Broadcasting & Cable
Beats Emma Boettcher, Francois Barcomb in final round
Boettcher, who knocked Holzhauer out of regular play in June, took second and the $100,000 prize, while Barcomb took third at $50,000.
“I’ve said all along that Emma is an all-time great player, and I’m proud it took that level of competitor to defeat me,” Holzhauer said. “Now the world sees that I wasn’t just making excuses. Francois certainly looked as dominant as either of us in his first two games, so I knew the finals would be a fight to the finish. But the whole point of the TOC is to play the best of the best, and Emma and Francois certainly proved that they belonged in the final three.”
The $250,000 win brings Holzhauer to $2,712,216 in total winnings, which puts him behind only Brad Rutter, who has won a total of $4,688,436 and is the highest-winning game-show contestant of all time; and Ken Jennings, who is the consecutive wins record-holder at 74 and who has racked up a total of $3,370,700 over his years of playing Jeopardy!.
Jeopardy!, which is currently the highest-rated game show in syndication, is in its 36th year on the air. Alex Trebek is host and Harry Friedman is executive producer. Sony Pictures Television produces, while CBS Television Distribution distributes the show in national syndication.
CULVER CITY, CA – November 15, 2019 - getTV kicks off its fifth annual “Most Wonderful Month of the Year” Christmas programming celebration beginning November 17 with classic holiday-themed variety shows, movies and sitcom episodes that will delight viewers of all ages with the spirit of the season.
Jeff Meier, SVP Programming and General Manager of getTV said, “From Christmas variety specials hosted by musical greats like Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Johnny Cash and Perry Como to heartwarming and hilarious Christmas movie favorites, to memorable Christmas-themed episodes of such popular comedy series as “All in the Family,” “Married with Children” and “Hot in Cleveland,” getTV is THE destination for classic holiday entertainment this season.”
Sunday nights, November 17 through December 22 from 10PM to 1AM ET, getTV is the place for classic Christmas variety shows featuring such performers as Perry Como, Reba McEntire, Johnny Cash, John Wayne, Andy Griffith, Sonny and Cher, The Smothers Brothers, Mac Davis, Gladys Knight, The Osmonds, Barbara Mandrell, Vanessa Williams, Phil Collins, Shania Twain and Luther Vandross, among others. Included in the mix are getTV’s two original holiday music specials, 2017’s “A Nashville Christmas,” starring Wynonna, Emmylou Harris and Lorrie Morgan, airing Sunday, November 24 at 11PM ET (and multiple times throughout December), and 2018’s “The Soul & Spirit of Christmas,“ with CeCe Winans, BeBE Winans, Anthony Hamilton & the HamilTones, Take 6, Koryn Hawthorne and Kyla Jade, airing Sunday, December 8 at 10PM ET (with additional airings during the month).
On Black Friday, November 29 and on Christmas Eve Tuesday December 24 beginning at 6AM ET getTV will present a 24-Hour White Christmas Marathon featuring seven of Bing Crosby’s Christmas specials from the ‘70s--six of which have not been seen since they were originally broadcast over 40 years ago--with such guest stars as Sally Struthers, Jackie Gleason, Fred Astaire, Robert Goulet, Michael Landon, Connie Stevens, Bernadette Peters, Twiggy, Kathryn Crosby and more. Leading into midnight EST on Christmas Eve, getTV will be featuring “Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas” special from 1977. This special was the star’s final appearance, filmed just prior to his death and aired afterward. The show’s highlight is his legendary cross-generational duet with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Bowie, “Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”
Saturday afternoons, November 23, December 7, 14 and 21 from 12 noon to 6PM ET, and Christmas Day, Wednesday December 25 from 6AM – 6:30PM ET, getTV goes all in for Christmas movies, with such stars as Bob Hope, Cicely Tyson, Naomi Judd, Chuck Norris, Valerie Bertinelli, Dixie Carter, Roma Downey, Patricia Heaton, Peter Falk, Debbie Reynolds, John Denver, Robert Young, Cynthia Nixon and many more. Of particular note is the new-to-getTV 1971 TV-movie “The Homecoming,“ starring Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas, which served as the pilot for the long-running series “The Waltons.”
On Saturday November 30 12 noon-10PM ET and Monday, December 23 beginning 6AM for 24 hours, getTV will air Christmas-themed sitcom episodes, including “All in The Family,” “Married with Children,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Sanford and Son,” “Amen,” “Good Times,” “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Designing Women.”
For full November and December schedules, go to www.get.tv.
Anchored by Sony Pictures Entertainment’s vast TV and film library, getTV is a national TV network dedicated to your favorite movies and TV series. getTV features action, crime, vintage comedy and western TV series along with classic motion pictures from all eras. For information, visit get.tv and connect with the network on Facebook and Twitter @getTV.
Lists that among extant proceedings he says should extinct
Republican FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly said that the FCC's outstanding proposal to classify over-the-top (OTT) platforms as MVPDs is the sort of 'zombie' proceeding the FCC should finally kill off.
O'Rielly made that proposal in a speech to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association Thursday (Nov. 14).
The FCC recently concluded that an OTT services are sufficiently MPVD-like to conclude that telco-provided OTT AT&T TV Now, and by extension any similar OTT, is effectively a multichannel video competitor to cable in local markets. But that is different from a years-old (2014) proposal by then FCC chair Tom Wheeler that OTTs be defined as MVPDs for the purposes of program access and carriage rules. The idea was that over-the top providers would have an FCC-enforced access to vertically integrated programming, something Wheeler backed as a way to promote OTT as a more robust competitor to cable and satellite. Wheeler ultimately took no action on the proposal.
If OTT's gained MVPD status, they would secure access to TV stations via must-carry and retrans rules, but would also be subject to the program-carriage and access requirements.
NCTA-The Internet & Television Association in the past has argued that extending the MVPD definition to OTTs would be "expansive regulation of the Internet" and conferring rights an obligations on online entities the FCC does not track or license, may not have physical facilities in the U.S. and which "were never intended to be the subjects of such regulations."
Broadcasters have argued that if the FCC did give OTT's the rights to carry TV stations signals, they must also be subject to retransmission consent and those program exclusivity rules O'Rielly wants preserved, or at least the item eliminating them killed.
The deregulatory O'Rielly does not support extending those MVPD access regs to OTTs.
O'Rielly had other walking dead proceedings he wanted to terminate. Those included "the proposed repeal of network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity programming rules; the set top box rules proposal; the proposal on sponsorship ID and embedded advertising rules; and the remaining pieces of enhanced disclosures proceeding, especially Form 355.
AJA Video Systems released Desktop Software v15.5 for KONA, Io and T-TAP products, featuring additional functionality for both HDR and 8K workflows, plus new performance upgrades enhancing creative freedom and flexibility across Windows®, Linux® and macOS®.
Grass Valley, CA (November 14, 2019) – AJA Video Systems released Desktop Software v15.5 for KONA, Io and T-TAP products, featuring additional functionality for both HDR and 8K workflows, plus new performance upgrades enhancing creative freedom and flexibility across Windows, Linux and macOS. New features include Metal support on macOS and full compatibility with macOS Catalina; HDR over SDI via VPID; and HDR Test Patterns for 8K/UHD2/4K/UHD/2K/HD workflows. For the KONA 5 PCIe I/O card, the update also adds full 2SI SMPTE raster support for 8K; RGB support for 8K capture and playback; and 8K to 4K downsample via HDMI.
Desktop Software v15.5 introduces new functionality with NLEs, including deeper HDR integration with Avid Media Composer 2019.11 and native 8K or 4K (downsampled from 8K) playback with Adobe Premiere Pro 2020. The update also adds SMPTE ST 2110-40 monitoring via SDI on AJA Io IP and Avid Artist DNxIP and AJA NMOS support for multiple devices connected to a single host. Additionally, Desktop Software v15.5 increases speed and creative support on Mac workstations – including the new Mac Pro – by featuring full compatibility with macOS Catalina, new Metal support on macOS and other optimizations.
Desktop Software v15.5 highlights include:
● Full compatibility with macOS Catalina
● New Metal support on macOS
● HDR over SDI via VPID
● HDR Test Patterns for UHD2/UHD/HD
● Deeper HDR integration with Avid Media Composer
● Full 2SI SMPTE raster support for 8K on KONA 5
● RGB support for 8K capture and playback on KONA 5
● 8K downsample to 4K via HDMI on KONA 5
● Native 8K or 8K to 4K downsampled output with Adobe Premiere Pro
● HDMI input detection improvements
● New countdown functionality to mark out or end of clip in AJA Control Room
● New fan controls and fan speed indicator in AJA Control Panel
● DirectShow updates including addition of support for KONA 5 and KONA IP
● Support for Windows, Linux and macOS
Pricing and Availability
Desktop Software v15.5 is now available as a free download from AJA’s support page.
About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, cost-effective products to the professional broadcast, video and post production markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at www.aja.com.
Markey, Booker among opponents of reported plans for web cams
A quartet of Democratic Senators have introduced legislation that would not allow government funds to be used to live-stream border wall construction activities.
That comes after the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration wanted to set up web cams to record that construction--critics of the Trump border policy have challenged that a wall is actually being built.
“The only idea dumber than building a so-called ‘impenetrable’ wall along our southern border is livestreaming it,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). “Trump has already wasted billions on his border wall boondoggle, we shouldn’t waste a single dollar on a wall-cam.”
Joining Markey on the letter were Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
$10 increase takes effect Dec. 18
Hulu announced that it is raising the price of its Hulu+Live TV service by $10 to $54.99 a month for its base service.
The price increase will affect all plans that include live TV.
The move comes as analysts note that the growth of subscribers to virtual multichannel video programming distributors has slowed, even as cord cutting increases.
Last month Sony said it would be closing its Sony PlayStation Vue vMVPD and other services, including AT&T TV Now have increased their prices in order to improve profitability.
“The new price better reflects the substantial value of Hulu+Live TV together as the only offering that brings together live and on-demand television in one seamless experience,” Hulu said. “The new price will allow us to continue offering all of the popular live news, sports and entertainment programming including in the plan.
Hulu has been aggressively promoting its live service as a way streaming viewers can watch live sports events.
In its blog post, Hulu noted that it is relatively easy for subscribers to switch from the live plan to the lower-cost on-demand only service after the football season ends.
“We realize many Hulu customers want even more choice and control over their live viewing experience, so we’re actively exploring ways to provide additional, more tailored live TV options to you in the future. We’ll keep you posted on those efforts as they progress,” the Hulu blog post said.
The Walt Disney Co. this year acquired control of Hulu from partners Comcast, Fox and AT&T. Disney is offering Hulu’s ad-supported on-demand service in a bundle with the recently launched Disney+ and ESPN+ streaming services for $12.99 a month. Hulu's on-demand service costs $5.99 a month.
Takes multiplatform approach to hearings
Fox-owned WTTG-TV Washington is alone among the major affiliate stations in the Nation's Capital not airing live coverage of the impeachment hearings just across town. But there is more to the story.
WTTG and co-owned WDCA VP GM Patrick Paolini took a quick break Friday (Nov. 15), in the midst of the station's coverage of the day-two hearing, to talk about that decision and the Fox' O&O's larger coverage strategy.
B&C: In checking on impeachment coverage, we turned to WTTG Wednesday (Nov. 13) to find regular programming while the other affiliates in town were going live with the impeachment hearings. Why did you make that decision and how are you covering the hearings?
Paolini: We have the benefit of two television stations [serving Washington], both of which do news, Fox 5, WTTG, and Fox 5 Plus, WDCA. We chose to go gavel-to-gavel on Fox 5 Plus.
Then, because this is, in essence, the first social media impeachment from a hearing perspective, we decided to take our political reporter, Tom Fitzgerald, and pair him up with a Democrat and Republican and stream [the hearings] live.
We are also streaming the hearings on our Facebook page.
We thought that was the best way to cover this and, at the same time, viewers who aren't interested can get the regularly scheduled programming on Fox 5.
B&C: So, going with regular fare on WTTG was also a little bit about counterprogramming, particularly given that the live impeachment TV audience is being divided among CBS and PBS and ABC and NBC and FNC and CNN, etc?
Paolini: We have the luxury and ability to use both of our stations, which are both in the news business and we thought we were being strategic about it. We could appease the audience who watch our daily programming and we could cover the audience from an impeachment standpoint. And, yes, from a counterprogramming standpoint keep the lineup intact on WTTG. And then, from a digital perspective, with live analysis and full coverage on our Fox 5 live platform.
B&C: Did you cross-promote the WDCA coverage on WTTG?
Paolini: Absolutely. We promoted leading up to it in our newscast with crawls. And, literally when it started we tossed to it [from WTTG to WDCA]. We were fortunate that we were still in our morning news on WTTG when the hearing started at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and, of course, today at 9 a.m. So we had the live toss from WTTG, which was also a way to get new viewers to WDCA, where we have been expanding our news. It was a way to expose Fox 5 coverage to new viewers on both stations.
B&C: What is your read on the hearings so far?
Paolini: I think it is a little "snoozier," if that's a word, than the Comey and Mueller hearings. I don't know how much interest there is from an across-the-country standpoint. We really thought we were smart about the way we approached it becuase again, we have the two stations, and with the digital and social media side a lot of people are out of their homes so at least they get a sense of what's going on.
We do 80 hours of news a week on WTTG, so in every single newscast we are covering it and analyzing it and giving it full exposure from that standpoint, outside the gavel-to-gavel coverage.
Latin Grammys shoot up on Univision
Fox won the Thursday prime ratings race, with Thursday Night Football leading the net to a 3.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 16 share. In second was Univision at 1.1/5.
Fox had Steelers-Browns across prime. It was 22% better than Raiders-Chargers the week before.
Univision had the 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards throughout prime, which did a 0.9 a year ago.
ABC got a 0.9/4 and CBS did a 0.7/3. On ABC, Grey’s Anatomy did a 1.3 and A Million Little Things scored a 0.8, both flat. How to Get Away With Murder went up 25% to 0.5.
On CBS, Young Sheldon ticked up 9% to 1.2 and The Unicorn slid 13% to 0.7. Mom also grew 13% for a 0.9 and Carol’s Second Act lost 14% for a 0.6. Evil rated a flat 0.5.
NBC did a 0.6/3. Superstore got a flat 0.7 and Perfect Harmony dropped 20% for a 0.4. The Good Place scored a level 0.6 and Will & Grace lost 20% at 0.4. Law & Order: SVU got a level 0.7.
Telemundo rated a 0.5/2. Exatlon Estados Unidos gained a tenth for a 0.6. El Final Del Paraiso got a 0.5 and El Senor de los Cielos a 0.4, those two flat.
The CW got a 0.3/1. Supernatural and Legacies both did a 0.3. Supernatural was flat and Legacies gained a tenth.
Sony Electronics unveiled a prototype of its new 24-inch 4K LCD professional picture monitor for the first time at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition 2019 (Inter BEE 2019) in Japan. The portable monitor offers high grade picture quality and accurate color reproduction and is ideal for 4K HDR productions - giving professional content creators a reliable tool for versatile applications such as on-set monitoring, non-linear video editing, studio wall monitoring, rack-mount monitoring in OB trucks or machine rooms.
The professional monitor prototype has been developed to offer the industry a solution with unrivaled 4K HDR picture quality, accuracy and consistency.
Boasting an ultra-high definition resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) and an all-white luminance of 1000 cd/m2, the monitor reproduces images in exceptional detail. For optimum color verification, its wide color gamut offers consistent and faithful color reproduction. Additionally, the monitor’s wide viewing angle, 12G-SDI input and HDMI connection provide even greater flexibility and efficiency for creatives out in the field and for live production needs, as well as for cinema and commercial content creation.
Additional details and specifications of the new monitor will be released at a later date. Sony is showcasing a prototype of the monitor at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition 2019 (Inter BEE 2019) in Japan from November 13-15, 2019.
For more information about Sony’s professional business, please visit http://pro.sony.
Fremont, CA - November 15, 2019 - Blackmagic Design today announced that award winning live director, Steve Price, used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K to create a cinematic, slow motion backdrop for Mumford & Sons’ recent appearance at the iHeart Radio music festival in Las Vegas.
Although the rise of LED technology has seen screens become an essential creative element of concert and festival productions, some artists, including the British indie folk band, prefer the focus to be on the live performance, with some clever staging and lighting to help lead the atmosphere.
With two weeks to go till the band were due to headline the festival, where the stage was almost entirely built from LEDs, a new approach was critical. “Other acts on the bill included Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Def Leppard and Chance the Rapper, so it was important to stand out visually and create a unique identity for the set given the diverse lineup,” begins Steve.
“We decided to keep things simple with a classically beautiful ‘analogue’ aesthetic, with some slow motion, based around nature and people,” he reveals. “Time was tight as we were also in the midst of a US tour, and I needed to get back to the UK to pick up kit.
“I needed a camera that was capable of 120fps, that also wasn’t too bulky for a one-man shoot. That brought me to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K which allowed me to travel as light as possible, while still being able to produce the stunning image that I like in Blackmagic’s larger cameras.”
Instead of staying on the tour bus, Steve drove into the Arizona desert. “I had a handful of lenses with me, and I picked up a tripod in Tucson, but I didn’t need anything else,” he says. “I was able to just get out there and shoot; it’s an area I know well and after making a few calls all the locations were sorted.”
Having already got footage of the band and crowds at previous shows, Steve focused on capturing dramatic desert landscapes and charging horses. “I filmed the horses in 120fps using ProRes HQ in film mode, and it looked incredible on screen. The band saw it at sound check for the first time and really loved it."
He concludes: “I’ve been working in film for a really long time. Back in the day, things were slow, time consuming, post heavy and expensive, and you always wished for things to get a bit quicker, a bit easier, a bit more efficient.”
“Some manufacturers did get closer to that over the years, but I feel Blackmagic has finally got there. Not so long ago this kind of shoot would have been impossible at short notice, but now I’m at a point where I can confidently just go out and shoot anything, knowing the footage will not only be beautiful but easy to work with.”
Product photos of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.
Uses video stage to continue attacks on journalists
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, continued his anti-media rhetoric Friday (Nov. 15), saying that the Democrats were trying to "overthrow" the President, with the help of "media hacks."
That came in his opening statement for day two of what he called the "daylong TV spectacles" of impeachment hearings in that committee. He said Democrats were trying to "topple" a "duly-elected" President and branded the proceedings a farce.
He said that the only time the media cared about allegations of corruption regarding the Democratic Vice President was when they were trying to keep him from beating a political rival.
Nunes talked about Hunter Biden's position on the board of a "corrupt Ukrainian company," while his father was Vice President, but said: "The Democrats' media hacks only cared about that issue briefly, when they were trying to stop Joe Biden from running against Hillary Clinton in 2015."
On day one of the hearings, Nunes had called the media corrupt and a part of a Democrat vendetta against the President.
In both cases he was levying those charges to a broadcast, cable and online audience of millions both here and abroad, via outlets as varied as ABC, PBS, Fox News Channel, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.
Produced by Treasure Entertainment, Series 2 begins filming this week in Dublin
Silver Spring, MD; November 15, 2019 – AMC Networks’ Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) and Irish broadcaster RTÉ have commissioned the return of Irish comedy Finding Joy from Treasure Entertainment. Created, written and starring Irish Film & TV Academy winner Amy Huberman (Striking Out, The Clinic), the six-part comedy series, which is produced by Rob Walpole and Rebecca O’Flanagan of Treasure Entertainment and directed by John Butler (Papi Chulo, Handsome Devil, The Stag) with director of photography Cathal Watters (Peaky Blinders), begins shooting in Dublin this week. Series 2 follows Joy as she is reborn as an independent entrepreneur, struggling to establish her online brand of finding happiness and fulfillment in everyday life. Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in North America, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom and secondary rights in Ireland. Acorn Media International will distribute the series in the English-speaking territories.
