ABC’s New President Is Making History, and She’s Focused on Making Waves This Fall

September 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The year 2016 has been a whirlwind for Channing Dungey, who was promoted to ABC Entertainment president in February, succeeding Paul Lee. Thrust into the job as pilot season was in full swing, Dungey responded by fielding a new lineup for the 2016-17 season that includes two of the most acclaimed new fall shows, Designated Survivor and Speechless, which she hopes will jolt ABC out of fourth place in the 18-49 demo. As she put the finishing touches on the new season, Dungey sat down with Adweek to talk about her first seven months on the job, making history as the first African-American woman to run a broadcast network, and what's next. Adweek: You started this job in the midst of pilot season, in February. Have you had a chance to take a breath yet? Channing Dungey: I feel like you have go through the whole cycle one time in a new role to really feel like you understand all of it. The television business has ebbs and flows, so I did get away for a week with my family and my parents and my sister, to have a little beach vacation. But for the most part, I've been really boots on the ground, wanting to take everything in as I go through this first cycle. What have these seven months on the job been like for you? They've been good. I have a fantastic team of people with whom I work. I'm very excited about that

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Twitter’s First NFL Livestream Drew an Average Digital Audience of Just 314,000 a Minute

September 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CBS's first Thursday Night Football game of the season drew 28 percent fewer viewers than last season's inaugural prime-time game on the network. But don't blame Twitter. While the New York Jets-Buffalo Bills matchup was also the first of 10 Thursday Night Football games that to be livestreamed on Twitter this season, the game had an average digital audience of 314,000 per minute, including viewers streaming on Twitter, NFL Mobile from Verizon, Watch NFL Network and authenticated users on CBS Digital platforms. The game averaged 15.4 million viewers on CBS and NFL Network—49 times the size of the digital audience—and a 5.4 rating among viewers ages 18 to 49. Those numbers were down 28 percent in the demo and 27 percent in total viewers compared with last year's Thursday Night Football kickoff between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs (21.18 million total viewers, 7.5 demo rating). The audience drop came even though Thursday night's game remained competitive until the very last play, with the Jets winning, 37-31. Prime-time NFL ratings, which have been the last remaining reliable source of robust ratings, have been down across the board this season. Last Thursday's NFL kickoff game—which technically is part of NBC's Sunday Night Football package—was watched by 25.2 million viewers (and got a 9.4 demo rating), off around 9 percent from last fall. And the Sunday Night Football kickoff averaged 23.1 million viewers (and an 8.4 rating among 18- to 49-year-olds), down 16 percent in audience and 18 percent in the demo from last fall's numbers. CBS Sports said 2.4 million viewers streamed some portion of the game, watching for an average of 25 minutes.

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Mode Media Shuts Down, Leaving Freelancers Unpaid

September 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two years ago, Mode Media founder and chief executive Samir Arora described his Silicon Valley startup (formerly known as Glam Media) as "a pioneer of native advertising and content marketing," and boasted that after just 10 years it had grown to become "the 7th largest U.S. media company, reaching 50 percent of the U.S. digital population." Thursday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported the lifestyle content company once valued at $1 billion had shut down operations—leaving a network of content creator "partners" owed tens of thousands of dollars. Crissy Page, an Ohio-based writer who served as a contributing editor for Mode Media's parenting vertical, Tend, says the company owes her $17,000. Page says the shutdown came without any warning. "Work was ongoing right up until the last moment. I was receiving feedback about content for clients as recently as two days ago, which tells me that the account managers had no idea that the doors would be closing." Calls to Mode late Thursday went unanswered. Page says she reached one company contact at home, who gave her little hope of ever being paid. "She told me that all employee email accounts were immediately cut off when they sent people home." The company has pulled some of its content off the web—along with access to financial documents that Mode Media's content partners used to track what they were owed. "Personally, I did not see this coming," said writer Jaleesa Howard.

