Blood & Oil: Post 2

In addition to a fairly star-studded cast, Blood & Oil‘s off-screen talent provides insight on the quality that viewers may expect come its premiere later this month. For the writers: Josh Pate, whom has had relative success in film bearing titles as Deceiver and The Gravepairs with Rodes Fishburne, a novelist whom makes his TV writing/producing debut with the premiere of Blood and Oil.

The show, which has gone through multiple name changes, from tentatively “Oil” to possibly “Boom” to finally Blood & Oil, could be potentially defined by the talent and ambition of its producers.

Tony Krantz, the man behind the success of 24, could be the game changer for Blood & Oil. While his latest broadcast venture Dracula with NBC was canceled after its first season, Krantz has brought heart and ambition to Blood & Oil.  Don Johnson, arguably the show’s most recognizable and experienced actor, claims he originally said no to the series. However, after meeting with an insistent Krantz, Johnson claimed he was taken by “the passion that everyone had with the project” (Source: Entertainment Weekly, Sept. 18-25 issue #1382).


TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR 2015 - "Blood & Oil" Session - The cast and producers of ABC's "Blood & Oil" address the press at Disney | ABC Television Group's Summer Press Tour 2015 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (ABC/Image Group LA) JOSH PATE (CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), RODES FISHBURNE (CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), TONY KRANTZ (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER), AMBER VALLETTA, DON JOHNSON, CHACE CRAWFORD, REBECCA RITTENHOUSE

TCA SUMMER PRESS TOUR 2015 – “Blood & Oil” Session – The cast and producers of ABC’s “Blood & Oil” address the press at Disney | ABC Television Group’s Summer Press Tour 2015 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (ABC/Image Group LA)

Fox Network, O&Os and Affiliates

by Thomas Staudt

Fox Television, owned by News Corp, is one of the “Big Four” television broadcasters in the United States, and also owns a wide portfolio of cable properties domestically. Fall 2012 was a busy time for many areas of the business.

Owned and Operated Stations

Fox Sells WUTB in Baltimore

Fox O&O WUTB in Baltimore

FOX Agrees to Sell O&O WUTB in Baltimore [17]

In May 2012, Fox Television reached an agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting to renew the Fox affiliations on 19 Sinclair owned stations for five years. As part of the agreement, Sinclair paid $25 million for the Fox affiliation on WBFF in Baltimore, as well as an option to purchase the Fox owned and operated station in Baltimore, WUTB, by March 31, 2013. The station had served as leverage for Fox when negotiating with Sinclair, since Fox would threaten pulling the Baltimore Fox affiliation from Sinclair’s flagship, WBFF, and switching to their own WUTB. WUTB is the MyNetwork affiliate in Baltimore, and was unique as the only MyNetwork station owned in the Fox television portfolio. [1]

On November 29, 2012, Sinclair exercised the option to purchase WUTB, paying an additional $2.7 million. Because Sinclair owns WBFF in Baltimore, the sale is between Fox Television corporate, and a third party Deerfield Communications, controlled by sole shareholder Stephen Mumblow. Sinclair will control the station through operations contracts with Deerfield. Sinclair will also owe an additional $25 million to Fox, unless Fox exercises an option to acquire certain stations from Sinclair’s current portfolio. WUTB is the third Sinclair controlled station in Baltimore, as they also control the CW station, WNUV, owned by Cunningham Broadcasting- which is owned by the children of Sinclair’s shareholders. [2]

Fox Owned and Operated Stations Receive Uniform Graphics and Music Update

The Fox owned and operated stations (17 stations) rolled out a uniform graphics update for locally produced programming during the first week of November, 2012. The changes are for show and segment openings, as well as lower third graphics. The Fox rectangular logo has largely been replaced with the Fox name, and appears with 3D and circular elements. The standard music package has also been slightly adjusted. Finally, Fox owned stations have standardized the practice of showing reporter’s Twitter handles, rather than email addresses under their name on air. [3] 


WFFF Fox Burlington Sold to Nexstar

Nexstar Broadcasting

Nexstar Broadcasting Purchases WFFF [19]

Nexstar Broadcasting announced the completion of a deal November 5, 2012 to purchase Fox affiliate WFFF in Burlington, VT from Smith Media. Nexstar agreed to pay $17.1 million for WFFF and sister station WVNY, an ABC affiliate. Mission Broadcasting is also involved in the transaction due to media ownership laws. The FCC is expected to approve the transaction in the first quarter of 2013. Upon completion of the deal,Utica,NYNBC affiliate WKTV will be the only television station still owned by Smith Media. [4]

While Burlington, VT is DMA 97, it is an important market because it reaches a substantial Canadian market not counted in its DMA size. This includes Montreal, a city with ten times more population than the entire Burlington DMA. Canadian cable operators carry WFFF in the southern Quebec province as their Fox station. [5]

4 Northwest Broadcasting Fox Stations Pulled From Dish Network

Northwest Broadcasting pulled four Fox affiliate stations off of Dish Network after retransmission renewal negotiations broke down on November 26, 2012 over a dispute about rate increases. The stations affected are WICZ in Binghamton, NY; KMVU in Medford, OR; KFFX in Yakima, WA; and KAYU in Spokane, WA. After months of negotiations, a deal could not be reached, and the signals went dark to Dish Network customers.

The impasse comes only two months after a long blackout of the same stations ended with Dish competitor DirectTV. The Northwest- DirectTV battle lasted for over 22 months, and at times was hostile. [6]

LIN FOX Stations Almost Pulled From Charter

LIN TV threatened to pull two other Fox affiliates, WNAC in Providence, RI and WLUK in Green Bay, WI off of Charter Communications cable platforms if increased retransmission rates were not agreed to by November 29, 2012. Charter claimed that LIN was demanding 150% increases in fees. [7] At the last moment before the stations were scheduled to go dark, the two sides reached a deal for undisclosed terms. [8]


Fox O&O Stations Purchase Syndication Rights to Anger Management

Anger Management Promotional Poster

Charlie Sheen stars in Anger Management on FX [20]

Fox owned and operated stations signed a syndication contract in October, 2012 to begin airing the FX sitcom Anger Management starring Charlie Sheen beginning in the fall of 2014. FX will retain the cable syndication rights sold by Lionsgate Television. Lionsgate’s television division plans to produce 90 episodes over the next two years in order to fulfill syndication requirements. This follows a model the company has used in the past to get syndication fees sooner. Anger Management averaged 4.5 million viewers per episode during its initial summer run; new episodes begin in January. [9]

Fox O&Os Purchase Rights to Veteran’s Day Parade

NYC Veterans Day Parade Logo

The 2012 NYC Veteran’s Day Parade aired on Fox Stations [21]

Fox owned stations came to an agreement with the Wounded Warriors Project for the television rights to the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade for the first time in 2012. Fox owned stations aired the parade live or tape delayed (depending on local NFL games) with cut-ins from Fox News cable network. The live showings of the parade aired Sunday November 11, from Noon until 3:30 Eastern time. [10]

Bethenny Frankel Daytime Show Picked up by Fox Owned Stations

Fox owned and operated stations have signed a syndication deal to air the daytime talk show Bethenny, hosted by former reality television star Bethenny Frankel, and executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The show was left for dead in 2012, after it failed to achieve Fall 2012 clearances, but Fox kept the show alive by airing it on six owned stations for a trial period of six weeks during the summer. The positive results gave enough of a sample and momentum for Warner Brothers Distribution to syndicate nationally in other markets. The show is expected to premiere in early 2013. [11]


Fox Purchases Stake in YES to Assist Clearance

YES Network Logo

FOX Purchased 49% of YES [22]

On November 20, 2012, News Corp, agreed to purchase a 49% ownership stake in the YES Network. A specific price was not released, but analysts estimate the network to be valued at $3 billion. News Corp completed the deal with Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity Partners. The contract includes a path for Fox to increase its ownership stake to 80%. YES has rights to air New York Yankees baseball through 2042, and is expected to be used as leverage to increase retransmission rates and clearance for other Fox properties in the nation’s largest market and surrounding areas. [12]


Fox launches Saturday Night Football and Baseball

Erin Andrews

Erin Andrews Joined Fox to Anchor Sports Coverage [23]

For the first time in 2012, Fox aired weekly college football games on Saturday nights anchored by the popular Erin Andrews. Fox drew ratings as high as a 3.5 overnight, on a night previously ignored by networks and viewers. Fox also moved its Saturday afternoon baseball to Saturday nights, seeing ratings increases of over 25% for the season. [13]


Fox Denied in Suit Against Dish Network’s DVR

United States District Court ruled on November 29, 2012 against Fox Broadcasting in its attempt for an injunction against Dish Network’s advanced DVR and ad-skipping technology. The court found that Fox was not likely to succeed on the merits of copyright infringement against the DVR service, and that Fox had failed to show irreparable harm caused by the “quality assurance” ad-free copies made to show customers. [14]


 Fox Joins with Dyle to bring Television to the iPad

Dyle Ap

Dyle Can Bring Television to the iPad [24]

Fox has joined a consortium of broadcasters to allow people to legally watch the Fox television network for free on their iPad. Called Dyle, the program requires an antenna adapter since the device does not use the internet, instead using television broadcast signals. The technology is improving, and is a large step towards bringing television to the iPad. [15]


1st Quarter Financial Data for News Corp.

