Welcome to TVBR's Daily Epaper
Volume 25, Issue 4, Jim Carnegie, Editor & Publisher
Tuesday Morning January 8th, 2008
WGA Strike Central: Day 65
Golden Globes awards show a no-show
With essentially no actors willing to cross WGA picket lines, NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) have pulled the plug on Sunday's gala broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards. What will air instead will be a stripped down broadcast largely produced by NBC News, rather than the entertainment division. According to the Los Angeles Times, an NBC email sent to the studios yesterday spelled out the plan: at 7:00 pm ET a one-hour "Dateline" with clips and interviews with nominees; at 8:00 a one-hour retrospective/clip show (although negotiations were still taking place with Dick Clark Enterprises on that); at 9:00 an HFPA press conference covered by NBC News announcing the winners; at 10:00 a Golden Globes party show, visiting the various parties in Hollywood.

Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel to flip flop
For one night, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel will solve the problem of booking guests during the WGA strike by appearing on each other's show. The swap comes Thursday, with Kimmel traveling to Leno's studio in Burbank and Leno returning the favor in Hollywood. Both shows are taped on the same day they air. "There are only a few people in the world that know how tough this job is," Leno said Sunday. "Jimmy is one of them. It will be fun to discuss who's a good guest, who's a difficult guest and everything else that comes with sitting behind these desks." Joked Kimmel: "If Jay and I can come together and guest on each other's shows, then surely there is hope for peace in the Middle East." ABC's Kimmel came to Leno's defense on the air Wednesday, urging picketing writers to back off. Their jobs were made even more difficult with the reluctance of stars to cross picket lines. SAG has encouraged members to appear on David Letterman's "Late Show" and Craig Ferguson's "Late Late Show," where writers have gone back to work.

Bill Maher returns
to HBO sans writers

HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" returns Friday without writers, his monologue and the closing segment "New Rules." The guest roundtable discussion, however, will stay. The most recent season of "Real Time" was ended early by the strike. The 11/9/07 season finale was canceled and a rerun ran in its place. Monologues performed by hosts who are WGA members are at the center of a controversy driven by Jay Leno's decision to write openings for his show, which returned last week without writers. The WGA has been adamant that, under its strike rules, hosts cannot perform any writing services for their shows, including penning their own monologues. Meanwhile, NBC has claimed that the hosts are exempt and are within their legal right to write monologues according to WGA's 2004 collective bargaining agreement.

"The WGA agreement permits Jay Leno to write his own monologue for `The Tonight Show,'" NBC said in a statement. "The WGA is not permitted to implement rules that conflict with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the studios and the WGA." The agreement between the WGA and AMPTP expired, but its terms remain in effect, Andrea Hartman, EVP/deputy general counsel for NBCU told The AP. "Material written by the person who delivers it on the air" is exempted from the contract. The exception applies to shows outside prime-time, which includes "The Tonight Show." "Our position is that our strike rules don't conflict here and, because he's (Leno) always been employed as a writer" on the show, the contract exception doesn't apply to him, guild spokesman Neal Sacharow was quoted as saying.

WGA signs separate deal with United Artists
The WGA and United Artists announced their own interim bargaining agreement in a joint press release issued yesterday. The deal addresses new media as well, but does not extend to UA parent MGM. Said UA CEO Paula Wagner, the producing partner of UA co-owner Tom Cruise: "This agreement is important, unique, and makes good business sense for United Artists. In keeping with the philosophy of its original founders, artists who sought to create a studio in which artists and their creative visions could flourish, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with the WGA." Said WGA President Patric Verrone: "United Artists has lived up to its name. UA and the writers guild came together and negotiated seriously. The end result is that we have a deal that will put people back to work." The Weinstein Co. is also preparing to seal a deal with striking writers. According to reports, Harvey and Bob Weinstein are waiting for UA to announce its deal with WGA before revealing they have struck an identical pact--allowing both studios to hire striking writers.

TVBR observation: After the Worldwide Pants' deal and now UA and Weinstein, it's looking like this is the way things will get done, potentially marginalizing AMPTP. The final contract will be pattered after these separate deals, no doubt. If they can't come to terms as a whole, then this will be the formula for all. Things will be happening pretty fast from this point on.


