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Network TV
By the Project For Excellence In Journalism



Ad bundling: The practice of selling advertising across platforms, including network, cable and online properties owned by the same company.

Bureau: an office for gathering or distributing news. Similar terms are used for specialized bureaus, often to indicate geographic location or scope of coverage: a Tokyo bureau refers to a given news operation’s office in Tokyo. Foreign bureau is a generic term for a news office set up in a country other than the primary operations center. A Washington bureau is an office in the capital that covers news related to national politics and government in the United States.

Digital Television (DTV): Generic term that refers to all digital television formats, including high-definition television (HDTV) and standard-definition television (SDTV).

Digital Video Recorder (DVR): A digital video recorder also known as a personal video recorder. A DVR or PVR records broadcasts on a hard disk drive that can then be played back at a later time in a practice known as time shifting.” A DVR often enables smart programming, in which the device records an entire series or programming defined by keywords, genre, or personnel. It also  offers pause control over “live” broadcasts. The DVR is frequently referred to by its leading commercial brand name, TiVo.

Fixer: a local resident who helps a foreign correspondent with reporting duties. As George Packer wrote in a September 2009 New Yorker article, that help comes in various forms:

“interpreting, finding the phone number of the Iraqi member of parliament, knowing the personal history of the Afghan battalion commander, setting up interviews, hiring a car and driver, figuring out where to get food on a long drive in the desert, dispensing political analysis and cultural insight and — sometimes most importantly — security advice, about this or that contact, this or that road.”

Household ratings: the percentage measure of all U.S. television households tuned to a particular program on average at any given moment.

Lead-in: A program that immediately precedes another program on the same station or network.

Multimedia journalist (A.K.A. backpack journalist, digital journalist, one-man band, mobile journalist (“mo-jo”): A local news reporter who performs a range of tasks related to the reporting, shooting and editing of news stories for broadcast, Web or mobile content delivery. The availability and ease of use of inexpensive video cameras, laptop editing applications, and cost cutting has spurred an increase in the use multimedia journalists.

Pre-roll advertisement: A video ad that plays before the start of selected online content.

Prime time: The hours on weekdays between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., in which the average audience is measured by Nielsen. On Sundays, the prime-time hours are 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Rating: A percentage measure of total households or population owning TVs who are tuned to a particular program or station at a specific time (e.g., a six rating for women 18-49 means 6 percent of all women 18-49 in the defined geographic area were viewing that station or program), according to the Television Advertising Bureau.

Rating Point: A value equal to one percent of a population or universe, such as the population of a Designated Market Area.

Retransmission consent: An option granted to television stations as part of the law that granted such stations the option to elect must-carry rights. Under retransmission consent, a full-power U.S. television station may elect to negotiate with a cable system operator for carriage of its broadcast programming. A station may propose that the cable operator pay cash to carry the station or ask for any other form of consideration. The cable operator may refuse the broadcaster’s proposal and not carry the station or offer a counter-proposal. Broadcast stations have similar rights with respect to satellite television providers like DirecTV and Dish Network.

Share: The Television Advertising Bureau defines share as the percent of households (household share) or persons (P2+ share) using television who are tuned to a specific program, network or station at a specific time.

Viewership: Collectively, the viewers of a television program.