Updated with CBS Statement. CBS CEO George Chicks insists the network will continue with its 10 p.m. programming, contradicting the view of Hearst TV Chief Jordan Wortlib, who went unchallenged by three others local TV Leaders during a panel discussion at the NAB Show New York.
“We are committed to 10 p.m. and continue the success of our rankings in that time period,” Cheeks said in a statement served up to deadline.
Wortlib did not single out the name on CBS, but when asked on the panel if the 10 p.m. “other networks” (ICBS and ABC) would follow NBC’s lead and return the 10 p.m. block to affiliates, he said , “I expect they will.”
NBC Global CEO Jeff Shell this month confirmed reports from recent weeks that the company was looking into the 10pm shift, though he said no final decision had been made.
Say goodbye to 10 p.m. network-controlled TV broadcasts.
That was the consensus among a panel of local station chiefs interviewed at the NAB Show New York, including NBCUniversal local president Valari Staab. Her company has stunned the industry in recent weeks by confirming that it is actively considering bringing the watch back to stations, giving its division what it calls a “different sandbox” to explore. When asked if he expects other media giants to follow the NBCU’s lead, Hearst Television President Jordan Wartlieb replied, “I expect they will and I hope they will.”
While no one else on the four-station chiefs committee was quite as outspoken as Wertlieb, there was general consensus that the NBCU’s move was the likely direction of things. Both he and Stabb said media companies are considering the fact that in a world of declining secular ratings, with streaming services controlling the largest portion of written television viewing and attention, the costly three-hour programming each night will be re-examined. . (Other broadcast networks Fox and The CW never got a full three hours.) Not only would large outlays be eliminated, but media companies could also tap into their owned stations, as major stand-alone groups such as Hearst do.
“Valary made a good point and it applies to all networks,” Wortlieb said. “Take those resources and invest them in a very strong 8-10 block and the whole ecosystem will improve.”
NBCU CEO Jeff Shell, In an interview with CNBC, This month, he said that no final decision had been made on the turnaround at peak times, but emphasized that the company was committed to “re-allocating resources” in this area to make the most of the current operating environment.
Asked what might happen at the 10pm dominated by her department, Stabb said, “It’s definitely going to probably look different than a traditional newscast, but it’s a huge opportunity for us across the board.” While many stations are looking to add more news, given the generally positive return on investment, lifestyle programming, game shows or sports are all possibilities. Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, spoke about his company’s recent collaboration with CSI Content creator Anthony Zuiker to mine station collection archives and work with staff to create original programming for Sinclair as well as for outside buyers.
Ripley didn’t go into detail about his company’s 10 p.m. forecast, but he didn’t fail in words when describing the landscape. “Live broadcasting has destroyed the public entertainment and cable networks,” he said. “I literally devoured them. When you look at that, the primary strength of a pay TV package is today’s live and date content, which is the power of streaming. Within the ecosystem, I think broadcast TV You will continue to do well.”
Wortlib dismissed a recent report by Wall Street investment firm MoffettNathanson that posited that linear television is in a death spiral, shedding 6 million subscribers annually (and growing). “Speculation about the death of the linear television has been going on for 40 years,” he said. While many Wall Street analysts say the package could shrink to half its current size of about 70 million American households next year, Fertlieb sees the floor potentially as high as 60 million. “Every year, we surprise the market because the American public loves broadcast television.”