TV News ®

It's Showtime at CBS
CBS Corporation CEO Les Moonves had said that CBS Television would be looking to tap the library of its premium cable sister Showtime for programming if the WGA strike wore on. Indeed that has happened, with CBS announcing that the drama "Dexter," with some editing changes for broadcast television, will begin airing Sunday, February 17th, 10-11 pm ET. "We're excited to work with our corporate cousins at Showtime on this unique programming opportunity," Dexter is a high-quality, compelling series that will be new and original programming for most CBS viewers," said Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment. CBS says its airing of Dexter marks the first time a full season of a premium cable drama series will make the transition to network television. Dexter's 12-episode first season will be edited for network television and will be broadcast on 12 consecutive Sundays. Season two recently completed its run on Showtime. Michael C. Hall, pictured, stars as Dexter Morgan, a Miami police detective who is also a serial killer, but a serial killer with a calling - he murders people he is sure are murderers who have escaped justice. According to the Showtime website, the original series was rated "MA" for adult content, graphic language, nudity and "viewer discretion is advised." So, it looks like there will be considerable editing of the version airing on CBS.

Go south, young man
Sure, the 2008 election season has only just begun, and so far only two states have weighed in on the presidential campaign in any concrete way, and none have kicked off their congressional contests. But that doesn't mean its too early to take a look at 2010. We can thank the upcoming census and the reallotment of House seats that will come with it. The states that figure to gain seats are all either in the south or the west; the losers are largely to the north. On the face of it, the trend would seem to favor the Republican party, although political experts who spoke with the Associated Press warned against handicapping such races this far out. Unpredictable political winds and the large effect state legislators will have on drawing new boundaries preclude any attempts to make predictions this far out. Election Data Services and Polidata told AP that its looking like the gainers will be Texas with four new seats, Florida and Arizona with two each and Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah each gaining one. Figuring to shrink are New York and Ohio, each dropping a pair of seats, and ten states facing the loss of one seat, including California, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

TVBR observation: State legislatures will do there best from coast to coast to gerrymander there way to an advantage, so this year's election results at the state capital level will have a huge influence on how these new congressional district boundaries are drawn. The election battles in these states figure to be campaign cash heat-seekers, whether seats are being added or sacrificed. Added seats represent a fresh opportunity for each party, which will not escape the notice of national campaign funds in Washington. And the odds of a cash-rich battle are even greater in states which are losing representation, because the resulting redistricting almost invariably pits one incumbent against another -- a battle with two known commodities who know how to build a warchest.

Tribulations over for daily and Daley
We've been lectured to constantly about the potential perils of print/broadcast cross-ownership. But we never considered the perils of print/baseball ownership, but according to the Washington Post, such perils have been a fact of life for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. He is said to be a lifelong White Sox rather than Cubs fan, and has been at odds with the Trib/Cubs owner Tribune. When Daley criticized structural defects at the Cub's iconic Wrigley Field, Tribune is said to have used its newspaper to unmask structural defects in Daley's administration. The picture was further complicated by Tribune's need for government approval for changes to Wrigley due to its status as a city landmark. However, things have changed, now that Daley friend and supporter Sam Zell is in charge at Tribune. And it looks like participation in the sale of the Cubs by a city/state government partnership, the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, may be on track. The ISFA would not get the team, but it would acquire the stadium. Daley originally opposed the move but according to WaPo may have changed his mind as the deal takes a structure he can live with.

TVBR observation: It's amazing how personal and intimate the fulcrums can sometimes be when looking at major business moves. Neither vertical integration and personal relationships can ever be pushed entirely to the side. So if you want a newspaper, a baseball team, a sports stadium or a television station, it seems it would be helpful to be on Sam Zell's good side. Just head on over to Zell's General Media Store, open up a pop and start dickering over a friendly game of checkers.

CNBC counters Murdoch with Times deal
NBC Universal's CNBC and The New York Times announced an agreement to share content on their websites. Effective yesterday, CNBC video is available on NYTimes.com and some Times articles are being posted on CNBC.com. The new content-sharing deal expands on an existing relationship between the Times and NBC Uni, whereby both NBC and MSNBC have a web content-sharing arrangement with the newspaper.

