FCC Wants to Ease Rules to Benefit Broadcast Giant Sinclair

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to fight media mergers that concentrated more power in fewer hands. But his Federal Communications Commission is paving the way for huge broadcasting companies to get even bigger.

Thursday night, the FCC unveiled a proposal to relax its media-ownership rules. The plan would lift a ban preventing companies from owning both a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market, and ease restrictions on the number of television and radio stations a single owner can control in a market. The FCC is expected to vote on the proposal during its open meeting next month, and with Republicans in the majority at the agency, it will likely pass.

The proposal describes the changes as necessary to help broadcasters and newspapers compete against digital-media companies that face no restrictions on how many websites, apps, or streaming video services they can own. But the rules have already attracted controversy because they will most immediately benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group, which plans to buy Tribune Media for $ 3.9 billion.

“I think it has reached a point where all our media-policy decisions seem to be custom built for this one company, and I think it merits investigation,” Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during a congressional oversight hearing Wednesday.

The new proposal is part of a series of FCC decisions that aid large broadcasters, and there are likely more to come.

Despite the growth of digital media in recent years, television is still the most common news source among Americans, according to a Pew Research study last year. About 46 percent of respondents often get at least some of their news from local TV. By comparison, 38 percent said they often get news online.

Sinclair owns 173 TV stations and Tribune owns 42. Together, the two companies estimate that they could reach 73 percent of US households.

Federal regulations generally limit the reach of a broadcasting company to 39 percent of US homes. In April, however, the FCC gave broadcasters additional wiggle room by reviving 1980s-era rules that allow Sinclair and other broadcasters to count some stations as reaching only half as many households as they can. According to an FCC filing, Sinclair will be 6.5 percent over the limit even with this “discount.” In a conference call Thursday, senior FCC staffers said the FCC will review the national ownership limits by the end of the year.

Sinclair is generally seen as a conservative-leaning media organization. For example, it requires its stations to air particular content, including commentary from former Trump administration official Boris Epshteyn. Earlier this year, Politico reported that President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner told business executives that the Trump campaign struck a deal with Sinclair for better coverage. That adds a political layer to what might otherwise be a technocratic debate over the appropriate level of competition in local news markets.

Senior FCC staffers denied that the rules were designed to benefit a particular company during the Thursday conference call. Indeed, not all of the changes proposed immediately benefit Sinclair. Tribune spun off its newspapers into a new company called Tronc last year, and neither it nor Sinclair own many radio stations, so the cross-ownership rules don’t really affect the merger. But the FCC has made life easier for Sinclair this year.

Current regulations prohibit companies from owning two of the top four stations in a particular market. The FCC’s new proposal would allow exemptions in markets where, for example, the size difference between the fourth largest and fifth largest is slight. It would also eliminate a rule that prohibits mergers that would reduce the total number of broadcast owners in a market to fewer than eight.

After acquiring Tribune, Sinclair would have 10 stations that run afoul of the old rules, including stations in markets like Seattle and St. Louis, according to FCC filings. The new rules could spare Sinclair from having to sell those stations, if it can get the necessary exemptions in time.

Earlier this week, the FCC voted to eliminate rules that required broadcast station owners to have a studio within 25 miles of the city where the station is licensed. The change will free companies like Sinclair from having to spend money on local studios in every community where they operate.

Tech

6 Rules You Must Know for Using SEO and SEM to Grow Your Business

If you’re managing a business, you know how important a web and mobile presence is. Whether you’re selling tacos, tiaras, or terabytes, customers need to be able to find you.

You’ve probably dipped your toe into the complex world of organic or “free” search, also known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and paid search, also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But what do you really need to know about SEO and SEM?

I spoke with SEO/SEM expert Andrew Shelton, founder of the digital marketing agency Martec360, who gave me six rules that you need to pay attention to right now if you want to increase your sales through search:

1. Mobile is king

Need evidence of the importance of mobile? Some 96% of smartphone owners use their device to get things done. About 70% of smartphone owners use their phone to research a product before purchasing it in a store. Half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

Furthermore, Google has begun to make its search index “mobile-first.” That means that Google will primarily index mobile content and use that to decide how to rank its results.