Finding Joy, Series 2 will make its World Premiere as an Acorn TV Original on Acorn TV, North America’s largest streaming service for television from Britain and beyond, in Summer 2020 followed by its Irish premiere on RTÉ. Series 2 also stars Kerry Howard (Four Weddings and a Funeral, TV) as new flatmate Christie; Ruth Kearney (The Following) as new assistant Emer; as well as Kyle Prior (Hollyoaks, Home and Away) and Justine Mitchell (Cheat); as well as returning stars Lochlann O’Mearain, Hannah James Scott and Paul Reid (Vikings) reprising their roles.
The highest-rating comedy debut of 2018 for RTÉ and called a “delightful and often ribald screwball comedy” by The Washington Post, Finding Joy is a warm, funny and irreverent look at modern Ireland and how we each try to find meaning in our lives in a world where old certainties are gone. In season 1, Joy (Amy Huberman) is coming to terms with the break-up of her long-term relationship, and unwittily landing herself a new job as a vlogger. Joy's unpolished pieces turn out to be a hit with the News Today subscribers. As she ventures into the strange and hair-raising world of therapeutic wrestling, internet dating, group therapy and life-changing abseiling, Joy comes to realize that her professional journey may be able to help her negotiate her personal dramas. Season 2 sees a newly motivated Joy working to build her own online brand of “Joy” with the support of no-nonsense Emer (Ruth Kearney) and the ever faithful Stan (Paul Reid). While Joy throws herself into building her business and subscribers with great zeal, she begins to discover her professional success might come at a great personal cost.
Creator and star Amy Huberman said, “I’m so excited to be starting series 2 with such a great cast and crew. It’s been a busy few months getting the scripts in shape and this week we start rolling to bring it all to life again. We really loved filming last year and are so looking forward to getting going now with season 2. Two for Joy!”
Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises noted, “We’re excited to work with Amy Huberman, Treasure Entertainment, and our friends at RTÉ to bring back this very funny and relatable comedy. With securing more rights globally for Finding Joy, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share this fun and irreverent Irish comedy with Acorn TV subscribers worldwide.”
Shane Murphy, RTÉ Group Head of Drama and Comedy said: “We’re thrilled to be going into production again with Amy and Treasure. Investing in homegrown comedy and drama that showcase the best of Irish creative talent is a key priority for us here in RTÉ. It's another cracking set of scripts and with John Butler and Cathal Watters involved as well, we know we’re in safe hands."
Producer Rebecca O'Flanagan said: ‘We are thrilled to be shooting series 2 of this great comedy. Series 1 was a great professional experience: Amy is a joy to work with and our partners at Acorn and RTÉ have been thoroughly supportive throughout. And we believe this second series will be even better – and will reach an even wider audience.”
Amy Huberman is one of Ireland’s most popular actresses. She has been nominated for eight Irish Film & TV Awards, including wins for Best Actress for her role as Tara Rafferty in Striking Out in 2017 and as Karen in the thriller Rewind in 2011. Additional credits include The Clinic (also on Acorn TV), Cold Feet, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope, Moone Boy, and Threesome.
Finding Joy, Series 2 comes on the heels of recent RTÉ and Acorn TV co-commission announcements for Dead Still and The South Westerlies as well as past co-productions, Striking Out and Acceptable Risk. Additionally, Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises has commissioned Agatha Raisin, Series 2 and Series 3 starring Ashley Jensen; the straight-to-series order of British drama London Kills; fun British mystery Queens of Mystery; and New Zealand thriller The Sounds.
RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) is Ireland's national public-service media organisation. RTÉ commissions a broad range of high-quality programming and content to meet the needs of multiple audiences. Further information can be found here: https://www.rte.ie/about/en/how-rte-is-run/2014/0310/601244-about-rte/
Treasure Entertainment is one of Ireland’s leading independent film and TV production companies, with a proven record in producing commercially and critically successful content for Irish and international audiences. Recent film credits include John Butler features, Handsome Devil and The Stag, Paddy Breathnach’s Oscar shortlisted Viva, and BAFTA nominated Good Vibrations. Currently Treasure are in post-production on Hugh O’Conor’s debut feature, Metal Heart, and John Butler’s third feature Papi Chulo, starring Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer and Alejandro Patiño, which recently wrapped shooting in LA.
Acorn TV Press Contact: Chad Campbell, 301.830.6203, [email protected]
RTÉ Press Contacts: Rayna Connery / +353 879862902 / [email protected]
ABOUT AMC NETWORKS
Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on basic cable television for nine consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now; Acorn TV; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.
‘Slow Horses’ adapted from British espionage books
Apple has ordered a new original drama starring Gary Oldman for Apple TV+, the streaming service that launched last week.
The show, Slow Horses, is being adapted from the British espionage books written by Mick Herron.
It is being written by Will Smith and he will executive produce along with Graham Yost, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gail Mutrux and Douglas Urbanski.
Slow Horses follows a team of British intelligence agents who’ve made career ending mistakes and wound up assigned to a dumping ground. Oldman’s character, Jackson Lamb, is the leader of this group.
The series was commissioned by Apple’s heads of worldwide video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht and creative director for Europe worldwide video Jay Hunt.
See-Saw films is the production company.
ITIF, CCC tell Congress platforms are net positive
One of the big knocks on Big Tech is that the government has allowed it to gobble up smaller startups and anticompetitively hurt smaller competitors lacking the resulting scale and resources.
But in a Hill hearing Thursday, a couple of witnesses said that, on balance, tech giants have been a net positive for businesses and consumers.
"On the whole, Internet platforms play a positive role in helping businesses of all sizes deal with these changes," Innovation Technology & Innovation Foundation senior fellow Joe Kennedy told the House Small Business Committee. The changes he was talking about were the challenges of a global economy driven by "a ubiquitous Internet that lets consumers quickly compare prices, find reviews, and shop online." ITIF is on the record as suggesting Big Tech is unfairly getting a bad rap.
He said that where large companies gain their large market share by competing fairly with small business, policymakers should welcome, not oppose, that.
'We should not enact new, restrictive laws or engage in new antitrust practices simply to rein in some of America’s most productive companies," he said.
The key issue for policymakers is to determine if that competition is, indeed, fair, or whether it is anticompetitive, a point that Department of Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim has been making as DOJ investigates how social media giants got that way and whether antitrust law needs to change to meet the challenges of that internet-driven economy.
Also weighing in with the committee was Jake Ward of the Connected Commerce Council, who went so far as to say that small business's story was "simple and straightforward": [L]arge, data-intensive digital platforms such as Google, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, Yelp, and countless others benefit their businesses, help them compete, and accelerate their success."
The council bills itself as the voice of small business, but its partner companies--donors--include Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Ward gets some pushback on that cheery assessment from the small businesses who have told Congress that Google favored its own content in a search world where Google rankings are crucial to success, and that Amazon has favored its own products on its dominant online sales market.
And as to the calls by Elizabeth Warren and others to break up, or at least shake up, Big Tech, Ward dismissed those, or essentially any adjustment to the present marketplace, as bad for business of any size. "Any changes to this delicate ecosystem, let alone breaking up the largest companies, would result in fewer free or low-cost tools and services available," he said. "And it will be small businesses that pay the price.”
Billy Bob Thornton legal drama to have season four
Amazon Studios has picked up a fourth season of offbeat legal drama Goliath, starring Billy Bob Thornton. It will be the final season.
Season three premiered on Amazon Prime Oct. 4. Executive producers are Lawrence Trilling, Geyer Kosinski, and Jennifer Ames & Steve Turner.
“Goliath has been one of our most popular shows ever on Prime Video, and we’re so thankful to Billy Bob, Larry, Geyer, Jennifer, Steve, and the entire Goliath team for bringing this series to life,” said Vernon Sanders, co-head of television, Amazon Studios. “We’re happy that our customers around the world will have a chance to see Billy McBride bring this final chapter to a close on Prime Video next year.”
In season three, the unexpected death of an old friend leads Billy McBride (Thornton) to take a case in the drought-stricken Central Valley, where he comes face-to-face with a new Goliath: a billionaire rancher (Dennis Quaid) and his sister (Amy Brenneman).
“I’m thrilled we get another season to tell Billy McBride’s story. Our latest case tackles a timely global crisis that impacts an entire generation, and we will be adding some exceptional talent to our already amazing cast,” said Trilling. “I’m so grateful to everyone at Amazon for their support of the show. Jennifer, Steve and Geyer have been dream partners, Billy Bob is a constant inspiration, and I’ve been blessed to work with a stellar cast and crew."
Westwood, Massachusetts, November 14 2019 –– Telestream, a leading provider of workflow automation, processing and quality monitoring and management solutions for the production and distribution of video, has announced the appointment of Diana Horowitz as VP Sales, serving the eastern US region.
Commencing her role with immediate effect, Horowitz will be based in New York City and brings a wealth of advertising market and video experience, commercial expertise and technical knowledge to Telestream’s team. As well as contributing to Telestream’s go to market strategy, she will oversee all of Telestream’s business and customer relationships in the strategically important US East region.
Diana Horowitz comes to Telestream with an extensive background in the media industry. She joins from Tavant, where she was Regional Director of Sales for Media & Entertainment. Previously, Horowitz was Executive Director of Sales for IBM Watson Media; also working with Comcast Technology Solutions, where she held positions as Global Client Director, and Director of VOD Sales; and Scripps Networks Interactive (now Discovery, Inc.), where she led the Digital Advertising Sales team in the Northeast for Food Network and Cooking Channel.
Diana Horowitz started her career at The New York Times Company, where she held numerous leadership roles in both New York and Paris, including Global Sales Development Director for the International Herald Tribune and Managing Director, Corporate Advertising for The New York Times.
“This year, Telestream has been active in the marketplace with new product launches, and the expansion of our customer reach and team with the addition of Tektronix Video. We need to make strategic additions to our sales leadership team to support this growth,” commented Alistair Butler, Chief Sales Officer at Telestream. “Diana exemplifies the kind of personality that will help drive Telestream forward. Her depth of experience in the media sector, and especially in advertising and post will contribute significantly to our team’s core strengths.”
Diana Horowitz commented: “I am thrilled to be joining Telestream at this incredibly exciting time of transformation in the media industry. The decisions that media companies make today will determine the future of their businesses – and redefine the industry - for decades to come. Telestream is uniquely positioned for growth in this market, as both traditional and new media companies race to transform their operations and business models to distribute and monetize content seamlessly across screens and devices.”
Horowitz is an active member of various media organizations, and a frequent speaker and moderator at media industry events. She graduated from George Washington University in Washington DC, where she studied French literature and art history.
Los Angeles, CA – November 14, 2019 – Katie O’Connell Marsh, Founder and Chairman of Platform One Media (a Boat Rocker company), the Los Angeles-based global television production and distribution studio, has inked a first-look deal with Jennifer Fox, the Academy Award-nominated producer (The Report, Michael Clayton, Nightcrawler) through her Los Angeles-based production company Jennifer Fox Productions. Working with Fox on this deal will be Erin Simon who recently joined the company as vice president of development and production.
“Jennifer is well-respected for her award-winning approach to filmmaking and we look forward to working with her new company to develop narratives that speak to the compelling themes she is drawn to and have worked so beautifully and successfully in her film career,” commented O’Connell Marsh.
“I could not be more thrilled to be announcing this deal with Katie and her team at Platform One Media. Katie has always had a vision for auteur independent film making and taking this concept into the world of television series. We have an incredible slate of titles together and I look forward to bringing these projects to our audiences.”
Leading off the slate is the independent feature film Ultraluminous based on the daring novel of the same name by Katherine Faw (). Academy Award-winning producer/director/screenwriter Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Behind The Candelabra) is on board to produce alongside Fox, Elisa Ellis of Platform One, and Zev Borow (Human Target, Forever, Lethal Weapon), who brought the book to Platform One Media. Rounding out this team is Frankie Shaw (SMILF) who is set to write and direct. Ultraluminous is a nihilist revenge tale about a high-end sex-worker who returns to her native New York City after more than a decade abroad.
The initial TV projects part of this first-look deal include a limited series based on the 2013 finalist for the National Book Award The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and a series based on the award-winning Canadian series Fuguesuse entitled Runaway. Karyn Kusama is attached to both projects as director and executive producer. Next up is a political comedy entitled En Garde written by Tom Gormican & Kevin Etten and rounding out the slate is a series based on the Naomi Novik fantasy novel Spinning Silver. Jennifer Fox and Elisa Ellis of Platform One Media are set to serve as executive producers on all titles.
ABOUT PLATFORM ONE MEDIA
Platform One Media is the global television production and distribution studio recently acquired by Boat Rocker Media. The studio curates, develops, produces, and distributes high-quality scripted programming for the U.S. and international markets. Veteran television executive Katie O’Connell Marsh is the Founder and Chairman and spearheads the company’s activities. For more information, please visit www.platformonemedia.com
No-shows Facebook, Apple will 'reap what they sow," said chairman to empty chairs
The House Small Business Committee took its turn at running Big Tech through another Hill gauntlet at a hearing Thursday (Nov. 14) titled "A Fair Playing Field? Investigating Big Tech’s Impact on Small Business."
That question mark in the title loomed large over the proceedings.
Committee chair Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) started the hearing by praising Amazon and Google for agreeing to send witnesses, and pointing to the two empty chairs for no-shows Facebook and Apple. To the latter, she said, their absence not only impeded Congress' mission but "speaks volumes about the companies' commitment to transparency and their very own customers," adding ominously: "You reap what you sow."
As to the issue of Big Tech's impact on small business, she said that while tech platforms can be beneficial, Big Tech's grip on the daily lives and the competitive landscape is "astounding and also concerning." She pointed out that Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon are worth a collective 4.3 trillion dollars.
Ranking member Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) tried to take a little sting out of Velazquez's criticism of the no-shows, saying "it's not always easy to answer when Congress calls," but also thanked the witnesses who had "taken the time out of their busy schedules," to appear.
As to small business concerns, about things like privacy and intellectual property, Chabot readily conceded them, but added: "By and large the development of these digital platform products and services from Tech giants has been a boon for the millions of individual small businesses that probably never would have existed without them."
Dharmesh Mehta, VP, worldwide customer trust and partner support at Amazon, said that third-party sellers now represent over half of all Amazon sales and that the company has invested over $15 billion to help selling partners run their businesses.
Mehta said Amazon lowers barriers to entry for entrepreneurs--one knock on Big Tech is that it has been buying up entrepreneurial startups before they become competitors. He said empowering third-party selling, including small businesses (SMBs), has created a better customer experience than Amazon could have provided on its own. He said Amazon now has over 1.9 million such "business partners," and "they are thriving."
Erica Swanson, head of community engagement, for business development arm, Grow with Google, told the committee that her company is committed to the goal of helping small businesses grow and thrive.
She said Google supports the success of small business here and abroad, including through Grow with Google's free training programs for small businesses and their employees.
She also pointed out that Google provides free business profiles where small businesses can list their websites, and Marketfinder, the free service that helps small businesses identify and adapt to overseas markets.
Those resources are also curated in Google for Small Business, an online tool that helps small businesses create a personalized marketing plan.
She said since launch, Grow with Google has trained three million Americans in all 50 states.
Velazquez asked Mehta whether Amazon does not have an inherent advantage over other businesses when it both provides the platform for those small businesses and sells its own products in competition.
He pointed out that other major market retailers, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe's, Costco, have a private label business that competes with others in their store.
He said Amazon's private label represents only about 1% of total sales, while for the others that figure is anywhere from 18% to a whopping 85% (likely Trader Joe's).
But Velazquez said that research shows that Amazon is consistently "winning the BUY box" that adds its products to the surfers cart, and that it is designed to favor Amazon. She did not give Mehta a chance to answer that one.
Velazquez said Google has more than 90% of search and small businesses can't survive if they can't be found. When Walmart, Verizon, and Amazon spend millions to get their ads on the first page, doesn't that crowd out small businesses, she asked Swanson.
Swanson said there were a number of ways that small businesses can be "discovered online," both paid and unpaid.
Velazquez stopped her to point out that there is clearly an advantage for those paying to be on the first page. Swanson countered that depending on how it was listed, a small business could appear on the first page in organic search.
Holt, Dunn, Pedowitz, Kerger among those honored
Nine broadcasting luminaries were celebrated at the Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts event in New York Thursday. Held at Gotham Hall, Nightline anchor Juju Chang hosted. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation hosted the event.
Former CBS Evening News co-anchor Connie Chung, CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, PBS President/CEO Paula Kerger, Urban One CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, Patrick Communications founder Larry Patrick, The CW President Mark Pedowitz, Advanced Television Systems Committee President Emeritus Mark Richer and Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott were named Giants.
Chung shared a bit about getting a one-on-one with President Nixon in the midst of his Watergate mess. Doing a full impersonation, she spoke of Nixon asking the young reporter how much money she made. “Just remember one thing,” she said Nixon said. “You have to make more money!”
Chung admitted she was a bit confused by the interchange. “To this day, I don’t know what he said,” said Chung. “And that’s the way it was.”
Juju Chang then resumed hosting duties. “We expect impressions from all of you,” she quipped.
She spoke about Peter Dunn getting lost at the massive CBS Broadcast Center as a kid, visiting his father at work. “I still get lost at the CBS Broadcast Center,” said Dunn.
He admitted he wasn’t used to being labeled a giant. “Being here today makes me feel a few inches taller,” said Dunn.
Next up, Holt admitted he “broke a lot of rules along the way,” and did not enjoy a formal journalism education. “I made some spectacular mistakes and miscues,” he said. “Thank God there was no YouTube.”
He urged those in the room to “spot the raw talent” in their shops, and “make them better.”
Pedowitz, for his part, said he wasn’t a giant of anything, except, perhaps, “a giant pain in the ass” to those he works with. He said he was a little uneasy at the podium, preferring to “let the work speak for itself.”
Pedowitz said his longevity in broadcasting is an asset. “If you survive in this industry long enough,” he said, “someone might notice you.”
ABC lead networks among adults 25-54
More viewers tuned into Fox News’ coverage of Wednesday’s impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump than any other cable or broadcast channel, according to early Nielsen Media Research.
Fox News averaged more than 2.8 million viewers on Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the hearings, according to Nielsen. MSNBC was second with 2.6 million viewers, followed by ABC’s 2 million viewers.
In primetime Fox crushed its cable network competitors, averaging 3.9 million viewers to MSNBC’s 2.8 million viewers and CNN’s 1.3 million watchers. Fox News also topped MSNBC and CNN among adults 25-54 during the time period, according to Nielsen.
Expense could slow achieving scale, increase churn
In a report Thursday, Moody’s senior VP Neil Begley notes that at $14.99 a month, HBO Max will be the costliest of all the subscription video-on-demand services being launched to compete with Netflix.
“We believe this is an error in judgement,” Begley said. While AT&T has enough content to create a service that can compete with offerings from Netflix, Disney, Apple and Comcast, he noted that it won’t be as easy for consumers to compare the quality and volume of content HBO Max offers as it will be for them to compare price tags.
“We think this misjudgment will undermine management’s stated goal of achieving scale,” Begley said.
The analyst said that AT&T management also appears to be concerned about cannibalization of existing HBO subscribers.
“We believe that is a mistake,” Begley said. "HBO Max will be a direct-to-consumer (DTC) platform. AT&T may get help from pay-TV distributors and other distributors, but we expect the revenue split on HBO Max will be less than that with pay-TV distributors. Therefore, we believe the company could charge less and still not lose profitability, even if HBO Max cannibalized HBO. It may even have produced more revenue with materially greater uptake.”
Begley notes that AT&T expects to have 50 million subscribers for both HBO Max and HBO in five years, only 16 million more than it has now.
“Quite underwhelming growth by comparison to peers, to say the least,” he said. In its first day, Disney got more than 10 million Disney+ signups.
“We believe the higher price will delay take up and result in greater churn,” Begley said. “We think scale is extremely important, because it lowers the cost per viewing hour, producing greater profitability and competitiveness when acquiring new content and gaining leverage and efficiency when it comes to owned production as well as licensed programming.”
