Getting the Money Shot on TV News and Yet Another Broadcast Group Could Be On the Block

Just why did so many people watch Mike Wallace and the 60-Minutes crew barge in to confront the bad guys or at least those with questionable motives?  Why do so many people like to watch the local TV consumer or I-Team reporter who gets in the face of someone for some answers?  IMHO, it’s not so much that the viewer wants to see justice.  Yah, some probably do.  I think many want to see if the reporter or camera guy is going to get his clock cleaned by some irate person.  I will admit I never had the where-with-all to get into somebody’s face.  I’ve been threatened and had someone show up at my office and suggest rather strongly that I would face bodily harm if a story aired.  That’s not the sort of thing that gives me the kind of adrenalin rush I like.   But the in-your-face stuff goes on and some TV reporters may be under the impression that with a camera there to record things, nobody will do anything stupid, especially those who work for the taxpayers.  Reporters for WXYZ-TV in Detroit found that if you put enough pressure on someone they will do something really stupid.  Check out this video of the mayor of Detroit grabbing the reporter’s microphone and throwing it down the hallway.  Yes, they were badgering the mayor for some legitimate answers and the mayor comes off looking like he’s out of control.  If Hizzoner’s bodyguard hadn’t been distracted with the other reporter, this would have never happened.  But it did and the mayor looks bad and the reporter looks good.  It also sets the scene for the next confrontation.  Stay tuned for that.  By the way, if you don’t think that harm can come to a reporter or photographer, revisit the video of those covering the recent police action at the hispanic protest in Los Angeles.

And a tip of the hat to SP for sharing this tidbit from Nexstar Broadcasting.  It seems they too may be looking for a new owner.  See what the NYTimes and Clear Channel started. Here’s the article:

NEXSTAR CONSIDERING SALE, OTHER OPTIONS

TVNEWSDAY, May. 17, 7:16 AM ET

The TV group hires Goldman, Sachs to develop a list of “strategic alternatives” for it to consider.

By Staff

 

Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced this morning that “the board of directors of the company has decided to engage Goldman, Sachs & Co. to assist the company in reviewing strategic alternatives including, but not limited to the sale of the company.”

 

The company said that it does not intend to comment further publicly with respect to this process until its completion.

Although publicly traded, Nexstar is controlled by a private equity fund, ABRY Partners headed by Chairman Andrew Banks and President Royce Yudkoff. According to Nexstar’s 2006 annual report, ABRY owns 58.6% of economic interest in the company or 90.1% of the voting interest.

Like other publicly traded TV station groups, Nexstar has enjoyed a big run up on its stock price. The price has more than tripled in the past year, hitting a high of $12.65 in late April. But the price has sagged following the release of its first quarter results. It closed a $10.89 yesterday.

 

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5 Comments on “Getting the Money Shot on TV News and Yet Another Broadcast Group Could Be On the Block”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Covering Ophelia Ford might be dangerous with the cans of “soup” being thrown at reporters.

  2. Steve Says:

    Joe, according to http://www.vartv.com, a local Radio/TV gossip/news site, LIN TV is also selling all of their TV stations. Two of which are here in Hampton Roads. Seems like everyone is bailing out.

  3. The GM Says:

    I don’t know if it says everyone is bailing out or if private equity sees broadcst as a good investment. How so? Most groups can benefit from efficiencies of automation and technology. Private equity will come-in, trim costs, make things more efficient and provide their investors with a strong return. Keep in mind TV station generally produce a 30 to 45% profit margin. I bet you Big Oil — despite the largess of the raw numbers — don’t provide a margin like that. Bottomline is that broadcast is a good business.
    The GM

  4. joelarkins Says:

    For years, prior to the arrival of cable, I had heard that owning a TV station or a radio station was a license to print money. And while managers poor mouthed for years about cutting costs, the stations still made a decent amount of money. It just wasn’t as much as they used to make.
    I have also heard, ( I can’t quote the numbers right now) that one of the few categories of businesses with a greater return than the oil companies are banks.

  5. Mike Says:

    I hear Channel 3 is losing a couple reporters? Do you know anything about this Joe?


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