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A3N

Sinclair...Again

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As far as the channel itself, it's probably going to get more political content. But I still can't figure out why they're jumping on the cable news bandwagon 10-15 years after everyone else did.

 

They have subchannels they can stick it on in 70 or 80 markets without costing them a thing. That's a pretty good start, IMO.

 

Think of it this way: NewsChannel 8 probably makes money. They may have to upgrade the operation, but the guts of the operation are still there. That's different than starting from scratch.

 

Not much extra cost.

 

You stick it on Sinclair Station subchannels in 80 markets, again at no cost. You automatically have distribution on cable and OTA. They will make money on this. You also have a channel that can bolster local news operations with local cut ins.

 

If they can make this so it's the defacto hybrid local/national channel, kind of like each market's ONN, I don't think this is going to be that bad of an idea.

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They have 80 subchannels it can go on without costing them a thing.

 

Wouldn't be a good use of bandwidth...

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Wouldn't be a good use of bandwidth...

 

Haha. Like MyTV or ThisTV is such a great use of bandwidth? I like MeTV a lot, but after a while it gets to be like the oldies channel on the radio. How many times can you listen to Elvis sing the same songs?

 

I think the key is whether or not they can provide something that looks like a professional product versus a local product, and whether they have enough local cutins to make it different from cable news. I don't know if they have the eye for talent that Roger Ailes has, but if they can get interesting people on board then why not.

 

I thought ONN was a pretty boring channel, and statewide news doesn't really resonate. But if you can somehow repurpose your local packages, have relevant live local weather reports interspersed with national news, I don't see why this wouldn't work.

 

I think subchannels should be used for more local programming that might not get enough ratings to be in the main channel but would generate some kind of an interest. You could also intersperse local programming along with the news with the news channel serving as the backdrop.

 

ONN did do some interesting things like cooking shows and especially statewide high school football. I'll use WSYX as an example - back in the 1960's they would broadcast major high school football games. They could also repurpose their Ohio State programming. WSYX can do a public affairs interview show about statehouse issues that all the Sinclair stations could air. Some of this stuff is too boring to be everyday programming, but having a news channel where you can do stuff like this might not be such a bad idea.

 

I don't know what their plans are, just thinking out loud here about how you can make this channel interesting and different from cable news. Having

"Weather on the 10's" would be enough to get at least some eyeballs to tune in.

 

NewsChannel 8 works in Washington. I don't see why it wouldn't work when it costs you practically nothing to expand it to 80 markets.

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Why can't Sinclair just buy One America? They have way more resources than the current owners and could move operations from San Diego to WJLA or Baltimore.

 

 

That actually makes sense. One America would also get them clearances in a bunch of non-S!nclair markets, something that S!nclair is going to have a mammoth challenge in markets where they don't have any stations.

 

Is One America on any cable stations? Never heard of it. ThisTV and AntennaTV are owned by Tribune and they get distribution.

 

 

 

 

I wonder if they are going to put ABC on 68.1 and My on 68.2. I wouldn't think that ABC would like being stuck on a .2 channel in a top 50 market. I could be wrong, but the more I think about it, I bet that they leave the branding ABC 33/40. With it jumping between second and third most watched in the market after WBRC, I wouldn't think they would want to mess with a good thing too much.

 

I wonder if they can move the translator to Anniston?

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Why can't Sinclair just buy One America? They have way more resources than the current owners and could move operations from San Diego to WJLA or Baltimore.

 

Not to give the Heathens of Hunt Valley any more ideas, but apparently there's this little itty bitty company called Time Warner that was almost sold to some guy named Rupert.....

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Is One America on any cable stations? Never heard of it.

 

The only providers who have it are U-Verse and Fios, and some small regional providers. But they have yet to sign with any major cable cos .

 

 

 

Haha. Like MyTV or ThisTV is such a great use of bandwidth? I like MeTV a lot, but after a while it gets to be like the oldies channel on the radio. How many times can you listen to Elvis sing the same songs?

