About John Altenbern

John has more than 30 years of experience in the television and media industries. He has served television networks, station groups and other media companies of every size from across the country on behalf of CJ&N for the past 14 years. John also currently serves as President of the Professional Advisory Board of the Iowa School of Journalism. Prior to joining CJ&N, John served as senior television consultant and manager at Frank N. Magid Associates and held on-air and management positions from Orlando and Tampa to Minneapolis. He’s an Emmy Award winning writer. John earned an MBA and a BA in journalism from the University of Iowa.

Television: Distribution on the Brink

When I went out for lunch today something caught my eye as I drove by my local cable company: a Brinks truck backed up to the front door (I’m not kidding). They were about to cart off another load of money, some of it probably mine from a monthly three-digit cable bill. I’ve never been [...]

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:02+00:00 April 28th, 2015|Strategy|0 Comments

Time to Stop Serving Up News in the Same Old Way

How do you like your burgers?  Chances are your answer isn’t “Like McDonald’s makes them.”   Last week’s news had two burger stories that speak volumes about local news, too.  First, the CEO of McDonald’s got himself “McFired” for slipping sales and lack of innovation.  Second, Shake Shack had a huge public stock offering, instantly making [...]

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:02+00:00 February 2nd, 2015|Strategy|Comments Off on Time to Stop Serving Up News in the Same Old Way

Get Used to Thinking Bigger

I don’t know about your summer, but mine includes watching shows on DVR and, on weekends, the occasional “binge-viewing” of a cable series or Netflix show. I’m not alone. This week several network research gurus pooled their knowledge about how viewers are watching television this year. It’s an eye-opener if you haven’t seen the data. [...]

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:02+00:00 July 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Get Used to Thinking Bigger

Summer: Time to Evaluate

Summer is the time to squeeze in vacations, sponsor festivals and, more importantly, take stock of your station’s situation. While HUTs often dip mid-summer this is a good time to step back and re-evaluate your product and promotion. Take the time now to make sure you’re on track with your goals, your strategy and timelines. [...]

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:02+00:00 June 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Summer: Time to Evaluate

Late Night TV Lesson for Local News

There’s a new vibe in late night television with Jimmy Fallon at the helm of The Tonight Show. Unlike many changes, this one feels like the generational torch has been passed. Jay Leno rapping with Justin Timberlake? Not on your life. But all of the other trappings of late night TV are still there — [...]

By | 2016-12-13T15:28:03+00:00 February 26th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Late Night TV Lesson for Local News