TV station owners, reeling from the loss of ad revenue and looking for ways to stay competitive, appear ready to make a major investment in mobile, digital TV. According to MediaPost.com, major broadcast groups including FOX, NBC, Gannett, Scripps, Belo, Sinclair and LIN will employ a new mobile DTV system to transmit station signals directly to mobile phones and other devices. Initial markets for the system, which could begin a rollout in 2009, include New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami.
“TV stations view this project as a salvation of sorts for their flagging business, especially as their customers move away from traditional TV platforms,” reports MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The service as described at CES would be free to viewers, ad-supported, and would not rely on mobile carriers for transmission. Friedman says “TV executives talked a lot about weather emergencies, when consumers, say without power in their homes during a hurricane, would still be able to get local news and weather information.”
So is this what station owners are doing with all those anchor and reporter salaries they’ve been cutting?
MediaPost has an interesting piece about online media, oldline media, and YouTube today: a web startup, ProgressIllinois.com, has been reporting about–timely topic–government corruption in Illinois. As part of the site’s coverage, it included links to posted YouTube clips, including original video and work from Chicago stations, including FOX O&O WFLD.
Now FOX is fighting back, pulling the clips, and claiming copyright infringement. Is FOX fairly doing battle with video pirates? Or swimming upstream? Share your thoughts…
Media Post has the full report here.
Former KSTP/Minneapolis and MSNBC anchor Randy Meier is suing a former friend and KSTP colleague, ex-reporter Kristin Geer (who appeared on STP as Kristin Stinar) and her husband over a collapsed deal to produce a local show, “Blueprint for Green,” according to StarTribune.com.
Meier says he had a contract with the Geers through September 2009, but was let go last November when the ec0-show fell through due to lack of sponsors. Two two sides tell wildly different versions of events to the StarTribune’s media bizzer, C.J.: “There is no contract,” said Kristin Geer, “Everything in that lawsuit is absurd.”
Meier’s lawyer, Jim Kaster, insists “Randy doesn’t work without a contract. He’s been in TV for 25 years.”
Read up on the Twin Cities spat here.
WDTN/Dayton is dismissing reporter Mandy Sheridan, and anchor/reporter Mike Schell, reports the Dayton Business Journal today. The DBJ reports Sheridan’s contract ended in December and was not renewed; the station exercised and option in Schell’s contract.
DTN GM Lisa Barhorst says the cuts come as a direct result of the economy, and adds buyouts have been offered to other newsroom staffers.
The full report from the Business Journal can be found here.