Begley noted a few other concerns about how AT&T is introducing HBO Max.
He said that HBO Max will release its program on an episode-by-episode basis, rather than dropping an entire season at once as Netflix does. He said viewers prefer to binge watch and that while episodic release might be designed to keep subscribers loyal, it could backfire by prompting subscribers to churn in and out once full seasons are available.
Confusion around distribution of HBONow and HBOGo could be a short turn issue, as will the lack of pricing and other information about the ad-supported version of the AT&T streaming service.
“One might expect that this would have been decided prior to having a big coming out launch party, but we believe it will be sorted quickly,” Begley noted.
There is also uncertainty around international launch dates for the service.
“AT&T’s HBO Max analyst day was probably announced too early and the deadlines for establishing all the launch dates and pricing could not be met or moved. Overall, the most important features of the launch are present, but pricing, the all-important international launches and achieving scale may be problematic,” he said.
Palo Alto, Calif. – November 14, 2019 – Wurl, the leading provider of streaming video distribution and advertising services for connected TV (CTV), today announced that it is working with Hollywire, the leading celebrity news outlet, to deliver the linear 24-7 celebrity news channel to new OTT platforms.
Hollywire is tapping Wurl’s video distribution expertise to power the delivery of its newly launched channel across streaming platforms, including Samsung TV Plus. The partnership means hundreds of hours of celebrity content including interviews, original shows, inside scoops and more will now be delivered to a much broader audience.
“We are leveraging Wurl’s leading technology to deliver our content to our loyal fanbase, as well as reach new viewers on their Samsung Smart TVs,” said Tony Moras, CEO of Hollywire. “Wurl’s business model is ideal for our distribution needs, and its team of experts is able to adapt to any specifications.”
The operations team at Hollywire also cited Wurl’s mass upload capabilities as a key factor in their choice. Moras continued, “While most video delivery services only offer individual video uploads, Wurl provides a mass upload feature which we are capitalizing on to deliver our expansive content portfolio to viewers. This was an incredibly helpful for our launch.”
“Hollywire’s millions of fans can now access the Hollywire channel in a linear format with just an Internet connection,” said Sean Doherty, CEO of Wurl. “Helping our customers get their great content to their viewers is our bread and butter, and we’re excited to have Hollywire join the Wurl Network.”
Wurl operates the market-leading Wurl Network — interconnecting the world’s top video producers, streaming services and advertisers. Wurl makes it effortless for video producers to build global distribution for ad-supported linear channels, live events and VOD. Wurl is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit wurl.com.
Since its launch in 2010, Hollywire has become the premier destination for pop culture news and celebrity interviews. HW is working with and identifying the next generation of celebrities and global influencers. We provide real awareness and influence with our VIP exclusive 1-on-1 interviews.
For more information on Hollywire visit: https://hollywire.com/
Breakaway Communications for Wurl
Andy Samberg comedy spent first five seasons on Fox
The show was on Fox for its first five seasons. Last season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine averaged a 1.2 rating and 3.2 million viewers overall in live plus same day Nielsens, according to NBC.
The cast includes Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is produced by Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, Fremulon, Dr. Goor Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment.
Dan Goor, Mike Schur, David Miner and Luke Del Tredici executive produce.
‘Masked Singer’ off a bit on Fox
ABC won the Wednesday ratings race, with the CMA Awards leading the network to a 2.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 9 share. That topped the 1.1/5 that Fox posted.
It was the 53rd annual CMA Awards, celebrating the best in country music. It was on throughout prime. Last year’s awards got a 2.1.
Fox had The Masked Singer down 20% at 1.6 and Almost Family off 29% at 0.5.
NBC did a 1.0/5. Chicago Med and Chicago Fire did 1.1s and Chicago P.D. got a 1.0. Med and P.D. were flat and Fire was up a tenth.
CBS got a 0.9/5. Survivor lost 15% for a 1.1 and SWAT was a flat 0.5
Telemundo and Univision both got a 0.5/2. On Telemundo it was 0.5s for Exatlon Estados Unidos, El Final Del Paraiso and El Senor de los Cielos, Exatlon flat and the other two up a tenth. On Univision, La Rosa de Guadalupe and Cuna de Lobos got 0.5s and El Dragon a 0.4. All were flat.
The CW scored a 0.2/1. Riverdale did a 0.3 and Nancy Drew a 0.2. Riverdale went up a tenth and Nancy was flat.
But remains legislative 'elephant in the room'
The House Energy & Commerce Committee's Communications Subcommittee has approved by voice vote--there were no nays to be heard--a STELAR reauthorization legislation that includes some retrans reforms and a bill transparency provision, moving it to the full committee for further consideration.
But there was an astral asterisk next to that vote.
It became clear during the markup of nine communications bills Thursday (Nov. 14) that issues with HR 5035, the Television Viewer Protection Act (TVPA) STELAR reauthorization, were being moved along to the full committee rather than hashed out at the subcommittee level, particularly given that the bill was to be reauthorized by the end of next month or it expires.
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), chairman of the subcommittee, thanked Republican leaders for being willing to support voting the bill out of the subcommittee, but those leaders and other Republicans made it clear they had issues both with the bill and the process.
STELAR establishes the compulsory license that allows satellite operators to import distant network TV station signals to markets that lack them, and without having to negotiate individually with stations to do so. It also mandates good faith retransmission consent negotiations between broadcasters and MVPDS-satellite and cable.
TVPA not only renews that compulsory license, but expands the good faith provision to allow Smaller MVPDS to collectively bargain. ACA Connects has been pushing for that recognition for years.
The bill also requires MVPDs and ISPS--fixed and mobile--to include all charges in their advertised prices, and requires "greater transparency in electronic bills" and "remedies to consumers for certain increases in charges" (incorporating Rep. Anna Eshoo's [D-Calif.] True Fees Act).
Full committee ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) signaled that "asterisk" early on when he said that eight of the nine bills were bipartisan. Walden tagged STELAR reauthorization as "the elephant in the room."
Broadcasters do not favor reauthorization, and Walden, a former broadcaster, told the committee he was not inclined to do so either. But even if he were, he took issue with the added retrans and bill transparency elements on TVPA.
"For those who see it as a vehicle to continue making media marketplace reforms, this Committee can and should examine such reforms in regular order and on their own merits, not as add-ons to an outdated policy," he said. "Moreover, for those who claim that 870,000 consumers could lose access to TV content, I say show me the numbers—nobody has seen them. Meanwhile, broadcasters have committed to chairman Graham in the Senate that they will work in good faith through the transition away from the distant signal license to a free and fair market to ensure consumers are protected."
He also complained that the text of the bill had not been shared with the minority. But Walden said that while he had his doubts about reauthorization, he was willing to talk as the bill makes its way to full committee consideration. But he reserved the right to object in full committee.
E&C chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) praised the additions/reforms--particularly bill transparency--but also conceded there was work to do.
"I know my colleagues will have different views regarding this reauthorization, but these provisions are expiring and if we are going to address them, we must do it now," he said. "In that spirit, I look forward to working together with my colleagues as we prepare to move to the full committee to discuss any concerns in the hopes of building bipartisan consensus."
The Senate Commerce Committee this week pulled its consideration of a "clean" STELAR reauthorization from a markup. Commerce chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he had pulled it because members wanted to add some reforms to that bill as well.
Walden noted that, saying that like the House version, there had been no legislative hearing on that bill, saying neither appeared to be ready for prime time.
Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the subcommittee, also said he was disappointed that the bill was not being considered on regular order, but cited the other side's willingness to talk.
ACA Connects was celebrating the vote given that it allowed for collective negotiations for its members. “Chairman Doyle’s buying group requirement would mean federal law will permit smaller MVPDs to designate NCTC to negotiate retransmission consent on their behalf with gigantic TV station ownership groups like Nexstar and Sinclair Broadcasting Group," said ACA Connects President Matt Polka. "With the buying group provision, these large broadcast stations groups won’t be able to refuse to deal with the buying group chosen by traditional mom-and-pop video providers. These large broadcasters will have to deal with buying groups in the same way they deal with large cable operators.
“Consequently, ACA Connects urges the full Energy and Commerce Committee and the House of Representatives to approve the buying group provision before the expiration of key STELAR provisions on Dec. 31," Polka said.
The eight other bipartisan bills, which dealt with broadband mapping, network security, freeing up spectrum, and more were all reported favorably to the full committee for consideration, the last stop before a full House vote.
H.R. 4229, the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act or the Broadband DATA Act, which requires the FCC to put out new rules on collecting more granular broadband availability data and verify its accuracy, something the FCC is already in the process of doing under pressure from Congress and others.
H.R. 4227, the Mapping Accuracy Promotion Services Act (MAPS Act), which would make it illegal for carriers to submit inaccurate data on broadband availability.
H.R. 5000, the Studying How to Harness Airwave Resources Efficiently Act of 2019 (SHARE Act), which requires the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which oversees federal spectrum, to consult with the FCC on a spectrum-sharing program and test bed.
H.R. 4998, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019, which requires the FCC to create and maintain a list of "communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to national security and prohibits the use of funds made available by FCC programs to purchase, rent, lease, or otherwise obtain such equipment and services." It also creates a program for helping smaller providers pay for removing and replacing suspect tech and services from their networks.
H.R. 4461, the Network Security Information Sharing Act of 2019, which would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NTIA, and FCC, to create a program for sharing supply chain security risk information with communications service providers and suppliers.
H.R. 2881, the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019, which would direct the President to develop a "Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy” in consultation with the heads of FCC, NTIA, and Department of Homeland Security, as well as the DNI and Secretary of Defense."
H.R. 4500, the Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act of 2019, which directs NTIA to "encourage participation by trusted American companies and other stakeholders in standards-setting bodies, and to offer technical assistance to stakeholders that do elect to participate, in the course of developing standards for 5G networks and future generations of communications networks."
H. Res. 575, "expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that all stakeholders in the deployment of 5G communications infrastructure should carefully consider and adhere to the recommendations adopted at the Prague 5G security conferences known as "the Prague Proposals." Those include that laws on connectivity are guided by equity and that influence from foreign entities must be taken into account.
Exec had been with Tavant
Telestream said it hired Diana Horowitz as VP sales for the eastern U.S.
Horowitz, who had been regional director of sales for media & entertainment at Tavant, will oversee Telestream’s business and customer relationships in the region.
“This year, Telestream has been active in the marketplace with new product launches, and the expansion of our customer reach and team with the addition of Tektronix Video. We need to make strategic additions to our sales leadership team to support this growth,” said Alistair Butler, chief sales officer at Telestream. “Diana exemplifies the kind of personality that will help drive Telestream forward. Her depth of experience in the media sector, and especially in advertising and post will contribute significantly to our team’s core strengths.”
Before Tavant, Horowitz was executive director of sales for IBM Watson Media, global client director for Comcast Technology Solutions and head of the digital advertising sales team in the Northwest for Scripps Networks Interactive’s Food Network and Cooking Channel.
She started her career in sales at the New York Times Co.
“I am thrilled to be joining Telestream at this incredibly exciting time of transformation in the media industry,” Horowitz said.
“The decisions that media companies make today will determine the future of their businesses – and redefine the industry - for decades to come,” she said. “Telestream is uniquely positioned for growth in this market, as both traditional and new media companies race to transform their operations and business models to distribute and monetize content seamlessly across screens and devices.”
Several dozen Harry Styles fans camping out in Manhattan for ‘SNL’ tickets
A sizable group of Harry Styles fans, most of them young women, are camping out outside Saturday Night Live headquarters in New York, hopeful about getting into the show when Styles hosts, and is musical guest, Nov. 16.
People starting turned up Tuesday night, Nov. 12. The week has turned quite cold in New York, temps dipping below freezing Nov. 13. With their blankets and makeshift bedding, the fans are camped on 6th Avenue and 48th Street. There were maybe 60-70 of them out Thursday morning, with the temperature at 35 degrees.
Jessica Paredes of Manhattan’s Financial District arrived around noon Nov. 13. She was by herself, but quickly got friendly with other solo campers, including Samiha Mazumder of Queens. How confident is Paredes about getting in? “Fairly,” she said.
Mazumder said she’s been a fan of Styles since she was 10 or 11, seeing him on Britain’s X Factor and following him during his time in One Direction.
“We’re stans, in Twitter language,” Mazumder said. “He’s a really big part of my life.” (Stans are super-fans, the term a nod to the Eminem track from 2000.)
Mazumder came out with several blankets and camping chairs, which her new friends, including Maribel Khouwes and Sonya Rios, were putting to good use. “The second he announced this, I made a list,” she said. “I had a plan.”
The women said NBC staffers will give out tickets early Saturday morning, and they’ll find out if they’re in. NBC pages brought the campers pizza and hot chocolate Wednesday night. (NBC did not comment on the campers.)
The Styles fans spend much of their day addressing questions from curious passers-by.
“You’re going to wait here until Saturday?” asked an Englishman of the women.
There is the bathroom matter to consider. The women said they used the public one in Rockefeller Center during that day, but that closes at 10:30 p.m., they said. Then it’s Starbucks or McDonald’s.
Maribel Khouwes of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood said she almost gave up in the middle of the night, after Wednesday turned into Thursday. A quick warm-up sit in McDonald’s got her back on the street with renewed devotion.
Paredes did not sleep at all. “It wasn’t the cold, really,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep because of the noise.”
Mazumder said she hears buses coming and going all night long from her apartment, so the traffic on 6th Avenue did not bother her.
Paredes said the campout brings together the two largest passions in her life--Harry Styles, of course, and New York City. “If we get in it will be worth it,” she said. “Since I was 12, he’s been the most important figure in my life. Having this opportunity is so unreal.”
Said it could reduce spectrum critical for rural broadband
Microsoft told the FCC this week it has issues with broadcasters' effort to extend their TV signals via distributed transmission systems (DTS).
It's not the use of DTS, which the computer giant said definitely has upsides, but how broadcasters might be able to use it.
The National Association of Broadcasters and America' Public Television Stations, representing commercial and noncommercial broadcasters, respectively, last month asked the FCC to tweak its DTS rules given the potential the new ATSC 3.0 transmission standard provides to more efficiently use DTS.
"Stations could enhance service to viewers by improving coverage throughout their service areas and offering improved mobile coverage without the risk of encroaching on the service of stations in adjacent markets," they told the FCC.
Broadcasters currently use translators to boost their signals at the fringes of the service area and in other areas where terrain weakens a signal, but translators usually use a different channel, while DTS use the same channel.
"They could also improve mobile reception and allow more efficient use of broadcast spectrum by reducing the need for television translators using separate channels."
But Microsoft is afraid it could instead result in a spectrum grab by broadcasters, one that would reduce the availability so-called "white spaces" between channels for the unlicensed spectrum use Microsoft has pushed as a way to deploy rural broadband.
"Unfortunately, although the petitioners frame their proposal as a means of allowing broadcasters to fill coverage gaps, the petition goes significantly beyond what is necessary to address that problem," the company said in its response to the petition."
Microsoft does not oppose exploring the use of DTS to improve TV station signals, but argues it can probably be done within existing rules. "The petition would appear to allow DTS transmitters to be located outside a broadcaster’s service area and would impose no limits on broadcasters’ ability to expand service beyond that area, as long as they do not increase emissions outside their interfering contour—an area that is roughly a third larger than broadcasters’ existing service areas."
"[T]he Commission should not allow broadcasters to enlarge the areas in which they are able to claim interference protection," it told the FCC. "Allowing broadcasters to claim interference protection beyond their service contours, wherever they could reach with their DTS signal, would amount to giving away a tremendous amount of spectrum without following any of the legally required procedures for licensing broadcast spectrum."
Microsoft said that if broadcasters were allowed to expand their coverage areas by a third, it would be a "catastrophe" for rural communities because of the reduction in white spaces spectrum, though it at least conceded it did not think that was broadcasters' intent.
Agreement features films including ‘Knives Out’ and ‘Bombshell’
Lionsgate said it reached a deal that makes Amazon Prime Video the first-window home of Lionsgate’s films in the U.K.
The Lionsgate films will be available on Amazon Prime in the U.K. on Jan. 1.
“We’re excited to be bringing Lionsgate’s slate of compelling movies to Prime Video,” said Martin Backlund, head of content UK, Prime Video. “Our customers will be delighted that Lionsgate’s Hollywood and British blockbuster movies are coming to Prime Video.”
New films in the deal include the upcoming Knives Out, action film Midway and Bombshell.
“We’re delighted to expand our longstanding relationship with Amazon to bring our films to their Prime Video service in the UK,” said Lionsgate president of worldwide television & digital distribution Jim Packer. “It is a great new collaboration with an important content partner in the worldwide arena, underscoring the breadth and depth of the Lionsgate slate.”
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate by president of international television & digital distribution Agapy Kapouranis, senior VP and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa Television sales Nicky Wood, and VP of UK, Turkey & Greece television sales Nazneen Sethi.
Former Tribune-owned CW affiliate WSFL acquired in September
The E.W. Scripps Co. said it will launch a local news operation at WSFL-TV, in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market.
The station, which had been owned by Tribune Media, will continue as a CW affiliate. Local newscasts are expected to go on the air in the spring.
Scripps owns stations in Tampa, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee and Fort Myers, which means it covers 67% of Florida, expected to be a key battleground state during the 2020 Presidential election, which means there will be a lot of political news and campaign ad spending.
“Our commitment to launch news in Miami expands Scripps’ already impressive commitment as the largest news organization in Florida,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ president of Local Media. “Florida is a state we know well and we pride ourselves on the stories we tell daily that define the issues, lifestyle and people of Florida. Expanding into the Miami and Fort Lauderdale communities allows Scripps to elevate the public discourse around this region’s most important social, economic and community issues. Heading into 2020, we felt it was important to add another local source to serve as the voice of record for the South Florida community.”
The company said it will be naming a management team for the station in the coming months.
Music awards event happens at Staples Center January 26
Alicia Keys will host the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on CBS Sunday, Jan. 26. Singer/songwriter Keys has 15 Grammys to her name. She hosted the Grammys last year too.
“Alicia Keys is the ultimate musically credible MC and talent who brings everything you’d want to hosting big event television,” said Jack Sussman, executive VP, specials, music and live events, CBS Entertainment. “Alicia 2019 raised the bar to the next level, and I have no doubt Alicia 2020 will take Music’s Biggest Night to all new heights.”
The music awards happen at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. CBS airs the event live. Ken Ehrlich executive produces the Grammys.
“At first, I did think last year was a one-time thing, but when the opportunity came back around, there was no question about returning as host of the Grammy Awards,” said Keys. “Last year was such a powerful experience for me. Not only did I feel the love in the room, but I felt it from around the world, and it confirmed the healing and unifying power of music.”
VOD Inspector Player Test allows source-to-playout visibility into viewer experience quality
Waterloo, ON, Canada, Nov. 14, 2019 – SSIMWAVE® will enable content distributors for the first time to evaluate video player experiences remotely and objectively and to address subpar video quality issues when it unveils a new Player Test feature in its SSIMPLUS® VOD MONITOR Inspector at Streaming Media West next week.
The Player Test provides source-to-playout visibility – between any two points in the world – into how individual video files appear to the viewer, using the SSIMPLUS 0-100 scoring metric. As the only algorithm that can accurately mimic actual human vision, the SSIMPLUS score provides streaming and on-demand content distributors with actionable insights into how network conditions such as bitrate, switches between variants and buffer sizes impact the viewer.
The Player Test will be available before the end of 2019, initially evaluating HLS content delivered to players developed on the video.js framework. Support for additional players and video formats will be available in the near future.
“There are countless data points that show what is happening in the network, but until now there has been no way to understand exactly what they mean to the viewer,” said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO and co-founder of SSIMWAVE. “Our Player Test capability completes the picture by providing a simple, consistent score that shows how video quality has changed from source to playout, giving a clear indication of what the viewer sees.”
