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Michael Gay covers T.S. Fay

The MyFox team and the Tampa FOX station have been covering Tropical Storm Fay’s approach on a multimedia-heavy weather site at The site has a ton of information, but I’m most impressed with the active live chat along the side. At the time I wrote this, nearly 2,000 people were chatting about the weather as the storm blew into Florida. Nice way to engage the users.

Idaho paper cancels AP service

Calling it “the worst value for anything we purchase,” the Publisher of The Post Register of Idaho Falls has sent a letter to the AP announcing the end of their relationship effective August 15, 2010, according to Editor and Publisher. (AP requires a 2 year notice before canceling service.) It’s a bold move, but Publisher Roger Plothow says, “[W]e’ll use that time to become essentially 100 percent local, which is probably where we’re headed eventually anyway.” The paper’s fees for 2009 would have been $114,000.

Disney may sell ABC O&O’s, analyst says

abcAlthough Disney emphasizes the report is “purely speculative,” an analyst who has followed Disney since 2000 says the company may be considering selling its 10 local ABC O&O stations, reports Bloomberg. David Miller, the analyst from Caris & Co., says the move would put Disney out of the distribution business for TV, and solely into the content business. Miller said his thinking is based on his own analysis, not from any reports inside the company. The price for the 10 stations would be as high as $4.8 billion.

McClatchy freezes wages

In a memo to employees, the publisher of The Herald notified her employees that annual raises are being delayed for one year, starting Sept. 1st. The move is said to be a way to control expenses. The McClatchy Company operates 30 local daily newspapers. While I’m sure it’s better than being laid off, it means a tougher next year for McClatchy employees considering today’s news that inflation is pushing consumer prices up 5.6% per year. (Via paidContent)

Weather-O-Meter grades Denver forecasts

In a brave display of transparency, The Denver Post publishes how accurate their forecast is each day in their Weather-O-Meter. But they don’t stop there, they measure the accuracy of every Denver forecaster. Even the Weather Channel and National Weather Service are compared. According to the site, last week The Denver Post was the most accurate, while the Weather Channel was the least accurate. And it doesn’t seem to be biased, as it shows yesterday the paper was ranked #6 for accuracy (while Weather Channel was #9). This is a unique way to aggregate all the local forecasts in one place, and provide more evidence to their users that isn’t really the best source for local weather.

Local papers, Politico partner for conventions

When the national political conventions take place in Denver and St. Paul, the local newspapers will be engaged with to provide coverage both online and in print. The Denver Press and The Pioneer Press logos are already on the Politico convention page, and according to Editor and Publisher you will actually see Politico’s logo in the front page name flag of both papers during the convention. “We have established partnerships with those papers that are more robust than anything I have ever known of,” said Politico Editor-In-Chief John Harris. “Our work will be appearing in those papers during convention weeks and they will have access to everything Politico writes.”

Let the games begin!

With the Olympic games just hours away, we’re looking to find the best coverage you see from a local station traveling to Beijing. Post your tips in the comments, and we’ll add them to this list.

What else are you seeing that you like?

WBBM uses interactivity to introduce new anchors

This is a unique way to answer a problem you may have experienced: supporting promotional efforts to introduce a new anchor team. Often promotions wants you to post the anchor pics, and that’s it. Or you might be asked to upload all of the new image promos. But neither of those ideas will create an experience users will actually interact with, and be viral. Well, WBBM decided to bring the viewer right into the effort by using a quiz to determine which anchor the viewer is most similar to. “We are giving users a fun way to connect with our news team on a personal level,” Digital Media Executive Producer John Dodge told LostRemote. Plus, you can embed a results badge into a blog, which of course I will do here. This is a very cool idea, and effective.

(Disclaimer: I managed and know the Web team well.)

YouTube to broadcast Olympics

So, while NBC is likely going to be watching YouTube closely for users who upload video of the games in Beijing, the IOC has now approved YouTube as an official global partner for any region not covered by a local exclusive deal. The page is actually available now even in the US, so check it out at Soon that page will be controlled by geo-location access controls. The Olympics are even bypassing a content creator by doing the video themselves. According to their press release:

Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wholly owned subsidiary of the IOC, will produce regularly updated Olympic content. The package will include highlights, news and daily clips of the competitions, available throughout the 17-day period of the Games.

Moonves projects $1 billion in interactive revenue

On this morning’s CBS earnings call, paidContent reports that CEO Les Moonves praised the purchase of CNET. Moonves then went on to say, “The stated goal is to reach $1 billion in revenue in the next three years, from the mid-$600 million this year.” Also mentioned in the call was the deal between AOL and CBS Radio to merge their radio streaming efforts. According to Moonves, the deal has doubled radio streams. Personally, my favorite new app on my iPod Touch is the CBS/AOL radio live streaming. (Disclaimer: I worked at CBS for four years.)