 

I think the key is whether or not they can provide something that looks like a professional product versus a local product, and whether they have enough local cutins to make it different from cable news. I don't know if they have the eye for talent that Roger Ailes has, but if they can get interesting people on board then why not.

 

I thought ONN was a pretty boring channel, and statewide news doesn't really resonate. But if you can somehow repurpose your local packages, have relevant live local weather reports interspersed with national news, I don't see why this wouldn't work.

 

I think subchannels should be used for more local programming that might not get enough ratings to be in the main channel but would generate some kind of an interest. You could also intersperse local programming along with the news with the news channel serving as the backdrop.

 

ONN did do some interesting things like cooking shows and especially statewide high school football. I'll use WSYX as an example - back in the 1960's they would broadcast major high school football games. They could also repurpose their Ohio State programming. WSYX can do a public affairs interview show about statehouse issues that all the Sinclair stations could air. Some of this stuff is too boring to be everyday programming, but having a news channel where you can do stuff like this might not be such a bad idea.

 

I don't know what their plans are, just thinking out loud here about how you can make this channel interesting and different from cable news. Having

"Weather on the 10's" would be enough to get at least some eyeballs to tune in.

 

NewsChannel 8 works in Washington. I don't see why it wouldn't work when it costs you practically nothing to expand it to 80 markets.

 

You keep interpreting this as Sinclair doing 80 or so different regional cable networks and that's likely not what they're doing. It's probably going to just be NewsChannel 8 distributed to the entire nation and a refocus of content from metro Washington to the entire nation. But, since the local DC newscasts already primarily cover national political news from a local standpoint (since they're in the capital obviously) it won't take much repurposing to be relevant to a national audience. Also, being in DC, Sinclair would have access to so many influential guests they can include on NC8.

 

Yes, they already interview people from the Washington Guardian, Washington Times and some taxpayer reform organization, but actually being in DC affords them more access to even more important people than who Sinclair's currently getting. And Sinclair has no physical presence in Washington. They drive to DC from Baltimore to get their interviews and then back to Baltimore to put the story together. It's been this way even before NewsCentral, when they had Morris Jones as Sinclair's national correspondent.

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Not to give the Heathens of Hunt Valley any more ideas, but apparently there's this little itty bitty company called Time Warner that was almost sold to some guy named Rupert.....

A lot of people thought Ted Turner had delusions of grandeur when he tried to buy MGM.

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It's probably going to just be NewsChannel 8 distributed to the entire nation and a refocus of content from metro Washington to the entire nation. But, since the local DC newscasts already primarily cover national political news from a local standpoint (since they're in the capital obviously) it won't take much repurposing to be relevant to a national audience. Also, being in DC, Sinclair would have access to so many influential guests they can include on NC8.

 

Sinclair gets a national network. God help us.

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They have subchannels they can stick it on in 70 or 80 markets without costing them a thing. That's a pretty good start, IMO.

 

Think of it this way: NewsChannel 8 probably makes money. They may have to upgrade the operation, but the guts of the operation are still there. That's different than starting from scratch.

 

Not much extra cost.

 

You stick it on Sinclair Station subchannels in 80 markets, again at no cost. You automatically have distribution on cable and OTA. They will make money on this. You also have a channel that can bolster local news operations with local cut ins.

 

If they can make this so it's the defacto hybrid local/national channel, kind of like each market's ONN, I don't think this is going to be that bad of an idea.

Which begs the question. Is it more practical to operate a digital subchannel and hope for partial national clearance and subchannel distribution contracts with other broadcast chains... or to try to run a national network that won't have a prayer of any national coverage? (Comcast is not Block/Buckeye.)

 

Unless I'm mistaken, you can't do both at the same time. Universal Sports being such an example.

 

Of course, had Dispatch not pulled the plug on ONN after years of losses, the idea of creating a regional, modular news network would make sense. S!nclair had to have seen how ONN failed. Which is why I too have the gut feeling that they want NC8 as a national network.

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Cable and satellite is about as built out as it's going to get. Nobody out of the major entertainment conglomerates stands a chance of launching a successful channel anymore. The channels that already exist are asking for more and more money for their own growing slate of channels (that they push through themselves) driving up our bills. Critical mass is coming to the point that a-la-carte is a necessity or that channels price themselves out of existence when enough subscribers cut the cord.