News Corp’s 1st Quarter (July-Sept) financial data showed a slow start to the television year. Overall company revenues were up 2.2%, but operating income down .5% to $1.38 billion. The company reported higher than expected political advertising spending, and a more than doubling on average of retransmission rates, but also had a poor start to the network season ratings. The Fox broadcast network and owned and operated stations posted a 17.3% increase in operating income to $156 million, while Fox cable properties showed 23% increase in operating income to $953 million.

The scatter market was not robust as the company had hoped, and the Olympics siphoned off some potential revenue, but Fox is working towards its stated goal of a dual revenue stream of retransmission revenue and reverse affiliate compensation. A low- rated four game World Series and poor fall launches hurt the quarterly performance, but projections for the 2nd Quarter are more optimistic. [16]


  1. Malone, M. (2012, November 29). “Fox Selling WUTB to Deerfield Media for $2.7 Million”. Broadcasting and Cable.
  2. Jessell, H. A. (2012, November 29). “Sinclair Makes it a Triopoly in Baltimore”. TV News Check. Retrieved from
  3. Newscast Studio. (2012, November 16). “Fox Owned Stations Roll Out Graphics Overhaul”. Newscast Studio. Retrieved from
  4. Knox, M. (2012, November 5). “Nexstar Acquires Stations in California, Vermont.” Media Bistro. Retrieved from
  5. TV NewsCheck. (2012, November 5). “Nexstar Adding Stations in Calif. and Vt.” TV News Check. Retrieved from
  6. Stiles, G. (2012, November 28). “New Battle for Northwest Broadcasting Inc”. Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved from
  7. Donohue, S. (2012, November 20). “LIN TV Threatens to Pull CBS, NBC, Fox Stations from Charter Communications”. Fierce Cable. Retrieved from
  8.  Donohue, S. (2012, November 30). “Charter Signs Last-Minute Deal with LIN TV”. Fierce Cable. Retrieved from
  9. Porter, R. (2012, October 31). “Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management Sold into Syndication, Which was Point All Along”.  Zap 2 It. Retrieved from
  10. Wounded Warriors. (2012, November, 8). “New York City Veterans Day Parade to be Broadcast in 10 Major Markets”. Market Watch. Retrieved from
  11.  Andreeva, N. (2012, September 24). “Bethenny Frankel’s Talk Show to Launch on Fox Stations in 2013”. Deadline. Retrieved from
  12. Jannarone, J. (2012, November 20). “News Corp. to Buy 49% of YES Network”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
  13. Hiestand, M. (2012, November 4). “Saturday Nights: The Future of Big-Time TV Sports?” USA Today. Retrieved from
  14. Davidson, S. (2012, November 29). “Federal district court refuses to enjoin DISH Network’s advanced DVR and ad-skipping services”. Lexology. Retrieved from
  15. Kafka, P. (2012, November 19). “Dyle Brings Legal, Live TV to Your iPad, With Many Strings Attached”. All Things SD. Retrieved from
  16.  Messmer, J. (2012, November 6). “News Corp. Admits Soft Fall Start for Fox”. TV News Check. Retrieved from
  17. Image. “WUTB Logo”. WUTB. Retrieved from
  18. Video. “November 12, 2012- Fox 13 WHBQ”. Newscast Studio. Retrieved from:
  19. Image. “Nexstar Logo”. Logos Wikia. Retrieved from
  20. Image. “Anger Management”. TMZ. Retrieved from
  21. Image. “NYC Veterans Day Parade 2012 Logo”. Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved from
  22. Image. “YES Network Logo”. SNY Networks. Retrieved from
  23. Image. “Erin Andrews.” Daily Glow. Retrieved from
  24. Image. “Dyle”. Dyle TV. Retrieved from

NBC Network, O&Os and Affiliates

by Yuan Wang


NBC Network

NBC Network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City‘s Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago. NBC is sometimes referred to as the “Peacock Network,” due to its stylized peacock logo, created originally for its color broadcasts.[3]

NBC has 10 owned-and-operated stations and nearly 200 affiliates in the United States and its territories.[1][2]Archival footage from a majority of the NBC owned-and-operated stations is available for perusal and purchase through the NBCUniversal Archives.

New Deals of NBC in 2012

In June, NBC Sports Group had inked a new deal for TV, digital and mobile rights to the Tour de France through 2023[4]. The 10-year contract goes into effect in 2014, extending and expanding NBC’s current deal with the world’s preeminent cycling competition. It also includes coverage of other properties from the Amaury Sports Organization, including the Dakar Rally and the Paris Marathon. 19 of 21 stages of this year’s Tour will air on NBC Sports Network, with coverage averaging more than 13 hours per day, including a nightly three-hour studio show. NBC itself broadcasted stages seven and eight, the first time the Peacock broadcast network had televised the event live.

Aiming to expand its sports brand beyond TV, NBC was returning to its roots in radio.Peacock had created the NBC Sports Radio Network, to launch in September. NBC teamed with content syndicator Dial Global. Rival ESPN has long had a successful national radio franchise, with affiliates all over the country, and NBC saw reaching listeners in their cars — as well as on streaming services on various websites and other digital platforms — as a vital component of conglom growth. Peacock was looking for big returns from the London Olympics.The September radio start would coincide with the beginning of the pro and college football seasons, and NBC was hoping to use pigskin passion to help build a radio fanbase.[5]

In November, NBCUniversal had a new affiliation deal with Suddenlink, the nation’s seventh largest cabler, covering in and out-of-home viewing of NBCU’s cable networks and retransmission for NBC and Telemundo stations. [6]The agreement included expansive rights to carry the 2014 Winter Olympics, on-demand content from NBCUniversal’s cable and broadcast portfolio and accessed to live channels across multiple platforms, called TV Everywhere. Suddenlink’s service is called Suddenlink2GO.

NBC Owned-and-operated Television Stations

NBC Owned Television Stations is the division of NBCUniversal that includes 10 local television stations and their digital channels and websites, as well as a group of out-of-home properties and a production company.  The 10 stations produce and deliver compelling and unique local news, information and entertainment programming to viewers in the communities they serve, which include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Miami, San Diego and Connecticut, with a goal of connecting to their audiences anytime and anywhere.

NBCUniversal said it’s doubling down on local coverage at its 10 owned-and-operated stations. The conglom’s stations group, NBC Owned Television Stations, will make 130 new hires and produce more local news. Many questioned the probability of NBCU’s continuing commitment to local news in the wake of its merger with Comcast. “Wait a few months” seemed to be the conventional wisdom around the topic. Now, 10 months after the merger’s completion, NBCU is making sure everyone knows whose idea this was. “The new leaders of the company very much believe in the owned television stations division, and they want to see these stations strong again,” said group prexy Valari Staab in a video released online by the company today[7]. NBC O&Os will produce more local news in addition to launching consumer and investigative units in five markets, the company said.


NBC has nearly 200 affiliates in the United States and its territories. This section will focus on what happened between NBC and affiliates in 2012.

After being dumped by the NBC affiliate earlier in June, NBC’s The Playboy Club has found a new home at Salt Lake City’s My Network affiliate, KMYU.[8] The station aired the soapy drama, which stars Eddie Cibrian and Amber Heard in a 1960s-set club where crooners, mob bosses and politicians mingle among Chicago’s elite, in its regular Monday night slot this fall.

In August, GLAAD released a statement about the Salt Lake City affiliate KSL-TV’s decision not to air The New Normal, and GLAAD president Herndon Graddick invited KSL CEO Jeff Simpson to meet with the group.[9] In addition, the show’s star, Ellen Barkin, expressed her concern via Twitter, saying, “Shame on you @kslcom.” Here is GLAAD’s statement: “Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern Family, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported LGBT stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country.” “We invite Jeff Simpson to sit down with GLAAD and local LGBT families. We know that if he would, he would see that not only are our families normal, but by citing ‘crude and rude’ content and refusing to affirm LGBT families, KSL and Mr. Simpson are sending a dangerous message to Utah. They should make that right.”

In September 12th, NBC News has sent managers at its affiliated stations an apology for putting them through severe criticism after Today failed to carry the moment of silence the nation observed on Sept. 11, according to a report by the New York Times[10]. However, Steve Capus, president of NBC News, did not apologize for the decision not to show the President and first lady as they called for the moment of silence. Capus also did not issue a public apology and there was no official press release to the media about NBC’s actions.

