Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Allbritton interested in NYT group?

Newsblues is reporting that Allbritton Communications has been sniffing around several New York Times-owned stations, including stations in Alabama and Arkansas.

The report doesn't mention WNEP by name. But, if the NYT wants to sell its broadcast division as an entire group, and Allbritton is already looking at some stations in the group, you can put two and two together. We'll have to wait and see what happens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are some similarities between Allbritton Communications and The New York Times.

Both are family controlled. Even though the Times is public, it's structured so the family never loses control.

The broadcast groups are about the same and the majority of the stations are in the south.

For what it's worth, all Allbritton stations are ABC affiliates.

One big difference; Both Presidents Bush are called a family friend of the Albrittons. The Sulzbergers can't say that.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be mistaken, but I don't recall reading/hearing anywhere that the NYT is trying to sell its stations to one and only one buyer. The GROUP is for sale, but that doesn't mean it has to be sold AS A GROUP, does it?

I'm no money man, but wouldn't the breakup value be higher than the by-the-bunch value? And wouldn't it be easier to find several prospective puechasers with reasonably deep pockets as opposed to someone with HUGELY deep pockets willing to take on a load of debt?

Just a thought.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The break up value would be higher if you could find enough buyers with cash willing to spend. The good stations would be taken first and some would be left over, selling at lower values to someone willing to buy them for a discount. So a buyer for them all is ideal, its quick, painless and makes the transition easy... especially considering they automated and centralized the stations master controls.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...they automated and centralized the stations master controls."

4:03 PM

A bit off-topic, but indulge me. When most NYT stations started having their breaks run out of a shared master control (in Norfolk, right?) some suggested it was the end of the world. Others thought it a brave new world, using automation to save money.

Which "world" did it turn out to be, long-run? Problem solved, or problems created?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, the NYTimes automated and centralized the master controls.
How's that workin'? Huh? That's some real broadcast wizardry!
Simply put,it's a failed experiment that no NYT corporate broadcast suit (or skirt -- Cindy Augustine, I believe) has had the brains or guts to shut down.
The DOC (Digital Operating Center) screws up WAY more commercial breaks than any individual TV station would EVER tolerate. WNEP's commercial breaks were tight and clean when there were local MC OPs. Not so today!
Would YOU want your station's last point of control to be in the hands of someone you never met,in a closet 500 miles away, who TRIES to watch & control TWO tv stations simultaneously? Come on!
I'll give Elden Hale, and the engineers involved, two points for coming up with the concept and trying it; innovation/ experimentation is to be admired. But the NYT upper ecehlon gets a minus 20 for not killing it years ago in its infancy, when it was obvious that they had a 1200 lb. moose wandering about in the middle of the room, damaging the TV stations' on-air product. No exec (LOCAL or corporate) had the courage to firmly deal with it -- and THEY knew how bad it was (and still is). They chose to stay silent.
As it's been said: "A new broom sweeps clean." Allbritton may not be a bad replacement for the NYT. The folks at 27 in Harrisburg seem happy!
I say: "Moose, schmoose!"

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...a failed experiment..."

Having their Master Control at WTKR Norfolk, VA is a huge disaster. For the past 2 weeks alone, I've noticed extremely sloppy work coming from WNEP. One time, there were even ABC Network Color Bars on the air...DURING THE NEWS!!! It wasn't up there for a few seconds either, a good couple of minutes.

It's at lease once a week they are sitting in black for a long period of time.

It's taken sometime, but some of the viewers of WNEP have complained.

Talkback 16:
"I have noticed several times in the past several weeks their has been 'dead air' at difirent times. It was long enough that I thought my TV went off! What's up with that..."

"we are having the same problem using dish network to get the local channels. it seems as if someone is switching broadcasts late resulting in dead air, what is annoying is that the news briefs are so short that the stories are starting half way through the lead story. please fix this!"

"We've been experiencing that 'dead air' on 16, also. Thought perhaps there was a new guy at the controls. What's up with that?"

Hmm...a new guy at the controls...not at 16, maybe WTKR, but not here.

Not that it matters but...WTKR's ratings are so low, they are almost as low (if not lower) as WYOU's before this new newscast started. At times...from what I hear, Judge Judy beats WTKR's news in a couple of time slots. Hmmm...

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP'S managers hated switching to a centralized master control operation. Former GM Rene LaSpina was well known for letting the Digital Operating Center staff know what she thought of their sloppy work. but she couldn't steer corporate away from the idea.

Anyone notice WNEP has been going to black a lot this month? Maybe the current GM needs to give the people in Norfolk a piece of her mind.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of the WNEP Master Control operators who was "released" when the D.O.C. went on-line in Norfolk. I ran the tightest board in this market. It is a shame to see such sloppiness, when at one time, in house operators raised the bar so high.

Anytime WNEP cuts the cord with Norfolk, I'll be ready to go back home again. They know how to reach me.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...they are almost as low (if not lower) as WYOU's before this new newscast started.

You make it sound like WYOU's numbers went up some. Did they? If they did, and we know Nexstar doesn't buy Neilsen any more, surely WYOU would find some way to let people know.

It's almost January, and there hasn't been one word about the November book. What's the deal?

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The November book was a disaster for WYOU. Every show is down.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I check out WYOU every now and then during the week, and they never seem to have a shortage of phone calls. If Nielsen is saying otherwise I find that interesting.

And yes, why the hush over the Nov. book this year ?

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP generally posts their numbers in the newsroom, so can't someone take a glance and toss some of those numbers this way? Just because 50 no longer subscribes, they still get measured.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WNEP usually post some of the ratings on their web site under "About WNEP" then under "Advertise on WNEP." After that, you will find "Newswatch 16 Ratings."

Well...it hasn't been updated since July 2006.

Nothing has been updated...hmm...

Has the ratings slipped?

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning the news ratings.

Take the numbers of 22 and 28 then add them.
Then look at 16's. 16 has DOUBLE the numbers of 28 and 22 COMBINED in ALL news blocks!
16's AM news between 6 and 6:30 has more viewers than 22 and 28 6PM newscasts!

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

***16 has DOUBLE the numbers of 28 and 22 COMBINED in ALL news blocks!***

Not to be confrontational, but I do believe you are wrong - 16 has closer to TRIPLE the numbers. If I'm wrong, let's get some numbers posted here...

12:08 PM  

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