VOD MONITOR Inspector is a cloud-based tool that uniquely combines frame-by-frame and pixel-by-pixel analysis of video content with SSIMPLUS. Using the new Player Test functionality, distributors can achieve three-point monitoring – at the source; at the output of the encoder, transcoder or packager; and at the player output. The resulting data can enable optimization of profile ladders, content variants and other variables without noticeably impacting the viewer experience. For example, rather than treating all content equally, distributors can use the SSIMPLUS score to create and test multiple profile ladders or higher or lower quality variants, depending on the type of content being delivered and the device on which it is being viewed.
SSIMWAVE will be showing the Player Test functionality at its booth at Streaming Media West Nov. 19-20 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles. In addition, Dr. Rehman will be discussing Player Test as part of “Stop Bad Video in its Tracks,” a Discovery Track presentation at 10:30 a.m. PT Nov. 19.
To book a meeting or demonstration with SSIMWAVE at Streaming Media West, please go to https://calendly.com/ssimwave/streaming-media-west-2019?month=2019-11.
Blackmagic Design today announced that the hit Indian film “Kumbalangi Nights” was graded by freelance colorist Mr. Remesh CP using DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Advanced Control Surface
Fremont, CA – November 14, 2019 - Blackmagic Design today announced that the hit Indian film “Kumbalangi Nights” was graded by freelance colorist Mr. Remesh CP using DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Advanced Control Surface. Remesh CP also used DaVinci Resolve to grade dozens of other films and television shows, including the recent thriller “Abrahaminte Santhathikal” and comedy “Children’s Park.”
Remesh CP has graded more than 100 feature length and short films and more than 250 television commercials over the course of his 10 year career. Working at Kerala India based Lalmedia as a full time colorist, and recently given the prestigious National Best Colorist Special Recognition award by Indywood, he uses DaVinci Resolve to grade a huge number of South Indian projects. This includes the critically acclaimed “Kumbalangi Nights” and current work on the films “Brothers Day,” “Ganagandharvan,” “Under World” and “Vikruthy.”
“I use DaVinci Resolve Studio in almost all of my projects. I find it very easy and simple to use. I especially like the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel as it helps me to fine tune the values precisely. The main advantage I found about the DaVinci Resolve Advance Panel is that it gives me access to almost all the important functions at my fingertips,” said Mr. Remesh.
“Kumbalangi Nights” revolves around four brothers who share a love hate relationship with each other. Their relationship progresses to another level when three of the brothers decide to help the other brother stand by his love. For the film, Mr. Remesh worked with the cinematographer of the film, Shyju Khalid & Saiju Sreedharan (Dl Producer, Editor of this film) to create the look and feel of a remote village near the water that was bright and brilliant with colors all around.
“Mr Shyju Khalid beautifully visualized the story and characters which helped me to create the mood that was demanded. Even though it was a quiet village, we needed the imagery and look of it to be stunning, and this was one of the biggest challenges I faced during the color correction of this film. I relied on Resolve to do this,” he said. “As a colorist, I prefer Resolve for professional color grading software because of its large number of features, such as window tracking, stabilization, secondary corrections and curves. I used all of these with Kumbalangi Nights.”
On “Children’s Park” and “Abrahaminte Santhathikal,” Mr. Remesh jumped between two very different genres and looks for the films. With “Abrahaminte Santhathikal,” he was faced with a grim film looking at a man falsely accused of murder. While “Children’s Park” is a light hearted and bright comedy following two friends and an orphanage. With DaVinci Resolve, he was able to work and fine tune the grades for each film and easily jump between genres.
“With Abrahaminte Santhathikal, I used some options Resolve that fit the DOP, Mr. Alby’s, tastes, which due to the subject nature of this film had to be serious and unpleasant and I had to mute the colors a bit. While Children's Park, a children’s film, had to be entertaining and fun, so throughout the film I had to create a pleasant mood in the background. I achieved it by using Resolve to treat the scenes with bright colors and lighting up the background with greens,” he continued.
The use of DaVinci Resolve on many of the Indian film and commercial industries has also allowed Mr. Remesh CP to grow his career and work on bigger budgeted films.
“I have had the opportunity to work with state and national award winning cinematographers, which has given me much wider exposure. Each film I get involved in is an experience and teaches me many things, especially how to see or how to show this world. In my early days as a colorist, working on big budget or big star movies was my dream. To a great extent, Resolve has helped me to achieve the level I am today,” he finished.
Product photos of the DaVinci Resolve Studio, and DaVinci Resolve Advance Panels, as well as all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.
Media Financial Management Association (MFM) will host their Media Tax Summit on Thursday, December 12. The daylong event will be held at the offices of Jones Walker, LLP in New Orleans. It is scheduled from 8:15 am to 5:00 pm, with a cocktail reception immediately following.
Media Financial Management Association (MFM) will host its Media Tax Summit on Thursday, December 12. The daylong event will be held at the offices of Jones Walker, LLP in New Orleans. It is scheduled from 8:15 am to 5:00 pm, with a cocktail reception immediately following.
Co-Chairing the Summit will be Paul Nesterovsky, Vice President, Tax, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and Sean Hetzler, Senior Director, Tax, TEGNA Inc. The forum will cover various aspects of taxation issues associated with media companies, including domestic tax reform and state conformity to those rules; a media-specific look at mergers and acquisitions and the associated transaction costs; international tax issues unique to media companies; state income tax apportionment; and a review of various accounting methods commonly used in the media business.
“Our MFM Media Tax Summit has been specifically formulated with our members’ needs in mind,” said Mary M. Collins, president, and CEO of MFM and its BCCA subsidiary, the media industry’s credit association. “All our speakers are versed in the unique tax issues facing media companies and will provide insights and takeaways that will be applicable in 2020 and beyond. We are particularly pleased to have Paul and Sean lending their unique expertise to this event.”
The cost for the Summit is $495 for members and $745 for non-members, which includes a one-year trial membership. These rates are good through November 15. Accommodations for the Summit may be booked online at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette (French Quarter Area Hotel), 817 Common Street.
Eligible participants may receive up to seven Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. More information and an online registration form may be found on MFM’s website.
About Our Co-Chairs
Paul Nesterovsky has served as Vice President, Tax of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. since August 2011. Prior to that, and from 2006, he served as Sinclair’s Tax Director. From 2003 to 2005, he served as Corporate Tax Manager of Sinclair and prior to that, he held various roles in the tax department. Prior to joining Sinclair in 1999, Mr. Nesterovsky worked in the tax departments of Ernst & Young and Wolpoff & Company and the accounting department of Genesis Health Ventures, Inc. Mr. Nesterovsky received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Towson University and his Master of Science degrees in Taxation and Finance from the University of Baltimore. Mr. Nesterovsky is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Tax Executives Institute.
Sean Hetzler leads TEGNA’s corporate tax function and is responsible for all aspects of tax planning, compliance, provision, and controversy. Sean has been with TEGNA for four years and previously served as TEGNA’s Director, Tax Planning. Prior to working at TEGNA Sean was a director in the mergers and acquisitions tax group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Sean’s practice was focused on inbound acquisition structuring, tax due diligence, and internal corporate restructuring. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Accounting (cum laude) and the University of Virginia with an M.S. in Taxation. Sean is a licensed CPA in Virginia.
About MFM and BCCA
Media Financial Management Association (MFM) is the premiere resource for financial professionals for media industry education, networking, and information sharing throughout the U.S. and Canada. More information about MFM is available on its Web site: https://www.mediafinance.org and via its updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Its BCCA subsidiary serves as the media industry’s credit association. BCCA’s revenue management services encompass a variety of credit reports on national and local media advertisers and agencies, including Media Whys, a credit report for media businesses that offers a credit score based on industry-specific aging combined with trade data from Experian or D+B. More information about BCCA is available at https://www.bccacredit.com as well as its updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Another $13 million-plus in subsidies heads for hinterlands
The FCC has authorized another $13 million-plus for rural broadband buildouts as it works to close the digital divide.
That broadband subsidy money, from the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction, is going to 66 winning bidders whose applications for the money passed muster with the Wireline Competition Bureau, Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force and Office of Economics and Analytics.
The auction last year allocated $1.488 billion with a goal of reaching 700,000 unserved homes in the next 10 years.
The winning bidders must provide "at least one standalone voice plan and one service plan that provides broadband at the relevant performance tier and latency requirements at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates offered in urban areas. The locations must be in the eligible census blocks covered by the long-form applicant’s winning bids."
Service must be offered to 40% of locations in a state by year three, then 20% more each year through year six.
The bidders have 10 days to pony up a letter of credit covering the first year.
One of the 66, Hankins Information Technology, had already been authorized in the May 10 tranche of bidders, but sought a waiver of the deadline because of a death in the family and eventually filed its letter of credit.
The CAF II money is being allocated over 10 years to unserved areas in 45 states. The largest incumbent price cap carriers—AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink—declined about $2 billion in Connect America Fund phase II (CAF II) support for building out broadband to high-cost, generally rural, areas, in 20 states, so the FCC opened that pot of money up to competitors, like cable broadband providers, via the auction.
All that money is coming from the Universal Service fund for high-cost, mostly rural, areas for which there is no business case for building out broadband absent that subsidy. The FCC gave incumbent telcos the first shot back in 2015, though incumbents could jump back in as well, as some did--winning bidders included Verizon ($9,476,934 for 3,361 locations in seven states) and Frontier ($51,553 for 23 locations in one state), both former Bells.
Domestic advertising up 6%
Viacom reported lower fiscal fourth-quarter profits as revenue fell and costs rose as it prepared to close its merger with CBS.
Net earnings dropped 22% to $307 million, or 76 cents a share, from $394 million, or 98 cents a year ago.
Revenue fell 1% to $3.433 billion,
Viacom’s earnings were better than Wall Street forecasts, but revenue was below expectations.
Viacom’s Media Networks unit reported a 3% decline in adjusted operating income to $597 million.
Revenue was down 2% to $2.614 billion, with affiliate revenue dropping 2% to $1.331 billion and ad revenue off 3% to $1.163 billion. Domestic affiliate revenue rose 1% to $1.004 billion and domestic ad revenue was up 6% to $946 million.
Viacom said revenue for its Advanced Marketing Solutions were up 83%, helping drive domestic advertising revenue in the quarter. For full year, AMS revenue was up 76%.
The domestic ad gain continued a turnaround at the company. Last quarter was the first time domestic ad revenue was up after 20 consecutive declines. Viacom’s head of ad sales, Sean Moran, will be leaving after the merger with CBS, with CBS’s president for ad revenue Jo Ann Ross heading up sales for the combined company.
Pluto TV increased its month active users to about 20 million, up 70% from a year ago. Pluto has launched 43 new channels, including 24 Viacom-branded channels in the quarter.
TV production expanded with 17 new domestic series order, up from six last year.
The company said it’s Paramount film studio, which had been struggling, was profitable for the year, improving its operating income by $117 million.
“Our strong performance in the fourth quarter capped off a pivotal year for Viacom and reflects the successful execution of our strategic priorities to evolve the company for the future,” said CEO Bob Bakish.
“We achieved several important milestones. First, we grew domestic ad sales for the full year, driven by the continued acceleration of Advanced Marketing Solutions. We also grew full year domestic affiliate revenue, driven by the extended reach of Viacom's distribution across more viewing platforms. And, for the first time in four years, we returned Paramount to full year profitability – a testament to the strength of our strategy and content slate,” Bakish said. “As we look to the future of a combined ViacomCBS, we’re thrilled with the momentum we have to create one of the world’s preeminent content companies.”
Disney touts ‘extraordinary consumer demand’ for new SVOD service
Disney+ has surpassed 10 million sign ups in less than two full days after its launch Tuesday morning, a short Disney press release stated.
To put the impressive benchmark in comparison, Hulu—which launched in 2007, didn’t surpass 10 million users until 2016. Netflix, which was founded in 1997 as an online DVD rental outfit, didn’t add its 10 millionth customer until 2009.
Another benchmark: Disney+ also tallied 3.2 million app downloads on launch day.
As for the $7-a-month Disney+ service, it launched Tuesday in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands. Disney was apparently caught off guard a bit by the volume of sign-ups, attributing a number of technical issues to the rush.
Launches in Australia and New Zealand are slated for next week. And the platform will expand to Western Europe at the end of the first quarter.
Analyst predicts Disney+ will exceed 100 million users by 2025.
“… series not to be missed” - El Figaro
“Tomer Sisley is flawless [as an] intriguing and wounded dandy” - Paris Match
One of the 10 highest-rated dramas in France in 2018 – four of its episodes were seen by at least six million viewers each on TF1, BALTHAZAR series 1 will stream exclusively in the U.S. on Acorn TV on Monday, November 25, in a binge premiere of all six episodes. Compared favorably to such shows as Castle, The Mentalist and Bones —this acclaimed series stars popular actor, director and comic Tomer Sisley (Messiah, The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch) as Raphaël Balthazar, a handsome, intelligent and quick-witted forensic pathologist in Paris who can make the dead speak like no one else to help solve investigations of violent murders, but is also irreverent, mischievous and lives his life in firm defiance of norms and conventions. This presents a major challenge for new, no-nonsense police commander Hélène Bach (Hélène de Fougerolles, Le Secret d’Elise, VA Savoir), who must collaborate with him on these complicated cases. Called a “glorious streaming service… an essential must-have” (The Hollywood Reporter), AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s most popular streamer focused on British and international television.
On the job, Balthazar is very confident; his conclusions are often accurate to fill in gaps as much as possible about the victims, their lifestyles and their deaths, drawing from his top-notch skills and latest technology to help uncover evidence that police missed on the crime scene. He becomes so personally invested in the victims’ back stories that he speaks with them while conducting their autopsies at the morgue and they interact in return. He’s openly flirtatious with Bach. Yet he is vulnerable at home where he still mourns his late wife Lise (Pauline Cheviller, Le Secret d’Elise) 13 years later, where she was murdered. He draws comfort from intimate imagined conversations with her --whether he’s admiring her aunt’s courgette jam, she pokes fun at him for leaving graphic crime scene photos on the coffee table after his one-night stand stumbled on to them and ran off in fright or watching the Miss France competition show, which was a favorite pastime of theirs. Balthazar is now greatly conflicted over whether the man locked up for Lise’s murder was actually the perpetrator. Thanks to new clues, Balthazar is in hot pursuit to learn the true identity of her killer.
In the series premiere, Balthazar and Bach work together to solve the double homicide of a public prosecutor and his wife gunned down in their home, leaving behind their traumatized six-year-old daughter. In episode two, Balthazar arrives to a gruesome scene of a beaten man with his face partially missing: everyone claims the victim was well-liked, so why was he dumped miles from his home, and why didn’t he ever mention his years-old injuries to his wife? Also, Balthazar helps a woman in a movie theater who appears to have been stabbed, but after realizing the blood she’s covered in belongs to someone else, he races to find the other injured person. Learning that the two victims were engaged, Bach interviews their families, who claim the pair were very much in love, but evidence shows the woman was deeply depressed. Co-starring in the series is Yanig Samot (The French Kissers) as policeman Jerome Delgado.
BALTHAZAR premiered on December 6, 2018 in France and is a production of BEAUBOURG STORIES in co-production with France’s TF1 and international distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment. BALTHAZAR Series 2 is scheduled to stream on Acorn TV in spring 2020.
U.S. Premiere: Monday, November 25, 2019 Episodes: 6 (one-hour each, English subtitles)
Exclusive U.S. Premieres on Acorn TV
Sunday, December 1: Midsomer Murders, Series 21 (series no longer on Netflix) – Streaming Premiere
Monday, December 9: The Heart Guy, Series 4, acclaimed Aussie hit series back with new episodes – US Exclusive
Wednesday, December 25: Murdoch Mysteries, Season 13, return of beloved, award-winning Canadian series -US Exclusive
AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television with over 1 million paid subscribers in the U.S and Canada. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week with a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no set end dates or commercials. Facebook: OfficialAcornTV - Twitter @AcornTV
Mahan to become vice chairman in 2Q 2020
Amy Thurlow was named president of dick clark productions, parent company Valence Media said Wednesday.
Thurlow, who had been COO and CFO, will report to CEO Mike Mahan, who will become vice chairman in the second quarter of 2020. At that point, Thurlow will take over leadership of dick clark productions.
“Amy is an extremely talented and dynamic executive, who is poised to drive continued growth and exciting accomplishments at dcp. She is also surrounded by an incredible group of leaders and colleagues who we have the utmost confidence in” said Valence Media Co-CEO’s Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu. “We are thankful to Mike, whose leadership and creativity helped drive record growth at dcp during his tenure. Luckily, we’ll continue to work closely together and we look forward to supporting his next adventure.”
Valence said that under Mahan and Thurlow, dcp generated six consecutive years of record earnings and record revenues.
Before joining dcp, Thurlow was CFO and executive VP for sales strategy at TV Guide Network. Before that she was with NBCUniversal. She began her career at General Electric.
“I am so thrilled to step into this role and lead such an incredible and dedicated team as we continue to produce best-in-class live entertainment,” said Thurlow. “I am indebted to Mike for his leadership, mentorship and friendship. While he will be greatly missed, we are happy that he will remain part of our dcp family in the Vice Chairman role.”
Mahan had been president of TV Guide Network before joining dcp. He began his career as an investment banker and worked at a couple of dotcoms before getting into TV.
“I am excited to pass the reins to Amy, who I have had the privilege of working with for more than 10 years, as I know she will successfully steer the company to new heights well into the next decade,” Mahan said.
TOKYO and STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Nov. 13, 2019 — Videon Central Inc., a global leader in ultra-low-latency 4K edge compute encoding technologies, in partnership with its exclusive Asia-Pacific region technical representative and distributor, Rexcel Nippon Co. Ltd, will showcase the latest end-to-end (camera glass-to-smartphone glass) live streaming solution based on its flagship EdgeCaster encoder at Inter BEE 2019, Makuhari Messe near Tokyo Nov. 13-15 in the CTCSP Corporation booth Booth 7412 in Hall 7.
Videon EdgeCaster edge compute encoders enable ultra-low-latency live streaming at an ultra-low cost. Efficiently handling transcoding, format repackaging from RTMP to HLS/DASH, and creation of multiple bit rates at the network edge, EdgeCaster devices bypass a layer of cloud-based processing and, in turn, reduce latency to as little as less than 4 seconds while drastically cutting the average user's streaming costs. The EdgeCaster offers higher performance and a lower fixed cost per stream in addressing the requirements of delay-sensitive video applications, as well as applications with high-volume streaming to limited numbers of viewers per stream.
EdgeCaster users can easily launch and scale up live, interactive services and other delay-sensitive applications including esports, sports betting, and live auctions. EdgeCaster addresses the industrywide problem associated with social, live video interaction and reconnects life's moments. For example, the technology partnership specifically addresses the issue of spoilers by bringing the latency of live streaming in line with that of broadcast.
# # #
Videon is a world-leading provider of ultra-low latency, high-resolution, high-performance streaming solutions that enable users in the prosumer, pro-AV, and broadcast markets to simplify streaming workflows and reduce costs. Videon has also partnered with top software brands around the globe to incorporate its technology solutions into millions of devices. Videon actively supports its employees, its community, and the environment by emphasizing the belief that employees should care more about others than they do about themselves. More information is available at https://videon-central.com.
All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.wallstcom.com/Videon/191113Videon.docx
Photo Caption: Videon EdgeCaster
Huddle around your HDTV screens this December with Acorn TV’s mighty multi-course feast for your entertainment this holiday season, featuring returning series chestnuts, comfort food dramedies and bittersweet comedies.
