Beware the MSO, FitzSimons Warns

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Tribune Chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons last week warned his fellow TV-station owners and managers that "consolidated" cable companies are out to grab a big hunk of their local business.

Acknowledging his being named Broadcaster of the Year by BROADCASTING & CABLE at the TVB conference last Tuesday, FitzSimons said that No. 1 MSO Comcast and others are telling investors that they are taking aim at the local ad market. "Make no mistake, the operators that are left after this most recent round of consolidation are good."

The "larger players are determined to emulate what good local broadcasters do ... and that is to develop a strong local awareness through local programming community service."

To ward off the new rivals, he said, broadcasters "have to raise our game" and adapt.