Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Today: 494th Week Win and Counting

Source: NBC Press Release NBC News' "Today" continues to roll right along. Last week, the top rated morning show notched its 494th consecutive week in first place and locked up its 38th successive sweeps victory -- the longest winning in streak in all of television.

For the week of May 23-27, "Today" beat its closet competition by approximately 250,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Preliminary Affiliate Time Period Ratings.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

KATV Owner Makes "Big Bad Boss List"

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Source: Washington Post Joe L. Allbritton, chairman of Riggs Bank, was feared widely. And for good reason. A former officer at the company said that Virginia White, Allbritton's personal secretary, would send shoe polish to executives with a note stating that the chairman wondered if the executive might want to polish his shoes. He was famous for yelling at executives, for upbraiding a bank officer he might spot working at his desk without his jacket on. He would fire executives over the phone, including a now-former chief financial officer. A spokesman for the family did not return phone calls.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Weather Reporting as Beat Journalism

Source: The Poynter Institute Scott Libin writes: When the May rating period coincides with peak season for severe weather it produces a near-perfect storm: Conditions are ideal for both the best and worst of local television news around the country.

It's an ideal time to start taking television weather reporting more seriously: not just as gimmickry, gadgetry, hype and science -- though at times it is all of those. It's time to start treating it as journalism.

No other story affects every viewer every day. No other interest drives viewers to local TV more consistently. Yet nobody seems to think of weather as journalism. News, yes -- especially under extreme circumstances such as hurricanes, tornados and blizzards. But journalism, no.

Maybe that's partly because, over the last few decades, weathercasters have gone all the way from clown college to masters of science, many without stopping along the way to learn journalism. And, with a few exceptions, nobody ever invited them to learn it.

I say that invitation's long overdue. MORE

Anchor Rewind Weekend # 4

Former KSLA, Channel 12 anchor/reporter Sylvia Rachal was at the anchor desk Saturday as KTAL, Newschannel 6 continues it's Anchor Rewind Weekends. Each night the guest anchor and sports anchor Dave Foster chat about the guest anchor's time on the air in Shreveport. Tonight Rachal said she worked on the air in the Shreveport market for 16 years. Currently she is working in the public relations field.

UPDATE 05/29/05 11:15 PM EDT:
Alright Sunday's anchor rewind had me stumped for awhile. Only thing I could remember for sure was she worked at Channel 6 and KARK. Finally I can confirm: Former KTAL anchor/reporter Julie Coker was at the anchor desk Sunday as KTAL wraps up it's "Anchor Rewind Weekends". Julie worked at Channel 6 1989-90. She left KTAL and went to work at KARK in Little Rock from 1991-92.

It has been fun seeing some of the faces again that have vanished from the Ark-La-Tex news scene.

Friday, May 27, 2005

KWBF-TV Adds NFL to Programming

Source: Arkansas Business News We told you a few weeks ago about KTHV-TV, Channel 11, not having much choice about whether or not central Arkansas football fans will see more of the Jacksonville Jaguars and their ex-Hog first-round draft pick Matt Jones on television this season.

Larry Audas, the station’s general manager, said the AFC football market in central Arkansas has traditionally swayed in the Kansas City Chiefs’ favor, and added coverage of the Jaguars wouldn’t come at the tribe’s expense.

Well, Equity Broadcasting Corp. has KC fans covered, if only for the preseason.

Beginning with an Aug. 12 preseason match against Minnesota, all four of the Chiefs’ tune-up games will be broadcast live on KWBF-TV, Channel 42.

According to WB spokesman Neal Ardman, it’s the first time the NFL will hit the WB airwaves.

“It’s as simple as us wanting to secure more sports programming and seeing what was available,” he said. “The rights to those Chiefs’ games was available and we’re excited to bring the coverage to viewers.”

Ardman added that additional coverage includes pre-game specials before all four games, a “Game Day” program with head coach Dick Vermeil and the “Chief’s Locker Room” show hosted by expert kick return man Dante Hall. Those programs will air throughout the regular season as well.

Friday Network Headlines


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Newschannel 6 Crowns 3rd Sports Apprentice

Source: KTAL The Dave" made his choice and Jonathan Posey was crowned Newschannel 6`s 3rd sports apprentice live from Mudbug Madness. According to Dave Schwartz, Posey barely beat out finalist Megan Carpenter for the $1,000 prize. Jonathan joins Joel Rogers and Mark Wethington as the trio of sports apprentices.

Hmmm...just in time for the end of sweeps. I guess since sweeps is over all the stations can relax now. Some may be sweating wanting to know, or not ,, what the numbers will show.

Up to 50 Jobs to Be Lost at CBS News

Source: TV Week CBS News began the task Thursday morning of notifying people who will lose their jobs as a result of the cancellation of "60 Minutes Wednesday."

Sources said the toll could be as many as 50 jobs lost out of an estimated 75 that had been put in doubt by the May 18 announcement by CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves that the network will take the seven-season-old newsmagazine off the schedule for the 2005-06 season.

It was not immediately known who received the grim news Thursday. A CBS News spokeswoman declined to comment.

Network Morning Show Wars: Measuring The Gap

Source: TV Newser Fall into the gap. The Today Show is the #1 morning news broadcast for the 493th straight week, but GMA closed the gap with NBC to 90,000 viewers last week, according to an ABC press release. (Between Monday and Thursday, the gap was 8,000 viewers.) But two weeks ago, the gap was only 40,000 viewers. This time last year, the gap was at 880,000 viewers. ABC's press release says GMA "continued to slash the gap," shrinking The Today Show's lead by 90% in total viewers.

