Monthly Archives: July 2013

Time Warner Cable Pulls Plug on CBS, Then Reverses Decision in Extending Deadline

TwcIn a wild night of carrier negotiations, Time Warner Cable and CBS have extended a deadline until Friday at 5 p.m. Thus, millions of viewers can keep WCBS. WLNY, plus CBS-owned Showtime and TMC on their cable boxes.

That’s only half the story,

Last night’s 5 p.m. deadline kept getting extended by hour at a time, as both parties remained at the bargaining table. When it got to 11 p.m. as talks continued, there was a sense that TWC and CBS would do anything to avoid a black eye.

But at 12:04 a.m. a TWC spokeswoman sent a statement proving that would not be the case.

“The outrageous demands for fees by CBS Corporation have forced Time Warner Cable to remove several of its networks and broadcast stations from our customers’ lineups.  As of midnight ET, Time Warner Cable customers in New York City, Dallas and Los Angeles will no longer receive their local CBS broadcast stations.”

WCBS-blue-and-grey-new-logoHowever, people took to Twitter, waiting for the other shoe to officially drop. Despite the strong declaration by Time Warner Cable, many noticed CBS programming remained.

TWC provided an 11th hour to the 12th hour negotiations, with a surprising email at 12:29 a.m.

“At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels.”
A CBS spokeswoman had no statement, other than to confirm the latest extension and ongoing negotiations.

 

Rush and Hannity to Leave WABC for WOR

sean-hannity-pic-02The talk radio landscape is about to be rocked by a potentially seismic shift. Politico reports, what many radio insiders expected to be an automatic, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (right) will take their conservative shows from Cumulus’ WABC to WOR.

Since Clear Channel announced plans to purchase the family-owned Buckley Broadcasting last summer, it was only a matter of time before the highly rated hosts would move to Clear Channel stations, considering the syndicator involved.

Hannity, who does 3-6 p.m., and Limbaugh, who has a noon-3 p.m. show, are distributed by Premiere Networks, a Clear Channel property.

Reportedly, the radio heavyweights contracts with Premiere expire at the end of the year.

The report says WABC is likely to stay in-house to fill at least one of the slots, between Mike Huckabee, and evening hosts Mark Levin and Michael Savage.

Photo: justconservative.com

 

New York Jocks React to Kidd Kraddick’s Untimely Death

KraddickRadio lost a legend over the weekend. David “Kidd” Kraddick was a staple of the Dallas airwaves for almost 30 years. He died Saturday at 53. New Yorkers finally got their chance to experience Kraddick’s morning show, when it was featured in Dish Nation, airs nightly on WWOR. The show includes WPLJ’s Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill. Kraddick and his morning team joined Dish Nation‘s second season in September 2012.

Although not heard in New York, his morning show was syndicated to other markets in the country a dozen years ago.

Local air personalities reacted to his passing.

WKTU morning host Paul “Cubby” Bryant told his followers on Twitter yesterday, “I’m simply stunned waking up to the news of the passing of Kidd Kraddick. We lost one of the great ones.”

Kraddick died in New Orleans at a golf tournament for his Kidd’s Kids, a non-profit group founded to sponsor trips for terminally ill children.

“[I] met him at a couple of conventions,”  WCBS-FM’s “Broadway” Bill Lee, tells Tuned In. “He was always ‘fact-finding’ and definitely a nice guy who took his career seriously. Truly sad, a guy with so much to give, gone so young.”

Photo: tvguide.com

Dick Brennan and Alice Gainer Win Permanent WLNY Evening Anchor Slot

Brennan and GainerWCBS has made its first official anchor appointments in the post-Rob Morrison era.

WCBS has made a pair of Fordham University graduates, Dick Brennan and Alice Gainer, as the anchor team for sister station WLNY’s News at 9. Brennan has been the de facto successor to Chris Wragge, who has handled morning on-air duties with Mary Calvi since late February when Morrison abruptly resigned.

Gainer, with WCBS since January, has been a lead back-up for Dana Tyler on the Channel 10/55 broadcast.

Gainer told followers on Twitter today that she’ll still get exposure on Channel 2 with reporting and fill-in anchoring.

The station, however, refused to confirm, only saying, “At this point, we do not have any announcements, but there are definitely no changes at 6 p.m.”

‘LNY has not been a factor in any ratings discussion, causing one insider to lament the decision.

“It’s struggling and they want Dana to focus on the 6.”

A WCBS spokesperson also would not discuss other newscasts, including weekend mornings where Brennan has frequently been behind the desk.

Photo: tveyes.com

Negotiations Extended Through Weekend in Time Warner Cable and CBS Battle

TwcIt appears that Time Warner Cable and CBS are trying to solve their retransmission fees fight before it affects viewers. For the third time this week, the two sides have pushed a deadline back, now until Monday at 5 p.m.

A TWC spokeswoman announced the latest 11th hour late last night. thus extending the deadline past this morning. A CBS spokeswoman also confirmed the line in the sand was moved to Monday.

Should all of this maneuvering fail, millions of viewers face the prospect of losing CBS programming, Showtime, WLNY, and any other CBS-owned channels. CBS has been feverishly running ads on its TV and radio stations saying, in effect, that TWC is the bad guy.

