After the coffee. Before wondering where the last 20 years went.
The Skinny: Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since the Nicole Simpson-Ron Goldman murders. I was living here then and once a friend and I played detective and timed the drive from O.J. Simpson’s to LAX on a Sunday night. We made it in plenty of time. Anyway, today’s roundup includes Nielsen acknowledging its radio ratings for Los Angeles for the past two months have to be scrapped. Also, DirecTV and AT&T try to make their case to merge to the Federal Communications Commission.
Daily Dose: Tough times for the ratings company Nielsen. Not only did it have to void ratings for Los Angeles radio stations (see below), on the TV side, Fox signed rival outfit Rentrak to provide ratings for its 28 TV stations. Fox isn’t dropping Nielsen, but Rentrak is seen by some as being ahead of the curve on measuring all screens and viewing with DVRs and video-on-demand.
Oops! Nielsen rarely admits its numbers might be off but on Wednesday the ratings company said its recent estimates for the Los Angeles radio market have been off base. The company delayed releasing numbers for May and said the April report was also no good. Los Angeles is the nation’s biggest radio market in terms of ad revenue so having bad ratings information is a huge issue. The Los Angeles Times on what led to the recall.
Buyer’s market. The broadcast upfront market where the networks sell advertising for the fall season is chugging along but not exactly setting the world on fire. Variety reports that CBS, NBC and ABC are seeking smaller-than-usual rate increases from advertisers. NBC, which is coming off a strong season, is holding out for more significant increases. Separately, Variety says advertisers may be committing less to NFL football because there is no shortage of product on national platforms.
We’re doing this for you. AT&T and DirecTV told the FCC in their public interest statement that consumers will be the big winner if the two companies are allowed to team up to create a pay-TV and broadband juggernaut. The companies said they will be able to negotiate better prices for programming and offer a stronger alternative to Comcast and other cable providers. What the companies didn’t say is that they would lower prices, only that they would provide better value. That sounds like they are saying they will cut better deals for programming and pocket the savings instead of passing them on to you. More on the filing from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Re/code.
Heated debate. A congressional hearing on the FCC’s media ownership rules probably left no one happy. House Republicans chastised the regulatory agency for not moving fast enough to relax its rules on ownership of TV, radio and newspapers. Democrats countered that the agency is there to serve democracy, not the investment community. And one media activist blasted Clear Channel for its right wing programming. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Broadcasting & Cable and TVNewsCheck.
What I really want to do is direct. “Bridesmaids” screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (who also appeared in the hit comedy) are teaming up again on a new comedy that Wiig will also direct. The New York Times said the movie is described by production company TriStar as being about “best friends who find themselves in over their heads and out of their depths, which were, perhaps, not too deep to begin with.”
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Discovery ID looks back at the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which not only captivated a nation but also forever changed TV news and inspired reality programming. Glenn Britt, a former chief executive of Time Warner Cable and an industry leader, died at the age of 65 from cancer.
Follow me on Twitter. Please? @JBFlint.