 

Broadcasters can fill the void, but they're a part of the problem as well, as their demands for more and more retransmission revenue have turned the tables on an industry that once had the networks PAYING stations to air their content.

 

VOD is the only way to go. Once a platform takes off en masse, pay tv as we know it will be gone. Same can be said if enough damage is made from a spectrum auction that decimates the on-air universe where stations have no choice but to stop broadcasting and stream their content.

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You keep interpreting this as Sinclair doing 80 or so different regional cable networks and that's likely not what they're doing.

 

Not at all. All I'm saying is that if they do conservative/liberal blah blah blah, they're going to be the same as everybody else. If they do a CNN clone, they'll put everybody to sleep. The only way they can make it a success is by doing something different.

 

I don't think what ONN used to do is a bad model on the local level. I'm not talking about local news networks. I'm talking about NewsChannel 8 serving as the national backdrop and anchor of the channel. Then you throw in a lot of local cut-ins, maybe similar to News Central. I would have someone on from the newsroom just to give it the feel of immediacy and you definitely have to do weather. There is really nowhere you can go for televison weather in a timely fashion.

 

So you take NewsChannel 8 for the national news. That is your "network". Repurpose local news and weather for the cutins. You make it a high quality national and local product at the same time.

 

Just thinking out loud, but that's what I would try to do to make it different and to stand out from Fox, CNN and MSNBC.

 

 

 

 

Cable and satellite is about as built out as it's going to get. Nobody out of the major entertainment conglomerates stands a chance of launching a successful channel anymore. The channels that already exist are asking for more and more money for their own growing slate of channels (that they push through themselves) driving up our bills. Critical mass is coming to the point that a-la-carte is a necessity or that channels price themselves out of existence when enough subscribers cut the cord.

 

VOD is the only way to go. Once a platform takes off en masse, pay tv as we know it will be gone. Same can be said if enough damage is made from a spectrum auction that decimates the on-air universe where stations have no choice but to stop broadcasting and stream their content.

 

 

The other problem with having so many channels is that there is only so much creative talent to go around. In the old days, there was barely enough talent to keep decent quality shows on CBS, NBC and ABC. Now they have so much time to fill, the creative people are spread too thin. THat's why the shows are crap.

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Which begs the question. Is it more practical to operate a digital subchannel and hope for partial national clearance and subchannel distribution contracts with other broadcast chains... or to try to run a national network that won't have a prayer of any national coverage? (Comcast is not Block/Buckeye.)

 

Unless I'm mistaken, you can't do both at the same time. Universal Sports being such an example.

 

Of course, had Dispatch not pulled the plug on ONN after years of losses, the idea of creating a regional, modular news network would make sense. S!nclair had to have seen how ONN failed. Which is why I too have the gut feeling that they want NC8 as a national network.

 

I've discussed why I believe ONN failed. The markets serving Ohio are Dayton, Lima, Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown, Zanesville, Steubenville-Wheeling, Columbus, Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, Parkersburg and Charleston-Huntington. That's 12 markets. There simply isn't much commonality of interest to run a statewide network. Nobody in Portsmouth cares about what happens in Cleveland unless it's a juicy scandal or some kidnapped girls held hostage for 10 years escape and they aren't going to sit through a lot of Dayton, Toledo and Cleveland news before they get to things that resonate with Southern Ohio.

 

Sports are another matter. There is a critical mass of people who follow Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati teams. Some interest in Detroit and Pittsburgh, but interest in Ohio teams is high enough to sustain an Ohio sports channel.

 

I think NC8+Local Cut-ins could work if they did it right. Weather is key. ONN did "weather on the 8's" ... People like weather. Not a bad way to get viewers who want to get a quick look at the weather and don't want to wade through a website to get the weather forecast.

 

ONN was hard to find (Channel 400-something) and had poor video quality (at least on my system). WSYX 6-2 would be very easy for someone to locate.