In September, NBC had ironed out its plans for Election Night coverage at the national and local levels, and had tweaked its model to give affiliates a better opportunity to report on local elections. Partner stations get a one-minute news window coming out of the first commercial pod in each half-hour — typically around 10 minutes into each half-hour — a new development with which most seem pleased. The stations also get six minutes for their reporting and commercials at 0:24 and 0:54 in each hour. The network said it was a prime opportunity for the stations “to associate your anchors and reporters with Brian Williams and the NBC News political coverage team.”[11]

In October, nine NBC affiliates across Ohio was joining up to broadcast a live 60-minute debate between the incumbent, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, and challenger, Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel.[12] The debate takes place Oct. 25 in Cincinnati and will air live at 7 p.m. on Ohio’s NBC affiliates.



[1] “Company Overview”. NBC Universal. Retrieved March 25, 2008.

[2] “List of United States over-the-air television networks”. Entomology. Retrieved March 25, 2008.












CBS Network, O&Os and Affiliates

by Christen Westbury

CBS: The Beginning

CBS embarked on their humble journey in 1927 as United Independent Broadcasters, Inc. The name of the company went through several name changes over the course of 5 decades, but finally adopted their current name – CBS Corporations – in 1997 when it was bought by Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

CBS originally started as a radio entity that was founded by Arthur Judson, but was bought by and then propelled forward financially by William S. Paley. Paley put a heavy emphasis on the importance of a large audience and the inherent ties large audiences have with advertisers. With that said he created a plan to make CBS a lucrative enterprise, supported by advertising sales. He offered free programming to affiliates in exchange for the incorporation of sponsored shows within their programming schedule. This created an avenue for him to acquire money from advertisers to increase CBS’ revenue. Paley took over the company in 1928, and from that year on, the company grew at exponential rates. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, CBS set the foundation for future media successes and in 1940 they added to that foundation by acquiring Columbia records. This expanded their business while also setting a tone for innovation.

In addition to everything that CBS was doing internally, they also had external star power at the forefront of the radio medium. Audiences were able to hear notable stars such as Bing Crosby and Phil Harris, thus helping to draw in high listenership. Their library of stars coupled with their large audience, allowed for an easy transition to television in 1948. From the 1950’s through the 1980’s the television network had huge success with shows such as The Andy Griffith Show, All in the Family and M*A*S*H. The company has since then gone through a plethora of changes in ownership, acquisitions and leadership, however today they are still one of the largest and most lucrative multimedia corporations [1].

CBS: The Parent Company

National Amusements, located in Norwood, Massachusetts, is the Parent Company of CBS corporations and Viacom, owning a controlling percentage of about 80%. Sumner Redstone is the Chief Executive Officer/Owner and his daughter Shari E. Redstone, is the current president of National Amusements. In addition to Redstone being the controlling stockholder of CBS corporations and Viacom, he is also a partner in the business (Global Data 2012) Commercial [10]

The company National Amusements,  is primarily and most importantly one of the frontrunners in the motion picture industry; owning and operating over 950 movie screens worldwide. They operate theatres in six states within the U.S.; Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island while also having theaters in Brazil, Argentina, Scotland and Whales. Overall they have made both a national and worldwide presence within the movie picture industry (GlobalData 2012).

The company however, is not a stranger to financial hardships. In recent years, they have acquired around $1.46 billion dollars in debt. Their economic downfalls have forced them to sell 30 movie theatres in Dallas to Rave Cinemas in 2009, almost $1 billion dollars in stock in that same year, 87% of Midway games, and their Russian movie chain in order to try and resolve their debt problems. The company is currently still a thriving entity as a result of their profitable subsidiaries, however they still have not fully fixed their debt woes (GlobalData 2012).

CBS: The Network


The CBS network brand is currently marked by the “eye” logo, and their slogan “Only Us”. The network is one of the Big 4 broadcasting networks that have been and continue to be the major contributors for social, cultural, and political ideologies for television consumers.  The network delivers 22 hours of programming a day for their television audience for the purpose of both entertainment and knowledge. CBS incorporates a variety of programming options throughout their daily schedules, including dramas, comedies, specials, news programs and children shows. Their goal is to have diversified programming aimed towards the many different demographic groups that make up the United States. Some of their major programming successes have included the pioneering reality show ‘Survivor’ Survivor’s Best Moments [11] and the notable news program ’60 minutes.’ [2}


Owned & Operated/Affiliates breakdown

CBS has a total of 16 owned and operated stations that are apart of the CBS television network. The stations include KCBS-Los Angeles, KPIX-San Francisco, KOVR-Sacramento, KCNC-Denver, WFOR-Miami, WBBM-Chicago, WJZ-Baltimore, WBZ-Boston, WWJ-Detroit, WCCO-Minneapolis, WCBS-New York, KYW-Philadephia, KDKA-Pittsburgh, and KTVT-Dallas. Additionally, the network has over 205 affiliates in 48 states.[3]


Affiliate News

April 2, 2012 – Earlier in the year CBS Television Stations closed the acquisition deal of the independent New York station,  WLNY-TV. CBS coupled together the newly acquired station with their flagship Television station –WCBS-TV– to maximize all resources and to increase success within that market. The purpose of this business move was to give CBS a “duopoly in the nations largest media market” in addition to providing more opportunities for the network. Betty Ellen Berlamino was named both vice president and the station manager of WLNY. [5]

July 17, 2012 – In the summer of this year CBS acquired three new affiliate stations through an affiliation agreement with Gray Television, Inc. The stations include WECP-Panama City, Fla, WSVF-Harrisonburg, VA, and WIYE-Parkersburg, W.VA. This deal allowed CBS to have a presence in new markets, thus strengthening their portfolio. [6]

Fall 2012 Programming

This season the CBS Television Network added a total of four new series and returned 19 to their programming schedule. The new series included the newest hit drama Elementary CBS Elementary Promo [12],  as well as Vegas, Made in Jersey, and the comedy series Partners. The new drama Elementary has won the 18-49 demographic for the 10 o’clock time slot for a consistent 10 weeks. Some of the returning series for this fall 2012 season include ‘Person of Interest’ which was the #1 new show and the #1 comedy the Big Bang theory. The most recent reports have shown that NBC and CBS are tied for first place for the key demographic group of 18-49 year olds, averaging a 2.6 rating. [7]

CBS: 2012 Top Stories

June 21,2012— In the month of June, CBS made an unparalleled move by creating the largest major market radio sports network in the nation with the development of the CBS sports radio network through a deal with Cumulus media. This deal requires Cumulus media to act as the exclusive distribution and sales partner. They are responsible for the affiliate agreements, ad sales and exclusive syndication. [8]


November 11, 2012 – CBS sports network obtained rights to the AFL. This is a two-year agreement that will include 19 games and two play off games. The programming will start March 23, 2012. [9]


When looking back at this passed year, it is evident that the CBS network has remained profitable and on top. They have continued to expand their business in radio and have also championed effective programming. The company began with humble beginnings in the 1920’s and from that moment moving forward, they have sufficiently trail blazed a path of what success and efficiency truly looks like. In order to remain a multimedia conglomerate a company must have their roots firmly planted in various medium and must be a Mecca of innovation. CBS the corporation, has done just  that, and have created a formula for remaining one of America’s greatest media companies.














Global Data. (2012). National amusements company profile. Hoover’s Inc. Retrieved from

Pictures (excluding CBS Logo)




ABC Network, O&Os and Affiliates

by Baindu N. Saidu


The  American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is one of the oldest American broadcasting networks. Originally created in the 1940’s from the NBC Blue rradio network, ABC is  now owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group[1]. The group is composed of Disney’s global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations group, as well as radio and publishing businesses. This includes ABC Television Network, ABC Owned Television Station Group, ABC Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family, and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/abc Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution[2].

The parent company, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products, and Interactive Media.

image via:

Key Disney Executives:

John Pepper – Chairman

Robert Iger – President, CEO

James Rasulo – Senior Executive Vice President, CFO

Alan Braverman – Senior Executive Vice President, Secretary, General Counsel

Kevin Mayer – Executive Vice President

Key Disney Financials (in USD as of 09/29/2012):

Revenue:42, 278m

Net income:5,682m

Revenue per share: 23.57 [4]

Graph from (


Walt Disney Co. News (Fall 2012)

  • October 30, 2012: Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion in cash and stock and will debut a new Star Wars movie, Episode VII,in 2015. George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars franchise and CEO of Lucasfilm, owned 100% of the company[5]. Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chair of Lucasfilm, will become its president, reporting to Walt Disney Studios chair Alan Horn. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars features, with Lucas serving as creative consultant [6].
  • November 28, 2012: Walt Disney said  that it would boost its annual dividend to shareholders by 25% to 75¢ a share. It was the latest company to do so on jitters over the looming “fiscal cliff.” The dividend announcement came a day after Disney raised $3 billion in a bond offering, part of which would likely go toward funding the bigger shareholder payout [7].
  • December 4, 2012: Disney signed an unprecedented movie deal with Netflix, allowing  Netflix subscribers to stream films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation, Marvel and Disneynature, starting in 2016. When the deal kicks in, Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated feature films from the Walt Disney Studios,  receiving access to the movies after they’re made available for sale and rental. Netflix managers also cut a separate multi-year deal with Disney to bring some older catalog titles to Netflix streaming immediately[8].

