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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:35 pm 
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BillyTheKid wrote:
I was watching American Idol last night and several times during the broadcast a crawl came across the bottom of the screen saying that DirecTV and Tribune were close to not renewing their contract and effective March 31st FOX 17 would no longer be an option for DirecTV subscribers.

Sounds to me like the Tribune bankruptcy, and the "stalling" that company has taken to come out of chapter 11, is causing major cable carriers to no longer want to carry Tribune products.

I don't know how many people in greater West Michigan have DirecTV as their cable subscriber as opposed to Charter, Comcast, Dish or U-Verse, but I think it's fair to say that if a deal can't get hammered out between these two parties in the next 3 days, FOX 17's ratings will take a further nosedive because they will in effect lose every DirecTV subscriber as a viewer.

Try spinning that to your news staff and your sales clients.



In my experience, not an issue for advertisers at all. We went through it during the first retransmission battles and WWMT was taken off a number of cable systems, including Kalamazoo. It can be really influenced by major live TV events, such as a station with the Super Bowl or Olympics being dropped by cable. Of course, this is all getting more interesting as the networks want their piece of the retrans revenues from affiliates.

I am glad to be out of that.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:48 pm 
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Quote:
We went through it during the first retransmission battles and WWMT was taken off a number of cable systems, including Kalamazoo.


Heck, you guys were even off TCI in the Greater Grand Rapids area for a few days! This happened within a year or two of the market exclusivity law passing, too, thereby prohibiting TCI from adding WWTV or WLNS in WWMT's place. (My time estimates might be a little "off.")

Sure am glad TCI no longer exists; what a a horribly mismanaged operation that was. The local GM was some sort of bible thumper. At various times during his tenure, the assclown pulled MTV, Comedy Central, and Lifetime from the line-up completely! He cited "objectionable programming" in the case of MTV and Comedy Central.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:09 pm 
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MWmetalhead wrote:
Sure am glad TCI no longer exists; what a a horribly mismanaged operation that was. The local GM was some sort of bible thumper. At various times during his tenure, the assclown pulled MTV, Comedy Central, and Lifetime from the line-up completely! He cited "objectionable programming" in the case of MTV and Comedy Central.


I don't remember his name, but I certainly do remember appearing with him on radio and public TV programs to debate the issue. On the public TV program, he loaded the studio audience with his employees to shout me down when I was trying to make a point.

In Port Sheldon, the cable company dropped our signal and the township actually paid the retransmission fees to get us back on.

Kalamazoo was the toughest one, as I recall. We were off quite a while there. This was before DirecTV carried local stations, and I remember getting an antenna for my home in Portage and never again going back to cable. We eventually settled with the Kalamazoo cable company when they gave us the right to put local newscasts on one of their channels - might have been CNN, but I am not positive. The very first thing that happened was we sold a sponsorship to Menards for $34,000 a year, giving us access to dollars earmarked for cable for the first time.

Our company, Busse Broadcasting, was one of the groups that was extremely successful in getting payment to be carried. Many other broadcast groups folded that first time, and it took a long, long time for them to assert the value of their signals and programs.

Unfortunately, where I live now, I have too many trees to get a satellite signal, and I was forced to do business with Charter in order to see the station that I managed (based 60 miles away... a hill blocks the local over-the-air signal from a repeater).

Over many years of dealing with many cable operators, only a few of the smaller ones seemed like decent business people. The big companies are just awful to try to negotiate with. Yes, we had fundamental differences of opinions, but reasonable people can disagree. Not so, it appeared, with those folks.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:24 pm 
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Fire Chief...if you are indeed a firefighter you have presented me with the one union I've got NO PROBLEM with...thanks for your service


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:55 pm 
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I'm wondering if the staff cuts might not be a preemptive move on management's part to offset reduced revs if the DirectTV carriage negotiations don't meet expectations? It would make it an easier sell HR-wise (if that even matters to them) and if the contract goes favorably, that much more cheese.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:03 am 
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im hungry..
oh yeah, what was the subject here?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:15 am 
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Quote:
I don't remember his name, but I certainly do remember appearing with him on radio and public TV programs to debate the issue. On the public TV program, he loaded the studio audience with his employees to shout me down when I was trying to make a point.



Oh, I remember his name all too well -- Tom Tidd.

(It should be Tom Turd.)


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 Post subject: tribune/directv
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:32 pm 
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the retransmission conflict applies to all of Tribune's stations, so it's a stretch to link it to any of FOX 17's current staffing issues, or even moreso the quality of its programming (or lack thereof).

as Gil said, these situations are common, and it usually boils down to broadcast companies trying to squeeze a little more cash out of the cable/satellite providers. it's all just numbers in that game. so don't jump to any conclusions other than the continued fact that Tribune is a hot mess right now across the board.

as I look at the fox17 news staff page, I'm amazed how much turnover they've had (especially reporters) in the past couple of years. resume tapes must be flying out of that place right now.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:19 pm 
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As a DirecTV subscriber, I am not happy about this because it is WXMI's news that I enjoy the most. I am sure it will get resolved soon but until then I'll just rely on my Twitter and Facebook feed from Fox17 to catch up on the big issues of the day.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:20 pm 
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Does WXMI livestream their news online? I believe they did at one point.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:24 pm 
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FOX 17 was removed from DirecTV early this morning. This is what I see when I go to channel 17:

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Yes Fox 17 and 13 stream their news online...

And remember this also includes WGN America...so Cubs and Sox fans will be upset too...and fans of How I Met Your Mother...and Til Death! :)

"typically disruptions of this sort usually last a very short time"

tell that to ATT customers without the NHL network! (been off since Sept 2011)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:48 am 
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Yeahbama!

http://service.mail.com/callgate-6.54.0 ... 2.84F4B010


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:44 pm 
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Michigan Media wrote:
FOX 17 was removed from DirecTV early this morning. This is what I see when I go to channel 17:

Image


http://www.facebook.com/TomSkilling/pos ... 6159011760

I'm sure that post may have played a part in getting it back on DirecTV.

If Tribune ever dumped Tom Skilling from WGN the same way WXMI dumped Peter Chan, there will be riots in Chicago, if not elsewhere, since he is regarded as a meteorologist's meteorologist (and he is rumored to be the highest paid TV meteorologist in the nation).

Though, arguments could be made that Tribune needed to pay Skilling's salary, and cuts needed to be made somewhere.


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 5:16 am 
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Confirmed last night via Facebook that Rick Mecklenburg has been named chief meteorologist.


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