2. Paid search pays off on mobile

On mobile, paid search (SEM) is increasingly paying off. Shelton says he used to tell his clients to focus on free search (SEO) but with users putting mobile first, the continuum has changed.

“The greatest return on investment is email,” Shelton says, “because you have those customers in house. But paid search is next.” He estimates that paid search spending went up by factors of 25% to 50% in 2016.

3. Have a solid content strategy

The old adage is the new adage: “Content is king.” You need high-quality content for your website if it’s going to compete in the free search business. You can’t go about that blindly.

Consider what customer problem you’re solving. What customer questions can you be answering?

Do you have a mechanism for customers to ask questions? There could be a wealth of ideas for blog posts, FAQs, and buyers’ guides right there.

4. Social media is worth your return on investment

Social media can be vexing for many businesses. You definitely have to perform a cost-benefit analysis on it. Spending six hours a day sending out tweets that don’t lead to conversions is going to be a losing proposition.

Treat social media as “an engagement with an ongoing conversation with your customers,” Shelton recommends. “It’s not just for selling.”

In fact, if your social media channels are too hard-sell, they’ll be counter productive. You have to create value. Tools like Hootsuite, Falcon.IO, and Curalate can help.

5. Manage your online reputation

According to Shopper Approved, an app that helps its clients collect online ratings and reviews, 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine whether a local business is a good business.

All of those reviews are part of the SEO equation. They can help you, or they can hurt you. But an app like Shopper Approved can help push more positive reviews where you need them.

6. Measure and monitor your progress

The only way you’re going see your business grow exponentially through SEO, SEM, and social media is to measure what you’re doing. You have to know where you’re starting, set some benchmarks, and monitor your progress.

Install Google Analytics. There is a plethora of other e-commerce tools you can use for analysis. Data is your friend. Get used to swimming in it.

And if you need help, find a consulting firm that understands your customer and your goals.

Just remember, effective search is process. You won’t get it right the first time. But you’ll get better at it with everything you learn.

About the author:

Kim Folsom is the Founder of LIFT Development Enterprises–a not-for-profit, community development organization with a mission to help underserved, underrepresented small-business owners – and Co-Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC, a small business growth accelerator and revenue based venture fund. Learn more about Kim and her company’s mission to help grow and fund 1000 underserved and underrepresented small businesses by 2026 via their Founders Business Growth Bootcamp program at www.foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com.

 

Tech

Dimmu Borgir Release Live DVD; Plus Led Zeppelin, Brujeria, & More News That Rules, In Metal File

‘It shows the intense live side of the band, as opposed to the perfection and the cleanness of how we sound on our albums,’ guitarist says.
By Chris Harris