> GMA tied Today on Monday and beat NBC on Tuesday, a press release notes. (That means NBC won every other day, a staffer noted.)

For the week of May 16, in total viewers and the 25-54 demo:
NBC: 5,660,000 / 2,760,000 ABC: 5,570,000 / 2,620,000 CBS: 2,670,000 / 1,290,000

> Two days ago (Tuesday), Today beat GMA by almost a million viewers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NBC News Top Exec Out ?

Drudge reports: Neal Shapiro fired as head of NBCNEWS, top insider tells DRUDGE... Steve Capus, exec producer of NIGHTLYNEWS, to be named president.

UPDATE: TV Newser says: But NBC is denying the Drudge report. "Drudge is wrong on all counts," an NBC spokesperson said this evening. "Neal is the president of NBC News." UPDATE: 6:02PM: But another source tells TVNewser that Shapiro is literally packing up his office right now.

UPDATE: Drudge now says: Neal Shapiro soon to be moved out as head of NBCNEWS, top insiders tells DRUDGE... Shapiro found out last night and has told people he isn't coming back...

UPDATE: 11:04pm EDT The New York Times reports: Neal Shapiro, the president of NBC News since 2001, has told his superiors at the network in recent days that he would like to leave his post, two senior executives at NBC Universal said Wednesday.

In informing Mr. Zucker and Robert C. Wright, chairman of NBC Universal, of his desire to leave his job, Mr. Shapiro appeared to be seeking to jump before being pushed, said one senior network executive, who, like the other, insisted on anonymity because the network had not authorized them to discuss the matter.

Gannett Names Craig Dubow as CEO

Source: Reuters Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. Inc. said Wednesday its board has elected Craig Dubow as president and chief executive officer, effective July 15.

Douglas McCorkindale, Gannett's chairman, president and CEO, will continue as chairman under his employment agreement, which ends on July 1, 2006, the company said.

Dubow is currently president and CEO of Gannett's broadcasting division. He was also elected to Gannett's board.

Gannett owns KTHV in Little Rock.

Wednesday Network Headlines

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Only on ATN: Lucie Speaks About New Job

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Arkansas TV News received this e-mail from KATV Weekend Met Devon Lucie:

"Yes, the rumors you hear are correct. I'll be leaving to Las Vegas Monday June 6th which means Sunday the 5th will be my last day. My new station will be KVVU Fox 5 which will offer me a great chance to forward my career and broadcasting skills as a meteorologist, not to mention having a nice side effect of high visibility.

KATV was the best thing that happened to me over the last 8 years. It's been a great opportunity to be able to work for one of the finest ABC affiliates in the country and have made many great friendships at the station and within the community that will last a life time.

Devon "

Arkansas TV News thanks Lucie for taking the time to respond to some questions we e-mailed him.

Network Evening News #s: Week of May 16

Source: TV Newser The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams was the #1 evening newscast last week, averaging 460,000 more viewers than ABC's World News Tonight. ABC came in first place in the 25-54 demo though: "Despite lower coverage on Thursday (92%) due to an NBA Game, World News Tonight outperformed Nightly News by 20,000 Adults 25-54. The ABC News broadcast ranked first among demo viewers on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday," a press release says. Here are the numbers, provided by ABC, for total viewers:

NBC: 8,470,000 ABC: 8,010,000 CBS: 6,490,000

Monday, May 23, 2005

KATV Weekend Met Position Open

Looks as though KATV is looking to fill a few good jobs INCLUDING the weekend met's position. SO with that said is current weekend Met Devon Lucie leaving? I have noticed Devon is nowhere to be seen in the "KATV is Weather" promos.

Update: 6:55 pm EDT This from a blog reader: "Devon is another good one who's fleeing a sinking ship. I hear he's heading to Las Vegas. He'll do well there. Good luck Devon."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

CBS Turns To Entertainment Executives For 'Evening News' Advice

Source: Drudge The development of a permanent successor to Dan Rather on the CBS EVENING NEWS has been shrouded in secrecy, but a meeting last Tuesday at the headquarters of the network's parent company, VIACOM, suggests that CBS is canvassing opinions from people well outside the news division, the NEW YORK TIMES is planning to report on Monday.

CBS NEWS executives are said to be disappointment that people from the "entertainment" side of VIACOM were being given a voice in the affairs of CBS News.

Who was at the CBS EVENING NEWS meeting?

Terry Wood, who developed the "Dr. Phil" talk show and "The Insider," a celebrity news program, and David Sirulnick, executive vice president of news at MTV, among others.

Anchor Rewind Sunday at KTAL

A longtime Shreveport anchor re-appeared Sunday on KTAL, Channel 6 as part of the station's Anchor Rewind Weekend. Former KTAL and KSLA anchor Karin Adams was at the anchor desk Sunday. Adams got her start in tv at KTAL in 1982. In 1984 Adams went to KSLA, Channel 12 and anchored there for 14 years.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Yet Another Anchor Rewind Weekend at KTAL

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Ok I missed the first few minutes of the 6pm newscast on KTAL Saturday BUT when I flipped the tv to channel 6 I recognized the voice and face but couldn't come up with a name. THEN I finally remembered the anchor in the chair was Tony Taglavore. Taglavore was an anchor/reporter for KSLA, Channel 12 for 18 years. Taglavore left KSLA in 2003 to become the news director of KAVU-TV/KVCT in Victoria, Texas. Today Taglavore is News Director at KTVE/KARD in Monroe Louisiana.

