Executives at the growing number of companies that are providing free over-the-air channels to broadband subscribers say they are helping local TV stations who are losing retransmission consent revenues from cable companies due to cord-cutting. The heads of Locast and Didja said they can work with broadcasters on increasing ad revenues and delivering eyeballs lost when cable subscribers defect.
Discussions about a merger between Viacom and CBS are close to a "critical stage," with talks about the deal among executives at CBS expected today, Fox Business Network reports. Insiders say the deal would be structured to put the companies on equal footing, and there is speculation that either Bob Bakish of Viacom or CBS leader Joe Ianniello would be tapped to lead the new company.
Missouri television stations covered the closure of the state's last clinic that provided abortions by including conversations with both patients and doctors, making them an example for stations around the country covering similar issues, Media Matters states. The organization highlighted the efforts of KNDU, an NBC affiliate, and Fox's KTVI.
The upcoming Emmy awards may go host-free in a 16-year first, insiders at the Television Academy and Fox say. A number of significant programs that ended their runs this year, such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Game of Thrones," will be honored, and producers may choose to focus on those rather than a host.
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association welcomed eight new inductees into its Hall of Fame this week, including Harry Hurley from Atlantic City morning talk radio, who was also named Broadcaster of the Year. Bruce Williams, a nationally syndicated host, was honored posthumously.
Nickelodeon will dive into e-sports programming online and through free mobile apps with the launch of an interactive tournament platform. Revenues for NickX will come from premium and in-app subscriptions as well as ads, partner Emerge Gaming said.
Google has dismissed a number of large lobbying teams that represented approximately $10 million of the tech giant's annual spending on lobbyists, a move which insiders say is related to an ongoing modernization effort in the company. The US Department of Justice is reportedly preparing to investigate Google for antitrust violations.
Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television, will take over the post of Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters' Joint Board of Directors from Caroline Beasley, Beasley Media CEO, as her term expires. David Santrella, president of Salem Media Group's broadcast division, will fill the post of Radio Board Chair, and Graham Media Group's leader Emily Barr will chair the Television Board.
AT&T is looking at ways to use blockchain to verify device identity and improve its supply chain, particularly as it relates to repairs. T-Mobile is also interested in the technology and its potential, as Chief Information Officer Cody Sanford said, "to improve security, reduce costs, and eliminate pain points for our business and customers."
T-Mobile is trying to sell assets to win Justice Department approval for its merger with Sprint and at least three companies, DISH Network, Altice and Charter Communications, are reportedly the DOJ's top choices. Bloomberg reports that the DOJ favors cable companies because of their ability to leverage their existing networks to provide meaningful competition.