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March 1, 2013News for broadcast and electronic media leaders

  Top Story 
  • Cablevision chief blames price hikes on bundles
    Viacom is "abusing its market power" by forcing Cablevision to offer bundles of its channels, according to the cabler's CEO James Dolan. Cablevision filed a federal antitrust lawsuit seeking to break up the Viacom bundle. "Importantly, this practice, it impairs programming competition and causes our customers' prices to rise, and we believe it needs to be stopped," Dolan said. However, pay-TV executives say that while smaller bundles may be introduced, it's unlikely they would ever offer a full a la carte menu because of restrictions from content providers. The Wall Street Journal (2/28), Multichannel News (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Business & Industry Report 
  • Phoenix's Cable One protests AMC license fee increase
    Cable One in Phoenix is urging its viewers to protest what it says is AMC Networks' demand for a 520% increase in its license fee. "This type of demand is outrageous and we don't want to be forced to pass this higher cost on to our customers -- many of whom are struggling with limited budgets in a bad economy," Cable One wrote in an online message. FierceCable (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Barrington sells 18 TV outlets to Sinclair
    Barrington Broadcasting Group is selling 18 TV outlets to Sinclair Broadcast Group in a $370 million deal. Sinclair also agreed to operate or provide sales services for an additional six stations. The two dozen outlets are in 15 medium and small markets, representing 3.4% of U.S. TV homes. The deal, which requires federal approval, is expected to close by the end of June. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • With spectrum auction looming, dozens of TV stations change hands
    Since 2011, 39 TV stations have been purchased by various companies, selling for a total of almost $345 million, a study by SNL Kagan finds. The sales come ahead of an expected Federal Communications Commission incentive auction of spectrum scheduled for 2014. "While averages for wireless spectrum comps are still far above those paid for the TV station spectrum at benchmarks typically north of $1 per MHz per pop, it is still unclear how much the wireless players will bid at auction and how the mechanics of the auction and distribution of proceeds will work for TV station owners," SNL Kagan notes. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Broadcast Programming 
  • CBS aiming for edgier dramas
    CBS is pursuing shows with a dramatic edge as it looks toward next season. The network may be looking at where audiences are going, which is increasingly to more extreme dramas with less predictable formulas aimed at a younger demographic. "Their nose isn't in the sand -- they know when things start to fade," said Gary Carr, chief TV buyer at TargetCast. New York Post (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Older ads do well for this year's Oscars
    By and large, the best-performing ads at this year's Oscars were older ones not originally produced for the show, according to an Ace Metrix survey. Hyundai's "Stuck" ad, one of the older spots, generated the top score for effectiveness. Overall, Ace reports, the ads for this year's show performed less well than last year's, when technology brands were more in evidence. MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  People & Personalities 
  • NAB Show's Tech Summit on Cinema will offer keynote from Jon Landau
    Jon Landau, an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning producer, will give the keynote address at the NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema on April 7 in Las Vegas. The two-day event will cover such subjects as higher-frame-rate cinema, new exhibition technologies and pluses and minuses for 3D film conversion. (2/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NAB Show sets panel for "AM Band Revitalization" session
    The NAB Show has named the panelists for the April 8 "AM Band Revitalization" session, which will be moderated by Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai. Participants will include Ben Downs, chair of the NAB AM Task Force and owner of Bryan Broadcasting; Diane Warren, president of BounceOlogy; Glynn Walden, senior vice president of CBS Radio; John Garziglia, an attorney with Womble Carlyle; and Melodie Virtue, an attorney with Garvey Schubert Barer. Radio World (2/28), Radio World (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  NAB News 
  • Now Available -- Radio Rules: A Guide to FCC Policies and Procedures for On-Air Staff
    How can you help your employees avoid regulatory pitfalls and fines? Provide them with the revised "Radio Rules: A Guide to FCC Policies and Procedures for On-Air Staff." Written by NAB attorneys and updated for 2013, this booklet contains critical information on relevant laws and FCC rules. Topics include contests, libel, indecency and public files. Order as many as needed, as NAB members receive a substantial bulk discount. For more information and to purchase, visit the NAB Store. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Legislative & Regulatory 
  • FCC can mandate disclosure of political ad sponsors, lawmakers say
    The Federal Communications Commission has the authority and is obligated "to prevent advertisers from misleading consumers and voters" by requiring that political ads reveal their "true" sponsors, several House Democrats say. The lawmakers cite a report from the Government Accountability Office that they say clarifies the FCC's power in the matter. Broadcasting & Cable (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Media is factor in mass violence, lawmaker says
    The media must play an integral part in the national conversation about ways to combat gun violence, according to Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. "It is easy for the president to go after the NRA -- he doesn't support them and they don't support him," Wolf said. "But will the president ever ask the entertainment industry to get involved, or will he continue to be silent? While media violence is not the only factor of mass violence, it is one of the easiest factors to change, and it needs to be addressed, in addition to looking at access to firearms and mental health." Multichannel News (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
The mark of mediocrity is to look for precedent."
--Norman Mailer,
American writer

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