Typically, over-the-air broadcast outlets are untouchable in these situations. However, Tribune and Cablevision squelched that theory in a big way last fall. Channel 11 was blacked out from the cable system’s programming guide for two months.

WPIX Lets ‘F-Word’ Slip in News Story

PIX websitePerhaps having so few viewers helped WPIX this time!

Channel 11 ran a story on its 10 o’clock news last night about the U.K. wanting to block Internet porn. Reporter Jay Dow gave viewers a Google search with some porn hits. Most of the racy or dirty words were blurred out on the screen. However, one word slipped through the cracks. An “f-word” appeared on the third Web site pictured above..

The entire report was posted on its site until Tuned In brought it to the attention of news
director Mark Effron.

“We sincerely apologize for the error and regret the opacity was not sufficient enough to obscure the URL and hope this doesn’t distract from an excellent piece on a serious issue,” a WPIX spokesperson tells Tuned In.

The mistake was apparently done in “stealth mode” with just a .2 rating at 10 p.m. among adults 25 to 54. WNYW registered a 1.6.

The FCC told Tuned In it has no comment.

Tuned In was alerted to the faux pas on Twitter by an eagle-eyed viewer, @drsexington.

Handful of WNYW Staffers Laid Off

Fox5Fox’s WNYW is the perpetual ratings champ with its 10 p.m. newscasts. But even Rupert Murdoch 21st Century Fox isn’t immune to belt-tightening.

Tuned In has learned that WNYW has laid off several behind-the-scenes staffers. We’re told that a “bunch” of engineers and videographers were bounced, cre4ating an uneasy feeling at the East 67th Street broadcast complex.

Once again, we were refused a comment by a Fox spokesperson.

“This wasn’t unexpected, but there were hopes [that] a last minute deal would be worked out to save some positions,” an insider says. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

Earlier this month, Fox dramatically severed ties with local news at Secaucus-based WWOR, causing the company to get roundly criticized by many, including elected officials.

  • Related: FCC Investigates WWOR as Former Anchor Harry Martin Seeks “Mutual Agreement” with WNYW

Whether Fox will pay anchor WWOR anchor Harry Martin to remain with the company as a Channel 5 reporter is still unclear.

WWOR Catches WPIX at Ten P.M., Former WNBC News Director Vickie Burns on Scene at Channel 11

PIX11_LogoWPIX is now Chasing WWOR.

It’s only taken two weeks for oft-criticized Chasing New Jersey to clip Channel 11 at 10 p.m. Despite the lack of a local news presence in the Garden State, the TMZ-esque politically focused 30-minute show has caught on with enough viewers, even though it also has caught the ire of the FCC.

On Friday, the key demographic of adults 25 to 54 gave PIX a deeper bruise as WWOR tied the Tribune O&O at 10 p.m. The two broadcasts each registered a .4. Prior to the evening newscast being dismantled in Secaucus, Fox-owned WWOR registered a .1, while PIX notched a .5.

The dismal ratings apparently prompted Tribune to make a move. Multiple sources tell Tuned In that one-time WNBC news director Vickie Burns is now part of PIX. While her role with WPIX is not clear, we’ve learned that she’s been seen in the Channel 11 newsroom during anchor auditions. The station and Tribune would not confirm Burns has joined the station or the company.

“It’s evident by the ratings, the anchors on the desk aren’t getting it done,” an insider says. “It’s also evident that [Mark] Effron and [Eric] Meyrowitz may no longer have the final say in the newsroom.”

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Layoffs at MSG Varsity; Channel Will Be Exclusively Online

MSG_Varsity_logoMSG Varsity is on the road between oblivion and obsolete.

Tuned In has learned that the Cablevision-owned channel had a “major purge” last week. An insider says that only five salaried employees are left standing, while all HD trucks have been sold.

Another insider was able to confirm the layoffs with an additional wrinkle. MSG Varsity is expected to be online only this year, the insider says, meaning the sports channel will no longer be shown on Channel 14.

Although a Cablevision spokesperson acknowledged layoffs, the Bethpage, NY cable company, in keeping with policy, refused to give any specifics.

“MSG Varsity has made some organizational changes that have resulted in some layoffs. As we prepare for the 2013 – 2014 school year, we are committed to covering local high school sports throughout the tri-state area and look forward to announcing our television and digital plans later this summer,”  the Cablevision statement reads.

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Former Governor David Paterson Formally Joins Curtis Sliwa on The Answer/WNYM

PatersonIf he keeps this up, we’ll have to call him a radio lifer. Former New York governor David Paterson has been named Curtis Sliwa‘s new afternoon co-host on The Answer 970/WNYM.

Paterson has been in trial mode for the past month from 5 to 7 p.m. with Sliwa. The official announcement reunites VP/GM Jerry Crowley with Paterson, whom he worked for at WOR.

“Curtis and I have a lot of opposite points of view on issues but we are probably two of the leading historians when it comes to radio and music so I have a lot of fun talking with him every day,: Paterson tells Tuned In. “It really makes the two hours we spend fly by.”

Sliwa continues to host mornings on his own.

Paterson was the solo afternoon host on WOR from September 2011 until December 2012.