AMC Networks’ leading streaming service for Britain and Beyond has a wide range of for the offering:
· Award-winning Canadian series MURDOCH MYSTERIES will unroll a brand-new season with more whodunnit intrigue and its trademark engaging stories (Dec. 25)
· THE HEART GUY Series 4 brings on the latest exploits of Australia’s charismatic but volatile cardiac surgeon, Dr. Hugh Knight and company in this long-running hit series (Dec. 9)
· FROM FATHER TO DAUGHTER, a multigenerational Italian saga starring Alessio Boni, whom Italian Vanity Fair calls “perfection” in his role as the arrogant, domineering patriarch (Dec. 23)
· MOUNT PLEASANT, the heartwarming early-2010s UK dramedy starring Coronation Street’s Sally Lindsay and Black Sea’s Daniel Ryan, about a tight-knit family in Manchester. Season 4 will stream starting Dec. 2. (Seasons 1-3 just made available Nov. 2019)
· SLINGS & ARROWS (Streaming Exclusive), the final season of the adored cult fav series starring Paul Gross, Sarah Polley, and Mark McKinney (Superstore), on a troubled yet very talented Shakespearean theater workshop. Season 3 will stream starting Dec. 16 (Seasons 1 and 2 just made available Nov. 2019)
Finally, in December, Acorn TV adds the following:
· MIDSOMER MURDERS, Series 21, the latest episodes of the British mystery institution starring Neil Dudgeon (Dec. 1)
· THE ART DETECTIVES, Series 4, where art historians Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri examine some of the lesser known works among Britain’s largest collections
· CARE, starring Sheridan Smith as a single mom struggling to raise her two kids in the aftermath of a family tragedy in this riveting drama
· THE VICTORIAN HOUSE OF ARTS & CRAFTS, a UK 2019 documentary series about reviving traditional craftmanship
· AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, a lighthearted World War II drama starring Robson Green (Grantchester) and Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones)
· FRAGILE HEART, a BAFTA award-winning medical drama starring Sir Nigel Hawthorne.
· RELATIVE STRANGERS, an award-nominated Irish series starring Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) and Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty, Blood)
WATCH NOW: Premieres will be added as they become available, https://acorn.tv/press. Mirror to your TV via Apple TV or Chromecast. DVDs available upon request.
Sunday, December 1
MIDSOMER MURDERS, Series 21
Homicide, blackmail, greed, and betrayal are just a taste of what goes on behind the well-trimmed hedges of Midsomer County in this deliciously sinister series starring Neil Dudgeon. The suspense doesn’t let up in the upcoming episodes: things run awry at the annual “Paramount Dance Extravaganza,” where there are deep running feuds and passions behind the sequins and smiles; in another episode, a prolific real estate agent is murdered in front of a crowd at the unveiling of a doll house collection at Midsomer Museum. (4 EPS, 2019)
Monday, December 2
MOUNT PLEASANT, Series 4 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere)
“Irresistible… underneath all the raucousness there’s an appealing warmth, light but steady insistently outrageous farce” - The Wall Street Journal
This long-running heartwarming UK dramedy hit, which originally aired on Sky, depicts the lives of a tightly knit family in suburban Manchester, including their everyday struggles. Starring Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street, Scott & Bailey), Daniel Ryan (Black Sea), Ainsley Howard (Mum & Dad, The Village), and Neil Fitzmaurice (Going Off Big Time). (8 EPS, 2014)
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (Drama)
This lighthearted wartime musical drama stars Robson Green (Grantchester, Wire in the Blood) and Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones, Ripper Street) as two bandsmen and their misadventures with gangsters, romance and black marketing in blitz-time London in 1940. Starring Julia Sawalha (Absolutely Fabulous, Press Gang) as the gorgeous Dolly Nightingale, whom Green’s character falls in love with. (3 EPS, 1997)
Monday, December 9
THE HEART GUY, Series 4 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere)
In this smash-hit Aussie drama from Oscar nominee Tony McNamara (The Favourite), Rodger Corser (The Doctor Blake Mysteries) plays Dr. Hugh Knight, a rising star in the Sydney heart-surgery ranks. Hugh is gifted, charming, and seemingly infallible, but after an incident involving drugs and alcohol, he's forced to practice as a GP in his rural hometown of Whyhope-and to deal with his complicated family situation. Series 4 focuses on Hugh as he faces the fight of his life after serving out his probation– for love, career and family. Will Whyhope’s naughtiest doctor have the right stuff, or will he self-destruct and lose everything? Also starring Nicole da Silva (Wentworth) and Ryan Johnson (Rake). (10 EPS, 2019)
THE ART DETECTIVES, Series 4
At any one time, over 80% of Britain’s publicly owned art collection is locked away in storage. Historians Bendor Grosvenor and Emma Dabiri reveal the stories behind some exciting lesser-known works among Britain’s largest collections, located in local museums and country houses: they uncover a Madonna and Child painting in the stores of the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and investigate whether it was by iconic early Renaissance “The Birth of Venus” artist Botticelli, or a follower of his; the duo investigate a roughly painted woodland scene catalogued as ‘After’ Thomas Gainsborough at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, studying evidence that it may be a preparatory sketch for the painter’s last great landscape: one of his picturesque ‘Cottage Door’ series. (3 EPS, 2019)
Monday, December 16
SLINGS & ARROWS, Season 3 (U.S. Exclusive)
“Outrageously Entertaining” – NPR
“Absolutely addictive” – The New York Times
“Can make you both LAUGH and CRY…don’t miss it.” --Chicago Tribune
"It's the kind of show that makes me feel better about television and also maybe a little bit better about humanity" --Vox
This universally adored, cult-favorite series chronicles the backstage shenanigans of a troubled theater company as they embark on a production of Macbeth at a Shakespeare festival. Paul Gross (Due South) returns as washed-up actor and artistic director Geoffrey Tennant. The series also stars Stephen Ouimette (Mentors), and Mark McKinney (Kids in the Hall, Superstore), who is also the co-creator/co-writer. The series was nominated for 50 awards in three seasons and won 22 awards for acting, writing, direction and more. (6 EPS, 2006)
From Emmy®-winner and multi BAFTA award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern (The Street, Broken), this BBC drama stars International Emmy Award®-nominee Sheridan Smith (Cilla) as a single mother struggling to raise her two children in the aftermath of a family tragedy. After her husband’s departure, Jenny (Smith) is fully reliant on the childcare her mother Mary (Alison Steadman, Hold the Sunset, Gavin & Stacey) provides. But when Mary suffers a devastating stroke and develops dementia, Jenny’s world comes crashing down, as everything changes for her and her sister Claire (Sinead Keenan, Little Boy Blue, Being Human). Finding herself torn between her own life and the wellbeing of her mother, Jenny soon discovers that another way could be possible - but she’ll have to fight for it. (90 min., 2018)
Monday, December 23
FROM FATHER TO DAUGHTER (Exclusive U.S. Premiere, Foreign Language, Italy, Di Padre in Figlia)
This captivating family saga is richly told through the historical changes experienced in Italy from 1958 to the 1980s, including its economic boom and women empowerment. Di padre in figlia is the epic story of the Venetian Franza family, the owners of a distillery in Bassano del Grappa, and focuses on the patriarch Giovanni Franza (Alessio Boni, The Best of Youth, The Tourist), who stakes everything on his son, as well as on his three enterprising daughters who want to conquer the world. One of the three female heirs, played by Cristiana Capotondi (The Worst Week of My Life, Notte prima degli esami), will go on to carry on the family business, as she faces struggles to survive in a male-dominated world and tries to hold her own against all odds. (4 EPS, 2017)
THE VICTORIAN HOUSE OF ARTS & CRAFTS (Series, Documentary)
In this landmark living history series from the BBC, a late 1800s Victorian Arts & Crafts commune in the Welsh hills is painstakingly brought back to life as a group of six 21st century crafters - three men and three women (including potter/ceramic designer Keith Brymer Jones and dealer/expert Patch Rogers) move in to experience the highs and lows of living and working together as a creative commune. Over their month-long stay the crafters are set to renovate four of the key spaces in the house. (4 EPS, 2019)
Wednesday, December 25
MURDOCH MYSTERIES, Season 13, Episodes 1 and 2 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere)
In this beloved, award-winning Canadian series, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) solves turn-of-the-century Toronto's most intriguing mysteries with the help of Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing); Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy); and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig). In the season 13 premiere, “Troublemakers,” Murdoch investigates an explosion at a suffrage rally attended by Dr. Talbot and Dr. Ogden, after a man dies. In episode 2, “Bad Pennies,” a man is found murdered and an innocent man is first arrested and subsequently released with the murderer posed to kill again if not arrested first. (2 EPS, 2019)
Monday, December 30
MURDOCH MYSTERIES, Season 13, Episode 3 (Exclusive U.S. Premiere)
In this beloved, award-winning Canadian series, Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) solves turn-of-the-century Toronto's most intriguing mysteries with the help of Constable Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing); Dr. Julia Ogden (Helene Joy); and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig). In episode “Forever Young,” a young woman is found murdered with no explanation as to why she looks the same age that she disappeared two years earlier as if she was a Sleeping Beauty. (1 EP, 2019)
THE FRAGILE HEART
Created by Paula Milne (the award-winning series The Politician’s Wife), this BAFTA award-winning series stars Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George) as a cardiac surgeon at the height of his career facing a professional and personal crisis: how to heal others - and himself. He plays Edgar Pascoe, a man seemingly in control of his life who finds his world beginning to cataclysmically fall apart during a visit to China. Heading a top-flight medical delegation with a view to exploiting the possibilities of telemedicine and globalization, he is asked to perform a convert cardiac operation on a high-ranking Communist Minister. Confronted by an ethical dilemma over the abuse of human rights, Edgar is forced into a painful moral awakening which proves to affect every area of his life. The series also stars Dearbhla Molloy (Coronation Street, Casualty), Helen McCrory (The Queen, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2) and Dominic Mafham (Ophelia). (3 EPS, 1996)
RELATIVE STRANGERS (Series) – NEW DATE
This Irish drama series stars Academy Award-winning actress Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot, A Time to Kill) as an Irish nurse and happily married wife of 24 years living in Germany with her two bright teenage kids, whose life changes forever when her husband dies tragically. Maureen learns many new things about him, including his debts - and a second wife and family in Dublin. She travels there to meet the other family, only to find out they have troubles of their own. Furious and deeply hurt by her husband's betrayal, Maureen puts aside her own dark and raw emotions to confront the final issue one she can hardly bear: the second wife’s son has leukemia and because of his rare blood type, needs help from her own children to survive. Directed by Giles Foster (The Lilac Bus), this series earned two Irish Film and Television Awards nominations: Best Television Drama and Best Leading Performance for Brenda Fricker. Also starring Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty, Blood). (4 EPS, 1999)
UPCOMING IN 2020 (dates subject to change)
January 6, 2020: Brokenwood Mysteries, Series 6 (new episodes every Monday)
January 13, 2020: Ackley Bridge, Series 3
February 2020: Agatha Raisin, Series 3, starring Ashley Jensen (Catastrophe, Ugly Betty) as the amateur sleuth based on the bestselling comedic mystery novels by M.C. Beaton (3 movies)
About Acorn TV: Called a “glorious streaming service… an essential must-have” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “Netflix for the Anglophile” (NPR), AMC Networks’ Acorn TV is North America’s largest streaming service specializing in British and international television and is now serving more than one million paid subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Acorn TV adds exclusive new programs every week with a deep library of mysteries, dramas, and comedies with no set end dates or commercials. Subscribers can stream many of their favorite international series and discover new and classic programs previously unavailable to U.S. audiences. In 2019, Acorn TV features several commissioned series including British crime drama London Kills, fun British mystery Queens of Mystery and the final Series 2 movie of Agatha Raisin (Series 3 to premiere in late 2019 and early 2020); new episodes of fan favorites Line of Duty from Jed Mercurio, British sensation Doc Martin, Welsh sensation Keeping Faith, medical drama The Good Karma Hospital, Paul Abbott’s No Offence, Aussie dramedy The Heart Guy, and Canadian hit Murdoch Mysteries; along with several new series, including British crime drama Manhunt, Lucy Lawless’s My Life is Murder, BBC One Wales family drama Pitching In, New Zealand crime drama Straight Forward and Dutch drama The Oldenheim Twelve; and a growing catalog of popular bingeable dramas A Place to Call Home, Blood, Mystery Road, Detectorists, Jack Irish, George Gently, and Foyle’s War; among much more. Acorn TV is available via Apple TV, Roku, iOS, YouTube TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Comcast/Xfinity, Android, among many other devices and offers a free trial and thereafter is just $5.99/month or $59.99/year. Facebook: OfficialAcornTV - Twitter @AcornTV
Broadpeak's SSAI Solution Simplifies the Personalization of OTT Ads, Without Any Rebuffering or Ad Blockers, Boosting Monetization for Operators
CESSON-SEVIGNE, France — Nov. 13, 2019 — Broadpeak®, a leading provider of content delivery network (CDN) and video streaming solutions for content providers and pay-TV operators worldwide, today announced that Partner Communications Company (NASDAQ and TASE: PTNR), a leading provider of telecommunications services in Israel, will deploy its server-side ad insertion (SSAI) solution. Integrating Broadpeak's SSAI solution with other Broadpeak technologies already deployed, including origin server, CDN, and cloud PVR, will enable Partner Communications to deliver personalized ads within VOD content, helping it to better monetize its cutting-edge OTT television service.
"We chose Broadpeak's server-side ad insertion solution because it is flexible and simple to integrate with other ecosystem equipment, eliminating the need to perform complex ad insertion at the video level," said Ronen Gutmanovitz, head of TV technologies at Partner Communications.
The operator will use Google Ad Manager, iFeelSmart for the client application, and Broadpeak's solutions for manifest manipulation. Broadpeak's ad insertion solution allows Partner Communications to personalize ads. Broadpeak's SSAI solution avoids rebuffering during ads and defeats ad blockers, ensuring a superior television experience for end users. In addition, iFeelSmart has integrated Broadpeak SmartLib, which enables avoiding ad skipping and provides client-side analytics information. Broadpeak's BkA100 video delivery analytics system then displays this information, combining it with server feedback, in order to provide decision makers with a comprehensive view of the entire system.
"Operators across the world are always looking for new ways to improve OTT monetization, and our SSAI solution is a first-class option that is flexible, scalable, and completely open, enabling operators to work with several ad decision servers," said Jacques Le Mancq, CEO at Broadpeak. "Our SSAI solution is gaining momentum with this latest deployment in Israel. Relying on the solution's manifest manipulation techniques combined with the use of ABR formats will significantly boost Partner Communications' monetization potential and improve video streaming experiences for their customers."
More information about Broadpeak solutions can be found at https://broadpeak.tv.
# # #
About Broadpeak® (https://broadpeak.tv)
Broadpeak® designs and manufactures video delivery components for content providers and network service providers deploying IPTV, cable, OTT, and mobile services. Its portfolio of solutions and technologies powers the delivery of movies, television programming, and other video content over managed networks and the Internet for viewing on any type of device. The company's systems and services help operators increase market share and improve subscriber loyalty with superior quality of experience.
Broadpeak supports all of its customers worldwide, from simple installations to large delivery systems reaching capacities of several million of simultaneous streams. The company is headquartered in Cesson-Sevigne, France.
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/Broadpeak/191113Broadpeak.docx
Photo Caption: Partner Communications' OTT television service deploys Broadpeak's SSAI solution.
Matrix Solutions announces the fourth annual Media Ad Sales Summit will return to the Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach, FL January 22-24, 2020. The Summit, bringing together industry leaders and experts including media sellers and buyers from across the industry, will focus on latest technology, trends, and workflows that are not only shaping consumer behavior but changing the way advertising is bought and sold, today and into the future.
Key topics and themes will include “Consolidation" Impact, Automated Ad Selling and Buying/ Tech-enabled Negotiations, Streaming Video and OTT, and Ad Spend Category Trends including Political, Automotive, and DTC+Future. Speakers announced to date include Tim Hanlon, The Vertere Group, LLC.; Jill Rosengard Hill, Magid; Nicole Meade, WideOrbit; Jill Josephson, Transform; Doug Hurd, clypd; Jay Stevens, Hudson MX; Randa Minkarah, Transform; Sara Fischer, Axios; Dan Callahan, Fox; Sarah Foss, FreeWheel Advertisers; Howard Shimmel, Janus Strategy & Insights; Jo Kinsella, TVSquared; Steve Walsh, Comscore; and Joe Lampert, Edge Technology Services. Additional speakers from the Matrix team include: Mark Gorman, CEO, Brenda Hetrick, CRO, and Adam Gotlieb, CTO.
The Summit, produced by Matrix, will kick-off with a welcome reception on Wednesday, January 22 followed by two days of high-impact sessions, candid conversations, and ample networking opportunities – including breakfast and lunch both days and a cocktail reception.
“We established the Media Ad Sales Summit as a way to bring more of the industry together in a collaborative setting to not only discuss technology and trends and how they relate specifically to the buying and selling of advertising, but to move the needle on advancements for the future,” said Mark Gorman, CEO, Matrix Solutions. “The Summit has continued to serve as a niche event shining a light on an often-underserved area of the industry and delivering tangible value to those that attend.”
To register, view the agenda, or get more information on the Media Ad Sales Summit and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.matrixformedia.com/MediaAdSalesSummit/.
Matrix Solutions’ cloud-based Media Ad Sales Platform serves as an effective, enterprise-wide solution for managing advertising revenue. Functioning as a fully integrated layer within a company’s workflow it enables users to aggregate, access, and interact with their pertinent sales data including insights, revenue, and analytics. The extensive sales capabilities and revenue-generating proficiency of the platform provides users a valuable return on investment. For more information on the Pittsburgh-based Matrix Solutions visit www.matrixformedia.com.
Twenty six floats, over a thousand clowns and Al Roker
NBC airs the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade November 28 from 9 a.m. until noon. Today anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker host. Appearing or performing in the parade are Natasha Bedingfield, Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Celine Dion, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Debbie Gibson, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Billy Porter, Kelly Rowland and the Muppets.
The parade will feature 16 giant character balloons, 40 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles and balloonheads; 26 floats, 11 marching bands and more than 1,000 clowns.
“We are thrilled to present the 93rd edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to our viewers nationwide,” said Doug Vaughan, executive vice president, special programs, NBC Entertainment. “This iconic tradition will once again jump start the holiday season with a celebration led by an incredible lineup of performers, bands, floats, balloons and more.”
There will be a 360-degree livestream of the parade on Verizon's YouTube page.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by Brad Lachman Productions. Lachman is executive producer and Ron de Moraes directs.
Renewal makes '25 Words Or Less' first official rookie pick-up of this season
The Fox Television Stations have renewed rookie game show 25 Words or Less, executive produced and hosted by Meredith Vieira, for a second season, making that show this year’s first rookie to get an official season-two pick up.
“Every day, America welcomes us into their homes to laugh, cry and play. We are part of their everyday ritual and we look forward to being there for a long time to come,” said Brown in a statement.
The Fox Television Stations distribute those three first-run syndicated shows, while Twentieth Television’s off-network shows -- such as Modern Family, Last Man Standing and Family Guy -- all went to The Walt Disney Company in Disney's acquisition of many of the Fox assets.
25 Words or Less premiered in national syndication this year after debuting as a summer test in 2018. Thus far this season, it is averaging a 0.9 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The game show pits two teams comprised of celebrities and civilians against each other in a fast-paced word game with a top prize of $10,000. In the final round, the contestant who has earned the most points has 60 seconds to get his partners to guess 10 words using only 25 words or less.
The first season has featured guest stars Chelsea Handler, Jane Lynch, Debra Messing, Courteney Cox, Colton Dunn, Melissa Peterman, John Michael Higgins and the superstars of WWE. 25 Words or Less is produced by Dino Bones Productions. Executive producers include Michael Canter, Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky, Mary McCormack, Michael Morris and Bruce Sterten.
Divorce Court starring Judge Lynn Toler is produced by Lincolnwood Productions under executive producer Diondra Bolling and distributed by Fox First Run. Thus far this season, Divorce Court is averaging a 0.7 live plus same day household rating.