TVBR observation: The companies deny that this partnership was prompted by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation acquiring the Wall Street Journal and launching Fox Business Channel. By an amazing coincidence, this agreement just happens to team up the chief competitor to Murdoch's national newspaper with the chief competitor to his cable business channel. But nobody at either place actually thought about that in putting this deal together. Sure, we believe that. And we also believe in the Tooth Fairy.


Wall Street Business Report TM
Waiting for the green light
Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller tells clients in a note that the trains are still running toward a closing for the private equity buyout of Clear Channel Communications. He cites the tender underway for 1.3 billion of Clear Channel bonds, that Thomas H. Lee executives have resigned from the Univision board (necessary for making the private equity fund's Univision investment non-attributable at the FCC), that Clear Channel executives have seen the ratings agencies, that Clear Channel executives have met with the Thomas H. Lee investors, and that the Clear Channel TV sale has gotten FCC approval (although it is still up in the air whether the buyer will close. Now Miller says the application to take Clear Channel private and transfer the licenses to the proposed new owners has gotten votes of support from four of the five FCC commissioners. The lone exception is identified as Commissioner Michael Copps - no surprise, since he has expressed discomfort with private equity deals and voted no on the Clear Channel TV sale. Miller believes Copps' vote could come in days or up to a month. Of course, even if he votes no, that would be a 4-1 tally. Also on the to-do list is filing for Department of Justice antitrust approval. The analyst says he believes Clear Channel will make that filing soon.


Ad Business Report TM

TNS: 4.2% increase in U.S. ad spend for 08;
Radio, TV on low side

Total U.S. measured advertising spending is projected to increase 4.2% in 2008, according to the full-year forecast from by TNS Media Intelligence. Measured expenditures are forecast to grow by 3.6% in the first half of 2008 followed by a gain of 4.7% in the second half. "2008 is shaping up as a year of contrasts," said Jon Swallen, SVP Research of TNS Media Intelligence. "Aside from the continued double digit growth rate of Internet display advertising, spending gains will be driven predominately by the powerful combination of Summer Olympics and record-setting levels of political advertising. Offsetting this, a weakened economy will have a dampening effect on the broader, core advertising market." Radio is only expected to grow 0.7% and network TV 2.7%. Internet display advertising is forecast to continue growing at double-digit rates in 2008 with Spot TV, Spanish Language Media, Outdoor and Cable Network TV also exceeding the overall market average. Consumer Magazines is projected to post small gains versus 2007, while Business-To-Business Magazines and Newspapers are expected to experience outright declines in ad spend.
| See the charts here |

Nielsen's Presidential Scorecard for New Hampshire
On the eve of the 2008 New Hampshire Presidential primary, Nielsen reported on the total number of TV advertising spots run by the Presidential candidates in New Hampshire and the surrounding markets from 1/1 through 1/4.
| See the charts here |

Initiative scores Hyundai
Initiative has won media duties for Hyundai Motor America's Hyundai and Kia brands following a review, according to an AdAge story. Initiative beat incumbent Carat and Havas Media for the$735 million account (per TNS Media Intellignece). Optimedia also pitched, but didn't make it to the final round, said the story. The review had no affect on Hyundai's or Kia's creative agencies, which are Goodby Silverstein & Partners and independent David &Goliath.


Media Business Report TM
Xerox takes on major rebranding
Xerox has unveiled the most sweeping transformation of its corporate identity in the company's history. The new brand is designed to reflect today's Xerox, a customer-centric company built on a continuing history of innovative ideas, products and services that meet the needs of businesses small to large. The new Xerox logo is now a lowercase treatment of the Xerox name - in a vibrant red - alongside a sphere-shaped symbol sketched with lines that link to form an illustrative "X," representing Xerox's connections to its customers, partners, industry and innovation, and designed to be more effectively animated for use in multi-media platforms. Over the past five years the company has moved beyond its printing and copying systems and has made significant investments in software and services. The company's Web site, xerox.com, shows the new brand identity and Xerox will now start changing the logo on products, facilities, vehicles, and marketing materials in a transition that is expected to take about 18 months. The redesign was developed by Interbrand. In addition to the new logo, Xerox's corporate identity now includes a proprietary font and visual elements of its branding using a palette of eight colors that can be applied across a range of media, from print and Web to broadcast and interactive presentations.