 

I hope they do it in 16:9

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Another point of critical mass....there are simply TOO MANY CHANNELS!

 

Guide-surfing is the only way I can navigate through cable and satellite. At least DirecTV and Dish have the courtesy to keep their lineups consistent between SD/HD (instead of burying their digital or HD content in the triple or quadruple digits), and putting local channels on their actual channel number. I do realize that cable has gotten better with making their digital content easier to find (either by linking to their SD channels, or by simply putting the channel on a 1xxx number (i.e. channel 22 in HD is on 1022)

 

Have there ever been any regional or local news channels (most likely NOT owned by Time Warner or Comcast) put on satellite or Telco (FiOs or UVerse)?

EDIT: I did see that NewsChannel 8 is on DirecTV and FiOs for DC viewers...but they seem like a rarity...

 

If not, Sinclair has another battle they're going to likely lose with the non-cable companies....especially if it's a bi-local approach that requires a special channel for each market. Subchannels and/or broadband are the ONLY way this could work...

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Another point of critical mass....there are simply TOO MANY CHANNELS!

 

Guide-surfing is the only way I can navigate through cable and satellite. At least DirecTV and Dish have the courtesy to keep their lineups consistent between SD/HD (instead of burying their digital or HD content in the triple or quadruple digits), and putting local channels on their actual channel number. I do realize that cable has gotten better with making their digital content easier to find (either by linking to their SD channels, or by simply putting the channel on a 1xxx number (i.e. channel 22 in HD is on 1022)

 

Have there ever been any regional or local news channels (most likely NOT owned by Time Warner or Comcast) put on satellite or Telco (FiOs or UVerse)?

EDIT: I did see that NewsChannel 8 is on DirecTV and FiOs for DC viewers...but they seem like a rarity...

 

If not, Sinclair has another battle they're going to likely lose with the non-cable companies....especially if it's a bi-local approach that requires a special channel for each market. Subchannels and/or broadband are the ONLY way this could work...

 

NWCN is on Dish in select markets (Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, but not Portland for some reason) but you're right. These are exceptions and not the rule.

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Today Sinclair news of the day- from Newsblues 7.21.14

 

 

 

 

 

DOWN TO THE WIRE

teagle_s-165.jpgSuzanne McNay Teagle, the president and general manager for the past 13 years atAllbritton's WCIV-4-ABC in Charleston (Market #95), has parted ways with the station, just a week before the deadline of Allbritton Communications's proposed sale to Sinclair Broadcasting.

Teagle is the current president of the South Carolina Broadcast Association. WCIVGeneral Sales Manager George Kayes has also left the station, we are told.

Why is this important?

wciv-wtat.jpgSix weeks ago, in an effort to satisfy FCC ownership guidelines,Sinclair offered to walk away from the broadcast license of WCIV-4-ABC, after the purchase was completed, and then transfer the station's ABCaffiliation to Sinclair-owned WMMP-36-MyTV in Charleston. WMMP is currently operated via a local marketing agreement with co-located WTAT-24-Fox, which is owned by Sinclair beard (wink, wink) Cunningham Broadcasting.

It would seem that Allbritton is clearing the management deck for Sinclair.

kelly_garry.jpgSinclair had proposed a similar license abandonment deal at Allbritton's WBMA-33-ABC in Birmingham (Market #40), where, last week, VP-General Manager Garry Kelly clearly saw the handwriting on the wall and announced that he was leaving for Media General's WSLS-10-NBCin Roanoke (Market #68).

Teagle's departure in Charleston appears to indicate that Sinclair Broadcasting's proposed purchase of the remaining Allbritton Communications stations may actually be happening. The deadline for completion of the deal is a week from today, July 28.

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Yeah, it's happening.

 

I just finished enrolling for benefits and filled out my paperwork to rollover my 401K (which Sinclair may or may not match, depending on the mood of the board). Clearly they feel that the deal is all but stamped, otherwise I can't imagine they'd be doing all of this (which included a 30 minute or so Allbritton specific HR video - nothing worth noting, just mentioning us by name and such).