And Dish Nation is a daily half-hour entertainment news program that features radio teams from Atlanta and Los Angeles. From Atlanta, the show features The Rickey Smiley Morning Show with Smiley and his co-hosts Headkrack, Da Brat and Gary wit da Tea with additional personalities Porsha Williams and Chuey Martinez. From Los Angeles, the show offers KLOS-FM’s Heidi, Frosty and Frank Morning Show. The program is executive produced by Joaquin Ferreira and is a product of Dino Bones Productions.
Dish Nation is not cleared nationally in syndication, thus Fox does not buy a national rating for it.
DVB Approves DVB-I Specification, an Internet-Centric Solution for Linear Television Services
GENEVA — 13 Nov. 2019 — DVB, an industry consortium that develops open, interoperable technical specifications for the delivery of digital media and broadcast services, today announced the approval of its DVB-I specification by the DVB Steering Board in Geneva. It has been published as DVB BlueBook A177.
The DVB-I specification aims to ensure that linear television delivered over the internet is as user-friendly and robust as a traditional broadcast television experience. It offers the possibility for linear television services to be delivered to any device with a suitable internet connection and media player, including TV sets, smartphones, tablets and media streaming devices.
"In developing an internet-centric solution for linear television services, we are providing the industry with a crucial missing piece that raises internet-based delivery to the same level in the DVB ecosystem as RF-based content delivery," said DVB Chair Peter MacAvock. "With these building blocks, addressing the discovery of DVB-I services and the delivery of programme metadata, DVB offers broadcasters and operators an exciting new deployment option."
The DVB-I specification defines DVB-I Service Lists, a means for internet-connected devices to find curated sets of linear television services that may be delivered through broadband or broadcast mechanisms. It also defines the methods to retrieve electronic programme data for those services, which can be integrated into a single coherent offering that is accessed through a consistent user interface.
With the publication of the DVB BlueBook, implementers can now proceed with the development of DVB-I-enabled clients, while broadcasters and other content providers can take the necessary steps to make their services available via DVB-I.
To accelerate the implementation of DVB-I in the marketplace, DVB launched an RFP to build a reference application. DVB expects to select a supplier and complete negotiations before the end of 2019 in time to demonstrate the initial results at DVB World 2020, taking place in Valencia, Spain, 9-11 March. The resulting DVB-I client will be made freely available under an open source license.
While DVB-I refers, in particular, to the newly approved specification for service discovery and programme information, the related ecosystem extends to other DVB specifications. The DVB-DASH streaming specification (DVB BlueBook A168) was recently updated to include a low-latency mode.
Also related to DVB-I is the forthcoming DVB specification for multicast adaptive bit rate streaming (DVB-mABR), targeting situations where the same linear content is simultaneously delivered over managed broadband networks to multiple receivers. Supporting the mass market scalability of internet-delivered linear television, DVB-mABR will reduce the overall network load.
# # #
DVB is an industry-led consortium of broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulators and others from around the world committed to designing open, interoperable technical specifications for the global delivery of digital media and broadcast services. DVB specifications cover all aspects of digital television from transmission through interfacing, conditional access and interactivity for digital video, audio and data. DVB dominates the digital broadcasting environment with thousands of broadcast services around the world using DVB specifications. There are hundreds of manufacturers offering DVB-compliant equipment. To date, there are over 1 billion DVB receivers shipped worldwide.
Further information about DVB can be found at: www.dvb.org, www.dvbservices.com and www.dvbworld.org.
DVB and DVB sub-brands are registered trademarks.
Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/DVB/191113DVB.docx
All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.
Wolfpack is back with Billy and Ami calling the shots
Alaskan Bush People has its season premiere on Discovery Channel Dec. 4. The Brown family aims to build a fully self-contained village in this season of the unscripted show.
It is season five.
“The Brown family has been working tirelessly to ready North Star Ranch over the past year, embarking on a mission to build infrastructure and finally realize their legacy on the mountain. This season, spring descends on North Star Ranch, as the patriarch and matriarch of the clan, Billy and Ami, push the next generation of the Wolfpack, Bam, Bear, Gabe, Noah, Bird and Rain to strengthen their own footholds on the mountain to create a bigger, better, more sustainable version of Browntown,” according to Discovery.
Park Slope Productions produces the show. For Park Slope, executive producers are Paul Reitano, Terrence Sacchi and Doug Fitch. For Discovery Channel, executive producer is John Slaughter.
At this year’s Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Annual Conference in Baltimore, four awards will be presented by the organization to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional work in the areas of preservation. The ceremony will take place on November 14 at the Parkway Theatre in Baltimore, where the convention runs from November 13 -16.
The 2019 recipients are:
- The Silver Light Award to Eddie Richmond, UCLA Film and Television Archive
- The Ray Edmondson Advocacy Award to South Side Home Movie Project, represented by Jacqueline Stewart, Sabrina Craig, and Candace Ming
- The Alan Stark Award to Adrian Wood, OWL Studio Ltd
- The William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award to Snowden Becker, audiovisual archivist and educator
AMIA’s Silver Light Award recognizes career achievement in the field of moving image archives, including professional and volunteer works or activities, and contributions to preservation and restoration projects. For nearly four decades, Eddie Richmond was one of the principle executives of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Eddie’s tenure has seen the archive grow from a few hundred titles to over 200,000 – the second largest public archive in the United States – and was integral to its move from rented space in Hollywood to the PHI Stoa, a state-of-the-art center in Santa Clarita built by The Packard Humanities Institute. A strong believer in collaboration, the range of Eddie’s many activities extend to the most important institutions across the globe.
In 2018, AMIA presented its first Advocacy Award to Ray Edmondson in recognition of his history of advocacy for cinema, archives and archivists around the world. This year, the newly named Ray Edmondson Advocacy Award will honor the South Side Home Movie Project. The project is an archival and research initiative to collect, preserve and exhibit amateur films from Chicago’s South Side neighborhood. The South Side Home Movie Project grew from the notable absence home movies (especially from minorities) in the canon of film scholarship which is only now beginning to change. The project also seeks to provide context and history for this historic neighborhood.
The Alan Stark Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution through their efforts on a special project or in project management that contributes to, and supports, the work of moving image archives and/or the operations of AMIA. When Adrian Wood began working with the International Olympics Committee in 1996, it was at a time when the Olympic film collection was virtually lost. Over a 12 year period he worked, supported by eight local researchers, with thirty-one archives, broadcasters, production studios and libraries, eleven laboratories, seven specialist restoration facilities for sound and image on five continents. These collaborations led to the recovery and restoration of more than 40 long-form documentaries and 60 additional short films. Together the Olympic films form a body of work that provides a unique audiovisual legacy not only of sport but of style, fashion, sports technology and production methodologies captured on a four year cycle, (except when interrupted by war), and so thereby creating a unique collection.
The William S. O’Farrell Volunteer Award is named for long-time member Bill O’Farrell honoring his volunteer efforts and mentoring role he played over the years to so many archivists. This year’s recipient, Snowden Becker, is the glue between dozens of archival communities that all overlap because of her commitment and involvement in the field. She is an advocate and mentor for those who aim to contribute to media archival scholarship and praxis, and a vigilant promoter of good work being done in the archival community. Snowden has served on the Board of Directors, a Committee Chair, and at has been instrumental in developing new that welcome newcomers to the association and the annual conference. Beyond her duties running the UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies and Masters of Library and Information Science programs, Snowden has always gone above and beyond to mentor and prepare students to work in the archival field after graduation, and continues to meet with alumni long after they graduate to help them navigate working in the media archiving industry. With what little free time Snowden had left after her full-time job and work for AMIA, she founded the Center for Home Movies and created the structure for Home Movie Day, which now has grown into an international event
More than 650 professionals representing the world’s major media institutions gather each year for AMIA’s Annual Conference. Attendees represent all areas of the community-corporate and national archives, media companies, libraries, historical societies, service providers, universities, and more. Workshops, screenings, and more than 60 sessions programmed by working archivists address the best ways to preserve and provide access to our media.
For more information on the full program, or to register for the AMIA Annual Conference, visit www.amiaconference.net.
Bill would improve emergency alerts
The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to favorably report S. 2693, the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement Act of 2019, co-sponsored by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Thune (R-S.D.).
That came in a markup of a bunch of bills in the committee Wednesday (Nov. 13).
Among other things, the bill would allow broadcasters to repeat presidential and FEMA alerts, something they can't do now.
The bill was introduced last year--and passed the Senate but not the House--in the wake of an inadvertent missile alert triggered in Hawaii during which some people did not receive the alert. "Even though it was a false alarm, the missile alert exposed real flaws in the way people receive emergency alerts," said Schatz Thursday (Oct. 24), ranking member of the Communications Subcommittee.
The bill would:
1. "Ensure more people receive emergency alerts by eliminating the option to opt out of receiving certain federal alerts, including missile alerts, on mobile phones;
2. "Require active alerts issued by the President or FEMA to be repeated. Currently, alerts on TV or radio may only be played once;
3. "Explore establishing a system to offer emergency alerts to audio and video online streaming services, such as Netflix and Spotify;
4. "Encourage State Emergency Communications Committees to periodically review and update their State Emergency Alert System Plans, which are often out of date;
5. "Compel FEMA to create best practices for state, tribal, and local governments to use for issuing alerts, avoiding false alerts, and retracting false alerts if they occur, as well as for alert origination training and plans for officials to contact each other and federal officials during emergencies; and
6. "Establish a reporting system for false alerts so the FCC can track when they occur and examine their causes."
A House version has been introduced by Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Pete Olson (R-Texas), and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.).
Option made available on two lines of room treatments
Acoustic treatment manufacturer GIK Acoustics has introduced an acoustic foam option for its Impression Series and Alpha Series room treatments.
Both the Impression and Alpha Series of acoustic panels utilize front plates with designs cut into them to both absorb low-to-mid frequencies while diffusing high frequencies simultaneously.
Available in squares measuring 23.5 inches x 23.5 inches and 2.25 inches-thick, the newly added acoustic foam option was characterized as “lightweight, versatile, affordable, and effective” by Glenn Kuras, president of GIK Acoustics.
The Impression Series is available in a dozen patterns, while the Alpha Series is available in three mathematical patterns and five different plate finishes.
Could community radio entertain a more all-podcast format?
The recent announcement by a London radio station that it will build its full schedule from podcasts certainly garnered some attention. It comes not many months since iHeartMedia’s announcement over the summer that its stations would broadcast some of the company’s podcast properties.
If you’re a media company, these moves make sense. Since podcasts are the hot commodity at the moment — it stands to reason that radio wants to grab some of that attention. What’s stopping community radio from making more of its broadcasts to be podcast-first propositions too?
To be clear, there are a few stations that do the preproduction work typically associated with podcasting and use the finished mixdowns in their broadcast schedules. Richmond’s low-power FM station WRIR pops to mind as a station that has done this successfully. A few other stations, like WXPR, create podcasts that are aired at times. Community radio podcasting, in this regard, is not unheard of.
What are the obstacles to a community radio station going all podcast?
A station must overcome the structural issues it would have to deal with. Podcast production is a lot of work, and producing 168 hours a week of quality local podcasts is no small feat. A station could partner with local podcasters, but there are still particular broadcast and federal regulations to follow, should such podcasts become broadcast material. Rules around payola, indecency, plugola, obscenity and lobbying are just a few areas podcasters have far more latitude than a noncommercial educational broadcaster. There’s orientation and training, as well as quality assurance for everything on air. Such a commitment is not impossible. A community radio station going all-podcast could experience a unique set of challenges.
As an extension of local partnerships, and beyond, a station could opt to just air podcasts it finds online. Obtaining permission to air their work, and ensuring all podcasts meet broadcast regulations, are issues to be considered, though.
In a few other instances, whether community radio stations air all or even a few podcasts may be a cultural question. Over time, I have gotten the impression that some stations believe their brand and what people look to them for is live radio. While I think that opinion is a stretch — how much of the public, frankly, can ascertain live radio from the dozens of prerecorded “live” spots commercial radio has exposed them to for years? — the belief in live radio as “a thing” a community radio station is known for is not an isolated opinion. Implicit here may be the idea that podcasts sound polished while live radio sounds rougher, more organic or more like what longtime listeners associate with community radio.
I gently suggest that sounding less than top-flight may not be something to aspire to, however. Public tastes have grown sophisticated, across many generations and demographics. People expect more these days. A raw sound we may think is community radio may not be as appealing to others. Moreover, I can hear that aesthetic on YouTube, Instagram Live and Facebook. We may not be able to hang our hats on the “radio” sound anymore.
Podcasts to broadcasts are done in limited ways in community radio today. The barriers to greater adoption may lie in costs and having the necessary staffing. Yet the moves happening in other media, and the natural fit local podcasts and local community radio could have, should inspire all of us to dream bigger.
The Media Bureau said permitee failed to demonstrate that delay in construction was directly related to the storm
The post Construction Extension Request Denied Despite Hurricane Impact appeared first on Radio World.
A Florida FM station’s CP extension request was denied after the station failed to properly prove its construction efforts were impeded by Hurricane Michael.
Back in May 2015, the Federal Communications Commission granted a construction permit to Florida Community Radio, permittee of WRBD(FM) in Horseshoe Beach, Fla., for a three-year-term expiring in May 2018. In April of that year, FCR filed a request to extend the date of its construction permit deadline by arguing that construction was delayed due to Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Also, due to the FCCs recent elimination of the main studio rule, FCR argued that it no longer would be required to build a main studio in Horseshoe Beach. Instead, it requested to apply for a studio-to-transmitter link license to deliver content from its new main studio location to the transmitter site. The Media Bureau agreed and extended the waiver of the construction permit by six months to November 2018.
Then came hurricane Number 2. In October 2018, FCR requested a second tolling based on construction delays caused by Hurricane Michael, which landed near Horseshoe Beach in October 2018. The bureau granted that request and extended the permit another six months.
FCR then asked for additional construction time to perform a structural analysis through a Request for Extension for Tolling. The station wanted to perform an analysis to determine whether to place its power lines underground instead of on a power pole and to determine the impact of a future storm on the station’s antenna.
But before agreeing, the Media Bureau asked for more specific information regarding construction delays. It wanted to see a direct connection between Hurricane Michael and the permittee’s inability to construct the station. But according to the bureau, no detailed information was forthcoming from FCR.
As a result, the bureau denied additional tolling for FCR to conduct the requested studies.
The reason? The bureau said that FCR failed to demonstrate that delay in construction was directly related to the prior storm. It also said that any electrical service studies should have taken place earlier. Plus, the bureau noted that any type of Act of God encumbrance, like a hurricane, only applies when the permittee can demonstrate that construction progress was impossible.
In a follow up response, the licensee said — for the first time — that Hurricanes Irma and Michael prevented construction of the station because they created long wait times for contractors to construct the facility. But the lateness of that response led to the bureau dismissing the petition because “it relies on new arguments not previously presented to the bureau,” the commission said.
In addition, the bureau only considers petitions for reconsideration when the petitioner shows either an error in the original order or raises new facts not known or existing at the time. “Here, FCR has neither demonstrated that the [bureau] erred in denying tolling to conduct studies on the effect of future storms, nor provided additional facts that were not known at the time of FCR’s [request].”
As a result, the bureau denied FCR’s petition.
The post Construction Extension Request Denied Despite Hurricane Impact appeared first on Radio World.
A unique headstone memorializes a dedicated broadcaster
When we saw a photo of Jim Natoli’s radio-themed headstone, Radio World asked contributor Dan Slentz to find out more about the man it memorializes.
Nestled in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, are the twin communities of Uhrichsville and Dennison. Here stands an AM/FM station built by a broadcast engineer.
The local industry was clay pipe; and the engineer was Ignasio Natoli, whom everyone called Jim. He was a first-generation American; his mom and dad came from Sicily.
Jim served during World War II as an Army staff sergeant in the Signal Corps, then attended Akron University; he also worked in the FCC’s Detroit office administering tests and with regional administration.
In the 1950s, according to family members, Jim took a job as a cameraman at WKYC(TV) in Cleveland; he eventually graduated to engineer over his 30 years there.
Meanwhile, in 1959, Jim and his mother Mary formed Tuscarawas Broadcasting Company with the hopes of putting an AM radio station in their community. After nearly four years, they succeeded in launching 1540 WBTC, which stood for Wonderful Beautiful Tuscarawas County. Jim continued to work for the TV station, commuting that hour drive from home in Uhrichsville and his AM station, and his other job in Cleveland.
In 1970, Jim added 95.9 FM to the AM station, with the call letters WNPQ, which stood for New Philadelphia Quakers. The station was licensed to nearby New Philadelphia; the Quakers was the team name for the high school sports.
Jim retired from WKYC in the early ’80s but continued to manage his AM and FM station with the love and passion of a parent. He never married nor had kids, so these stations were truly his love. He continued to work at them until 2016 when he turned 98; he was a daily part of their operation until an injury put him in assisted living. Jim recruited some relatives and trusted friends to keep the station running.
He passed away just short of his 99th birthday, which would have been July 4, 2017. His relatives were willed the station and have taken on the responsibility of keeping WBTC and WNPQ on the air and growing with a small staff. The stations carry classic hits and Christian programming, respectively. Jim’s dream continues to this day.
When he died, Jim Natoli’s niece paid tribute to her uncle through the design of a unique headstone appropriate for a man who lived a life dedicated to his radio love, WBTC(AM) and WNPQ(FM).
Got an idea for a story in Radio World? Many of our best articles were prompted by reader ideas. Email Editor in Chief Paul McLane at [email protected].
Garden State’s current EMNET-EAS is more than a decade old and has become unreliable, association says
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association sounded an alarm about New Jersey’s emergency alert system in its latest e-newsletter, stating that “EAS failure” might occur as soon as the New Year unless something changes in the state.
The current EMNET-EAS is more than a decade old, and NJBA President Paul S. Rotella wrote that it “has flaws that make it unreliable.” Therefore, the association is lobbying state officials and lawmakers to augment, upgrade or replace the system as soon as possible.
In its member communiqué, the NJBA suggests New Jersey seek to apply funds from post-Superstorm Sandy community block grants toward this endeavor.
Its latest report focuses on medium- and small-market U.S. radio consumers, tracks listening behaviors and demographics
The post Nielsen: Radio’s Evolution Is Resonating With Consumers appeared first on Radio World.
Nielsen’s latest Audio Today Report offers yet more data points to fend off radio naysayers.
This report focuses on medium- and small-market radio consumers in the United States and tracks listening behaviors and related demographics.
Nielsen Audio Managing Director Brad Kelly writes in the report’s introduction, “Radio is not simply resting on a hundred years of legacy or its enviable place in the dashboard. Radio is evolving in new and different ways that are resonating with both consumers and advertisers alike.”
Radio’s continued ubiquity in small-town USA is evident: In medium and small markets, 98% of adults 18+; 94% of adults 18-34; and 99% of adults aged 25-to-54 listen to radio monthly.
And while rural areas have a reputation in some circles for being slower to adopt new technologies, Nielsen says that consumers in these markets are “sophisticated audio users” who have also added podcasts and smart speakers to their routines. These consumers’ podcast affinity also makes sense when you consider that news/talk radio is the second-most popular radio format at 11.8% in medium- and small-markets. These listeners haven’t abandoned radio, however.
According to the report, 90% of podcast listeners continue to tune in to radio, and the same is true for 92% of smart speaker owners.
Kelly also points out that radio hasn’t abandoned listeners who have adopted these new technologies: “Radio companies are developing interesting new digital brand extensions and delivery platforms including streams, podcasts, and voice-activated assistants.” That’s especially good news, considering that smart speakers were found in 29% of U.S. homes as of Q2 2019, according to the Nielsen MediaTech Trender.
Learn more about these and other insights in Nielsen’s Audio Today Medium & Small Market Edition report.
The post Nielsen: Radio’s Evolution Is Resonating With Consumers appeared first on Radio World.
