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Editorial: Changing for the Better

The one constant in the TV business is constant change. There are times, of course, when change feels daunting, disorienting or even overwhelming. But in the end, all this change makes TV exciting to work in—and for us at B&C to cover. Technology, shifting viewer habits, political turnover and corporate schisms have combined to create a state of relentless evolution and more compelling narratives than a season of The Wire. In fact, there isn’t even an easy answer to the question, “What is TV?” much less what makes it so compelling as a medium and a business.

Speaking of change, you have probably noticed Broadcasting & Cable is presenting a completely new look and several new content elements starting with this week’s issue. As we continue our mission to serve as the television business information leader, our aim with this redesign is to deliver more information, more data and more insight in each issue. We know how busy you are—trying to keep up with, get out in front of or help drive this constantly changing industry—and how valuable your time is. So we are presenting stories with many more visual cues. These will help you identify what you need to know, what you might skip and the things you will want to take more time to absorb.

While we are as committed as ever to in-depth analysis and thorough coverage—hallmarks of B&C since its first issue in 1931—we also know that can be a lot to digest. Our new design, therefore, allows us to have a bit more fun along the way. We ease you in with a light appetizer at the front of the magazine and end on our back page with dessert after the full-course meal of news and information you’ve been served up in between. Or, in cooking-show parlance, we range from Kelsey’s Essentials to Top Chef to Cake Boss.

We didn’t plan it that way, but our coverage this week is all about change, beginning with our cover story from contributing editor George Winslow about the industry-wide pushes to improve measurement across screens. It’s an effort that could unlock billions in revenue, but also one fraught with complications and politics, and Winslow gets perspective from key stakeholders on how close it is to fruition.

Washington bureau chief John Eggerton explores new leadership at the FCC in an exclusive interview with acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn (Washington). Business editor Jon Lafayette investigates ad-hoc efforts by network marketers to create customized measurement tools for assessing multiplatform viewing (Currency). Contributing editor Paige Albiniak weighs the impact of station super-groups’ M&A binge on negotiations for syndicated content (Syndication). Programming editor Andrea Morabito charts the rise of Comic-Con as a major destination to connect with viewers (Programming Strategy). Deputy editor Michael Malone examines how the surge of fútbol-mad Hispanic viewers spurred Univision to create its own soccer tournament, Copa Univision (Station to Station). And executive editor Dade Hayes takes the pulse at Pivot, Participant Media’s bold attempt to engage millennial viewers, by profiling president Evan Shapiro (Fifth Estater).

Then there is this week’s Market Eye, in which Malone explains how Minneapolis stations are profiting by embracing the ever-changing weather; and our two special reports: Morabito reveals how broadcast and cable networks’ evolving programming strategies translate to new business opportunities for independent producers, and in the world of traffic, billing and automation technology, Winslow shows how tighter integrations of media asset management systems are improving bottom lines.

On the back page, two new features speak to our redesigned sensibility. This week marks the return of Mel’s Diner, which dedicated readers will recall from a previous incarnation. Editor-in-chief Melissa Grego serves up a dishy conversation with Bethenny Frankel ahead of the reality TV star/author/entrepreneur’s syndicated talk show launch. Also appearing in that back-page spot in subsequent weeks will be a feature called FF/RWD (a.k.a. “Fast-Forward/ Rewind”), a look at the often rich historical layers underneath today’s TV landscape.

And as always, the B&C brand will be giving you a daily helping of the latest news on and in our e-mail news products. Look for changes there in the coming months as well to help satisfy your appetite for news when and where you want it.

We are proud of our new look. But we also recognize it is a work in progress that will continue to develop as the industry—and your needs—change.

We hope you will join us in embracing the evolution of the TV community and our efforts to meet your expectations of the long-trusted B&C brand we are so proud to shepherd. And we hope to hear from you every step along the way. Our connection with you, the readers, is what keeps us moving onward and upward.