ABC Network

ABC Television network provides broadcast programming to more than 220 affiliated stations across the country. the network encompasses ABC News, respoinsible for news programming on television and other digital platforms, ABC Entertainement Group, responsible for the network’s primetime and late-night fair, ABC Daytime,producers of the network’s daytime programming, and ABC Kids, responsible for children’s programming [9].

ABC Daytime

-September 10, 2012: Katie Couric’s new daytime talk show premiered to  an estimated 1.535-million viewers from the top 56 U.S. markets. put Couric comfortably ahead of the freshman talk-show pack. “Katie” outdrew “Steve Harvey” by 87%,  “Jeff Probst” by 150% and “Ricki Lake” by 250%[10]. For entire article.

-November 26, 2012: As sweeps month comes to a close, Good Morning America is poised to beat out Today to  win November sweeps in total viewers and the key adults 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. It would be GMA‘s first November sweep win in total viewers since 1995, and its first sweeps victory in the key demo in more than 18 years.  [11]. For entire article.

-December 06, 2012: ABC was Daytime’s number 1 network for the 12th consecutive week in Women 18-34 (0.6 rating / 214,000 – tied), and was #1 for the 8th straight week in Women 18-49 (0.9 rating / 569,000 – tied) [12]. For entire press release.

Primetime Programming

ABC Entertainment Group develops and produces compelling programming for broadcast on ABC in addition to other television and digital platforms.  The group includes ABC Entertainment, which is responsible for all network primetime and late-night entertainment programming.  ABC Studios is responsible for the development and production of primetime and late-night entertainment content for ABC, among other platforms. Disney-ABC Domestic Television is responsible for the content distribution within the United States and Canada [13].

New Programs Fall 2012

New ABC Series Premiering in Fall 2012:

-666 Park Avenue

-Last Resort

-Malibu Country


-The Neighbors

For in-depth information about any of ABC’s Fall premiere shows go here.

Fall Ratings

  • October 09, 2012: After two weeks of the 2012-2013 broadcast television season (through Sunday, October 7 2012), NBC is in first place among adults 18-49, with a 2.8 rating average. Runners-up FOX and CBS tied for second, each earning a 2.4 rating average. ABC came in fourth with a 2.1 rating average and Univision  was fifth with a 1.4 18-49 rating. The CW finished last with a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating average [14].
  • November 13, 2012: After seven weeks of the 2012-2013 broadcast television season (through Sunday, November 11, 2012), NBC is in first place among adults 18-49, with a 3.2 rating average, up 23% from last season.  CBS was second, with a 2.8 rating average, down 18% from a year ago. ABC was third with a 2.6,  down 7% from a year ago. FOX was fourth with a 2.5, down 29% from last season.   The CW finished last with a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating average [15].
  • November 27, 2012: ABC Draws its 2nd-Largest Audience Since Season Premiere Week and Claims 4 of the Top 15 Most-Watched TV Shows Overall [16]. For specifics on the individual ratings go here. 
  • December 04, 2012:  After eight weeks of the 2012-2013 broadcast television season (through Sunday, November 25, 2012), NBC is in first place among adults 18-49, with a 3.2 rating average, up 23% from last season.  CBS was second, with a 2.8 rating average, down 18% from the prior season. ABC was third with a 2.6, down 7% from the previous season FOX was fourth with a 2.4, down 31% from last season. The CW finished last with a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating average, down 20% from the previous season. Among  total viewers, CBS is ahead for the season  averaging 11.718 million viewers. ABC is second with 9.168m, followed by NBC with 8.913 m, FOX with 6.853m, and CW with 1.888 million [17].
  • December 04, 2012: During the week of November 26, 2012, ABC qualified as the 2nd-most-watched network to CBS, outdrawing an NFL-fueled NBC (8.03 million vs. 7.97 million). And excluding sports, ABC beat out NBC for the week by 10% in Adults 18-49 (2.2/6 vs. 2.0/6). Season-to-Date C3 Ratings (9/24-11/11/12): ABC is the No. 1 network this season in the sales currency of C3 non-sports Adult 18-49 ratings (Commercial Ratings + 3 Days of Playback), out-delivering CBS by 5%, Fox by 10% and NBC by 10%: ABC = 2.3 rating, CBS = 2.2 rating, Fox = 2.1 rating and NBC = 2.1 rating [18].

Coming up

So far in the season, 3 shows have been cancelled, two of which are new series. Private Practice, 666 Park Avenue and The Last Resort will not be seeing anymore seasons. To check the cancellation/renewal index for ABC shows, go here. For information on midseason premieres go here.

Owned and Operated Stations

The ABC Owned Television Stations Group includes WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. The eight owned stations reach 23.3% of all U.S. television households. All are strong performers in their local markets, with most ranking #1 sign-on to sign-off in key A.C. Nielsen ratings for adults 18-49 and 25-54 [20 ].

O & O News:

  • September 4, 2012: Owned and operated station, WABC-TV, home to the popular syndicated series “Live! with Regis and Kelly, ” welcomed new co-host Michael Strahan, to thew show, now titled “Live! with Kelly and Michael.” For more on the story click here.
  • For more ABC O&O news check out this website.

Affilate Stations

There are over 220 ABC affiliated stations across the U.S.

  • November, 21, 2012:  KABC remains dominant in L.A. local news. Story here.
  • December 07, 2012:  Sinclair Broadcast Finalizes TV Station Acquisitions, among them ABC Affiliate stations. story here.
  • For information on their activities go here.






[4] same as [3]

















TV Outside of the U.S.

by Yuan Wang


Since the individual markets outside the U.S. can be difficult to comprehend, the natural assumption is that each country’s system is in some way based upon a U.S. model. Indeed, some systems were originally based upon a U.S. model, but they have since evolved. In some countries, the government or an agency owns and operates the television networks. Some countries permit private networks, but only in partnership with the government.[1]

Therefore, this wiki is geographically segmented in four marketplaces: Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia, and Latin America to explore the recent developments within the international television business in 2012.


Canada Media Fund

Canada Media Fund

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) champions the creation and promotion of successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms through financial support and industry research. Created by Canada’s cable and satellite distributors and the Government of Canada, the CMF’s goal is to connect Canadians to our creative expressions, to each other and to the world.

The CMF provided $358 million to Canadian television and digital media projects in 2011-2012, a six percent increase, from the previous fiscal year. This investment triggered a record-breaking $1.3 billion in activity in Canada’s creative economy.

In addition, the CMF announced many changes in the 2012-2013 guidelines:[2](Changes applicable to all Production Programs)

  • Maximum Contribution for Digital Media Components increased to 75%

Previously, the CMF’s Maximum Contribution for funding a Digital Media Component(s) was 50% of a component’s Eligible Costs. This has now been increased to 75% of Eligible Costs. The dollar amount cap remains unchanged.

  • Rules related to format buys clarified

Foreign format buys with significant Canadian adaptation and creative contribution are eligible for CMF funding. Previously, however, some CMF rules regarding the ownership and control of the project could be interpreted as rendering format buys ineligible. The CMF has now clarified that, while applicants must own all rights (including copyright) and options necessary for the production and its distribution in Canada and abroad, appropriate exceptions for a purchased format will be made on a case-by-case basis.

In respect of Essential Requirement #2, the CMF may not allow, at its sole discretion, a format buy to meet this requirement notwithstanding that it does not receive two CAVCO points for Canadian writer(s) if there are Canadian writers that are significantly involved in the writing such that they obtain writing credits and that Canadians meaningfully control the adaptation of the format.

In respect of Essential Requirement #3, in the case of a format buy, the original owner of the format may not retain approval rights for creative elements and a non-Canadian consultant may be hired to ensure format elements are respected.




Japan and the United States tend to be though of as the two poles of the video game industry, with Japan seen as the originator and the United States as the current, dominating force. But with Europe’s annual Gamescom event starting, I though it might be a good idea to reflect on how Europe fits into the worldwide video game industry.

Great Britain—Our Neighbors Across the Pond

The games industry predict tax breaks will create more jobs

The games industry predict tax breaks will create more jobs

The United Kingdom is the largest video game market in Europe. Unlike in the United States, video games in the UK have been held up alongside film and television as an important medium worthy of artistic recognition.