Another gives feedback on Tom Vernon's latest feature series
Paul, recently, it seems that I receive print editions of RW describing meetings or conventions that have already happened by the time the issue hits my mailbox. Has it been decided that print readers won’t attend anyway, so why give them a heads up on content? It seems that the print timing is at least a month out of sync with reality, for no apparent reason, compared with the digital. It’s not clear to me why the digital and print versions aren’t more or less synchronous, with a mailing delay for the print.
Gary O. Keener
Keener Technical Services
San Antonio, Texas
Paul McLane replies: Thanks Gary. Nothing has changed in our planning of content (and no one hates more than I to see a well-researched show preview article reach readers after the event). We’ve been experiencing shipping delays that put recent issues, one issue in particular, in the hands of readers too late. We also have had some disruption around a move of our offices from northern Virginia to downtown D.C., which now is complete. I’m monitoring though to keep our online and print content in better synch. Sorry for the inconvenience. Remember too that you can access a digital version of any current issue at radioworld.com under Resources, if a print copy is running late.
I really enjoyed reading the article by Tom Vernon, “Remote Controls Have a History All Their Own.” It brought back fond memories of some Good Old Days when the remote control equipment mentioned was in production. I was the project engineer for all of the analog remote control apparatus listed for Moseley Associates. Nice photo of the TRC-15; that unit sold over 4,500 units while in production.
Tom managed to write an article that covered a wide field of equipment from several manufacturers and he did it very well, accurately and completely. Congrats, Tom!
From the past to present, through major technological innovations, radio perseveres
Slightly more than 100 years ago, on Feb. 17, 1919, station 9XM at the University of Wisconsin in Madison broadcast human speech to the public at large.
9XM was first experimentally licensed in 1914, began regular Morse Code transmissions in 1916, and its first music broadcast in 1917. Regularly scheduled broadcasts of voice and music began in January 1921. That station is still on the air today as WHA.
In 2019 we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of Radio World International, but we mustn’t forget the whole story that began many years before.
The first years of radio were undoubtedly flavored with a pioneering spirit, with new discoveries and technical advances. This led to more listeners and the beginning of modern broadcast radio.
About 60 years ago, radio was in nearly every home and radio engineers already had a thorough understanding radio frequency propagation and broadcast principles and tricks. So, having secured the transmission chain, attention could be shifted to indoor studio equipment.
If someone had installed a time-lapse camera in a radio studio 60 years ago, a review of all those images would display three main, well-defined periods. For the sake of simplicity, let’s consider the technical room, usually deployed at larger facilities, as part of the radio studio itself.
The first successful practical medium for music was the lacquer disc. After World War II the vinyl disc would be developed and refined into the “long-play/LP” and “45” to facilitate an explosion of music-based radio stations.
The industry practice would distill into a two-turntable arrangement to seamlessly transition from one song to the next one while the talent on air was speaking. Adding a third turntable with disc-cutting capabilities allowed for making recordings of programs.
“Automation” first became available also for smaller stations in the shape of large reel-to-reel tape recorders, which allowed the facilities to go on-air even when no one was in the studio.
The slow rotation of tape reels, as well as their size, resembled the rotation of records on turntables. That’s right, 60 years ago radio was based on rotation.
This first era lasted about 30 years, up to the late 1980s. Some 30 years ago, CD players started becoming popular in radio studios. Turntables stayed there for a few years, but they were eventually blown away by CDs, which offered more reliability, a compact size and were easier to use.
Reel-to-reel tape recorders suffered from the appearance of the first robotized cassette machines, which soon replaced them as backbone of “automation” systems.
By the end of the 1980s and beginning of 1990s the second period in modern radio began. The first issue of Radio World International appeared at that moment, when radio was still based on rotating devices, but the magic was becoming smaller and increasingly invisible since almost everything was bunkered behind the glowing front panel of CD players and cassette changers.
Soon after — and RWI was there to welcome that revolution — computers and digitized music reinvented both the practice and layout of radio studios.
Suddenly, radio content no longer rotated. Everything became static and remote.
Radio studios still hosted the physical surfaces and PC monitors to control the whole system, but the system itself was usually installed into a separate room.
Software-based playout automation and music recommendation tools introduced a paradigm shift and dramatically changed the way radio professionals managed their stations. Digital audio formats completed the migration of radio studios to a static, software-centric model.
Just 10 years ago, a further revolution knocked at the industry’s door. Now we call this “virtualization,” but at the time the idea was just to have some software steps, each one capable of performing one of the routine tasks of a radio station’s everyday activity.
Telephone hybrids, microphone processors, mixing consoles, content players, STLs, etc., everything could run on off-the-shelf computer-based digital hardware devices, provided there was a proper network connection to the rest of the production facility and to the web.
For the first time ever, radio was able to do without single-purpose dedicated hardware, with exception of the control surfaces (since the real mixing was likely performed in the machine/server room). The next step along this path dates back to a few years ago: software developments and the availability of high-performing mobile devices, properly backed up by the ubiquitous availability of high-speed internet connection, opened the studios’ doors to virtual consoles.
Further, they allowed almost any station to set up a complete remote studio virtually everywhere. Through a single laptop PC or Mac a single person had full control of anything that could usually be done at the station’s studios or a group’s technical operations center, including airing a number of separate channels.
A comprehensive virtualized approach can minimize equipment requirements. A fully featured radio station, including a visual channel and intense social media interaction, only needs a microphone, camera, headphones and a computer and a reliable internet connection.
Radio infrastructures and studios are not just virtualized, they are now dematerialized. They still exist but they lie in a nomadic “somewhere” in the cloud.
The first 40 years of radio needed a common layout and equipment to run a radio station and a radio studio. The last 60 years have been all about evolving and transforming both that layout and equipment as well as adapting and enhancing the relevant workflow.
Today so much of traditional studio gear no longer exists in a physical shape. The effort in radio production has become a matter of “workflow.”
Yet, while hardware and software may have moved to the cloud, radio is still here. The competitive landscape of the medium has also evolved enormously. Since the ubiquitous availability of internet, a number of competing platforms have begun offering audiences new kinds of audio services.
This may scare some radio broadcasters. But one must consider that in any market segment fair competition usually enhances the quality of the end product and fosters consumer loyalty. Why shouldn’t it be the same for radio?
So, what will happen to radio over the next 30 years?
In the future the concept of “audio consumption” will replace the idea of “radio listening.” The distribution mix and the fruition model of radio will probably experience a dramatic change. But we don’t have to confuse radio with its receiving device.
Radio is not just news, talent talk and music. Radio is storytelling and the ability to entertain and engage a target audience through the appropriate blend of stories, news and music.
A multitude of distribution platforms means a multitude of ways to reach our target audience. But while a customized playlist is “for” a specific listener, radio “talks to” the same listener. No matter if five- or five million people are listening, radio individually “talks to” each of them.
That’s the magic of radio, and that’s what radio stations have to preserve and even enhance. Using a radio station to broadcast a playlist turns that station into a music streaming service, just far more rigid than a streaming service. This is because listeners have no way to customize it.
A streaming service offering true storytelling through stories, news and music, de facto is a radio station. It’s our model with just a different distribution mix. But, again, radio refers to the content, not the distribution mix.
WHERE THINGS HAPPEN
Looking forward, the number of available stations will continue its rise with new stations targeting very specific audiences. The cost for producing content will significantly decrease, thus making it affordable to deploy many flavors of the same station, each of them targeting small or niche audience.
The overall audience numbers will probably remain similar to the present numbers, even if listening figures will be jeopardized through a much higher number of stations and channels. Future radio stations will probably be 100% virtual, with physical studio gear (if any) used for backup purposes only.
The easiness to report from virtually everywhere, as well as to deploy a mobile studio, will move radio stations to be closer to where people meet and where things happen.
There will certainly still be RF transmitters and on-air broadcasts, as well as receivers featuring a return channel via IP to interact directly with the station. This will open new possibilities to engage the audience, offering them tailored information and content.
Overall operating cost per listener will not greatly vary in the future because the ongoing reduction in production and distribution costs will compensate for the need to produce much more content and to air more channels.
CALL FOR YOUTH
Provided radio succeeds in preserving its DNA, there is still one key item. Radio continues to lose its appeal with young listeners. Nowadays youth consumes more audio content than ever, but not radio.
This is happening in virtually every developed market, and thus far broadcasters have failed in reversing this trend.
This is most likely not because of the scarce appeal of radio content itself, but rather a matter of distribution channels and content format. Using various distribution platforms requires radio stations to properly repurpose their content to best fit each specific distribution channel. This may be the biggest challenge for radio in the future
Today’s youth are tomorrow’s listeners. According to radio listening reports per age group, their parents and relatives still listen to radio, both in car and at home. It is therefore natural that they are familiar with radio and have experienced a sort of endorsement for it.
The same thing happened to their parents, when they were young and that “imprinting” worked. The reasons why those premises are failing with today’s generation are still unclear.
Recently, the universal popularity of mobile devices across any age group drove many radio executives to trust that a well-shaped radio app could be an effective shortcut to bring radio back to the youth.
The results generally scored below expectations, probably because — once again — radio has been confused with its receiving device, while the crucial item is content.
A possible key to catching young peoples’ attention is through engaging apps and content designed and shaped in the way they want and are looking for.
IP mixing console helps run a broadcast studio on a single computer
KISS FM, the flagship radio station of Kenya’s the Radio Africa Group, recently installed a RƎLAY Virtual Radio system from Lawo in what it says was an effort to modernize.
RƎLAY is a mixing console that runs in a virtualized PC environment on a PC or laptop. It features a multitouch-enabled screen interface that can control things like voice processing and mix-minus. When paired with a third-party playout system or other third-party broadcast software, users can essentially run a broadcast studio through a single computer.
KISS FM designed its new studios around the RƎLAY virtual mixing console. All PC sources and outputs use AES67 as the Lawo A_line AoIP node translates microphones and other line-level sources to AES67. These are then available to RƎLAY via Ethernet and a network switch.
RƎLAY has features built-in audio shaping tools allowing for individual adjustment of all microphone parameters, including Lawo Automix and Autogain features.
Because RƎLAY uses standard AES67 networking, Radio Africa’s systems can be expanded to add more PCs and sources as their operational requirements change.
Also, Frank Hertel reports on a solution to a Windows 7 problem
Jim Leedham is a contract engineer in Omaha, Neb., and maintains many transmitter sites. Several have Broadcast Electronics transmitters. To keep memory presets in the event of a power failure, these rigs have a 9V battery located behind the hinged control panel. As a part of his maintenance procedure, Jim replaces the batteries yearly.
Recently, Jim performed this maintenance task on a BE FM1C1 1kW FM transmitter. However, when he attempted to remove the battery, the battery terminal came with it, seen in Fig. 1. One of the two sockets that make up the battery terminals actually broke off, shown in Fig. 2.
This battery is important. It keeps transmitter presets alive, should there be an AC mains power failure.
Jim was able to cobble a replacement socket until the actual part arrived from BE. But in sharing this tip with Workbench readers, he offers a couple of warnings.
First, place a label on the front panel noting that a battery is inside. Do this as a courtesy to other engineers who may not be familiar with this equipment.
Second, if you maintain these transmitters and encounter a power failure, beware! If the battery is dead, when power is restored and you attempt to restart the transmitter you’ll get zero RF output!
Since the battery kept the memory preset, if there’s no battery voltage, there’s no preset; the power goes to zero. It’s a simple process to press the “RAISE” power pushbutton, until the appropriate power level is achieved. As engineers, however, we always seem to look for the worst. It could never be as simple as just pressing the “RAISE” power button!
Jim is right, I had this problem on a higher-power BE unit years ago, and wasted time trying to troubleshoot why I had plate volts but no plate current or RF output. Talk about feeling foolish.
So now you know. Replace those batteries. Note the date of replacement on the side of the battery with a Sharpie or other brand of marker. If you make a chart of equipment needing batteries, you can replace them all, along with your smoke and fire detectors, at the same time each year.
What’s nice about the BE product is that you can replace the battery any time, not just during a maintenance session; that front panel is not interlocked. And if your timing is such that the power fails while you’re in the process of replacing the battery, at least you know how to get the transmitter back on the air.
By the way, if that scenario happens to you, make sure you buy a lottery ticket!
Frank Hertel, principal of Newman-Kees RF Measurements and Engineering in Evansville, Ind., has an older computer in his shop that is loaded with a 32-bit version of Windows 7. It is using a known “valid” issue of the operating system.
Recently, while on a phone call with a fellow engineer, Frank turned this computer on and noticed it was sluggish. He traced the slow speed as being due to the computer performing an update.
Frank continued to watch the process, while the long update continued. When it finally rebooted, the computer displayed a persistent screen message stating that his computer had an “Invalid Key.” It further stated that it was operating with an “Invalid Copy.”
The computer seemed to function normally, but it now presented the persistent message “ — Invalid — ” in the lower right of the screen. At various intervals Frank’s work would be interrupted by the presentation of a large message block in the middle of the screen. Canceling the message would let you continue to use the computer. There are other things it also did to try to get Frank to buy a “New Key.”
So, Frank went online to seek a fix. He located this site that repaired the problem: https://www.itechfever.com/how-to-fix-windows-7-not-genuine-error/.
If your valid issue of Windows 7 all of a sudden is nagging that your computer has an “Invalid” issue of Windows 7, you might give one of the methods on the site a try.
I really enjoy finding topics that generate great reader comments. The sticky issue of removing audio tape cartridge labels turned out to be one of those topics.
Curtis Media’s Dave Dalesky wrote that a former PD showed him how to apply either oil or peanut butter to the old label so it would come off easily. Maybe so, but I also envision the hungry overnight jock licking the carts. Maybe it’s a good thing we now trust computers with our audio playout!
Send Workbench tips and high-resolution photos to [email protected].
John Bisset has spent 50 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He holds CPBE certification with the Society of Broadcast Engineers and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.
Walters-Storyk Design Group founding partner will discuss how the company developed studios for the unique needs of professional podcasting
Last year, 61% of the podcast fans who responded to a survey by Discover Pods reported they spent more time listening to podcasts than watching TV. According to the company’s Podcast Trends Report 2019 that number has climbed to 66%. Also this year, 82.4% reported they listen to podcasts for more than seven hours each week.
Have you and your station or company considered podcasting as a way to reach a larger audience? How do you get a podcasting program off the ground? The Video Show, a two-day event in Washington, Dec. 4–5, 2019, will feature an entire track on the basics of podcasting.
The session “Podcast Studio Design: Necessities, Variations and Options,” presented by John Storyk, a founding partner of Walters-Storyk Design Group, is a great place to get started. He’ll discuss how the company’s expertise developed studios from the ground up for both Stitcher and Spotify’s Gimlet Media, answering the unique needs of professional podcasting.
The Video Show caught up with Storyk for just a minute ahead of the show.
The Video Show: Your presentation at The Video Show is a case study on how you designed multiple studios/production workspaces for two of the biggest names in podcasting — Stitcher and Spotify’s Gimlet Media. Is creating a facility for podcasting much different than, say, creating one for recording music?
John Storyk: Super question… in many respects, the process is identical to recording studio (content creation spaces) design. All the aspects of the process have to be addressed — programming, pre-design, schematic design development, value engineering (budget!) construction documentation, construction administration, final commissioning, etc.
Many of the acoustic issues in studio design are also the same, but some differences do exist.
- Podcasting environments are mostly associated with the spoken word. In fact, in one respect this makes things a bit easier — limited frequency range for design considerations. However, a new issue exists when creating multiple room facilities (such as Gimlet and Stitcher). The multiple podcasting rooms need to sound virtually identical. This is not always the case in small-room design for studios (i.e. multiple vocal booths). We will discuss this in more detail at the symposium in Washington.
- Typically, podcasting rooms are small and for some reason podcasting companies frequently do not allow quite enough space for all the rooms including well-isolated construction (thicker than average walls); door swings, ADA requirements; sound locks, etc.
- Podcasting rooms need to be very quiet — NC 15 is our starting point — not too different than many studios, but there is little room for negotiation here.
These are just some of the issues. Always a challenge!
The Video Show: The podcasting world is rapidly changing and maturing, as evidenced, for instance, by the fact that Spotify purchased Gimlet in the middle of your project. Did your clients find their expected needs for the studios changed during the design process?
Storyk: Not sure at all how to answer this — both Gimlet and Stitcher are in new facilities that have not been operating that long. I cannot imagine any studio that, when it opens it doors, does not see something they would like to have done a different way. We have tried to future-proof both facilities. Time will tell.
The Video Show will feature more than 100 sessions on nine presentation stages, as well as a dedicated screening room, demo areas, streaming studio and dynamic exhibit floor. Want to hear more about this topic? Visit the website to learn more and register.
Comments are due on or before Dec. 6 and reply comments by Dec. 23
The post Commission Announces Antenna Site Comment Deadlines appeared first on Radio World.
The Federal Communications Commission has set deadlines for filing comments and reply comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about whether it should eliminate or revise its requirements for access to broadcast antenna sites as part of its media modernization efforts.
The NPRM was adopted Oct. 25 and published in the Federal Register Nov. 6. Therefore, comments are due by Dec. 6 and reply comments must be filed on or before Dec. 23.
The current rules (found in sections 73.239 and 73.635) prohibit the FCC from granting or renewing a TV or FM station license if the applicant/licensee controls an antenna site that is suitable for broadcasting in the area and does not make the site available for use by other similar licensees.
The post Commission Announces Antenna Site Comment Deadlines appeared first on Radio World.
How to determine your obligation to register, paint or light such towers
The author is general counsel of the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
There is a lot of inaccurate or misleading information being circulated, mostly within the land mobile radio community (but elsewhere as well), about your obligation to paint and light “short towers” (i.e. those between 50 and 200 feet in height) that are not located in close proximity to an airport or heliport, but which are located in rural or agricultural areas.
Here is what broadcast engineers need to know: You may have to register your short broadcast tower in an FAA database depending on its location, but you do not have to paint or light it unless it is near an airport.
It all started back around 2013. States became concerned that low-flying agricultural aircraft were hitting meteorological evaluation towers (METs). There is no history of aircraft hitting short towers generally; the only problem was with respect to METs.
These are temporary structures, often erected in rural areas on short notice, with very low visibility, and they are very hard for pilots to see. They are not on any maps; and for cropdusters and other low-flying aircraft, they posed a real threat if not near other structures.
States that have rural, agricultural areas became concerned that short towers that are not near airports did not have to be lighted or painted according to FAA regulations. Colorado, Washington state, Idaho and a few other western states enacted statutes that regulated all short towers.
In the wake of agricultural aircraft collisions with METs, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended in 2013 that states enact laws (cropduster statutes) requiring marking and registration of METs. FAA Advisory Circular 70/7460-1L concerning Obstruction Marking and Lighting, released Oct. 8, 2016, urged, on a voluntary basis, the marking of METs (only) less than 200 feet or 61 meters in height.
The basic premise for the cropduster statutes was that short towers are not regulated by the FAA. That was inaccurate. Towers less than 200 feet in height are regulated by the FAA (and notification to the FAA is called for by the FCC) if a tower shorter than 200 feet is to be located in an area that the FAA has determined constitutes a danger to air navigation: that is, where the towers are located within the glide slope of an airport or heliport (see FCC rules, Section 17.7). The glide slope is 100-to-1 for a horizontal distance of 6.10 kilometers from the nearest point of a runway of an airport or heliport, and less for towers closer to the airport or heliport.
Unless such short radio towers were located within the glide slope of airports or heliports, they were not required to be painted or lit because they were not deemed to be an air hazard.
THE FINAL SAY
The FAA has preemptive federal jurisdiction to protect air traffic as necessary in a reasonable exercise of its discretion. The comprehensive regulation of tower height, marking and lighting by the FAA (in conjunction with the FCC) leaves no room for the states to supplement it. The Supreme Court has concluded that Congress intended to preempt states with respect to aviation safety.
Perhaps because these state cropduster laws were subject to challenge, it enacted H.R. 636, the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 (Reauthorization Act) in July 2016. Section 2110 of that act instructed the FAA to enact rules by July of 2017, requiring painting and lighting of short radio towers that were located in rural areas.
