UPDATED 5:34 PM: Comcast has issued a statement on the FCC’s decision. “We are disappointed that the FCC failed to constrain the Media Bureau’s overly broad construction of the News Neighborhooding Condition,” says Sena Fitzmaurice, the company’s VP Government Communications. “As it is currently being interpreted, the condition goes well beyond the express language of the FCC’s Comcast-NBCUniversal Order and what is justified by the evidence in that case. The FCC’s interpretation very likely will lead to significant and unwarranted burdens on us, our customers, and other programming networks. We are evaluating our options.”
PREVIOUSLY: Bloomberg TV prevailed on the main points in its multi-year dispute with Comcast, although it didn’t win everything it wanted. Regulators upheld an order from their Media Bureau last year that established Bloomberg’s right to be grouped with other news channels on the dials of Comcast’s cable systems in the 35 largest TV markets. The FCC decision hearkens to an agreement that Comcast made in 2011 when it was eager to win FCC approval for its deal to control NBCUniversal. The cable giant said it wouldn’t discriminate against competitors. Bloomberg TV said that’s exactly what Comcast did when it maintained the business news channel’s position far from CNBC — which Comcast acquired with the NBCU deal. Read More »
When a show creator thinks about distribution methods “then you’re not doing your job,” the executive producer told Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan on Street Smart. ”At the end of the day you have to be truthful to the characters and the story.” But Steven Levitan recognizes that platforms have different demands. “If we were doing a show about dating, we would want to be on cable… When you are telling stories about a family you can do it in a way that works for a network. We feel like we’re in the right place.”
This is essentially the job that respected producer Dan Colarusso had up to November when he leaped to Reuters. Arnall will set the daily editorial agenda and oversee bureaus in cities including Washington and San Francisco. But Arnall will be more focused on multimedia than Colarusso was as head of U.S. newsgathering. Bloomberg TV reaches about 67M pay TV homes. Here’s the release:
New York, January 30, 2012–Veteran business news journalist Dan Arnall has joined Bloomberg as Executive Producer of News for Bloomberg Television. The announcement was made by Andrew Morse, head of Bloomberg TV in the U.S.
Arnall brings more than a decade of experience covering the economy, American business and the impact of financial regulation, among other major stories. Based in New York, he will oversee Bloomberg’s television newsgathering and editorial in the U.S. Arnall will also work to integrate video content across the company’s multimedia properties including Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg Mobile, which together reach millions of users per day.
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Bloomberg Media has found a replacement for David Rhodes, who left in the spring to become president of CBS News. Andrew Morse, executive producer of innovation and integration for ABC News Digital, has been named head of Bloomberg Television in the U.S., reporting to Andy Lack, CEO of the Bloomberg Media Group. Most recently, Morse led ABC News’ coverage on the ground for the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan and the Egyptian Revolution. He also oversaw ABC News’ digital portfolio, including ABCNews.com, ABC News Now and its emerging platforms. Before joining the ABC News digital team, Morse served as executive producer of Good Morning America’s weekend edition and had been senior producer for World News on Saturday and Sunday.
I’d be stunned if Comcast and Bloomberg TV don’t settle their spat about Bloomberg’s channel position on Comcast cable systems before the FCC has to step in. But for now their saber-rattling makes for entertaining theater about an interesting question: What did the FCC mean when, in approving Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, it ordered the cable operator not to discriminate against services such as Bloomberg that compete with NBCU channels including CNBC? For example, in Comcast’s system in Hartford, CT dial flippers have to go to channel 178 to find Bloomberg TV but only to channel 60 to find CNBC.
In a letter to Bloomberg today, Comcast says that the complaint is an attempt by “a multi-billion dollar financial services conglomerate that can and should stand on its own two feet in any negotiation to manipulate the FCC process for its own narrow commercial gain.” The FCC, Comcast says, only ordered the cable company not to discriminate in the future – it said nothing about changing channel line-ups that existed before the NBCU deal. If it moved Bloomberg now, Comcast says, then other cable channels would ask for changes. That “would cause significant disruption to consumers and other cable networks beyond anything the FCC contemplated or could reasonably have required.”
But Greg Babyak, Bloomberg’s Head of Government Affairs, says that the FCC “told Comcast that it must include independent news channels, such as Bloomberg TV, in any news neighborhood that it carries … Read More »