Media Markets & Money TM
Behar is pivot in TV deal
Robert Behar is both part of the selling and the buying group in a 100M deal which will send a pair of fringe large-market western television stations (each complete with range-extending low power cousins) to HERO Broadcasting LLC. KBEH-TV, serving the Los Angeles area from Oxnard CA is coming from Bela TV LLC; and KMOH-TV, serving the Phoenix area from Kingman AZ, is coming from Phoenix 6 TV LLC. Both stations are affiliated with Latin/American music offering MTV Tr3s. The Oxnard facility is on Channel 63/DT 24, while the Phoenix facility occupies Channel 6/DT 19. Michael Jesselson and others join Behar on the selling side; Marisol Messir is among the other buyers.


Washington Business Report TM
NAB weighs in on retrans
The National Association of Broadcasters has filed reply comments with the FCC on the issue of retransmission negotiation with MVPDs. It bluntly states that many arguments put forth by organizations representing the cable industry are without merit. One issue is including non-cash compensation in negotiations. NAB notes that historically, many cable systems have flatly refused to pay cash for the right to retransmit broadcast programming. Broadcasters have worked with them, and in many instances accepted carriage of additional program services in lieu of a straight cash agreement. It is therefore disingenuous for MVPDs to suddenly complain about the existence of such agreements. NAB also responded to the charge that broadcasters put forth "take it or leave it" proposals, noting that the FCC has found not a single such incident over the last five years. It also notes that the rules do not contain an overt bias against cable systems, pointing out that in some small markets, small broadcasters are pitted against huge national cable operators. It finally argues that in the absence of full carriage mandates, broadcasters have been left with the necessity of negotiating carriage of HD side channels such as 24-hour weather services. "For all these reasons, the Commission should not depart from its prior decisions that permit broadcasters to negotiate for various types of compensation, including carriage of additional channels, as part of the free market retransmission consent negotiation process," NAB concluded.


Entertainment Business Report TM
CW midseason sked
heavy on reality

The CW announced its new midseason schedule, featuring the return of several reality hits and giving current shows exposure on new nights and in new time periods. The next installment of its reality franchise Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious, (pictured left, from season 1) premiering 2/18 (9:00-10:00 p.m.) as part of its new Monday line-up. The CW will have begun to shake up the night a few weeks earlier when its freshman hit Gossip Girl moves to Mondays 1/28. The CW's most popular series America's Top Model returns for its tenth cycle on Wednesday 2/20 (8:00-9:00 p.m.) with a new crop of aspiring models vying for the title and international supermodel Paulina Porizkova stepping in as a new judge on the panel. The fifth edition of The CW's social experiment Beauty and the Geek makes its debut Tuesday, 3/11 (8:00-9:00 p.m.), with drama One Tree Hill (9:00-10:00 p.m.), which premieres 1/8. Other strategic moves on The CW's midseason schedule include freshman series Reaper, which will return Tuesday, 1/15 (8:00-9:00 p.m.) before moving to Thursdays on 2/28 (9:00-10:00 p.m.), where it will gain additional exposure paired with Smallville (8:00-9:00 p.m.). Additionally, on 2/10, The CW's new Sunday line-up will feature CW Now (7:00-7:30 p.m.), a one-hour block of encore and original episodes of Everybody Hates Chris (7:30-8:00 p.m.) and (8:00-8:30 p.m.), followed by Aliens in America (8:30-9:00 p.m.), Girlfriends (9:00-9:30 p.m.) and The Game (9:30-10:00 p.m.).

Bravo greenlights "Tabatha's Salon"
Bravo announced Tabatha Coffey, one of the stars of "Shear Genius," will star in the new reality pilot "Tabatha's Salon Takeover" (working title), as she hits the road to takeover and improve the state of American hair salons, one beauty shop at a time. In the series, the sharp-tongued Australian native brings her no-nonsense approach to a salon in dire need of a makeover. With just a week to work her magic, can she put these salons back on their feet or is it simply time to put up the closed signs for good? Salon owners can apply online to have their shops made over by visiting BravoTV.com/casting. "Tabatha's Takeover" is produced by Reveille for Bravo. Mark Koops and Sarah-Jane Cohen are the executive producers.


Ratings & Research
Judy back on top
"Judge Judy" and "Wheel of Fortune" continue to battle for the top spot in syndicated television. This week, according to the Syndicated Network Television Association (SNTA), based on data from Nielsen Media Research, the crown went to Judge Judy.