 

FWIW, as a non-smoker, my healthcare related payroll deductions will actually go down. Guess not all is bad. :awesome:

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WMMP is currently operated via a local marketing agreement with co-located WTAT-24-Fox, which is owned by Sinclair beard (wink, wink) Cunningham Broadcasting.

 

Correction: WMMP is owned and operated by Sinclair. WTAT is the one that is operated by a local marketing agreement.

 

I thought Sinclair was spining WTAT off to Cunningham through an transitional agreement.

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WMMP is currently operated via a local marketing agreement with co-located WTAT-24-Fox, which is owned by Sinclair beard (wink, wink) Cunningham Broadcasting.

 

Correction: WMMP is owned and operated by Sinclair. WTAT is the one that is operated by a local marketing agreement.

 

I thought Sinclair was spining WTAT off to Cunningham through an transitional agreement.

They will once the deal closes.

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Six weeks ago, in an effort to satisfy FCC ownership guidelines,Sinclair offered to walk away from the broadcast license of WCIV-4-ABC, after the purchase was completed, and then transfer the station's ABCaffiliation to Sinclair-owned WMMP-36-MyTV in Charleston.

At least NewsBlues has a track record for total FUD-causing inaccuracies with this story. Why stop digging when you're already in a hole?

 

This piece is still written with the easily-refutable guess that S!nclair is shutting down the stations completely and transferring only the ABC affiliation to their MyTV affils. Apparently the genius that wrote this cannot grasp the concept of retaining a stations' intellectual property and staff and moving it to the subchannel of an existing station. Or does it invalidate the writer's anti-S!nclair narrative?

 

It boggles the mind.

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According to Broadcasting and Cable, The courts have sign off on Sinclair's deal with Allbritton. Here what I think is going to happen here. The deal will be done by the end of the week but If it misses that date... It will still get done because I think all sides are working to get that deal done.

 

If the FCC deny it (Which I'm strongly expecting it won't) They will have to do alot of explaining which they don't want to do, not just to Sinclair but to other companies as well and The NAB and Others who might want to do this in the future.

 

To point out to others, What Sinclair is proposing of moving Stations to subchannels has happened already with a couple of stations especially a station in Nebraska that recent done this (I don't remember the name off the top of my head but I do know it happen before.)

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I agree, the only way this deal dies now is if the FCC refuses it, since even a delay would likely be a short one. The only cases I see that may create problems:

 

* The Cunningham issue with WTAT (is it really separate?)

* Loss of coverage in the eastern part of the Birmingham market (that can be rectified though with a low-power transmitter, maybe they can move the WBMA transmitter to Anniston or Gadsden?)

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Sinclair did get approval today—not for Allbritton, but for its acquisition of WGXA in Macon, according to the FCC Daily Digest.

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I agree, the only way this deal dies now is if the FCC refuses it, since even a delay would likely be a short one. The only cases I see that may create problems:

 

* The Cunningham issue with WTAT (is it really separate?)

* Loss of coverage in the eastern part of the Birmingham market (that can be rectified though with a low-power transmitter, maybe they can move the WBMA transmitter to Anniston or Gadsden?)

 

This is a wild guess, but I think their keeping of WBMA has to do with potential spectrum value. I noticed that more than half of Michael Dell's OTA Broadcasting stations are LPTV's and they are in Boston, Houston, New York and San Fran. Those are pretty large markets, so I understand how an LPTV would have spectrum value there, but would it have any value in Birmingham? I don't know.

 

Second question a little off topic. Do any of these LPTV's except for the small market network affiliates make any money? Most of them can't get on cable and they air throwaway programming. Does anybody watch them? In Columbus, the LPTV's are Channel 8, 17, 19, 23, 32 and 43. Channel 8 shows some locally based Christian programming and they are kind of cool to watch sometimes. Channel 23 is Bounce, which has decent movies sometimes. The rest of the channels and subchannels are a barren wasteland of home shopping, Spanish and Christian.

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We better hope and pray the Albritton-Sinclair deal dies.

 

Why? You Sinclair haters just can't let it go, can you?

 

WJLA will be the new flagship of Sinclair Broadcast Group!!!

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