KLRT, KTHV Cover "Welcome Home Arkansas Heros" Ceremony

Both KTHV and KLRT out of Little Rock carried the event live. KLRT's coverage was simulcasted on the Arkansas Educational Television Network.

UPDATE: The audio of the event seems to be better on the KLRT feed. I am watching the KLRT feed via AETN. KLRT seems to have a direct feed of the audio while KTHV seems to have stuck a mic in front of a speaker.

Graphics wise, KLRT seems to have borrowed the LIVE bug of the Fox News Channel with the Amercian flag flying behind it. Down in the lower right, KLRT has it's FOX 16 Bug with another American flag with "Welcome Home Arkansas Heros" toppoing it off. KTHV simply has some lower thirds on the screen. Of course they are red, white and blue, with the 11 bug in the lower right and Welcome Home Arkansas Heros in the lower left. Written across the bottom is "War Memorial Stadium" with the LIVE bug.

UPDATE: KTHV was first to cutaway and get back to regular programming. THV wrapped up it's broadcast around 11:20am while KLRT is still at it. KLRT seems to have brought in the most reporters to cover the event. Liz Massey, Craig O'Neal and another reporter whose name I didn't catch, covered the event for THV. Not very familiar with the KLRT folks BUT they brought out the forces.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Equity Throws Another 10 p.m. News Program In The Mix

Source: Arkansas Business.com Equity and KYPX, Doug Krile is on his way to becoming the hardest-working man in the TV news business.

Krile, who hosts a new talk-back news program on KWBF-TV, Channel 42, weekdays at 5:30 p.m., will be anchoring a full-fledged newscast at 10 p.m. beginning July 1 on KYPX. Equity Broadcasting, where Krile is also head of marketing and public relations, owns both stations.

“We’re very excited about this,” spokesman Neal Ardman said. “Unlike his 5:30 show, which is a little different from the mainstream news format, the 10 p.m. show will be more similar to what viewers expect out of a straightforward news format.”

Krile’s 5:30 p.m. news program on WB42 started going up against the big three networks’ news programs earlier this spring.

“He’ll be doing both the 5:30 show and the 10 p.m. show,” he said. “He enjoys what he does and since the two shows have different formats, it’ll keep things interesting for him and the people who enjoy getting their news from him.”

Ardman wouldn’t comment on whether other personalities have been hired yet for the newscast but did say, “we’ll be ready by July 1, I can promise you that much.”

And while we’re talking about KWBF, Ardman also said the hit shows “Sex and the City” and “South Park” will also soon be hitting syndication on the Equity-owned station.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

CBS Testing Post-Rather 'News' Plan

Source: Hollywood Reporter CBS said Wednesday it will experiment with its evening newscast in the coming months as the network decides what direction to go in the post-Dan Rather era.

CBS News president Andrew Heyward said the moves would be built around what already has been done with temporary anchor Bob Schieffer, who took over at "CBS Evening News" on March 10. Schieffer has brought new life to the single-anchor format, spending time talking to the correspondents on-air and asking them questions instead of the standard stand-up reports common to the format.

Heyward offered few details about the reworking of "Evening News," though he said it probably would be built around several correspondents that could include Schieffer, who also is host of "Face the Nation" and is the network's chief Washington correspondent.
"We haven't worked that out yet," Heyward said.

Heyward said CBS News was looking beyond the anchor as the "voice of God." But don't count on "Evening News" to follow the lead of "The Early Show," which has four anchors, or the multiple anchors/multiple cities model that was the trademark of ABC's "World News Tonight" in the late 1970s and early '80s.

That was an innovation in Roone Arledge's time, but it wouldn't work today, Heyward said. He feels Schieffer's manner and style are a good fit.

"We like what we've seen so far," Heyward said. He said the spring and summer were a good time to make tweaks because of the higher amounts of sampling seen during those times.

But whatever the future holds for "Evening News," it isn't likely to include "Today" show host Katie Couric. Moonves confirmed that CBS "had a discussion with Katie Couric" but that the NBC News star was locked up in a contract and wasn't likely to jump to anchor "Evening News." He added, "I think she'll be at the 'Today' show for a very, very long time."

Numbers are in: ABC's 'America' Close to 'Today'

Source: Associated Press Network TV's morning news battle is getting hotter, with ABC's "Good Morning America" finishing closer to NBC's "Today" show in popularity last week than it has since 1995.

"Today" averaged 5.64 million viewers last week, with "GMA" at 5.60 million, according to figures released on Thursday by Nielsen Media Research.
The NBC show has won in the ratings for 492 consecutive weeks, an unparalleled record of dominance in an area of television that is growing in importance. The "Today" show is NBC's most profitable program.

Mindful of the ratings slump, NBC last month replaced the "Today" executive producer with a new two-person team.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

THV to Provide LIVE, Ad Free 'Welcome Home Arkansas Heros" Coverage Saturday

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Source: Today's THV.com Today's THV, Channel 11 will provide LIVE, Commercial free coverage of the "Welcome Home Arkansas Heros" ceremony at War Memorial Stadium Saturday. Today’s THV will begin live, commercial-free coverage at 10 a.m. until the ceremony is finished.

This Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21, at War Memorial Stadium, Arkansas will witness what may be its largest military celebration in history as the state recognizes our Arkansas troops for the role they have played supporting the War on Terrorism.

Does KARK or KATV have plans to carry the ceremony?

Fox to Start Network Morning show in 2006

Source: FTVLIVE.com Sources tell FTVLive that Fox Television is going to launch a morning news show in 2006. Word is that Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan is heading the secret project that should hit the air around March 2006.

"It will be much more like the Today Show and unlike Good Day Live," says an Insider. Word is the show is tentatively set to run from 8-10 or 9-11AM on all the Fox owned stations.

The network is hoping that most of their affiliates will clear the show as well. It is expected that the show be broadcast and produced at the Fox News headquarters, but that Fox News will have little input into the show (Although they may produce the news segments inside the show).

"Fox is jumping into this with both feet and they are willing to spend the big bucks to make it work," says our source.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams' Wins The Week Of May 9-13, 2005 In All Categories

Source: NBC Press Release According to Nielsen Media Research data, "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" easily dominated ABC and CBS, winning all five nights during the week of May 9 ? 13, 2005. For the week, the Williams-led newscast attracted 8.765 million total viewers, a whopping 10% (+769,000) advantage over ABC "World News Tonight's" 7.996 million, and a 34% (+2,221,000) lead over CBS "Evening News'" 6.544 million. This represents the program's best advantage over ABC since the week of January 17, 2005. "Nightly News" has now placed first in total viewers for 45 straight weeks.

In homes, "Nightly News" was also top-rated, posting a 6.4 rating and a 14 share, 12% more than ABC's 5.7/12, and 36% more than CBS' 4.7/10 rating.

Among the demographics women, men and adults 25-54, the NBC broadcast was No. 1 in each category. Specifically among adults 25-54, "Nightly News" had a 2.3 rating, 5% more than second place ABC's 2.2, and a 35% lead over CBS' 1.7 rating. "Nightly News" has now placed first in adults 25-54 for 28 of the last 35 weeks (eight ties) this season, 64 of the last 77 weeks (17 ties) and 171 of the last 190 weeks (23 ties). Season-to-date, the NBC program is topping ABC by 8% among adults 25-54.

Same Story, Different Station

Is this a sign it's getting difficult to come up with original "sweeps stories"?

An e-mailer sent in this: "KTHV did a story last night (May 16) about the Kenda Drive-In in Marshall I think. KATV did the story first 1 year or so ago about the same place. THV even had similar shots of the old drive-in on Asher.Seems funny that waited thinking no one would remember KATV did it first."

It Was A "Raymond" Blowout Monday Night


Additional from Broadcasting and Cable The Bachelor may have given out his final rose Monday night, but the three-hour extravaganza (3.9 rating/10 share) fell well below both the final yuks from Everybody Loves Raymond (a 10.8 rating/25 share for the final episode at 9, plus a 7.3/21 for an hour special, Raymond: Last Laugh, at 8-9), and the second-to-the- last episode of Fox's 24 (5.2/12).

CBS won the night with an average 8.3/10, also helped by an 8.2/19 for Two & a Half Men, its personal best rating by a bunch thanks to that powerhouse Raymond lead-in.
Fox was second with a 4.1/10 for 24 and Nanny 911 (3/8). ABC was a close third for The Bachelor, while NBC was a distant fourth with a 2.5/6 for its three-hour Hercules.

UPN nipped The WB for fifth with a 1.7/4 for its sitcom lineup to WB's 1.6/4 for its dramas.

'Good Morning America' Gains on 'Today'

Source: New York Times The "Today" show's lead over "Good Morning America" dwindled to perhaps 70,000 viewers last week, according to early estimates provided yesterday to NBC and ABC by Nielsen Media Research.

If those figures hold - the final numbers will be released by Nielsen on Thursday - then "Good Morning America" will have been its closest to "Today" at least in a given week, since December 1995. That is the last time that "Good Morning America," on ABC, beat "Today," on NBC, in the weekly ratings.

In recent years, the lead by "Today" over "Good Morning America" has been as much as two million viewers. Thus far, for the season that began in September, "Today" (average audience about 6 million viewers) has led "Good Morning America" (about 5.4 million) by more than 600,000 viewers.

But in recent weeks, the lead has become so narrow (about 300,000, during the week of May 2) that NBC replaced the program's executive producer last month.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Koon: gma/Daybreak "Tends to Grow on You"

Arkansas Times writer David Koon recently wrote an article about the nearly one month old, all female,(except Jason Harper) gma/Daybreak on KATV. In the article KATV News Director Dandy Dixon says "the change has been in the works for several months and is the brainchild of himself and Channel 7 general manager Dale Nicholson."

Dixon says, “We liked the idea of having two traditional broadcasters … but then to have two kind of non-broadcasters,” Dixon said. “It just happened that the two that we thought jelled the best happened to be women.” By going outside the field of broadcast pros for talent, Dixon said, he hopes the show will offer a different and interesting perspective. Asked if he thinks the all-female show might scare off the male audience, Dixon said, “From a content standpoint, the show shouldn’t alienate anybody.”

