Exclusive: Bill Fine Named TVB Chairman
WCVB Boston GM assumes leadership role in local-TV trade association as it works out off-year strategy
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/25/2013 10:06:49 AM
Fine has been involved with TVB for over two decades, including a stint as sales advisory committee chairman and other leadership roles. He's on the ABC affiliates board and is past chair and current director on the Massachusetts Broadcasting Association board, among other industry roles.
"I've never not stayed connected to TVB," he says. "I feel the TVB offers great value to its members, and can offer great value to the non-members we are reaching out to as well."
Participation in industry boards is a core value at Hearst TV. Jordan Wertlieb, executive VP of the group, is chairman of the NBC affiliates board. David Barrett, president and CEO, was a fixture on the NAB board.
The TVB is focused on increasing revenue for its member TV stations. Steve Lanzano, TVB president and CEO, said the association has three primary missions: business development, advocacy and research/measurement. All three are particularly vital for members in this non-election, non-Olympics year.
Lanzano is bullish on local television's prospects amidst the increased challenges for viewer attention, and marketers' ad dollars, from the various digital platforms. "Despite all the shiny new objects out there, it all comes back to television," he says. "Television is still the only medium that provides the kind of scale advertisers need."
On the measurement front, Lanzano and Fine are petitioning advertisers to include more live-plus-same day and live-plus-three ratings in their negotiations with local TV. "We are making sure to get across the notion that 'live is dead,'" says Fine of traditional audience measurement. "It's no longer the way people watch television. The number of people we reach is much greater than what we get credit for."
The recent presidential election, during which the TVB guys say 80-85% of the political buys went to broadcast TV, as opposed to cable, offered considerable evidence, they believe, of the medium's effectiveness in reaching consumers. "I'm biased [about local broadcast]," says Fine. "But I'm biased with absolute merit."
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