SYNDICATION: 12/17/07-12/23/07

RANK

PROGRAM

ORIG

HHLD Rtg.

1

JUDGE JUDY

CTD

8.1

2

WHEEL OF FORTUNE

CTD

7.7

3

JEOPARDY

CTD

6.4

4

TWO AND A HALF MEN

WB

6.3

5

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

CTD

5.7

6

FAMILY GUY-M-F

2/T

5.3

7

SEINFELD

SPT

4.9

8

CSI MIAMI

CTD

4.8

9

OPRAH WINFREY SHOW

CTD

4.7

10

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT

CTD

4.6

Source: SNTA; Nielsen Media Research data

Sony Pictures Television, Nielsen
developing combined media metrics

Sony Pictures Television content reaches nearly two out of every three young high-tech consumers in the U.S. across its television and Internet platforms, according to a new study by The Nielsen Company. This is a key finding in what is intended to be a series of custom research studies across multiple categories of consumers. These studies will combine television and Internet ratings data with other consumer databases, allowing Sony Pictures Television (SPT) to quantify the value of its media properties in the metrics that matter most to advertisers' businesses. This first study addresses electronics and technology consumers.
| Read More... |


Engineering Business Report TM
JVC unveils iPod TV
JVC Americas announced it will offer a new series of LCD televisions with built-in docks for Apple's iPod media player. The dock will allow consumers to play music and video from their iPods on JVC's P-Series TVs, JVC said in a press release. The iPod, which also charges in the dock, can be controlled with the TV remote. During music playback, artist and song info is displayed on the TV screen. Consumers also can view photos stored on their iPod on the TV screen and during TV programming they can play music from their iPod.


Stock Talk
Riding the roller coaster
Stock prices were up and down on Monday, ending on the up side, at least for the Dow Jones Industrial average, which gained 27 points, 0r 0.2%, to 12,827. Investors are still worried about the economy, but more optimistic that the Fed will be forced to make more rate cuts.

TV stocks ended the session down. That means that the string is intact for the TVBR Television Index, launched just this month. It has yet to have an up day. Our index declined 0.268, or 0.3%, to 92.164. Sinclair had a good day, up 4.1%. McGraw-Hill gained 3.9%. Radio owner Emmis, which has only one TV station left, dropped 4.7%. Media General was off 3%.


Stocks

Here's how stocks fared on Monday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change

Acme*

ACME

2.39

+0.01

Journal Comm.

JRN

8.36

+0.16

Belo*

BLC

15.80

+0.07

Lincoln Natl.

LNC

56.12

+1.45

CBS CI. B* CBS

24.78

-0.23

LIN TV*

TVL

11.50

-0.01

CBS CI. A* CBSa

24.79

-0.21

McGraw-Hill

MHP

42.38

+1.57

Clear Channel

CCU

35.10

+0.34

Media General

MEG

16.65

-0.51

Disney

DIS

31.16

+0.03

Meredith

MDP

53.01

+0.69

Emmis

EMMS

2.64

-0.13

News Corp.

NWS

19.91

-0.20

Entravision*

EVC

7.28

+0.08

Nexstar*

NXST

8.45

-0.13

Equity Media* EMDA 3.40 -0.05

Ion Media

ION

1.36

+0.05

Fisher*

FSCI

35.02

-0.47

Saga Commun.

SGA

6.39

-0.09

Gannett

GCI

35.32

+0.29

SBS

SBSA

1.74

-0.01

Gen. Electric

GE

36.18

+0.14

Scripps

SSP

43.31

+0.40

Google GOOG

649.25

-7.75

Sinclair*

SBGI

8.10

+0.32

Gray*

GTN

7.20

-0.16

Time Warner

TWX

20.77

-0.33

Gray, C1. A

GTNa

7.80

-0.20

Wash. Post

WPO

768.76

+0.76

Hearst-Argyle*

HTV

20.01

-0.19

Young*

YBTVA

3.70

-0.14

*Component of the TVBR Television Index

Bounceback

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Below the Fold

Ad Business Report
TNS: 4.2% increase
In U.S. ad spend for 08; Radio, TV on low side...

Media Markets & Money
Behar is pivot in TV deal
Robert Behar is both part of the selling and the buying group in a 100M deal...