And on the subject of complaints Dixon has this to say: “I’ve gotten a lot of good comments on it and there’s some people who don’t like it,” Dixon said. “Part of the complaints are that they say it’s a bunch of women sitting around, but I think if they’d watch the program they’d see that that’s not what it is.”

Arkansas Times writer David Koons wrote this review of the program:
So, how is it? While clearly still a work in progress, for the most part the new “Daybreak” is surprisingly informative and fun. Does it seem like an awful lot of heads trying to fill a very small screen? Sure. But after watching the show for a while — and a few cups of coffee — the truth is: It tends to grow on you. While Mayo still seems a little stiff, Capri a little over-caffeinated and Kondo a little silent (I’m assuming that, like most print folks, Kondo thinks of exactly the right thing to say in a given situation just about four-and-a-half hours after the situation is over), their impromptu chats are getting more and more impromptu as the weeks roll on, giving the show pretty much the feel that Dixon and Co. seem to have been aiming for: like you’ve stumbled into an early morning coffee klatch — something KATV might build on by not having the quartet constantly bounce back and forth between the central desk and the more relaxed coffee-table-and-easy-chairs set.

On the downside, both Kondo and Capri (while both sincere and genuine, even laughing it off when they flub a line) need to go home, turn on the closed-captioning on their TVs, and read the dialogue until it doesn’t sound like they’re reading the dialogue. (I can’t gripe too much here, as the thought of reading something from a teleprompter gives me the out-and-out willies — which is why the only time you’ll ever see me on TV is when I inevitably get my turn, as all Arkansans eventually will, to tell a soaking-wet reporter that “the tornader sounded just like a freight train.”)

In the end, the success or failure of the new “Daybreak” will depend on whether people can get over their “View”-phobia and take a chance on it; which in turn depends on whether or not the four principals can continue coalescing into something resembling a group of friends who happen to work on the same TV show. In a situation so dependent on chemistry, the idea that these four are anything other than best pals might well sink the ship. For now, however, steady as she goes.

The complete article can be found HERE.

I guess the viewers will be the real judge and we'll all be able to see what they think when the ratings come out.

ABC News Prez: It's All About Quality

Pretty good commentary piece in today's Wall Street Journal by ABC News President David Westin on what it will take to win viewers to newscasts in the digital age. Westin says it will take quality.
We need to demonstrate to the American people, relentlessly, a quality of journalism so great that everyone recognizes it and no one can deny it. That way, when people look at all the myriad alternatives for their news, they will choose us -- no longer because they lack any viable alternative but increasingly because, despite the alternatives, they value what we have to report.

Read the complete commentary HERE.

ABC's 'GMA' First in Hi-Def Race

Source: New York Post ABC's "Good Morning America" will go high- definition starting this fall — getting a jump on its competitors.

Both "GMA's" weekday and weekend editions will air in high-definition, most likely by October or thereabouts.

It will mark the first time ever that regularly scheduled commercial network news programming will air in HDTV, which produces a much sharper picture due to better resolution.
"We did [high-definition] in connection with the [presidential] inauguration and we were struck by how effective it was," says ABC News president David Westin. "The applications are dramatic."

Westin said the "GMA" studios will be revamped to accommodate the new high-definition cameras and equipment — and that other ABC News programs will eventually follow suit.
"That will be coming inevitably," he said. "We decided to try this where it made the most sense. We can do things with 'GMA' where [high-definition] can affect our programming."

ABC is also planning to match the video coming in from the field — which isn't shot in high-definition — as closely as possible to the in-studio high-definition picture. "Viewers will certainly see a difference between the studio and the material coming in from the field, but it won't be as stark as today's standard definition [picture] as compared to high-definition," says Preston Davis, president of ABC's broadcast operations and engineering.

"What we do is 'up-convert' the tape to give it the same resolution as high-definition," Davis says. What we do is 'up-convert' the tape to give it the same resolution as high-definition," Davis says.

As it stands now, "GMA's" competitors, the "Today" show on NBC and "The Early Show" on CBS, won't be airing in high-definition by the fall.

"Our main [high-definition] focus to this point has been sports and entertainment," a CBS News spokesman said.

NBC officials were unavailable for comment.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Another Anchor Rewind Weekend at KTAL

Former KTAL Sports Director/anchor Darrell Rebouche anchored the 6pm newscast Saturday. Rebouche left KTAL a couple of years ago. Currently Rebouche does sports for News Radio 710 KEEL in Shreveport.

UPDATE: It was announced during the 6pm Saturday newscast Al Pierce would be anchoring the rest of the weekend and former KTBS Channel 3 Sports anchor Ed Baswell would be covering sports on Sunday!

UPDATE: 05/15/05 11:11pm It was a reunion of sorts as 3 former KTBS anchors worked the desk on KTAL Sunday night. Al Pierce anchored the news, Ed Baswell was on sports and and on weather was former KTBS meteorologist/current KTAL Chief Met Todd Warren. A short little video clip from 1989 was shown when the 3 were on the air together at KTBS. It was really cool to see the them back on the air together.

Why Is There Nothing To Watch In The Morning?

Source: The Day.com Fraizer Moore wants to know the answer to this question: Why won't any TV network create a wake-up program I can get up for?

Moore writes: Morning news shows are in the news right now. On NBC, queen bee Katie Couric is losing favor while “Today” finds its dominance threatened by ABC runner-up “Good Morning America.” But even with this tightening race, what I find most remarkable is hardly news: All three broadcast networks (including CBS' also-ran “The Early Show”) compete for audience with essentially the same show.