The UK is generally regarded as the hub of European game development. Pop over to London and you can find Eidos Interactive, publishiers of the Tomb Raider and Hitman franchises; Rocksteady Studios, creators of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City; and Splash Damage, creators of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Brink. Media Molecule, creator of the LittleBigPlanet series and Lionhead Studios, best known for the Fable series are both based in Guildford in Surrey. Rare, the developer of the Viva Pinata, Banjo-Kazooie and Kinect Sports games is located in Twycross, Leicestershire.[3]

In addition, long-awaited tax breaks for the game industry have been announced in the budget.[4] This change has been lobbied for several years and this is a brilliant decision by the government and terrific news for the UK video games industry. The decision will benefit not just the UK games development and digital publishing sector, but also the wider UK economy.

Tax relief for the video games sector should generate and safeguard 4,661 direct and indirect jobs, offer £188m in investment expenditure by studios, increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £283m and generate £172m for the Treasury.[5]

However, they still need to go much further than today’s announcement on the creative industries and broadband and take some real action to optimize the full potential of the entire UK tech sector.

France—The Land Of Wine And Assassins

Ubisoft, one of the biggest video game publishers in the world, is based in Rennes, France. They have studios in over two-dozen countries and own some of the biggest franchises in gaming, including Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, and the Rainbow Six, Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon franchises. In the opinion of industry experts Ubisoft “won” E3 2012 with its slate of Wii U launch titles and the announcement of Watch Dogs, which blew audiences away.

The multinational media company Vivendi, which is the majority stakeholder in Activision Blizzard, Inc.; Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and the upcoming Beyond: Two Souls; and Gameloft, one of the largest publishers of mobile games in the world are all based in Paris. Arkane Studios, whose upcoming game Dishonored is at the center of some heavy industry buzz at the moment, is based in Lyon. Major French games industry figures include David Cage from Quantic Dream and Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft.[6]

Northern and Eastern Europe—Exploring The Gaming Frontier

Scandinavia is home to a bevy of companies you might recognize. EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, also known as DICE, best known for the Battlefield franchise is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Starbreeze Studios, developers of The Darkness and Syndicate, are located in Uppsala, Sweden. Guerilla Games, creators of the Killzone franchise, is based in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Funcom, the developer of the new MMO The Secret World, is based in Oslo, Norway. Familiar industry names from Scandinavia are Ragnar Tornquist, Creative Director of The Secret World and Patrick Bach, Executive Producer of the Battlefield games.[6]

CCP, developer and publisher of EVE Online and the upcoming DUST 514, is based in Reykjavik, Iceland. Germany is one of the largest European video game markets and the home of Crytek, developer of the CryEngine game technology and the Crysis series, which is headquartered in Frankfurt.

Poland is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in European game development. Notable Polish game studios include People Can Fly, developer of Bulletstorm and the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment; Techland, developer of Dead Island; and CD project, developer of The Witcher II: Assassion of Kings. Moving further east the wildly successful, developer of World of Tanks, was founded in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

Australia and Asia

Media Access Australia

Media Access Australia


Free-To-Air TV

Two acts of Parliament, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992(Cth) (BSA) and the Disability Discrimination Act 1992(Cth) (DDA) have driven the growth of captioning on Australian television.[7] When digital television began in 2011, the BSA made it compulsory for networks to caption all programs between 6pm and 10pm, and all news and current affairs programs.

Subsequent to this, a series of agreements between the free-to-air networks, Deaf Australia and the Deafness Forum of Australia, brokered by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), saw the networks agree to increased caption quotas between 6am and midnight, rising to 85% in 2011.[8] In return for agreeing to these captioning levels, the AHRC granted an exemption to the networks under the DDA with regard to captioning.

This process has now been superseded by further amendments to the BSA which were passed in June 2012. These make it compulsory to caption 90% of programs broadcast between 6am and midnight in 2012, and this will rise to 100% in 2014.[8]

Subscription TV

In June 2012, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992(Cth) (BSA) was amended to include caption quotas for subscription television for the first time.[7]

Prior to this, the introduction of captions and increased levels of captioning on subscription TV have been driven by agreements brokered by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). In exchange for agreeing to provide minimum levels of captioning, the AHRC had granted subscription TV providers from the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992(Cth) (DDA). This process has now been superceded by the BSA amendments.[9]


For the first time, seven major Japanese broadcasters and two Japanese government ministries will come together at MIPCOM to promote new TV format ideas.

The new networking event is designed for the international TV formats community and will be held on the eve of MIPCOM to give formats executives an early start to finding the next hit format for their market.

Japan has for decades inspired some of the world’s most famous formats and Japanese broadcasters, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), TV Asahi Corporation (TV Asahi), Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS), TV Tokyo Corporation (TV Tokyo), Fuji Television Network Inc., (Fuji TV) and Asahi Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) together with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will be introducing the newest and most spectacular Japanese TV formats to major TV stations and production companies from around the world during the gala dinner.[10]

Japanese broadcasters have been attending MIPCOM individually since the 1980’s, but this is the first time that they will unite into an All-Japan effort. By presenting their formats directly to the executives of leading companies attending MIPCOM, the seven broadcasters hope to see more ideas from Japan converting into big international hits.




On Sept. 9, Jia Yaoting, chairman of LeTV, announced plans to step into the production of smart TV, thereby establishing a complete system, which includes platform, content, terminal, application, and screen. The smart TV, which will be produced by a subsidiary of LeTV, will hit the market in nine months, according to Jia.[11]

The move has elicited widespread suspicion, as critics say LeTV lacks hardware strength as well as the sales channels and marketing experience for smart TV.

In response, Jia Yaoting notes that LeTV is determined to forge a TV ecological system, which covers the licensing of TV channels, setup of LeTV, rollout of the set-top box, and now the production of smart TV.

To demonstrate its determination, LeTV has injected 28.28 million yuan (US$4.46 million) of capital into the subsidiary responsible for smart-TV production. The board of directors of LeTV has resolved to further invest 100 million (US$15.79 million) in the subsidiary within the next 12 months and 500 million – 1.5 billion yuan (US$78.97 million – $236.9 million) in the next one to two years. Meanwhile, the subsidiary will seek partners for the production of smart TV.[11]

Li Yi, vice chairman of China Mobile Internet Industry Alliance, notes that the major blockade for the development of smart TV in China is digital convergence, which will also be the major challenge facing LeTV for its smart-TV plan.

An observer noted that it is still unclear what policy the regulator will adopt concerning the smart-TV program of LeTV. Previously, LeTV was once stopped by the regulator for its set-top box program.

Digital convergence has been progressing rapidly in China since this year. On Sept. 20, Hebei Broadcasting Information Network Group signed a strategic cooperative framework agreement with the Hebei subsidiary of China Mobile Communications Group for pushing digital convergence.

The development of digital convergence has also enabled BesTV, an IPTV (Internet protocol TV) operator, to accelerate its march towards the market. This year, BesTV has completed the upgrading of its various programs, including movie, finance, sports, education, and music. Under IPTV, customers can choose their favorite programs and the operator then determines to roll out the kinds of programs accordingly.

Under the trend of digital convergence, new business opportunities are emerging and more business models are overhauling the structure of the entire industry.


The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry is considering steps to make India a teleport hub enabling the country to become an up-linking and downlinking centre like Hong Kong and Singapore, a ministry official said.[12]

Up-linking and downlinking is the process of sending and receiving signals from a satellite, used for telecasting television programs.

India becoming a teleport hub would be instrumental in attracting accelerated flow of foreign direct investment (FDI). It has state-of –the-art technology and can help move up in the value chain in content generation.

The decision of the government to allow 74 percent FDI in DTH, IPTV, mobile TV et cetera are some of the steps that have been taken in this direction and underscored that those steps would be game changers to make India a digitally happening place.

Latin America



Latin America’s middle class is growing at the rate of 70 million people per year,[13] this emerging segment of the population is more connected and informed, is increasing its investment in entertainment, and demanding a much more complete experience. In cases such as Colombia, where the middle class nearly doubled in a year, or Peru, where today 56% of its urban population belongs to this segment, demonstrate how the region is being transformed.

Along with the growth of the middle class in the region, new digital media platforms are also revolutionizing the way television content is produced and consumed in Latin America. What’s more, Internet usage in the region is increasing at an impressive rate, 16% in 2011 alone, and it’s currently the third largest mobile market in the world.[14] This opens up vast opportunities for the proliferation and commercialization of television content and its digital extensions.


[1]Howard J. Blumenthal, Oliver R. Goodenough. (2006). This Business of Television: Revised and Updated Third Edition. New York: Billboard Books.















by Jennifer Pittz

© Hollywood Reporter- Getty Images [6]

In the beginning stages of television production, programs were produced by television stations, by one of the three big networks, or by motion picture studios. By the 1970s, a portable video camera and other production equipment were made available and television production has continued to evolve since [1]. Technological advancements in television production have helped to reduce costs, create time efficiency, and keep up with the demand for exciting television.