<P>On October 14, <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/borgir_dimmu/artist.jhtml”>Dimmu Borgir</a>Dimmu Borgir &#8212; who just happen to be <a href=”/news/articles/1593780/demi-lovato-metalhead-metal-file.jhtml”>Demi Lovato’s favorite black-metal band</a> &#8212; will release a a three-disc DVD/CD set called “The Invaluable Darkness,” the band’s first visual offering since 2002’s “World Misanthropy.” Boasting live footage shot last year, during gigs in Norway, Germany and England, “The Invaluable Darkness” demonstrates the unbridled furor of seeing Dimmu live, guitarist Silenoz said. </P><P> </P><P>”It shows the honest rawness and atmospheric darkness of our concerts,” the Norwegian told <i>Metal File</i> last week, after <a href=”/news/articles/1596201/in-this-moment-make-the-dream-a-reality-metal-file.jhtml”>dismissing recent online rumors that his band’s next LP would be coming out through Roadrunner Records</a>. “Basically, it shows the intense live side of the band, as opposed to the perfection and the cleanness of how we sound on our albums. It’s just a different side to the band, basically.” </P><P> </P><P>Dimmu Borgir began thinking about “The Invaluable Darkness” two years ago, but didn’t start capturing footage until last summer, Silenoz explained, adding that the band will use its current stint on the Blackest of the Black Tour &#8212; which got underway Thursday night in Miami Beach, Florida, and also features the tour’s founder, Danzig, along with </P><P><a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/moonspell/artist.jhtml”>Moonspell</a>Moonspell, <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/winds_of_plague/artist.jhtml”>Winds of Plague</a>Winds of Plague and Skeletonwitch &#8212; to promote the DVD. Dimmu Borgir will not, however, use the tour to write material for their next LP. </P><P> </P><P>”It’s our first time on Blackest, but Glenn [Danzig] had wanted to bring us out before [on the tour], but we weren’t available until now,” Silenoz said. “We’ve done Ozzfest before, but we’re looking forward to this tour more. We did the main stage on Ozzfest, playing in f–_ing broad daylight. This tour will let us play in bigger places, but at the same time showcase more of what the band’s about, visually. We are going to concentrate on the tour for now. Some years ago, we tried putting [material] together on the road, but once we got home, we listened back to it, and were like, ‘What the f— <i>is</i> this?’ So, we just scrapped it all. We find it’s so much better to totally focus on one thing at a time, and then, when that’s over, you move on to the next [thing]. We don’t really feel like we need to rush things, anyway, so we’ll just take our time, and it’s going to be what it’s going to be.” </P><P> </P><P>Dimmu Borgir hope to reconvene in late December to begin writing the follow-up to 2007’s diabolically titled <i>In Sorte Diaboli.</i> “We have some ideas floating around already, but we haven’t arranged any material yet,” he said. “We’ll start doing that once the touring for this DVD is over.” The band’s frontman, Shagrath, is also due to marry soon &#8212; he’s engaged to actor Nicolas Cage’s ex-girlfriend, Christina Fulton, so that may have an effect on when Dimmu finish their next album, which Silenoz said could be out this coming spring. </P><P> </P><P>”I’m sure [Shagrath] won’t let anything get in the way [of] the band &#8212; I think, I hope,” the guitarist said. “We don’t need a Yoko [Ono] situation.” </P><P> </P><P>While Dimmu have been at it going on 15 years now, Silenoz said he doesn’t think their forthcoming material will be much of a departure from their previous black-metal offerings. </P><P> </P><P>”And we have always been about more than just that term, ‘black metal,’ ” he said. “Luckily for us, the older you get, the less concerned you get with the categorization and putting labels on your music. Things start getting more and more limitless with us, and we know that we operate within certain frames. But we try not to analyze things too much, because it’s just going to be working against you in the end. When we write new stuff, we don’t think about what we should write &#8212; we just get together, and put material together, and if we like it, we keep it. That’s the formula, if we even have a formula.” </P><P> </P><P>Dimmu Borgir are definitely getting older &#8212; guitarist Galder will be missing Blackest because of a recent addition to his family, and <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/susperia/artist.jhtml”>Susperia’s</a>Susperia’s Cyrus will be filling in for him; while former <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/vader/artist.jhtml”>Vader</a>Vader drummer Dariusz Brzozowski takes over for Hellhammer, who had to leave the band in 2007 after sustaining a neck injury that’s now limited the use of his right arm. As Dimmu has gotten on in years, Silenoz admits they have