Engineering Business Report
JVC unveils iPod TV
Will offer a new series of LCD televisions with built-in docks...

Entertainment Business Report
CW midseason sked
Heavy on reality featuring the return of several reality hits...


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TV Media Moves

Shingle change
in Chicago

Veteran media broker Bob Heymann is moving his brokerage operation in Chicago under the Media Services Group umbrella. If you're keeping track, that makes 12 offices coast-to-coast for MSG. Heymann figures he's already brokered over a half billion in radio and TV deals over the past 24 years, so he'll be hitting the ground running with MSG.

Exiting Motown
Steve Wasserman announced plans to step down as VP/GM of WDIV-TV (Ch. 4, NBC) Detroit at the end of next week to seek an opportunity that will return him to the Sunbelt. Post-Newsweek Stations President and CEO Alan Frank, who is based in Detroit, will be filling in until a successor is named to manage WDIV.

Lazarus to Univision
Univision Communications announced the appointment of Peter Lazarus to EVP/Network Sales, effective immediately. He'll oversee all ad sales operations for the Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision networks. Lazarus will be based in New York and report directly to David Lawenda, President of Advertising Sales, Univision Communications. Lazarus was most recently Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development at IMG Sports and Entertainment. Previously, he spent nearly 10 years in several senior positions at NBCU including SVP/Sports and Olympic Sales and Marketing.

Fapka joins Univision
Univision Communications said Steve Fapka has been appointed Vice President of Network Sales in Chicago, managing sales for Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión, effective immediately. Fapka was previously with Viacom's MTV Networks.


More News Headlines

Logo to go for NAB
"The modernized NAB logo embodies our reinvigorated sense of advocacy on behalf of America's broadcasters on Capitol Hill, at the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies, and before the general public," said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr, describing the new look of the NAB's organizational symbol. It is accompanied by a new descriptor phrase as well, "Advocacy Education Innovation."



NAB explains:
Advocacy -- America's broadcasters look to NAB to be their voice in Washington, before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Courts.

Education -- NAB is committed to providing its members with the educational tools and programs needed to help them strengthen their business models, learn the latest trends in the industry and serve their local communities. NAB also works to educate policymakers and the general public about issues that concern broadcasters.

Innovation -- NAB strives to promote, support and encourage technological advancements that will carry the broadcast industry into the future.

LIN and Dish offer deal
As LIN Television battles cable MSOs in multiple markets who have resisted signing new deals to pay for retransmission consent, the TV group owner has teamed up with EchoStar's Dish Network to offer a special deal to new satellite subscribers. Under the offer, viewers in LIN TV's markets where a LIN TV station is unavailable on cable will receive a 50-bucks prepaid MasterCard via mail when they sign up for the Dish Network service.

Bill Gates keynotes CES
A final pre-show keynote by Microsoft's Bill Gates, as well as innovative product launches and partnership announcements created a buzz among attendees on the eve of the 2008 International CES. Produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, the 2008 International CES opened yesterday in Vegas and runs through 1/10. In his presentation, Gates described the "next digital decade," distinguished by an expanding HD experience. He predicted that displays will be everywhere, including walls and desks. In addition, all devices will be service-connected, which will relieve users from having to bridge between content and devices. Gates noted that next digital decade also will see the power of the natural user interface take hold, with "touch" technology and speech recognition appearing in more products. Gates also announced a major partnership with NBC, in which MSN will be the exclusive online provider of live, on demand footage from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Over 3,000 hours of footage will be available at NBCOlympics.com. Gates introduced on stage Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division. Bach reported on the momentum of Xbox Live, which has surpassed 10 million members, and announced a partnership with MGM, in which the entertainment company will provide a library of films for Xbox Live. Building from the growing success of Microsoft's partnership with Ford for Sync, the in-car entertainment and communication system, Bach also announced the expansion of Sync to Ford's Lincoln and Mercury brands.


TVBR Radar 2008
Television News you won't read any where else. TVBR--First, Accurate, and Independently Owned.