Recent Changes in Production

Television production continues to go through constant changes as technology progresses. Production equipment is now mobile, lighter, digital, and offers more creative features. Production locations are primarily in big metropolitan cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Chicago. Production is an aspect of the television business that must stay up-to-date with technological developments and current economic activity to stay competitive and maintain cost efficiency.

Production Houses Migrating out of L.A.

© LA Times – Hollywood, CA [3]

Practically all production companies and broadcasting stations own at least one on site studio or a production house. Studios can be used for several purposes including news production, creating local commercials, public affairs programming, and talk shows. The majority of production houses are located on the West Coast, typically in Los Angeles. Since the 1980s, when Twentieth Century FOX established the FOX Network, L.A. quickly transformed into the production capital of the world [5]. A couple years later Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Disney followed. The talent of the cast and crews, the industry resources, diverse locations, and constant weather help to keep L.A. the primary area for production [2].

© Jen Pittz [14]

However, the television industry is constantly changing to stay cost effective and many production companies are migrating to other locations. Production in Los Angeles County has lost over 16,000 jobs sine 2004 because of work migrating out of the state [3]. California was not competitive with other states despite the favorable environment it offers.The state’s lack of offering competing tax incentives as well as the current program on its way to an end has driven production out of the hub. During this same time frame New York, North Carolina, New Mexico, Georgia, and Louisiana have added thousands of jobs because of new film tax credits. Production of pilot programs for broadcast and cable networks have been mounting outside the state, making L.A. take only half of the pie in 2011 [6].

However, September 30, 2012 Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the Assembly Bill 2026 and Senate Bill 1197 to extend government funding for California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program. Governor Brown signed the state on for a new two-year, $200 million extension to the existing bill that was due to expire at the end of next year. The new bill will be offered through the 2016-2017 fiscal years [4]. The new bill is positive for productions that are currently in the works or productions that will end by 2016-2017. The bill was overwhelmingly supported by the state Assembly and the Senate. California offers a 20 percent to 25 percent tax credit towards production costs to offset business tax liabilities but compared to what other states offer the bill appears to be limited and not competitive [7]. But for upcoming and long-term productions, the bill does not encourage the film and television industry to stay.

Hurricane Sandy’s Impact on Production

© 2012 The City of New York [4]

Since production crews have recently relocated to new locations, the East Coast became a popular place to set up equipment. New York City has always been known as a television hub, but has lately flourished in the absence of L.A. production. In May of 2012, the Boston Consulting Group released a study recognizing New York City’s film sector is the strongest in its history. In 2011 it generated $7.1 billion and increase in over $2 billion since 2002 [9].

After Hurricane Sandy touched down and made land fall October 30 of this year, production throughout the North East came to a halt and was postponed. New York City officials announced that all film permits were to be revoked October 29 and October 30 for Hurricane Sandy precautions [10]. At least nine television shows were hurt by the shutdown including “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Elementary” (CBS), “Gossip Girl” (CW), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “666 Park Avenue” (ABC) and “The Following” (Fox). Without the production of these new television shows, networks were forced to preempt other shows and shuffle around television programming for the week.

© Huffington Post [12]

Late night talk shows, morning shows, and news stations were forced to figure out ways to get their shows on the air despite the natural disaster. Several talk shows also cancelled television production during the disaster and its aftermath including “Katie,” “The Colbert Report,” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart[10]. “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” which normally is filmed in L.A., was set for production for a special “Jimmy Kimmel Live from Brooklyn” in New York [10]. “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” filmed their shows despite missing the studio audience [8]. “Jimmy Kimmel Live from Brooklyn,” was not filmed according to plan. Morning news shows were able to go on for air but were forced to remain inside. ABC’s “Good Morning America,” NBC’s “Today Show” and “CBS This Morning” aired live Tuesday with extensive storm coverage [13].

© CNN 2012

Other production problems that came with Hurricane Sandy include getting enough news station crews out safely to shoot video and report for air. Stations were forced to be innovative and use the most of technology and social media with limited resources. In order to keep up with breaking news and current updates, CBS sent out its own mobile SUV weather lab to measure wind and rain [15]. Reporters also turned to citizen journalism by means of social media to get video and pictures on the scene. More equipment and labor are needed in order to cover a massive event at different locations and different news angles. CBS sent reporters and equipment from as far as Minneapolis and Dallas to help stations hit by the super storm on the East Coast [15].



1. Howard J. Blumenthal and Oliver R. Goodenough, The Business of Television, 2006.




5. Dominick, Joseph R., Sherman, Barry L., & Messere, Fritz. (2000). Broadcasting, Cable, The Internet, and Beyond, 4th Edition. Boston: McGraw Hill.












Programming & Program Development

by Rebecca McGovern

The vast landscape of television has been drastically altered this fall. Not only have the networks flooded this year’s lineup with an uncharacteristically large number of new shows, several of which emerged with uncharacteristically large numbers. Nets have also beefed up the number of projects in development, greenlighting several projects that have big names behind them.


Once the anchor of primetime programming, dramas still make up the core, but are slowly being surpassed by reality shows and situation comedies as top draws for viewers — particularly in the age 18-49 demographic (1). Six of the shows cancelled so far on broadcast this season have been new dramas — CBS’s “Made in Jersey”, ABC’s ‘Private Practice” (a returning series cancelled amid its 6th season), ABC’s “666 Park Avenue”, ABC’s “Last Resort”, the CW’s “Emily Owens, M.D.”, and Fox’s “The Mob Doctor” (2).

NBC’s Revolution set a ratings record with 11.7 million viewers a 4.1 key demographic rating (14).

Some new shows, however, have given a strong showing. NBC’s new drama “Revolution”, created by J.J. Abrams (“Lost”), which proved to be an unexpected ratings winner, and the only new drama in the top 20 in the age 18-49 demographic. CBS’s “Elementary” is also proved to be a ratings success, consistently gaining numbers in the age 18-49 demographic, as well as coming first in total viewers most airings (3).

One of the biggest challenges to the success of primetime broadcast network drama programming is the rise of cable networks, and the quality of their own programming. Because they don’t have to “neuter” their dramas to appeal to a wide audience, cable networks can take more risks when developing their dramas, and thus have the ability to garner critical acclaim. FX’s “American Horror Story”, which premiered last fall and aired a completely re-vamped and re-cast season two this fall, is a testament to the relatively newfound strength of cable programming. Shows like “American Horror Story” make it difficult for broadcast networks to reel in that segments of audiences who prefer the highbrow dramatic programming of cable networks, and challenge and impede the success of broadcast shows like the now-cancelled “Mob Doctor”, which can offer an intriguing presence, but which shy back in terms of execution and contact in order to keep the program high concept (4).

So far, projects in development for the new batch of dramas to hit the air in coming seasons include several legal and investigative dramas from CBS, including a small screen version of “Beverly Hills Cop” and an untitled “NCIS: Los Angeles” spinoff. NBC aims high with a supernatural drama from acclaimed director Alfonso Cuaron about a girl with magical powers (5).

Both ABC and the CW apparently look to capitalize on the recent huge success of the superhero genre at the box office (and more recently with the unexpected success of CW drama “Arrow”). ABC is working with Joss Whedon (director of this summer’s mega-hit The Avengers) on “S.H.I.E.L.D.”, a small screen spinoff of Avengers, focusing on the title organization spanning multiple Marvel comics. CW is in the early stages of developing “Amazon”, a drama based on the D.C. Comic superhero Wonder Woman. Although the CW project has not been greenlit, the network is already looking for actresses to play the lead (6).


This fall, comedies are at the top of the ratings charts when it comes to scripted content. CBS’s comedies give a particularly strong showing, with “2 Broke Girls”, “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” all ranking in the top 20 in key demo ratings (“Big Bang” takes the 3rd spot in the key demo rankings). ABC’s “Modern Family” has remains the net’s top comedy, and the number two show overall in the key demo ratings (1). All were also top comedies in both key demographic ratings and total viewers. NBC’s comedies “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” remain cult and critic favorites, despite low ratings. And the much-awarded “30 Rock” from NBC concludes after seven seasons and three Emmys for Outstanding Comedy (7).

Fourteen new fall and mid-season comedies replacements were introduced from the broadcast networks during the Upfront presentations in May: four from ABC, one from CBS, three from Fox, and a whopping seven from NBC (8). Despite this flooding of the market, none of the new programming has come close to achieving the ratings success of last fall’s comedy newcomer and freshman darling “New Girl”, with no new comedies breaking the top 25 in key demographic ratings (1).