On each network you find news, sure, and the occasional probing interview. Also concerts and star chats and sign-waving fans and expeditions hither-and-yon and breezy advice on how to transform your life. (Three tips on readying your personal ad for the Web, courtesy of “Good Morning America”: be specific, use a flattering photo, and try to spell everything correctly. Now go snag your true love!)

Read the complete article HERE.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fox Wins Revenue Race

Source: Broadcasting and Cable News Corp.’s Fox Television Stations unit, the country’s largest broadcast-TV station group, also grabbed the biggest chunk of revenue in the local TV industry last year, according to BIA Financial Network, which tracks local station financials. In 2004, Fox’s 35 local stations pulled in $2.4 billion in revenue, up 35% from 2000. (Fox has added 12 new stations to its group since 2000.)

CBS/Viacom, which owns 34 stations, nabbed $1.95 billion in station revenues, up 12.8% from 2000, when it counted 31 stations. NBC Universal followed in a close third with $1.93 billion in revenue. Its profits have soared 32% since 2000, in part because the NBC-owned group has grown from 12 stations to 29 outlets. NBC picked up 13 Telemundo stations when it bought the network four years ago.

Tribune Broadcasting recorded the fourth-largest revenues, $1.3 billion for its 26 stations, which are mostly WB and Fox stations. ABC/Disney, the smallest station group in the top ten with 10 outlets, took in $1.2 billion in revenue.

The remaining groups ranking in the top 10 were: Gannett Broadcasting, with $918 million for its 20 stations; Hearst-Argyle Television, with $827 million for 25 stations; Belo Corp., with $730 million for 19 stations; Univision Communications, with $660 million for 36 stations; and Cox Broadcasting, with $649 million for 14 stations.

February Nielsens Show Small Changes in NWA

Some blog readers have requested I post TV news about NorthWest Arkansas. So here we go:

Source: Arkansas Business.com In the February Nielsen ratings, KFSM, Channel 5, led once again in the 11-county dominant market area while KHBS/KHOG, Channels 40/29, won in Northwest Arkansas (Benton and Washington counties combined) in the households rating category.

Traditionally, KFSM, the CBS affiliate, has been stronger in the Fort Smith market and the entire DMA while KHOG, the ABC affiliate, has prevailed in Northwest Arkansas.

KNWA, the NBC affiliate, posted slightly lower numbers than it had in the November ratings period, which was the first Nielsen ratings since KNWA switched its name from NBC 24/51 and changed its focus to Northwest Arkansas.

For the entire DMA, KNWA dropped from a 2 rating to 1 during the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts and from a 4 rating to 3 during the 10 p.m. news. KNWA also dropped by one rating point (from 3 to 2) in Washington and Benton counties during the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. time slots while maintaining its 5 rating at 10 p.m.

“Rating” is percentage of television households in the area. KNWA has struggled to increase its ratings since relaunching its newscast in 2000 after eight years off the air.

KNWA had stopped subscribing to the Nielsen trade area reports, but the station’s numbers are still supplied to the other television stations and to area advertising stations.

KFSM and KHBS/KHOG both dipped during the all-important 10 p.m. news slot. For the entire DMA, KFSM dropped from a 13 rating to 11 since November, and KHBS/KHOG dropped from 11 to 9. In Washington and Benton counties combined, KFSM dropped from a 9 rating to 6 at 10 p.m., and KHBS/KHOG slipped from a 12 rating to 10.

Well it seems alot of people want a place to discuss LOCAL NEWS MEDIA. To compliment the blog I have created a local news message board. Feel free venture on over there and starting discussing. BTW the blog will still exist.

KATV Owner Likes the Company Perks

Update: Below is the article I should have posted this morning. Thought i did BUT anyway, this story is from Friday, May 6, 2005.

Source: Washington Post On Feb. 4, 2003, John Koloszar, the personal driver and bodyguard for Joe L. Allbritton, drove off the Euro Motorcars lot in Bethesda in a sparkling new, emerald green Mercedes sedan, fully loaded. The S430, with a V-8 engine and all-wheel drive and tan interior, had 12 miles on it. The price tag: $91,444.

According to sources, Koloszar drove Allbritton's new ride to the 17th Street NW headquarters of Riggs Bank and presented the invoice to David Eisner, a manager in accounts payable. Eisner -- a longtime Riggs employee who was accustomed to cutting checks for items purchased by the Allbritton family for the bank -- refused to authorize payment.

Eisner was backed up by bank Chief Financial Officer Steven T. Tamburo: Allbritton was not a bank employee; it wasn't company policy to provide cars for directors, and the automobile had not been bought through normal channels.

Then Koloszar asked the president of the bank, Lawrence I. Hebert, to authorize payment.
Hebert did. And Allbritton had his green Mercedes, paid for by the shareholders of Riggs.
At the time, Allbritton was a board member but not a Riggs employee. He had resigned as chief executive two years earlier, handing over management to his son, Robert, and his longtime business lieutenant, Hebert.

In Allbritton's years at Riggs, even as he began to relinquish control, he often used the bank to pay for expensive items and services from which he and his family benefited, according to sources with direct knowledge and other people familiar with an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into use of the bank's assets. The sources, and vehicle ownership records, also confirmed how payment was obtained for the Mercedes. MORE

This story is from July of last year.
Source: Washington Post The bank is under investigation by federal examiners and law enforcement officials, as well as by at least three congressional committees, for years-long violations of anti-money-laundering rules. Of particular interest is the embassy division, especially transactions in hundreds of accounts associated with Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea and Pinochet.

