Thursday, June 12, 2008

Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook

This compendium of information from ProQuest/Bowker on the broadcast industry comes yearly and costs about $245 per year.

The Industry Overview section consists of statistics, charts and tables of all kinds of information such as top 25 cable/satellite operators and cable networks, top TV programs for the previous year, top TV advertisers and advertising categories, a history of broadcasting and a chronology of electronic media from 1666 (?!) to the present.

The bulk of the volume is devoted to broadcast and cable TV stations, and radio stations. Each section gives information on group ownership of stations, plus a list of stations by state and town giving call letters, contact information, personnel, network affiliation, frequency and programming content.

The TV section also has a Nielsen DMA Market Atlas which shows TV stations for each geographical market, plus counties covered, population served and a small map.

The rest of the volume provides information about programming, technical and professional services for the broadcasting industry.

I have been able to find some of this information on the web but not all. For example, I found in Wikipedia a list of TV stations by call letters. I was also able to find TV advertising information on the website of the TV Bureau of Advertising http://www.tvb.org/. (Curiously, the information given does not always agree with what is given in this volume.) Radio station information can be found at http://www.ontheradio.net/ .

Does anyone know of any other good sites that would have this information? Like Industry Surveys its nice to have this info all in one place and easily findable, but how much of it is unique, and is it worth the price?

9 comments:

Jane said...

GS says: This title is actually in my collection development range for reference and I have never been able to weed it because I have not been able to find the information elsewhere in an easy to use format. I decided to check out the Trenton New Jersey stations to see if I could 1) find the same information and 2) see if there was anything else online that might be more useful. Just looking at two stations, WBUD and WNJT, I couldn’t get a lot of the information to match, between the directory and the various radio station websites. My favorite was the link to the WBUD website, listed on one of the web pages, that leads to a semi porn site. And it is definitely not the one listed in the book!



You can find quite a bit of the information on the FCC website (http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmq.html). When I typed in WNJT and Trenton, I didn’t get very good results. I did much better when I just searched New Jersey and selected WNJT from the list. It gives a lot of the specific data (address, owner, etc). However, I did not find a list of people like those found in the print directory.



I think the directory is great because it has everything in one place. I just wish someone would ask me for the information.

Catherine Harper said...

Call me paranoid, but I think it’s important for the public to be able to find out easily who controls the media (who’s taking in money from the advertisers, whose making decisions on programming and news content, etc.). That, to me is the greatest value of this directory. Also, the descriptions of radio and TV stations, as Gayle points out, are generally better than what we can find easily, if at all, on the web—particularly the information about such things as music formats and audience characteristics. I’d vote to keep it.

JiHae said...

$245 and $2450 are in completely different ball parks. I think B&C Yearbook is worth it. I recall directing a few people to it within the past year. And I've used it a few times for Q&ANJ, as well. I think we should keep it.

barbara said...

Thought I would check the Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources see what useful nuggets I could find.
There are headings for Radio Broadcasting Industry, Cable Television Industry and for Television Broadcasting Industry

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is one organization listed
http://www.ncta.com/Statistic/Statistic/TopCableProviders.aspx
Top 25 Cable Systems
Top 25 MSOs
Top 20 Cable Program Networks
Complete lists of cable operators and programmers can be found in the Organizations area.
There is also a statistics area.

All in all there's alot of information that can be gleaned in bits and pieces but nothing brings it together like the BCYearbook.

Cynthia said...

I have used this once for a Statewide question. It was easy to use. It seems to be reasonably priced. I could not find the information on-line for free (well, with any speed).

Unless keeping it puts more valuable resources in danger, I would keep it.

Romina said...

I have never used this, but after perusing it, I found it a great resource. Nice one stop shopping for info about radios and tv's. Given the price and how handy it is, I vote to keep it.

Kristin said...

I'm siding with the majority on this one. B&C is a valuable and objective media resource.

A nice feature that is included is the section on Associations, events, education and awards which includes vocational schools, universities and colleges with broadcasting or journalism programs, and national and regional associations. I think this is a valuable resource for anyone interested in pursuing a career in broadcast or cable; or for those doing marketing or demographic research. Keep it.

Jane said...

So the verdict is unanimous. Keep! I agree, and compared with some of the standing orders, the price is reasonable and the information well chosen and arranged.

Janie L. Hermann said...

Coming in late to the game on this entry, but I agree that this is a definite keeper. I can think of several occasions where B&C Yearbook has been the best place to find needed information in a timely fashion.