2013 Forward Conference Welcome (excerpt)

9-27-13

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Bill Fine, President and General Manager, WCVB-TV Boston and Chairman, TVB

TVB June 2013 Vlog Stacey Schulman
 

Commentary Text

On April 15th, on a beautiful day in Boston, just minutes after two bombs exploded in Copley Square, all – all of Boston’s TV stations were on the air in minutes, and they stayed on for most of the next one hundred and two incredible hours.

While national TV and cable networks were stationed down in Copley Square, which was the center, the story had moved. The governor had shut the city down, and I’m

sure most of you here have seen the pictures, if not all of you.

Boston’s TV reporters – all of them – were on the scene. A few of them were inside the police perimeters that were set up, because they knew where to go. They knew the neighborhood.

In a multiplatform environment, our signals were carried all over the world, and became the source for the nation, including the White House, where they relied on Boston’s television stations for the latest.

This reliance on local TV news is a story repeated across markets in all of America, Washington so recently, and not just on days of tragedy, but every single day.

There are countless examples of the power of local television. The connections we develop with our viewers, all of which can be harnessed for every single client as well. Just as our reporters know the home turf, so does our sales staff, which is a tremendous advantage.

Here’s what the networks, broadcast and cable, don’t have. Local news. And the extraordinary bond local TV stations have with their communities. It’s the Number One point of differentiation. In most markets, local newscasts are among the highest rated programs each day. Local TV stations, with local news, and programming, deliver by far, the greatest value. And as an industry, we need to communicate that Power of Localism to all of the constituencies we serve.

We’re also taking the lead in making great strides, in proving that Live is, in fact, dead, as the currency by which we sell our value. It was just eight years ago that ABC announced they’d be selling a few programs on the iPod. How quaint that seems now. TV is digital, and digital is mostly TV.

We watch TV, our way, in record numbers. And local TV stations are still the most-watched game in town. So Live Plus Same Day is a TVB imperative and we’re going to follow that quickly by Live Plus Three. But first steps first.

And if we sell a dollar’s worth of inventory, we should get a dollar’s worth of value, not eighty-four cents.

 


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