Bill Fine, president and general manager of Hearst
Television's WCVB Boston, is the new chairman of the local television trade
association TVB. He succeeds Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting,
whose tenure ended at the close of 2012. It's an elected position and a two-year
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
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
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."