Univision raises concerns about Comcast-TWC merger | Media General chief is feeling upbeat about Aereo case | Opinion: Communications policy must be guided by safety considerations
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April 29, 2014
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Univision raises concerns about Comcast-TWC merger
Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is "cause for concern" and could prove to be "bad for Hispanic audiences," Univision President Randy Falco said. Other critics, including Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and consumer group Free Press, weren't impressed with Comcast's plan to reduce its customer base following the merger through a deal with Charter Communications. "Turning three giant companies into two behemoths gives no comfort to content providers or consumers," said Matt Wood, Free Press' policy director. Reuters (4/29), Broadcasting & Cable (4/28)
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Business & Industry Report
Media General chief is feeling upbeat about Aereo case
Broadcasters have a strong chance of prevailing in their Supreme Court case against Aereo, according to Media General President and CEO George Mahoney. "We're pleased with the way the Aereo argument went," Mahoney said during a call with analysts and investors. "All broadcasters think Aereo is a bunch of pirates. ... I don't think anyone believes that what they have is anything but a Rube Goldberg mechanism." TVNewsCheck (free registration) (4/28)
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Opinion: Communications policy must be guided by safety considerations
When considering changes to communications policy such as the elimination of the basic service tier requirement for local TV stations, federal lawmakers and regulators must keep public safety as a "core 'first principle,'" writes Robert C. Kenny, director of public affairs for TVfreedom.org. "If Congress decides to eliminate this consumer safeguard as part of STELA, it will be a disservice to the American public and begin to erode [a] fundamental premise that Washington's lawmakers and policymakers have long stood by," Kenny writes. The Hill/Congress Blog (4/29)
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Analysis: Shift to digital, cloud was evident at NAB Show
This year's NAB Show was a good example of how technology changes are affecting the TV industry, as traditional hardware purveyors such as Sony, Panasonic and JVC now compete with newer vendors specializing in digital and cloud technology, writes Edward Grebow, managing director of Morgan Joseph TriArtisan. "There was still plenty of hardware for sale in Las Vegas, but most of the buzz was about the cloud, collaboration, workflow, streaming, social media, software tools and solutions," Grebow writes. TVNewsCheck (free registration) (4/29)
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Broadcast Programming
Fox plans live version of "Grease" for 2015
Fox plans to show a live, three-hour version of "Grease" in 2015. "From Broadway to film, and across generations, 'Grease' is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told -- and we can't wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event," said Shana C. Waterman, Fox's senior vice president of event series. TheWrap.com (4/28)
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Related Industry News
House panel sets May 20 hearing with FCC chairman
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's communications subpanel has set a May 20 hearing to get an update on key issues from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said the hearing "will be our first opportunity to directly discuss issues important to our technology economy, including recent proposals regarding the incentive auctions, the latest iteration of the administration's ill-advised Net neutrality policies and the broadcast joint-sharing agreements and media ownership proceedings at the commission." The Hill (4/28)
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People & Personalities
CBS will now have to find new host of "Late Late Show"
CBS "Late Late Show" host Craig Ferguson, who didn't receive the "Late Show" slot vacated by David Letterman, is leaving the network at the end of 2014. Among the possibilities to succeed him are Neil Patrick Harris and Aisha Tyler, but Chelsea Handler is not a candidate, Tim Goodman writes. The Hollywood Reporter (free content)/Bastard Machine blog (4/28)
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Join broadcast industry peers, members of Congress and FCC leadership Tuesday, June 17 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC to honor excellent community service by local broadcasters. Legendary singer and songwriter Paul Simon will receive the Service to America Leadership Award. For sponsorships contact Nate Mann at (202) 429-5498.
NAB News
Early bird registration ends May 15 for NABEF Executive Development Seminar
Receive an MBA-style education for a fraction of the time and expense through NABEF's Executive Development Seminar. From July 20 to 24 in Washington, D.C., professors from top-ranked universities will help participants hone their broadcast management skills and advance their careers. The curriculum meets the specific needs of broadcast managers and executives from stations, groups and networks. For more information and to register, contact Amanda Smith or visit NABEF.org.
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Now available: New NAB Political Agreement Form (PB-18)
NAB has updated The Political Agreement Form (PB-18), which includes the NAB agreement forms for political candidate advertisements and for non-candidate/issue advertisements. NAB members can receive this form free of charge by e-mailing the Membership department at membership@nab.org. To purchase a PB-18 CD, visit NABStore.com.
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If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress."
-- David Rockefeller,
American banker and philanthropist
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