Two top bank regulators -- the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- recently began a targeted review of Joe Allbritton's activities at the bank and its holding company, Riggs National Corp., to see if he violated any laws and whether any civil fines or criminal referrals to the Department of Justice should be made, government sources familiar with the investigation said.

At issue is whether Allbritton was an active participant in the daily operations of the bank even though he has not been a director or executive of the bank for three years, the sources said. If regulators determine he was an active participant, then he could face fines or other sanctions, government sources said.

Allbritton said yesterday he has not been named a target of a criminal probe.

Read complete article HERE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"Weather on the Go" Now Offered By KARK, KTAL

Nexstar stations KARK in LR and KTAL in Shreveport have struck a deal with AccuWeather to deliver severe weather messages and forecasts to cell phones. The service is available to Verizon Wireless, Cingular, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile and Nextel customers. It's "free" but your service provider will include a charge on your bill. More info can be found on KARK's website OR KTAL's website.

A Great Opportunity for "Someone"

Just found this on KARK's website:
Do you love the mornings? Can you wake my viewers up? KARK-TV is looking for a dynamic Weekday Morning Anchor/Reporter with a minimum of four years experience. Enthusiasm and creativity a must! You must have good writing and editorial skills. Send resume, tape, and news philosophy to Rick Iler, News Director, 1401 West Capitol Ave., Suite 104, Little Rock AR. 72201. No Calls Please!

Sounds like a GOOD opportunity for a former KATV'er that use to grace the TV screen in the mornings.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Say Hello To Katy

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Source: KATV.com The name our mascot contest has ended at Channel 7. Viewers overwhelmingly picked KATY as the name for the newest member of the KATV team.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Former KARK Anchor/Reporter Returns to Air in Shreveport

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Earlier today I thought I was seeing things SO I tuned into KTAL at 10 Sunday night and it seems I wasn't seeing things, former KARK anchor/reporter Margaret Preston was at the anchor desk. It seems as though Preston worked in the Shreveport market before heading to KARK in Little Rock. Preston commented Sunday night her last appearance in the Shreveport area was back in 1987. The pic above is from her days at KARK.

In the month of May former Shreveport anchor/reporters are being featured at the anchor desk every weekend.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Another KTAL Alum At the Anchor Desk

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Former KTAL anchor/reporter Johnette Hawkins McCrery is at the anchor desk this weekend. McCrery worked for KTAL fresh right out of college in the early 90's. McCrery is the wife of Louisiana Congressman Jim McCrery. McCrery and family currently live in Virginia.

Friday, May 06, 2005

KTAL Commits to Dallas Cowboys Coverage

Source: KTAL.com KTAL NewsChannel 6 has reached an exclusive three-year agreement to bring Dallas Cowboys coverage and pre-season game broadcasts to the viewing area.

The Cowboys can be seen on KTAL in three pre-season games, along with three pre-game shows, and an array of Cowboys broadcasts throughout the NFL regular season and beyond.The Cowboys’ pre-season games will be broadcast on KTAL Saturday, August 13th, with a 9:00 pm kickoff; Saturday, August 27th, with kickoff at 7:00pm; and Thursday, September 1st, with kickoff slated for 6:00pm.

“The Cowboys are a perfect fit for KTAL, as we gear up for the return of NFL football to NBC in fall 2006,” said KTAL Vice President and General Manager Scott Thomas. “The Cowboys and NBC Sunday Night Football, along with NASCAR, PGA golf and the Olympics make KTAL the station to watch for sports in the Four States.”

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

'World News Tonight' Claims Weekly Viewership Win

Source: TV Week In a week marked by a scrambled schedules due to President Bush's last-minute scheduling -- and rescheduling -- of a live prime-time press conference, "ABC World News Tonight" claimed a viewership victory that, at the very least, requires an asterisk.

All Big Three network flagship newscasts had lower-than-usual clearances the week of April 25-29 because the Bush press conference cut into local news time in Western time zones, causing some stations to shelve the networks' half-hours to preserve local coverage on the opening night of the May sweeps ratings period.

Only "ABC World News Tonight" was so disrupted that it could subtract Thursday from its final performance equation. Nielsen Media Research rules say coverage (ordinarily about 99 percent, indicating that the program could be seen in about 99 percent of the country) must dip by more than 10 percent to factor the night out. "World News" coverage was at 81 percent Thursday; "NBC Nightly News" coverage was 89 percent; and "CBS Evening News" was at 94 percent.

For its four nights the week ended April 29, "World News" averaged 8.89 million viewers, while "NBC Nightly News" came in second with 8.78 million and "CBS Evening News" averaged 6.85 million.

"If Thursday were knocked out [for all], we would have won the week," said a "Nightly News" spokeswoman. An ABC News spokeswoman said that "World News" still would have won the tight race for viewers 25 to 54, the key news demographic.

Worth noting in this apples-to-oranges race: Even counting a diminished Thursday night, the average for "CBS Evening News" was up 9 percent from its People-Meter-era low of 6.11 million total viewers the previous week.