failed to keep pace with some of the more extreme black-metal acts that have followed in their wake. </P><P> </P><P>”We helped open doors for the more extreme bands out there,” Silenoz said. “I’m sure we helped open doors for bands like Watain, [insomuch as] people that had maybe started listening to us first then went on to the more extreme stuff. Let’s face it &#8212; we’re not as extreme as Watain and other bands like that, but we’re fine with that.” </P><P> </P><P>The Blackest of the Black Tour continues through November 10 in San Francisco. </P><P> </P><P>The rest of the week’s metal news: </P><P> </P><P>Dimmu’s tourmates on Blackest, <b>Winds of Plague</b>, have announced ex-<b>Azusa</b> drummer <b>Art Cruz</b> has joined their ranks &#8212; he replaced <b>Jeff Tenney</b>. According to the band’s blog, “Art has already added a new spark to the band and has provided us with a solid backbone that will allow us to continue our rampage stronger than ever.” … </P><P> </P><P>What the world really needs is another </P><P><a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/led_zeppelin/artist.jhtml”><b>Led Zeppelin</b></a><b>Led Zeppelin</b> box set, so, on November 4, Rhino Records will issue the <i>Led Zeppelin Definitive Collection Mini LP Replica CD</i> box set. For just $ 200, you’ll get 1969’s <i>Led Zeppelin,</i> 1969’s <i>Led Zeppelin II,</i> 1970’s <i>Led Zeppelin III,</i> 1971’s <i>Led Zeppelin IV,</i> 1973’s <i>Houses of the Holy,</i> 1975’s <i>Physical Graffiti,</i> 1976’s <i>Presence,</i> 1976’s <i>The Song Remains the Same,</i> 1979’s <i>In Through the Out Door</i> and 1982’s <i>Coda,</i> as mini-LP replicas, with artwork from the original U.K. LP sleeves. Now, you know what you can get your dad for Christmas. … </P><P> </P><P>Former <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/killswitch_engage/artist.jhtml”><b>Killswitch Engage</b></a><b>Killswitch Engage</b> frontman <b>Jesse Leach</b> and current Killswitch Engage guitarist <b>Adam Dutkiewicz</b> have teamed up for a new project they’re calling <b>Times of Grace</b>, and they’ve already started working on material for their debut album. According to Leach, “We have two songs to go and we will be finished with all of the vocals. Adam has taken lead vocals in three songs as of yet and he is doing a great job. We also worked on a track yesterday that is so epic &#8212; we trade vocals and do two different melodies at the same time. This album went from a melodic metal album to an epic mix of metal/rock/pop/shoegaze and punk. So all of your metal expectations will be incorrect &#8212; we are pushing genre boundaries.” To quote “Meet the Parents,” we’ll look forward to that, Greg. … </P><P> </P><P><b>The Funeral Pyre</b> and <b>Early Graves</b> will be hitting the road together next month, starting November 7 in South Lake Tahoe, California. Dates are booked through November 21 in Hollywood. … </P><P> </P><P>The latest incarnation of <b>Brujeria</b>, which features <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/carcass/artist.jhtml”><b>Carcass</b></a><b>Carcass</b> frontman <b>Jeff Walker</b> and <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/napalm_death/artist.jhtml”><b>Napalm Death’s</b></a><b>Napalm Carcass’s</b> <b>Shane Embury</b>, have lined up several U.S. dates for this winter. The band will begin its brief trek November 28 in Denver, and wrap things up in Dallas on December 7. … </P><P><a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/demiricous/artist.jhtml”><b>Demiricous</b></a><b>Demiricous</b> will be touring with the <b>Gates of Slumber</b> starting November 9 in Denver, for a jaunt that’s scheduled to run through December 6 in Indianapolis. … </P><P> </P><P>Nearly three years after <a href=”/news/articles/1518428/roadrunner-holds-all-star-anniversary-bash.jhtml”>Roadrunner Records’ Roadrunner United concert</a>, which took over the Nokia Theater in New York’s Times Square, the label is now releasing footage from that special night as “Roadrunner United: The Concert.” The DVD, which hits stores December 9, will boast two discs and 24 live tracks, including <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/life_of_agony/artist.jhtml”><b>Life of Agony’s</b></a><b>Life of Agony’s</b> “River Runs Red,” <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/king_diamond/artist.jhtml”><b>King Diamond’s</b></a><b>King Diamond’s</b> “Abigail,” Killswitch’s “My Last Serenade,” <a href=”http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/type_o_negative/artist.jhtml”><b>Type O Negative’s</b></a><b>Type O</p>

Related Artists

  • Dimmu Borgir
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Brujeria

Source:
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1596756/dimmu-borgir-release-live-dvd-set-in-metal-file.jhtml

Amanda Righetti Amanda Swisten Amber Arbucci Amber Brkich Amber Heard Amber Valletta

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