Rebel Wilson starred in “Bridesmaids” and more recently in “Pitch Perfect”. She is currently developing a comedy with ABC. (Photo via

In comedy development, ABC has several comedies with female leads and female-centric storylines in the works, including “Super Fun Night” from Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids) about three nerdy girls looking to have fun on Friday night. CBS is has also ordered a pilot featuring a nerd-centric plot: “Nerds in Love”. Fox has ordered a pilot an untitled cop comedy starring former SNL-star Andy Samburg as a yet-unnamed character. NBC most recently ordered to pilot “The Gates”, a remake of a U.K. series of the same name, highlighting the antics of parents picking their children up from school (5).


In recent years, some cable networks have established a niche within reality programming that focuses on the lives of certain demographic groups. Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchises were examples of this, and TLC’s new reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, focusing on the antics of a young beauty pageant participant (who was first featured in TLC’s “Toddlers in Tiaras”) and her redneck family capitalizes on this particular genre of reality TV. The success of “Honey Boo Boo” is emphasized by the fact that TLC renewed the reality show (9).

NBC’s reality competition show “The Voice” continues to be a ratings topper, coming in at number five spot in key demo ratings, and consistently winning the night in total viewers. ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”, once a huge ratings winner for the network, continues to fall from its ratings pedestal, barely breaking the top 50 in key demo ratings (1) and causing ABC to think about airing the show only once a year, as opposed to the fall and spring airings of previous years (10).

In any given season, there are always innumerable reality series ordered to pilots — largely because of the relatively cheap production costs — all featuring one peculiar premise after the next (11).


This fall season in particular saw a huge influx in celebrity-hosted talk shows. Leading the charge (and leading in the ratings) is ABC’s “Katie” featuring Katie Couric. “Katie” and “Steve Harvey” (starring the former “Family Feud” host) also debuted well. Talk shows starring “Survivor” host Jeff Probst (CBS’s “The Jeff Probst Show” and Ricki Lake (CBS’s “The Ricki Lake Show” debuted significantly lower in ratings (12).

Katie Couric’s new talk show debuted this fall. (Photo via

“Bethenny”, a talk show helmed by “Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel was picked up by Fox for national syndication after being declared “dead” in 2011. “Bethenny” will begin its run in 2013 (13). CBS has greenlit a talk show executive produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah, starring Latifah. “The Queen Latifah Show,” will air next fall.


  1. Rice, L. (2012, October 23). Fall 2012: Most popular shows so far. Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved from
  2. Cancelled shows. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. “CBS’s elementary posts week-to-week growth in viewers & key demos”., Retrieved from
  4. Seitz, M. Z. (2012, October 7). Three worth a season pass.New York Magazine, Retrieved from
  5. “Devwatch”. The Futon Critic, Retrieved from
  6. Marnell, B. (2012, November 29). The cw searches for its new wonder woman [update]. Crave Online, Retrieved from
  7. Jackson, J. (2012, December 3). The 20 best tv shows of 2012. Paste Magazine, Retrieved from
  8. 2012 Upfront season overview. Cynopsis Media, Retrieved from
  9. O’Connell, M. (2012, September 27). “‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ hits ratings high with finale. The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved from
  10. Daly, S. (2012, December 6). Exclusive: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ cutting back to one season a year. New York Post, Retrieved from
  11. Blumenthal, H. J., & Goodenough, O. R. (2006). This business of television. (3rd ed. pp. 215). New York: Billboard Books.
  12. Starr, M., & Starr, M. (2012, Octover 3). Report card on daytime’s new talk-shows. New York Post. Retrieved from
  13. Block, A. B. (20120, September 24). Bethenny frankel talk show getting national launch on fox stations. The Hollywood Reporter, Retrieved from
  14. Hibberd, J. (2012, September 18). ‘revolution’ premiere ratings set nbc record. Entertainment Weekly, Retrieved from

Broader Definition of Television

by Giancarlo Rulli

The “Fiscal Cliff” and the Future of Public Television in the U.S.

If we don’t have an informed electorate we don’t have a democracy. So I don’t care how people get the information, as long as they get it. I’m just doing it my particular way and I feel lucky I can do it the way I want to do it. – Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


The so-called upcoming “fiscal cliff” on Capitol Hill once again has the annual government funds allotted to public television once again in the cross-heirs. Last year, the U.S. spent 430 million dollars to support the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, also known as the CPB. These funds which represented a mere .00012 percent of the 2011 federal budget, were spread across several public broadcasting platforms including PBS, NPR and other various public stations (Bingham, 2012). But that hasn’t kept PBS out of the political spotlight throughout this hotly contested election year. In the first presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney told moderator Jim Lehrer, “I’m sorry Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I like PBS, I actually love Big Bird. I like you too, but I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.” Lehrer, a longtime newsman and host of PBS’s arguably most well known news show “Newshour,” chose not to respond to the former Massachusetts Governor’s criticism. At the time, Romney’s vice presidential pick, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), was also a outspoken critic of federal funding for PBS. The Wisconsin Congressman had put provisions in his controversial 2010 budget plan, “The Ryan Budget,” to strip congressional funds to the CPB.

This recent push by House Republicans to strip federal money to public media comes at a very tough time for PBS because not only is PBS under the budget microscope in Congress, but also has received less private donations in recent years. According to the CPB, “between 2008 and 2009, non-federal support of public television stations fell by $260 million nationwide. In addition, for the past several years, Congressional funding has remained relatively flat, at about $400 million a year. For 2010, public radio and TV stations surveyed by CPB projected a 14 percent drop in revenue, due to state cutbacks and declines in corporate and philanthropic support and viewer pledges.” So the question arises, is public television worth the money?

“American” Trust

According to the vast majority of Americans, the answer is yes. In fact, 74 percent of American’s feel that the money PBS receives from the government, corporations, and individuals is well spent. According to a study published this February by Harris Interactive Trust QuickQuerry, PBS ranks number one in public trust at 26 percent. That far surpasses the second place finisher, the U.S. judicial system, which ranks at just 13 percent. The obvious next question arises, why do Americans feel they are receiving trustworthy news and information from their national and locally affiliated PBS stations? The prestigious Columbia Journalism Review stated that PBS and public media are, “held up as the potential savior of serious journalism, the place with the potential to tackle the tough topics—complicated revolutions in Arab lands and zoning board shenanigans alike—that an informed citizenry needs to function.”  Bill Kling, the former president and chief executive of American Public Media, says public broadcasting will eventually be “the last journalism standing,” (Jensen – 2011).

History of Budget Threats

From a historical standpoint, this isn’t the first time PBS and public media have been under fire from conservatives. During the 1970’s, members of the Nixon Administration “were dismayed” with the newly introduced network because of a “perceived liberal bias in news and information programs,” (Blumenthal-Goodenough, 2006). As a result, the growth of PBS was temporarily halted due to actions taken by the Administration and Congress to veto funding measures. These early actions aimed to stymie PBS ended up making it a “membership organization, funded largely by dues paid by locally owned and operated member stations,” (Blumenthal-Goodenough, 2006). With PBS becoming locally owned and operated, problems continue to this day on how public television structure their news and information. According to a recent Aspen Institute Study, “PBS’s national news and information programs are not produced by a single entity but by production companies or member stations in Washington, New York, Boston and Miami for distribution to other stations. Up to now, this has made it more difficult for the program producers to coordinate their efforts and bring their collective strengths to bear on major news stories such as elections or the economic crisis,” (Everhart, 2010).

PBS’ Bill Moyers (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

The Future

In conclusion, public television has the ability to play a important role in meeting the information needs of local communities. In order to survive long into the future however, public television will still need to require outside funding both on the federal and philanthropic level. It will also take collective leadership within PBS to embrace and utilize ever-expanding digital platforms. Signs of this transformation are slowing taking root in public television as this April, “NewsHour…quietly began streaming its newscast online live, for free, on,” (Jensen, 2011). Another recent example of PBS embracing online digital content was when “NewsHour” created the “oil widget,” which allowed people to view “an embeddable player that showed BP footage of the Gulf oil leak with a variety of counters that the user could select from to calculate how much oil was flowing. The oil widget went viral, with 12 million page views by the end of June, and was embedded on 6,000 web pages, (Jensen – 2011). As a direct result, the Columbia Journalism review points out “NewsHour” website traffic in the summer of 2010 ran “40 percent above the previous year,” (Jensen – 2011). This example of remarkable growth is something the PBS will continue to need to capitalize upon in the future. The fact remains, PBS can succeed in a rapidly changing digital age by fully embracing it instead of shunning new ways people access the news and media content. By building on existing strengths that has kept PBS going for decades, nurturing creativity, and developing a strong leadership strutter, public television can modify itself into public media service that meet the needs of the American people.


 Works Cited:

1) Bingham, A. (2012, October 4). Mitt romney can’t roast big bird with pbs cuts. Retrieved from

2) Blumenthal, H., & Goodenough, R. (2006). The business of television. New York, NY: Billboard Books.