Nexstar Stands Firm on Retrans Fees

Source: TV Week Nexstar Communications Chairman Perry Sook said Wednesday he isn't budging on his stance against cable operators carrying his stations' signals without paying a retransmission fee. He also indicated more cable operators could lose Nexstar stations unless they agree to pay a monthly per-subscriber fee.

Mr. Sook and Nexstar are currently locked in a pitched battle with Cox Communications and Cable One over Nexstar's demand that the cable operators pay Nexstar a monthly per-sub fee of between 25 cents and 30 cents to carry Nexstar's local network-affiliated stations in Joplin, Mo., and Texarkana, Abilene and San Angelo, Texas. Those cable operators refused to pay, and Nexstar pulled the channels from Cox's and Cable One's lineups. (The company does receive carriage compensation from the two major satellite operators.)

Others could follow.

Mr. Sook, during a conference call to discuss the company's first-quarter results, said that a "substantial amount of [cable carriage] agreements" expire at the end of 2005 or in early 2006, and that while "the dynamics [of each market] will be taken into account market by market," he isn't backing down from his demand that cable operators pay broadcasters to carry their signals.

Mr. Sook noted that he was encouraged by comments by Viacom co-President and co-Chief Operating Officer Leslie Moonves, who last month floated the idea that his CBS and UPN stations might one day also demand payment from cable operators to carry signals from Viacom's owned-and-operated stations.

According to Mr. Sook, the advertising impact of the standoff between Nexstar and cable operators has been minimal, with a number of initially skittish advertisers returning to the Nexstar stations after the release of February ratings data, which he said showed that the stations have not been hurt significantly by the lack of cable carriage.

However, the retrans issue loomed over Nexstar's decision not to sign up for NBC Weather Plus, the 24-hour weather channel developed as a 50-50 joint venture between NBC Universal and NBC affiliates. Mr. Sook said that because NBCU's business plan did not include being paid a sub fee, he wasn't keen on bringing the channel to his stations.

DCG Comments: Hmmm....do you think KARK could get into the play of asking for a retrans fee from cable subscribers? The next year or so could prove to be an interesting one.

KATV's Puppy Picked

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Source: KATV.com Well it looks as though KATV viewers have picked the puppy it wants to be the gma Daybreak mascot. NOW KATV want's suggestions for a name. KATV has adopted the puppy pictured above from the Pulaski County Humane Society. The puppy is an Aussie mix; 2-years old; female; black with brown highlightsLikes to ride in car, sits, leash broken, crate trained, Loves everyone, especially children.

Viewers have 5 names to choose from for the puppy's name. They are: Daybreak, Newstar, Katy, Lucky and Seven. I was kinda hoping KATV would take viewer suggestions via e-mail. I think Twister would have been the perfect name.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group Reports 2005 First Quarter Results

Source: Business Wire Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005.

Summary 2005 First Quarter Highlights:

Reported total net revenue for the 2005 first quarter was $52.7 million, a decrease of 2.8% from net revenue of $54.2 million in the 2004 first quarter. Nexstar's previous guidance, issued on March 4, 2005, was for 2005 first quarter total net revenue to be approximately $51.5 to $52.5 million, or a decrease of approximately 3.1% - 5.0%. MORE

Nexstar is the parent company of KARK, Little Rock and KTAL, Shreveport.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Todaysthv.Com Most Popular with LR Web Surfers

Source: The Media Audit.com According to recent survey results from The Media Audit, todaysthv.com is the most visited TV website of Little Rock web surfers. The October-November, 2004, measurement period report is based on 700 telephone interviews with a random sample of persons age 18 plus in the Little Rock metropolitan area.

Here are some of the important highlights from the latest edition of THE MEDIA AUDIT...
Online/Internet Activity. (66.4%) of all Little Rock adults logged onto an online service or the Internet during the past 30 days.

Most Visited Websites October/November 2004

19.0% KATV.COM
14.2% KARK.COM
4.6% FOX16.COM (KLRT-TV)

11.8% AOL
20.6% MSN
29.2% YAHOO


Sunday, May 01, 2005

Legendary Anchors Take the Desk at KTAL

Apparently KTAL will be featuring different "legendary anchors" every weekend through-out the month of May. At least that's what I can gather from this story at the station's website:
Legendary newsman Al Pierce will be anchoring Newschannel 6 newscasts all weekend. Pierce worked here at Newschannel 6 in the 70s. Be sure to watch Saturday and Sunday`s news shows to Pierce and stay tuned through May to see what other familiar faces you`ll see here on the News Station.
Pierce commented Sunday night that he has been off TV for 9 years. Pierce last worked at KTBS, Channel 3.

New Station Coming to Texarkana

Texarkana Cable One customers will soon be getting a new channel. KTEV, Channel 19 is being billed as "The Texarkana Channel." KTEV is currently streaming it'sprogramming on the internet. From information available on it's website, KTEV's studios are located inside the Oaklawn Opry in Texarkana, Texas.

Former KATV Anchor/Reporter Set to Host Auction

Source: Arkansas Democrat Gazette (sub needed) I wonder with her departure from KATV, if Julia Grayson will still host this event:
More than 175 works of art including paintings, photography and books of poetry will be on display and on sale at Expressions, a benefit on Thursday for Birch Tree Communities, a nonprofit organization serving 300 Arkansans with mental illness.

Julie Grayson of KATV, Channel 7, will host a live auction during Expressions. There will be live music and refreshments during the fundraiser. Expressions Art Show and Sale runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi St., Little Rock.