NAB Proposes Must-Carry Plan
Washington—After vainly trying to persuade the FCC to order dual cable carriage of TV stations' analog and digital channels, broadcasters last week unveiled a must-carry plan that would carry them through the transition to all-digital signals. An NAB/MSTV plan would require cable systems to carry either a broadcaster's old analog signal or its new digital signal but not both. The commission is actively debating permanent cable-carriage rules for the day when TV is all-digital. With that train leaving the station, broadcasters are making a last-ditch effort to also win a temporary rule that would prevent their losing analog viewers during the switch. Another provision would allow cable to eliminate a station's analog signal only if the digital channel is passed to digital-tier customers in a digital format and to basic analog customers in an analog format. The cable industry immediately dismissed the broadcasters' overture as a "back-door attempt to obtain dual must-carry."
Night Moves at MSNBC
Secaucus, N.J.—MSNBC is dumping talk show Buchanan & Press, hosted by Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, and giving its 6 p.m. ET time slot to The Abrams Report, hosted by Dan Abrams. That show's former slot, 9 p.m., will be taken by a new show—Inside Edition
anchor Deborah Norville is a possible host—early next year.
Nexstar's IPO Underwhelms
Irving, Texas—Investors were unimpressed by Nexstar Broadcasting's initial-public-offering price last week, but at least the deal got out the door. Nexstar priced its Monday deal at $14 per share, the low end of the expected $14-$16 range. The shares then fell to as low as $12.32 before recovering to $13.65 by Wednesday morning.