3) Corporation for public broadcasting. Retrieved from

4) Everhart, K. (2010, December 13). Knight advisors urge reboot of public broadcasting . Retrieved from

5) Francis, R. (2002, January 1). People moyers. MOYERS PHOTO

6) Harris interactive poll charts. Retrieved from                                    CHART PHOTOS

7) Jensen, E. (2011, July-August). Big bird to the rescue?. Retrieved from

8) Neibergall, C. (2012, October 1). Presidential debate. LEHRER PHOTO

9) Paletta, D. (2012, August 11). What is the ‘ryan budget’?. Retrieved from

10) Pbs newshour. Retrieved from

11) WSJDigitalNetwork. (2012, October 3). Mitt romney loves big bird-presidential debate. Retrieved from


Big Media

by Thomas Staudt

Ownership Rules

FCC Proposes Relaxing Media Ownership Rules

Federal Communications Commision

The Federal Communications Commission Has Proposed Changing Media-Ownership Rules [19]

The biggest news in Fall 2012 regarding the topic of Big Media is a proposal by the FCC to implement changes in the media ownership rules. The biggest change aims to relax the ban that prevents cross-ownership of a television station and newspaper in the same market. The rule does not apply to top 20 markets, although a waiver could be obtained to allow it to be applied. Regulations against the ownership of duopoly television stations will remain in effect. The proposal comes at a time when the media landscape is shifting, and local news operations are struggling for resources. [1]

Advocates for the proposal suggest that allowing mergers between local television and newspaper outlets will allow the outlets to stay in business in a tougher media economic climate. Without the rule change, the argument is that total media outlets will severely decline do to sustainability issues in the coming decade. [2]

Opponents of the plan claim that relaxing the ownership rules will promote further concentration of ownership, and erode diversity, competition, and localism that are in the public interest. The FCC has agreed to accept further opinions and research on the manner, and will hold off on voting until early 2013. [3]

Tribune Requires Ownership Waiver for Sale

Tribune Company Logo

The Tribune Company is an FCC Waiver Away from Emerging from Bankruptcy [20]

 While the FCC considers officially changing cross-media ownership rules, the FCC announced in November, 2012 that it was close to granting a cross-ownership waiver to the Tribune Company to allow the transfer of ownership to a group composed of Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon, and JP Morgan Chase. The waiver is needed because the group currently owns television assets in Los Angeles and four other markets involved. A permanent waiver is expected Chicago, and temporary 1 year waivers for Los Angels, New York, Miami and Hartford. The waivers will allow the closing of the sale, and the completion of four years of bankruptcy. [4]

Ownership Report

FCC Releases Minority Ownership Report

At the beginning of November, 2012, the FCC released its bi-annual report on the ownership of commercial broadcast stations in theUnited Statesas of the end of 2011. The timing of the report is noteworthy as the FCC is in the midst of examining further deregulation of ownership rules, something critics believe will lower ownership diversity even further.

Of the nation’s 1,348 television stations, whites own 69.4%. That is an increase from 63.4% in 2009 when there were 1,187 stations. Accompanying this, African American ownership fell from 1% to 0.7% and Asian ownership fell from 0.8% to 0.5%. Following national trends, Hispanic ownership rose, but only slightly, from 2.5% to 2.9%. There is also a large gender gap in commercial television ownership. While on the rise, women own only 6.8% of stations in the US as of 2011, up from 5.6% in 2009.

The television ownership statistics are not dramatically different than radio, where whites own 80% of stations, and men own 70%. [5]

Cable Networks

Liberty Media Spins off the Starz Network


Starz Logo

Starz Will be Spun Off into Its Own Company by Liberty Media [21]

Liberty Media announced in August, 2012 that they intend to spin off their premium network Starz into a separate, publicly traded company. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Liberty shareholders will receive Starz stock as a one-time dividend. The new company will acquire all of the Starz portfolio and assets, as well as $1.5 billion debt, and undisclosed cash. [6] Analysts are skeptical about the financial prospects of the new company, with Starz reporting an 11% decline in income against last year. [7]

Fox Purchases Stake in YES to Assist Clearance

On November 20, 2012, News Corp, the parent company of Fox, agreed to purchase a 49% ownership stake in the YES Network. A specific price was not released, but analysts estimate the deal values the network near $3 billion. News Corp completed the deal with Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity Partners. The contract includes a path for Fox to increase its ownership stake to 80%. YES has a contract to air New York Yankees baseball games through 2042, and is expected to be used as strong leverage to increase retransmission rates and guarantee clearance for other Fox properties in the nation’s largest market and surrounding areas. [8]

Current TV for sale

Current TV Logo

Al Gore’s Current TV is Up for Sale [22]

In October, 2012, Current TV, the networked owned by former Vice President Al Gore, announced that it was up for sale. The struggling network does not have a full time program line-up, and is focused on the far left side of the political spectrum. Austin, Texas startup confirmed December 1, 2012 that it was working to raise funds to purchase the network. Although they do not yet have the funding, a released business plan shows that they would move the network to the political central in order to increase both viewer and advertising bases. claims to be close to having financing in place, but it will remain to be seen if the company can complete the transaction. [9]

 O&O Stations

Fox Sells WUTB in Baltimore to Deerfield Communications

In May 2012, Sinclair paid $25 million to Fox for the affiliation for WBFF in Baltimore, as well as an option to purchase the Fox owned and operated station in Baltimore, WUTB, by March 31, 2013. The station had served as leverage for Fox when negotiating with Sinclair, as Fox used the threat of pulling the Baltimore Fox affiliation from Sinclair’s flagship, WBFF, and switching to their own WUTB. [10]

On November 29, 2012, Sinclair exercised the option to purchase WUTB, paying an additional $2.7 million for the station. Because Sinclair owns WBFF in Baltimore, the sale is between Fox Television corporate, and a third party Deerfield Communications. Sinclair will control the station through an operations contract with Deerfield, and will owe an additional $25 million to Fox, or Fox can exercise an option to acquire certain stations from Sinclair’s current portfolio. [11]

Television Station Groups

Nexstar Buys 5 TV Stations

Nexstar Broadcasting announced that intends to reinvest its windfall from this year’s political season to purchase 5 television stations in California and Vermont. On November 5, 2012, Nexstar announced that it paid Newport Television $35.4 million for the CBS affiliate, KGPE, in Fresno, CA; the NBC and CW affiliate, KGET, in Bakersfield, and a low-powered Telemundo affiliate, KKEY, in Bakersfield, CA.  [12]

In a separate sale, Nexstar Broadcasting announced the completion of a deal November 5, 2012 to purchase Fox affiliate WFFF in Burlington, VT from Smith Media. Nexstar agreed to pay $17.1 million for WFFF and sister station WVNY, an ABC affiliate. The Burlington DMA is important due to its sizeable Canadian audience, including Montreal.  [13] Mission Broadcasting is also involved in the transaction due to media ownership laws. The FCC is expected to approve the transaction in the first quarter of 2013, upon which, Utica, NY NBC affiliate WKTV will be the only television station still owned by Smith Media. [14]

Cox buys 4 Newport Stations

Cox Media Logo

COX Media Purchases 4 Newport Television Stations [23]

Newport Television also closed a deal to sell 4 stations to Cox Media on December 4, 2012. Cox purchased the FOX and CBS duopoly, WAWS and WTEV, in Jacksonville, Florida as well as the FOX and MyNetwork affiliates, KOKI and KMYT, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. [15]

Sinclair buys 7 Newport Stations

On December 3, 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting closed a deal for $459.7 million for seven stations owned by Newport Media. WKRC in Cincinnati, OH; WOAI in San Antonio, TX; WHP in Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA; WPMI and WJTC in Mobile, AL; WHAM in Rochester, NY, and KSAS in Wichita, KS are the stations included in the deal. Sinclair has already announced sweeping personnel changes at many of the stations involved. [16]

Sinclair and Nexstar in running for 24 Barrington stations

Sinclair Television Logo

Sinclair Television is a Finalist for Barrington Television Stations [24]

On November 29, 2012, Barrington Broadcasting, the group run by former AOL Time Warner COO Bob Pittman, announced that it was looking to sell its entire portfolio of 24 television stations. Located in 15 markets ranging from market size 67 to 200, the portfolio consists of ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and CW stations. Although several companies made bids, Sinclair Broadcasting and Nexstar are the finalists. These two companies have advantages over others due to their nationwide retransmission agreements with a variety of distribution platforms. Upon the completion of a sale, the retransmission rate of the sold station would become that of the new owner, often much higher than that negotiated by the station. [17]

Denali Media Purchases Three Alaska Stations

On November 9, 2012, Denali Media Holdings, Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, announced that it was looking to purchase three additional television stations across the state. As part of a strategy to create a state-wide news and entertainment network, Denali is purchasing the Anchorage CBS affiliate, KTVA, from Media News Group of Denver. It is also purchasing the NBC affiliates in Juneau and Sitka, KATH and KSCT respectively, from North Star Broadcasting. The FCC is expected to approve the sales in early 2013. [18]


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