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February 13, 2013News for broadcast and electronic media leaders

  Top Story 
  • Comcast, in $16.7 billion deal, will control all of NBCU
    Comcast is acquiring General Electric's remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion. In a separate transaction, Comcast will pay about $1.4 billion to purchase the NBC studios and offices at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the CNBC facility in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The move by the cable giant, which bought a controlling interest in NBCU two years ago, "is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects" of the unit, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said. The timing of the deal was motivated by the need to have control of content and delivery mechanisms to compete against a changing array of TV rivals, Roberts added. USA Today (2/13), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Media Decoder blog (2/12), The Wall Street Journal (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NBC's rich heritage is tied to GE: The ties between NBC and General Electric stretch back to NBC's 1926 beginnings as the first national radio network, with GE, Westinghouse and RCA as co-owners. In 1932, RCA gained full control of NBC, which went on to launch a pioneering television network. In 1986, GE regained control of NBC after buying RCA, and it oversaw a period of dominance for the TV network that would stretch through the '90s with "must-see" hits such as "Friends," "Seinfeld" and "ER." The Associated Press (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Broadcast TV unit helps power strong Q4 for Comcast: NBCUniversal's broadcast unit in Q4 generated a 7.9% increase in revenue to $2 billion, compared with the same period in 2011, on the strength of NBC's fall prime-time performance and growth in political ads at its owned-and-operated TV stations. Broadcast TV revenue for all of 2012, including the London Olympics and Super Bowl, jumped 27.4% to $8.2 billion, and operating cash flow tripled to $369 million. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Business & Industry Report 
  • Cox deals 6 radio clusters to Summit, Connoisseur
    Cox Media Group, as part of its move to concentrate on big-market stations, cross-platform efforts and market consolidation, is selling radio clusters in six smaller markets to two groups. Summit Media is acquiring Cox clusters in Richmond, Va., Birmingham, Ala., Louisville, Ky., Greenville, S.C. and Hawaii. Connoisseur Media is buying three southern Connecticut radio outlets and contractual rights for a fourth one. (2/12), Radio Ink (2/13), Radio Ink (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Media General CEO sees a bright future without newspapers
    Having shed its newspapers, Media General expects a bright future in broadcast and digital, though it still plans to draw on the experience of its newspaper veterans who "understand the importance of focusing on the customer and local audiences," new CEO George Mahoney said in an interview. Mahoney said numbers for the fourth quarter show "we actually gained about a full point of share in local core growth," indicating the company has "really accomplished something." TVNewsCheck (free registration) (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • T-Mobile-MetroPCS alliance gets support from broadcasters
    The Federal Communications Commission should give the go-ahead to the T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger, as the deal shows the free market is the best way to solve "purported spectrum challenges," according to a letter from NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The proposed merger is one of several in the wireless segment that "will make more effective and efficient use of commercial spectrum," according to NAB. Broadcasting & Cable (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Broadcast Programming 
  • Local TV, warts and all, captured shootout between police, fugitive
    The live reporting by Los Angeles TV stations of the dramatic shootout between police and fugitive Christopher Dorner brought to mind a movie blockbuster and showed the difficulties in covering events as they happen, AJ Marechal writes. "Uncensored obscenities made it on the air, phone conversations interrupted live coverage and journalists were asked by authorities to restrict their coverage to avoid tipping off the suspect," Marechal writes. (free content) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Related Industry News 
  • Paid online-video service coming from Intel in 2013
    Intel has become the latest player to offer a premium online-video service and set-top box that will include live and on-demand content, "catch-up" tools and a user-friendly programming guide. Intel's set-top box also will feature an HD video camera and microphone with facial-recognition technology that can customize programming depending on who's watching and allow for interactions with viewers in different locations. The Wall Street Journal (2/12), Adweek (2/12), Multichannel News (2/12), GigaOm (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  People & Personalities 
  • Megachurch pastor Rick Warren plans radio show
    Popular megachurch pastor Rick Warren will be coming to radio with a Monday-Friday half-hour show starting in April. Salem Communications will syndicate the show, which will air in the 25 largest radio markets. It's the first broadcast foray for Warren, who has said he doesn't like televangelists. The Christian Post (2/12) 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
  • 2013 NAB Show: Must-attend conferences
    Looking for conferences designed to help you succeed in a continuously transforming marketplace? Sign up for a SMART Pass or Conference Flex Pass to access sessions in conferences such as Technology Summit on Cinema, Cloud Computing, Disruptive Media and Military and Government. View a sample of sessions in each conference. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Legislative & Regulatory 
  • Congress shouldn't include retrans in distant-signal talks, NAB says
    Congress should make "localism" the focus of its deliberations on whether and how to extend the satellite distant signal compulsory license but should not use the occasion to tinker with the retransmission-consent system, according to testimony scheduled to be given today by NAB executive Jane Mago. "Congress should continue to rebuff the efforts of the satellite and cable industries to persuade the government to intervene in free-market retransmission negotiations," Mago said in the prepared remarks. Broadcasting & Cable (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect whether he chooses to be so or not."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne,
American author

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