Category Archives: Media

Sinclair Posts 85.7M Loss

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Hunt Valley, MD — Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner locally of KDNL-TV (“ABC30”), posted at first quarter loss of $85.7 million , or $1.06 a share. The Baltimore Business Journal reports Sinclair’s earnings from a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Excluding a non-cash charge of $130.1 million, the Hunt Valley-based television station owner earned $15.2 million, or 19 cents a share, for the three month period ended March 31. It posted a gain of $15 million, or 17 cents a share, for the first quarter of 2008. (Baltimore Business Journal 5/11)

Sinclair (NASDAQ: SBGI), the owner of 58 TV stations in 35 markets also said that earnings also declined to $154.7 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared with $186.7 million for the first quarter of 2008, citing declining local and national ad revenue, despite 2008 being an election year.

Wilmington, NC: First in Digital

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Wilmington, NC (CNN)–Wilmington, North Carolina, Market 135, was the first market in the United States to broadcast only in digital.  Most of the market’s TV stations flipped the switch to DTV broadcasts only yesterday at 12PM EST (11AM CST).

The so-called digital “canary” market volunteered to be first market to broadcast only digitally. The FCC has mandated that all full power TV stations commence broadcasting in DTV on February 17, 2009. The Wilmington TV market is home 180,000 TV households according to AC Neilsen.

On the web:

www.dtv.gov
www.fcc.gov

Justice Department disallows Sale of WTVR to Sinclair

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Marketwatch reports the US Department of Justice — Antitrust Division has denied Sinclair Broadcast Group’s purchase of WTVR-TV in Richmond, VA. 

A consent decree between Justice and Raycom Media is the cause of the the denial. The consent decree was a condition for Raycom to acquire three stations from Lincoln Financial. It states that Justice could “reject unilaterally” any buyer of WTVR, without cause.

In June, Sinclair agreed to purchase WTVR from Raycom for $85 million and sell the license of WRLH to Carma Broadcasting (a company affiliated with Sinclair). Sinclair would then provide sales and non-programming services to WRLH-TV.

More after the bump:

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NBC Universal to buy Oxygen Media for $925 million

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NBC-Universal is going female demo hunting.  

NBC will buy the cable network Oxygen for $925 million, reports Reuters.

Oxygen Media, co-founded by Oprah Winfrey, is a female-oriented general enterntainment network that competes with Lifetime (owned by Disney and Hearst Corporation) and WE: Women’s Entertaiment (owned by Rainbow Media). Of the trio, Lifetime’s ratings are significantly higher.

MSNBC, CNBC are refusing to Air Pro-War Ads

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Michael Falcone of the New York Times reports in “The Caucus,” New York Times political blog, that the conservative group called Freedom’s Watch, launched a $15 million ad compaign to combat the liberal group “American’s Against Escalation in Iraq,” who has $22 Million ad campaign.

Freedom’s Watch’s Gripe? FOX News Channel and CNN are airing their ads. However, MSNBC and CNBC are not. Apparently the GE-owned networks are showing the ads of the American’s Against Escalation in Iraq.

Here’s the problem: It’s not that CNBC and MSNBC are not airing the ads of a conservative group. It’s the fact that networks are showing partisan political ads in general. Equal Air Time rules should prohibit this sort of advertisement. However, in light of the Supreme Court 5-4 decision earlier this year regarding pre-election ads, the floodgates are probably open.

In the interest of impartiality, stations probably shouldn’t show political ads that advocate a position. However, as political ads are a revenue souce for stations nationwide, both radio and TV, it is