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Letter From the Editor: Blue Sky Time

Once the ball dropped in Times Square last week, the TV business quickly snapped out of holiday mode.

The New Year is kicking into high gear this week, with both CES and the TCA winter press tour attracting a good portion of the industry’s attention and attendance.

The blue-sky feel of both events is an apt backdrop for some updates about Broadcasting & Cable as the magazine heads into its 85th year.

In 2015, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the B&C Hall of Fame and in our pages and on our website delivered insightful coverage of hot topics—everything from measurement and advertising turbulence to the spectrum auction and TV station ownership consolidation. We took readers to the set of Good Morning America as the program marked 40 years on ABC; we brought them inside the “peak TV” debate and coverage of grim landmark shootings in San Bernardino and Roanoke; and we charted the “silent revolution” of cloud-based video delivery. We offered comprehensive coverage of the surging Hispanic, multicast and NewFronts marketplaces; broke stories about the resilient syndication/distribution sector; and got regulators to explain their stances on mega-mergers and classifying the Internet as a utility.

In order to present all of this, we made some design changes—preserving many of our longtime strengths but making some important adjustments. We reworked the front of the magazine, introducing a new section called Lead-In that sets the agenda for readers every week with analysis and data. We combined our technology coverage with that of our sister publication, Multichannel News, to form a robust new weekly section, NextTV. Our Local TV page also received a makeover, with our popular “Market Eye” feature offering expanded data points and insights in a more readable format.

Most significantly, starting this week we are replacing a longtime feature, Fifth Estater, with a new back page called The Five Spot. Given the legacy of Fifth Estater, which was published for decades and tracked by many in the business, it wasn’t an easy decision to make this shift. But our goal with The Five Spot is to bring you thoughtfully written, attractively presented portraits of figures in the world of television in a more engaging package. This week’s Q&A between B&C digital contributing editor Luke McCord and Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neame offers a prime example of what to expect.

The year-opening issue you are holding in your hands is chock-full of insightful forecasts, for CES and the entire industry, and we invite you to dive into our sector-by-sector 2016 preview. And be sure to frequent our website, which is refreshed with at least a dozen new stories every weekday, and take part in our industry-leading series of conferences and webinars, which enable us to amplify our coverage with live, interactive sessions.

As it was in 1931, when this journey began, we couldn’t do anything without the support of our loyal readers, so thank you for being the engine of B&C. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to email us at or reach out to any of us individually. Here’s to a booming 2016.