCity

    The Tribune Saga, Part 3: New Sale Talks

    Tribune’s decision to close down news departments in Dallas & Houston, and layoff 120 people, seems to indicate they’re trying to make the financials look better, in the search for a new buyer.
  9. MetroCity

    WNYW - FOX5 News

    I think calling NYC a lazy market is unfair. Anybody who has worked in that market knows the lazy do not survive, whether as an individual or a station. What IS true, is that the business and competition have changed. First, prime-access syndication brings in a lot of dollars. Even the non-King World shows bring in heavy revenue. New York is a news hungry market. Counting Westchester, New Jersey and Long Island, there are six daily newspapers, two all news radio stations and two 24-hour cable news operations. Those cable news channels are enormously popular. Just because you don’t see them on the Nielsen breakdowns doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Just try to find a New Yorker who doesn’t watch them, even if only occasionally. Then add the classic English language broadcast stations and the two Hispanic stations, which all have respectable audiences. And then there are the websites and apps. News hungry New Yorkers are already finding their news in those places throughout the day. And don’t forget: most stations are starting morning news at 4:30AM. Some have expanded midday news to an hour and are starting evening shows at 4:00PM. You didn’t see that 20 or 30 years ago. By 7:00, viewers are ready to move on. And, if they do want more, NY1 and News12 are there. That’s not a lazy news market. Name one other market in the country that produces that much product each day. But, perhaps more importantly, every station has down-sized significantly since the days of news after 6:00. Back then, stations had news staffs as much as 40% bigger than they are today. Many more people to produce less total product than you will find now. Today, stations barely have enough people to do what they’re doing. There are probably hundreds of posts in this website alone about being stretched so thin and doing more with less. Could stations hire more people to do more evening newscasts? Well, they could, but stations haven’t been in the staff-expansion mode anywhere, in years. And, as history has shown, prime-access newscasts against Wheel & Jeopardy tend not to be very successful or profitable. Those are just cold, hard business office realities. Stations aren’t printing profit dollars in the basement like they used to. Comparing news programming in 2018 to news programming in 1988 and thinking all things are equal, is off base.
  10. MetroCity

    The Tribune Saga, Part 3: New Sale Talks

    Putting market size and price aside for a moment, not all Tribune stations are equal and neither are all potential buyers. Some Tribune stations are very turn-key, including KTLA, WGN and KFOR. New owners have to do little more than write the check and change the name on the license. But other Tribune stations need to be completely rebuilt inside and out. Dallas, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans and some others are virtual operational and physical disasters. Those stations need owners who are prepared to pony-up the management expertise and dollars to make them worth the investment. Not all potential owners will have that desire or ability. If a purchaser isn’t able or willing to make substantial investments in these stations, then they are no improvement. In fact, in taking on new debt with no desire to build long-term value, they might be worse.
  11. MetroCity

    WNYW - FOX5 News

    1. Quite obviously the WNYW show at FNC was staffed by FNC technical personnel. 2. This is 2018. In New York every station, network, production house, independent studio, etc. is linked by fiber that can send/ receive any signal to/ from practically anywhere. (Google “The Switch New York”) Arranging to send a signal from any fiber equipped studio to practically any other U.S. location can be done in minutes. (International can also be done, but takes somewhat longer to arrange.) This is a very common everyday practice in New York, where pool feeds for media events are common, and distributed by fiber to/from every station and network every single day. By necessity, WNYW’s hub, wherever it is, would have to have fiber capability. Of course satellite to a hub is also possible, but from New York, fiber is actually easier. 3. It is a relatively simple procedure of putting a show on the air from a remote location, again, especially in New York. Let me put it this way: Let’s pretend WNYW negotiates to air a pre-season, non-network Giants game from [wherever]. WNYW does not send 65 technicians and three truckloads of equipment to [wherever] to produce the program. A third party company produces it and feeds the program in its entirety (minus commercials) to the WNYW hub for air. Fox producing the WNYW newscast and delivering it to WNYW’s hub and air is no different. As far as why a station has an alleged remote facility in New Jersey that is not airworthy or is not usable, you would have to ask them. But I would bet it’s a license requirement, because WWOR is licensed to New Jersey. And, while their license probably requires them to have the capability, there is probably nothing that says it has to be used.
  12. MetroCity

    WNYW - FOX5 News

    I doubt it’s that easy, even if backup facilities are still in place. It’s doubtful WWOR has a technical staff at work, on standby, or even employed, who can run things for a live broadcast. If the WNYW staff has never worked in the WWOR building, they can’t just “drop-in” and put a show on the air. Ask any director or engineer how long it takes to learn a system in a different station. Who knows what kind of shape the rest of the technical plant is in. It’s doubtful any equipment for a full live newscast is current, updated, operational or even still in place. Saying you have a back-up facility across the river and actually being able to use it for a fully produced show (instead of a simple emergency broadcast), are two different things. The Fox studio was turn-key. But why they used Shep instead of their own talent is a different question.
  13. MetroCity

    WNYW - FOX5 News

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the fiasco was a combination of the theories suggested in this thread. I tend to believe it was a massive internet failure. But I might also theorize that workers dealing with construction and abatement might have accidentally severed data lines running through the building. Few other things could explain an internet failure localized to one building. This should serve as a warning (but won’t) that absolute dependence on the web to facilitate day to day operations, without an alternative, is a recipe for disaster. I remember, when internet access became a normal part of station operations, that certain parts of the facility were kept as closed systems, without web connections. Editing, master control, traffic, etc. were not allowed direct web access. Servers were isolated. This wasn’t so much to protect against internet failure, as it was to prevent the introduction of viruses and malware. News, by necessity, had internet access. But I remember more than once when a virus shut down the primary system, forcing a painful switch to an ill-maintained back-up server. I appreciate the many advantages and progress of cloud system operations, and using the internet, instead of costly and sometimes obtuse closed or direct access systems. But the dependence on the web comes with a serious risk that station management minimizes. If the power goes out, most stations have generators. If a water mains break, bottled water can be brought in. But absolute reliance on the internet, with no back-up or alternative to serve your number one responsibility of putting product on the air, is a guarantee that exactly what happened, will happen.
  14. MetroCity

    Fox in talks to sell to Disney

    Without getting into speculation (because that would be wrong), might there be a scenario where Disney could trade some/all of the RSNs to Hearst for the remaining 20% of ESPN it doesn’t already own?
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