The 2016 act defined towers that are covered as self-standing or guy wire-supported structures: (1) 10 feet or less in diameter at the above-ground base (excluding concrete footing); (2) more than 50 and less than 200 feet tall; and (3) with accessory facilities mounted with antennas, sensors, cameras, meteorological instruments or other equipment.
Covered towers were those located (1) outside the boundaries of an incorporated city or town; (2) on undeveloped land; or (3) on land used for agricultural purposes. Undeveloped land was defined as a geographic area where the FAA determines low-flying aircraft are operated on a routine basis, such as low-flying forested areas with predominant tree cover less than 200 feet and pasture and range land.
Exceptions to the covered tower definition include: (1) structures adjacent to a house, barn, electric utility station or other building; (2) structures within the developed area of a farm immediately surrounding a house or other dwelling such as a yard; (3) structures that support electric utility transmission or distribution lines; (4) structures that are wind-powered electrical generators with a rotor blade radius exceeding six feet; or (5) street lights erected or maintained by government entities.
This was a huge problem of course. Short broadcast towers, if they had to be painted and lit, would have to be removed from most locations due to local land use regulations, and the cost of painting and lighting short towers was prohibitive for most users of them.
With help especially from Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma (himself a pilot), the NAB, the SBE, the Association of American Railroads and others, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 was enacted. It amended and clarified the 2016 act by revising the requirements for covered towers, as long as the FAA administrator determines they pose no hazard to air navigation.
The legislation requires covered tower operators or owners to either submit the tower’s location and height information into a database to be established by the FAA, or mark the tower consistent with the FAA’s 2015 advisory circular (AC 70/7460–IL). Only METs have to be painted and lit.
The FAA has not yet developed its database, which will contain only the location and height of each covered tower. Covered tower operators or owners who elect to submit tower information to the FAA database must do so within one year of the availability of the FAA database. The 2018 act also excludes towers located within the right-of-way of a rail carrier and used for railroad purposes.
This article originally appeared in the SBE Signal newsletter. Visit sbe.org.
ams-Radio and MediaSolutions relies on current information provided for operations
The author is with WorldCast Systems.
BIELEFELD, GERMANY — ams-Radio and MediaSolutions is a radio solution provider for seven local radio stations around Bielefeld, Germany, as well as a technical support provider to 12 area radio stations. ams-Radio and MediaSolutions is one of the WorldCast Manager’s early adopters and a user since 2017.
Mario Schoemitz, IT business manager, responsible for the broadcast technology area, shared his company’s experience using the WorldCast Manager platform.
As a solutions provider for radio broadcasters, ams-Radio and MediaSolutions is entrusted to oversee, across multiple sites, FM broadcast equipment from different vendors for applications such as IP transport, media processing and FM transmission.
In 2017, the company was looking for a new, reliable, and easy-to-use monitoring solution which would provide them real-time status, alarms, and other advanced modules to optimize their workflow, maximize equipment uptime, and provide overall support in delivering the best service to their customers, at the level expected of a reputable solutions provider.
UNIFIED, END-TO-END MONITORING
The WorldCast Manager is an enterprise, end-to-end and multivendor monitoring and control software for broadcast and media. It enables users to oversee their entire ecosystem across a single unified view, to centralize data, and to streamline the management of IP-enabled gear and technology. The scalable WorldCast Manager plugs in to any third-party or in-house technology with open protocols and APIs, and functions on an open-driver policy.
Its combination of modules enables users to:
● Maximize their equipment uptime thanks to real-time alarms, notifications, time-based reporting and root cause analysis;
● Save time for operations with time management features, event resolution tracking, and advanced control for remote actions over connected equipment with industry standard protocols;
● Make intelligent decisions by aggregating data from multiple units and locations, then transforming that data into comprehensible, visual insights and reports.
ams-Radio and MediaSolutions primarily uses the WorldCast Manager for monitoring, reporting, and analyzing events for their customers. It directly informs their technicians in the case of major events, enabling fast intervention.
The WorldCast Manager has, according to Schoemitz, significantly improved his team’s workflow. Thanks to the platform’s user friendliness and range of functions, it makes it easy for everyone at the company to oversee all events at each transmitter site, across one, single view.
“We’ve recently upgraded to the newest version and we are very excited about the new modules. The best aspect for us is the analytics. We can compare all events in the timeline and see the relationships between events.”
The new reporting module is designed to save time and quickly generate updates for customers.
“I recommend the WorldCast Manager as a very powerful tool for all broadcasters; it is very easy to use and gives users all the information that they need for monitoring multiple sites,” he said.
For information, contact Tony Peterle at WorldCast Systems in Florida at 1-305-249-3110 or visit www.worldcastsystems.com.
Upgraded facilities represent an investment of €3 million
The new setup comprises 10 broadcast studios and production rooms (with Europe’s first DHD Audio RX2 mixing desks), editorial offices and meeting places.
The “Sound Park” caters for two FM frequencies, nine DAB+ channels, 20 streaming channels plus additional production assignments.
Last year DPG Media gave the green light for new radio studios, serving both Qmusic and Joe. “The studios on the building’s top floor were installed more than a decade ago,” said Bas Boone, project leader Sound Park for DPG Media.
“Moving the radio studios to the ground floor required quite some research and design, the key options being visibility and lots of daylight. During the building, Joe and Qmusic continued broadcasting from their ‘old’ on-air studios.”
The goal was to make both brands’ on-air studios visible by placing them in the main entrance hall (Qmusic) and the central corridor (Joe). “A first challenge was the entrance hall without any cabling or production facilities,” continued Boone. “We assigned acoustics company iDeal Acoustics to take on the building and acoustic research and calculations of the project.”
iDeal Acoustics started working in the DPG building last September. “We had to throw away old principles of hidden broadcast studios, replacing them by open on-air rooms, literally without studio doors, yet 100% acoustically perfect,” said Matthias Aerts, CEO of iDeal Acoustics. “The acoustic measures and elements had to fit the visual design made by architects Arf&Yes.”
Initially, Aerts wanted to place both main on-air rooms as box-in-a-box, but with each on-air studio weighing some 17 tons, iDeal Acoustics had to review the plans. “The weight of the studios required us to reinforce the building’s floors,” he continued. “To place the double-glazed walls, weighing one ton each, we drove in a construction crane.”
Six radio studios, three production studios, the box-in-box artist lounge and control room, and a green key studio were all individually calculated in terms of acoustics and insulation. Each room was equipped with tailor-made bass traps, absorbers and custom-built wooden diffusors.
“No room is identical,” explained Aerts. “For Joe’s on-air studio, with a partially floating floor, the initial plan was to decorate it with green and plants. As this resulted in poor acoustics, we asked a company in Norway to grow a specific kind of moss, with optimal acoustic transparency, completely in line with Joe’s imaging. With Qmusic, we used customized felt, manufactured in the station’s branding.”
iDeal Audio manufactured the studio furniture for the production rooms and the control room. It also handled the majority of the infrastructure work, carpentry and integration with a team of nine staffers working in the DPG Media building, in addition to the workers in the company’s factories.
The new radio floor was equipped with over 36 kilometers of data cables (mains, data and fiber were part of the building infrastructure). Amptec installed all of local cabling in the studios and the Netconnect-connection to the DPG Media datacenter. The company also managed the integration of the radio studios and complete system solution for the new radio environment.
The Sound Park serves both Qmusic and Joe in a similar architecture. With daylight being a crucial element, the complete 1,200-square-meter floor faces the street. The implementation of “flex desks” meant less office furniture was necessary. This resulted in more space for meeting places, an auditorium and conference rooms, offering room for 100 workers.
The broadcast and production studios are stretched alongside the main corridor, from the entrance hall to the back of the building.
“The basic principle was that our studios had to be used for both radio brands, offering identical basic functionalities and a standard presenter setup, the only difference is the size of each room. The on-air and production studios each have a DHD RX2 console, a Dalet Galaxy cart player, four fixed Neumann TLM 102 microphones and three Sennheiser HME 27 headset microphones, with Genelec 8351AP monitors,” said Boone.
Every studio is equipped with a TC Helicon reverb unit, two Empirical Labs EL8 Distressors for processing and compression (in combination with the DHD RX2’s automix function), a DHD XC2 core, a Telos VX telephone hybrid, four silent PCs and an Adderlink XDIP KVM extender, linking the equipment in the data center with the studio using KVM over IP.
Joe’s and Qmusic’s studios are among the first in the world to use the new RX2 consoles.
“In total, we supplied and installed seven RX2 mixing desks and nine XC2 cores. Six consoles plus cores are used in the radio studios, one RX2 and XC2 is used for staging and testing, one core serves 13 compact DHD 52TX multitouch-based consoles. One dedicated XC2 core is for HTML5-based programs using virtual consoles,” said Bart Lamberigts, Amptec broadcast business unit manager.
In addition, the broadcaster makes use of a Prodys Quantum 3RU frame with eight AoIP codecs for on-site broadcasts, OB vans or live reports, to connect with the DHD system via AES67.
“The whole radio infrastructure is a huge AES67 implementation — like the interconnection between Dalet Galaxy and DHD — we thoroughly tested the Dalet playout server using a Digigram AoIP board, which directly communicates with the DHD using the AES67 protocol,” added Lamberigts. “This assignment confirms our company’s leading role as supplier and system integrator.”
Both Qmusic and Joe’s main on-air studios use LIGA, an in-house developed central integration system. “It was engineered by our Dutch Qmusic colleagues and a big leap ahead towards maximum integration. The system connects with virtually all the digital tools like the Dalet Galaxy playout software, the DHD console, lighting, web APIs, the IT backbone and the videowalls,” added Boone.
All studios are equipped with Panasonic AW HE40 cameras for visual radio — the video signal uses IP connectivity using NewTek NDI technology. The system is steered by Microsoft Kinect sensors in combination with DHD’s level detector feature.
The on-air audio signal is channeled over 11 Omnia.9 processors for the two FM frequencies and nine DAB+ feeds. “The Omnia.9 with the MKII upgrade is one of the most powerful multiband processors on the market,” explained Edo Dijkstra of studio integrator TVV Sound. “The MKII upgrade makes it AES67-compliant, alongside Livewire. This is one of the country’s most extensive Omnia.9 installations.”
TVV Sound also supplied five Telos Alliance Z/IP Stream R/2 streaming platforms, each with a capability of eight simultaneous streams, with incorporated Omnia.9 software. “Two Axia Pathfinder Core Pro engines act as virtual core for the studios and control the digital channels via either Livewire or AES67 — quite a unique concept allowing to integrate parameters and commands in case of signal loss, technical problems or off-air warnings,” added Dijkstra.
The Omnia processors, the playout storage devices and Dalet playout machines (one for each radio channel), as well as the encoders and the FM signal distribution (via Broadcast Partners’ transmitter park) and DAB+ (via Norkring) are stored in nine huge racks located in DPG Media’s data center.
“We have taken quite a few risks in the building process but everything turned out well, thanks to the thorough preliminary research, and the great team effort. External companies, some 30 DPG Media technicians and in-house engineers Kurt Vervondel for the audio engineering, Stefan Hessens and Tim Tuboville who supervised the playout and backbone,” underlined Boone.
“These new studios mean more than just shifting places. The technology we installed makes us more than future-proof, and ready for the digital future,” said An Caers, radio director for DPG Media. “In three years from now, 50% of the Flemish audience will listen to digital radio. It’s our ambition to be Flanders’ most inspiring and innovating audio company. The talent of our radio team in combination with groundbreaking technology is helping us to achieve that goal.”
Top Notch Recording Facility
The new broadcast site also features a state-of-the-art concert lounge and control room, combining the advanced technology with new equipment.
“There’s no radio station in the country offering this quality; it was a huge investment but this console will last for a lifetime,” said Iann Castelein, DPG Media radio project manager/sound engineer.
“We opted for this analog mixing console because of its supreme sound quality,” he added. “The audio output is AOIP-linked to our radio studio. We’ve already carried out many recordings and we are seeing artists coming specifically to record on the system here and then release the tracks commercially.”
Mathijs Indesteege, sales director & product support for SSL distributor Joystick Audio, who also handled the studio cabling and supplied the patch bays believes the SSL AWS948 console with Delta Control, featuring hands-on workflow and advanced DAW integration with automation, is ideal for DPG’s strict requirements.
To celebrate our birthday, we're featuring a selection of historical pictures you've shared with us
It’s been three decades since Radio World International was launched. An offspring of Radio World, we started as a monthly print publication and have grown steadily over the years, documenting evolution and innovation in the radio industry worldwide.
Today, through our print issue and digital editions we reach more than 13,000 readers worldwide each month. Via the Radio World website, which brings together the best of all our industry-leading digital platforms, we reach another 23,000 monthly users.
To celebrate our birthday, we’re publishing a selection of photos we received from you. Thanks for sharing and growing with us over the years!
Inductees are Rome, Madison, Hamilton, Harrison, Kevin and Bean, Seacrest, Westheimer and Tesh
The post Radio Hall of Fame Highlights Radio’s Deep Bench of Talent appeared first on Radio World.
If anyone doubts the diversity and depth of radio’s talent, look no further than the Radio Hall of Fame’s 2019 inductees.
The Radio Hall of Fame honors radio talent and commemorates their accomplishments in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.
The 31st RHOF class features Jim Rome, Joe Madison, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Kevin Ryder, Gene “Bean” Baxter, Ryan Seacrest, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and John Tesh, all of whom were celebrated Nov. 8 at Gotham Hall in New York.
The timing of the designation was particularly significant for KROQ(FM) duo Kevin and Bean; the induction was held one day after Bean signed off the air for the final time.
This year’s event was led by emcee Mike Francesa, a 2018 RHOF honoree. Special guest announcers included Jim Bohannon and Jimmy Fallon, among others.
The post Radio Hall of Fame Highlights Radio’s Deep Bench of Talent appeared first on Radio World.
The Association of Philippines broadcasters drives the country’s receiver development forward
Philippines-based firm BeatBoy in collaboration with the association of Philippines broadcasters, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), and Manilla-based telecom company MegaCellular, unveiled the HDR-101 mobile phone with HD Radio tuner in December 2018.
KBP says it embarked upon the project so that Filipinos could easily listen to digital radio broadcasts. According to the organization, its goal was to make available a mobile device to allow the population to “simply and affordably” obtain digital radio broadcasts.
“We’re hopeful that receivers at this price point will make it more accessible for developing markets to have a digital radio solution,” it added.
The Philippines introduced digital radio broadcasts in Manila in 2009. Today there are eight stations delivering 13 digital audio programs via HD Radio technology. Broadcasters offering digital radio services in the country include Manila Broadcasting, Eagle Broadcasting, RMN, Far East Broadcasting Corp., Rajah Broadcasting and ABS-CBN. In addition, operators have recently launched digital services in other cities such as Davao and Cebu.
KPN adds that the HDR-101 has generated a lot of interest in digital radio solutions overall. “The phone made digital radio listening in the Philippines more attainable. Since its introduction, new product designs and projects have been developed to facilitate digital radio accessibility on mobile devices and in receivers for the home.”
New report highlights how to improve underwriting fortunes
One of community radio’s great challenges is keeping the income flowing. We are not alone. Frankly, income is a challenge faced by commercial media colleagues as well. How is community radio positioning itself to do well? New research might point out ways to do better.
For noncommercial broadcasters, a big source of income comes in the form of underwriting, those spots with specific rules that adhere to Federal Communications Commission policies governing noncommercial media. There are many disputes in some corners of community media about underwriting. To a few people, underwriting is little more than glorified advertising. However, the sophisticated ear hears the difference, and the smart station knows where it can go with its spots, because they’re integral to revenue.
Underwriting is beneficial for the local independent business looking to associate its name with something beloved like a station; for a station to demonstrate its support is broad and spread all around town; and for the listener to be informed about local happenings and places to visit. Many community radio stations rely on underwriting as income that isn’t derived from the dreaded pledge drive. For all the reasons above, a community station’s underwriting program must operate optimally to be effective.
Unfortunately, community stations nationwide seem to struggle with keeping the best underwriting teams in place. A new study may shed some light on finding and attracting the right underwriting accounts representatives to take your station’s underwriting up a notch.
The Center for Sales Strategy’s State of Media Sales 2019 report reveals some intriguing, and some not-surprising attitudes among stations and sales staff.
A few stations want to rely on 100% commission for an underwriting job. Not only are states looking askance at such arrangements these days, but competition for good sales people is fierce. In addition, according to the report, only 8% are willing to work for solely commission. The majority — 57% in the CSS poll — want a package that includes both base pay and commission.
However, stations should not assume shifting to a salary structure will be satisfactory. A whopping 92% of those surveyed indicated disinterest in a compensation package that did not include commission.
How much is your station investing in training and developing your underwriting staff? What kinds of printed materials about the station are you putting in their hands? Is it of the quality you want and expect to make an impression on a prospective underwriter? Your community station’s leaders should be asking all of these questions, because it turns out this sort of people investment is more meaningful than meets the eye. Around 25% of stations say their reps don’t have the collateral they need, and over 20% say the material they have for their staff isn’t current. More troubling, one-third of managers are not conducting regular sales training sessions with staff.
Is it any wonder then that managers suggest 20–30% of their salespeople are underperforming?
Stations expect more sales appointments from their representatives, even as those reps are finding it harder than ever to get appointments. It thus stands to reason that equipping a station’s representatives with the skills, materials and support they need to do their best benefits not just them, but a station and a community.
Dear Editor, I just got to read the Sept. 25 issue and would like to add a comment on the article “Seeking Enlightenment on Lightning Protection?” by Jeff Welton as it pertains to fiber optic lightning immunity. I live and work in Iowa where, like most flat states, if you stick a 10 penny nail […]
I just got to read the Sept. 25 issue and would like to add a comment on the article “Seeking Enlightenment on Lightning Protection?” by Jeff Welton as it pertains to fiber optic lightning immunity.
I live and work in Iowa where, like most flat states, if you stick a 10 penny nail in the ground, it will probably take a direct lightning hit in the next storm.
Four years ago, my telephone provider switched from copper pair and DSL to homes and businesses to direct fiber. This was a great thing for my internet, when went from 5 meg down and 1 meg up to 100 meg both ways. And all was well until the next summer.
A fairly active thunderstorm came through and there was a strike near the end of our driveway about 1/4 mile from our home. I knew it was close because there are two light fixtures out there, and the bulbs were both blown and melted into their sockets.
Well, after the strike, we had no phone and no internet; also the television, Apple TV box and two computers wouldn’t turn on. It wiped the phone company’s fiber-to-copper modem mounted on the outside of the house, wiped the router, both computers, the Apple box and the input board on the television where the HDMI cable from the Apple box was plugged in.
After the phone company fixed their problems and I got the TV fixed by Apple (and fixed the television myself and threw out the computers), we were back to normal.
I thought maybe it had hit the lights and come back through the AC line, or hit my ham tower,. I checked all the grounds and let it go, figuring the fiber is glass, it couldn’t possibly come through there.
A year later almost to the day, same exact thing. This time it didn’t damage the outside lights — just the modem, router, Apple TV, television and another computer.
Now I was suspicious. I told the telephone repairman, “It seems like we never had trouble when we had copper pairs; but now since you guys went to fiber, we are having lightning damage to anything connected to the fiber.”
Well, the guy was on the ball. He said, “You know, the fiber is in a copper shield to protect it from crushing; maybe it’s coming in on the copper shield.”
The shield was bonded to the modem, which had the usual four-foot ground rod driven. Next day, they sent a crew that terminated the copper shielded cable outside and ran just a piece of fiber, one strand into the house and moved their modem to the basement.
Now there is a length of 15 feet of pure glass between the incoming cable and the modem. Since that was done two years ago, we have had no trouble, though the storms are as potent as ever.
Watch out for buried fiber, it can be destructive. It’s not all glass.