Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Man Threatens to Blow Up WPIX-11 Over Two and a Half Men Reruns

By Chris O'Shea
May 31, 2011

You ever have one of those days when you briefly consider murdering another human being? Not that you would. But in a moment of weakness on a packed train or something, the thought, “If this guy doesn’t stop digging his elbow into my back and that woman doesn’t figure out that a three letter word for ‘good times’ is fun – fun dammit, you already have the ‘f’ – I will kill them both and the only thing I will regret is that I didn’t leave enough food for my dog this morning” can flash through your mind.

For a Bronx resident, that moment of rage, of briefly losing sanity, was inspired by WPIX-11 airing too many reruns of Two and a Half Men. According to The New York Post, yesterday a man called the station and said that he’d blow the building up if it kept showing the program.

Cops quickly arrived at his home and charged him with “falsely reporting an incident and aggravated harassment,” but FishbowlNY sympathizes with him.

Broadcast Union News: Wow, good thing this guy never watched the "PIX News At 10".

Nils Larsen becomes Tribune Broadcasting CEO, Jerry Kersting exits as president

By Phil Rosenthal
Chicago Tribune
May 31, 2011

Nils Larsen, chairman of Tribune Co.'s broadcast division since October, today was named chief executive of Tribune Broadcasting, which is streamlining its upper management.

Effective immediately, Larsen, 40, will take on duties that previously belonged to Jerry Kersting, 61, who exits as broadcasting president, a position that is being eliminated. Larsen remains chief investment officer of Tribune Co., parent of the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, WGN-Ch. 9, WGN America, WGN-AM 720 and other media outlets across the country.

"Nils is the right person to lead our broadcasting operations," Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune Co.’s CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, said in the announcement. "He’s thoughtful, creative, and has the vision necessary to maximize the effectiveness of the group."

Larsen is a close associate of Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell. Previously managing director of Zell's Equity Group Investments, Larsen joined the company in 2008. He has overseen Tribune Co.'s business development and investments and helped in the company's restructuring in his role as chief investment officer.

In October, after the resignation of Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, Larsen added the title of Tribune Broadcasting chairman and was one of four executives on the council that ran the parent company until Hartenstein, another member of the now-dissolved executive council, was named chief executive of the Chicago-based media conglomerate.

Hartenstein said in a note to employees this morning that, through April, Tribune Broadcasting's revenue and cash flow were "up significantly" compared to the same span a year earlier.

Kersting had been president of Tribune Broadcasting since May 2010, promoted after five months as its chief operating officer when Ed Wilson resigned the post.

Before joining Tribune Co. as an executive vice president in April 2008. Kersting spent nine years as executive vice president/chief financial officer of Clear Channel Radio -- which used to be run by Michaels -- and had 34 years of credited service with Clear Channel and related companies.

At the time of his appointment as president, Kersting expressed a desire "to shake up" TV news. "Every night, people turn on their local news and see the same thing wherever they flip the channel," Kersting said. "We intend to change that."

Under Kersting, the station launched a pair of pilot news programs in Houston. One is a newsreel-style, anchorless broadcast that aired evenings. The other is a morning news and entertainment program originating largely from Chicago that could be syndicated to other markets.

This fall, Tribune Co. is launching a New York-based syndicated daytime talk show starring controversial Cincinnati radio host Bill Cunningham.

"Our broadcasting operations are led by gifted people who know their customers and local communities very well," Larsen said in a statement. "We’ve been expanding local news, developing new original programming and making smart decisions with our syndicated programming, which is driving ratings and resonating with advertisers. We have momentum and there’s a lot more opportunity ahead."

Larsen attracted attention in 2008 for his role as a liaison between Tribune Co. and the Blagojevich administration when the company was weighing a possible deal with the state of Illinois for Wrigley Field. Those discussions were notable for the allegation that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich wanted a critical Chicago Tribune editorial writer fired while his cooperation was being sought.

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 16th and May 17th NABET NBC and ABC Upfront Rallys


The members of NABET Locals 11 and 16 have a great opportunity to share resources and make headway in both Locals' contract negotiations.

The NBC and ABC UpFronts, where the networks announce their fall primetime schedules, are coming up next week.

NBC is on Monday, May 16th beginning 9 am at The Hilton Hotel, 54th and 6th Avenue.

ABC is on Tuesday, May 17th beginning 1 pm at Lincoln Center.

All members from both Locals are asked to join in protest at one or both events to bring the message to both companies that we want a fair contract and we want it now!

For NBC, it's a new company and a new management that needs to hear the NABET-CWA Local 11 members. Loud and clear. Two years without a contract, three years without a wage increase is too long. We want a fair contract NOW!

The Rally at the NBC UpFronts is on Monday, May 16th beginning 9 am at The Hilton Hotel, 54th and 6th Avenue.

The UpFront rallies have always been NABET 16's  greatest success in expressing the sentiment of our workers to the ABC.

The members of all NABET-CWA-represented ABC bargaining units have overwhelmingly approved the Network Negotiating Committee’s request for strike authorization. The vote, which was conducted separately by secret ballot in New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, was counted on Thursday, April 28, 2011. This vote result exhibits the membership’s extreme dissatisfaction with the Company’s current proposals.

Your NABET-CWA Local 16 Network Negotiating Committee appreciates your continued faith and support as we return to the bargaining table next week with your unwavering determination to achieve a fair and equitable contract at ABC.

The Rally at the ABC UpFronts is on Tuesday, May 17th beginning 1 pm at Lincoln Center.

Please mark your calendars and plan to be there. Sometimes it takes just a little action to make a big change. The Union is you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CEO Pay Increases 11 Percent

By Chris O'Shea

The rich keep getting richer. And richer, and richer and richer.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that executives at the biggest companies in the United States saw their wallets get fatter by an average of 11 percent. The highest paid CEO is Philippe P. Dauman of Viacom, who made $84 .3 million last year

The survey took into account stock, salary, and bonuses for execs at 350 companies. The biggest boost came via bonuses, which rose almost 20 percent.

Media execs did well, grabbing four out of the top ten spots. In addition to Dauman, Leslie Moonves at CBS, Robert Iger at Disney, and Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner round out that group. Rupert Murdoch came in at 52nd, raking in a measly $16.5 million. Just pathetic.