WGA Strike Central, Day 64
Actors set to boycott Golden Globes

NBC has vowed that the Golden Globes awards broadcast will go on as scheduled next Sunday (1/3), but the network now faces the prospect of having a bunch of unknowns as presenters and hardly anyone coming on stage to accept the awards. Read the publicists' letter to Zucker in TVBR report page.
01/07/08 TVBR #3

What will happen in 2008
We dust off our crystal balls, spread our tea leaves and consult our all-seeing, all-knowing Morse-code tapping click beetle for a glimpse into what's in store for 2008. It is strongly recommended that these lucky 13 predictions NOT be used for capex or station portfolio acquisitions, stock market selections, or any form of personal or government-sponsored wagering. However, they may be safely printed out and used to line a parakeet cage. Off we go then see this report pg in TVBR.
01/07/08 TVBR #3

MSO makes end run around LIN
Suddenlink Communications has returned NBC programming to its cable systems in the Austin, TX area, one of two markets where it has been in a retransmission standoff with LIN Television (1/3/08 TVBR #1). Suddenlink signed a deal to carry KCEN-TV (Ch. 6) Waco-Temple-Bryan on its Williamson County systems in lieu of LIN's KXAN-TV (Ch. 36) Austin. KCEN, owned by Frank Mayborn Enterprises, is licensed to Temple and thus puts a good signal into Williamson County, located north of Austin.

TVBR note: Complete details in this report in this issue TVBR.
01/07/08 TVBR #3

WGA Strike Central, Day 60
Latest network primetime
schedule changes
Carat Programming's Broadcast and Video Beat reports the sole remaining original episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy will now air on 1/10. The medical drama, which gets forced into strike-induced repeats, will move to Fridays at 8 p.m. The post-tornado and sole remaining original episode of Desperate Housewives will air this Sunday, 1/6.

TVBR observation: View the complete details with stats, charts in this report of TVBR.
01/04/08 TVBR #2

Landmark Communications
on the auction block
Is up for sale, although the company emphasized that it may sell some assets and keep others, depending on market conditions. The private company, which had an estimated 1.75 billion in revenues in 2006. The crown jewel is The Weather Channel, one of the last remaining major independent cable networks.

TVBR observation: This seems like an inopportune time to be trying to sell major media properties, particularly daily newspapers, but The Weather Channel is such a rare prize that it will certainly ignite a spirited bidding war. We note, though, that Frank Batten Sr. is up there in years and you can't put off estate planning forever. Also, he has been very active in recent years in giving away large chunks of his wealth to charity. Selling The Weather Channel, if not all or most of the company, will produce liquidity that even a billionaire sometimes has need of. Who will be bidding for The Weather Channel? Immediate speculation focused on News Corporation, NBC Universal and Comcast.
01/04/08 TVBR #2

Arbitron touts PPM demo progress
In his monthly PPM press conference call, Arbitron President of Sales & Marketing Pierre Bouvard, pictured, proudly declared "all-time high" delivery overall and in the troublesome 18-24 demo. New efforts kick in next month to boost 25-34 delivery, just as 18-24 has improved. But 18-24 delivery is still lagging in the two smaller embedded metros within the New York metro. Arbitron insists that all that's needed is more time.

RBR observation: The monthly press call was followed by the monthly PPM client call, which is closed to us press types. We understand, though, that there was some discussion about why broadcasters are having to pay so much more for PPM, as compared to diaries, but no new ad spending is materializing because of PPM. Bouvard reportedly countered that it is not about new dollars, but rather about keeping existing ad spending from moving away from radio to the Internet and other competitors due to advertisers demanding accountability. Complete analysis in RBR.
01/04/08 RBR #2

TV stands to gain
most from elections

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has brought forth some numbers from 2006 to shine a light on where in the media campaign cash is likely to be headed in 2008. The spotlight is clearly focused on broadcast television, with radio getting the biggest share of the remainder. PEJ says television raked in 72% of the political take in 2006, followed by radio with 11.8%, cable/satellite TV (6.6%), newspapers (4.8%), billboards (2.5%) and finally, the Internet (1.8%). As for the broadcast television cash, almost all of it is targeted to specific stations rather than placed with one of the networks.

TVBR observation: The internet remains a growth category. To date, it has been used more as a source of information and a fund-raising tool; political campaigns seem to be behind the curve in figuring out how best to get their message out via paid internet advertising. But just as the Howard Dean campaign first exploited the fund-raising aspect back in 2003/2004, it is probably just a matter of time before somebody, somewhere figures out a way to effectively spend money there. When that happen, watch for the medium to climb up the rankings list.
01/04/08 TVBR #2


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