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Time Inc.’s Matt Bean Returns to Rodale as Editor in Chief of Men’s Health

September 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Four years after leaving Rodale for Time Inc., Matt Bean is set to return to the Emmaus, Pa.-based magazine publisher with a shiny new title: editor in chief of Men's Health. "Matt is truly a modern day editor, savvy across print, digital and social platforms, with a clear vision for the Men's Health brand and a solid understanding of the business," Rodale chairman and CEO Maria Rodale said in a statement. "Matt is the Men's Health reader; his passion for and understanding of what men want and have come to expect from this brand is unparalleled. We are thrilled to have him back at Rodale." Bean first joined Men's Health back in 2004 as an associate editor, and by 2012, had been upped to vp, digital product development at Rodale. He was soon poached by Time Inc., becoming managing editor of SportsIllustrated.com, where he helped launch the brand's first daily live video series and a longform sportswriting platform. In 2014, Bean was named editor of Entertainment Weekly, but the gig lasted barely a year. (According to reports, Bean was ousted over disagreements with his predecessor, Jess Cagle, who had been named editorial director of EW and People. Cagle later denied those rumors, telling The Wrap that he had "never clashed" with Bean.) Bean stayed on at Time Inc., becoming svp of digital innovation and overseeing the creation of new verticals like The Drive and Extra Crispy

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Deutsch’s Chairman and Former CEO Linda Sawyer Is Leaving the Agency After 27 Years

September 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Today Deutsch announced a major leadership change as chairman and longtime executive Linda Sawyer plans to leave the agency at the end of the calendar year. She plans to launch an unnamed ecommerce project in early 2017. Sawyer, who has been with the IPG network for more than 27 years, replaced former chairman and TV personality Donny Deutsch as its top executive last year while Mike Sheldon was simultaneously promoted to the chief executive role. Following her departure, Sheldon will hold the title of chairman and CEO, North America. "Anyone who knows Linda is aware that she combines a great understanding of our industry with a dynamic management style," said Interpublic chairman and CEO Michael Roth in a statement, adding, "That's why she's been able to build a fantastic team at Deutsch during her long tenure at the agency. She's a fierce protector of her people and her agency, as well as a partner who clients know will always make their success her top priority. Along with everyone at Deutsch, I thank Linda for her dedication and commitment." The departing chairman joined the Deutsch organization in 1989 and ascended to the CEO role 16 years later as Donny Deutsch became chairman during a transitional period for the agency

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Why Internet-Famous Dogs Are Fetching So Much Love From Brands

September 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Social media influencers have transformed the way brands interact with consumers—and a lot of those influencers aren't human. Like Super Bowl ads that use cute puppies to sell everything from beer to ketchup, adorable dogs with huge social followings are getting a lot of love from brands these days. Dogs can fetch anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 per sponsored post on Instagram, according to Rob Schutz, vp of growth at Bark & Co., parent company of BarkBox, a service that sends treats and other products to dog owners every month. Bark & Co. works with brands like P&G's Swiffer, United Airlines, American Express and Anheuser-Busch to promote their products with dog influencers on social media. "All sorts of brands want to tap into dogs," Schutz said. "Dogs are a common denominator for everyone, and they're safe, because everyone likes a cute or funny dog. They're not going to get in some scandal or say something stupid on Twitter and have it reflect negatively on the brand." "There's an innate positive feeling that a viewer has when they see a cute dog doing something," said Loni Edwards, managing partner of The Dog Agency, a firm that matches brands like Dyson, Barneys New York and Accor Hotels to dog influencers.

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Energizer’s Famous Pink Bunny Is Still Going After 27 Years, and It’s Getting a Makeover

September 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ninety-five percent of consumers recognize the Energizer Bunny, according to a 2008 study. Energizer The average rabbit lives between seven and 10 years. But one remarkable specimen is heading toward its 27th birthday. That's so old for a bunny, in fact, that this particular one is also getting a face-lift. We speak, of course, of the Energizer Bunny —the pink, fuzzy mechanical mascot that wears shades, shuffles around in flip-flops and beats a drum. Chances are you've seen it in one or more of the innumerable TV spots that look like ads for something other than batteries —until the needle-scratch moment when the bunny enters the screen, pounding that big drum while the voiceover man extols the batteries that "keep going and going and going." It's all been good fun—and highly successful marketing—for over a generation now

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Why Legendary Fashion Photographer Mario Testino Is Embracing Digital Media

September 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Current gig Fashion photographer, philanthropist and founder of creative agency MarioTestino+ Twitter @mariotestino Age 61 What does winning a Clio lifetime achievement award mean to you? It means a lot to win a lifetime achievement from anyone—but the Clio Awards are particularly interesting, as advertising is such a competitive industry. It's a business that is constantly searching for the new, so it's a big challenge to stay in the fight and to stay relevant. Photographers are changed at the drop of a hat. You have to be constantly questioning yourself and renewing yourself. This award makes it feel like the past 30 years of hard work, and insecurities, and redefining who I am, what I do, and how well I can relate to clients, has been recognized.

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Chuck Todd on Why Donald Trump Probably Won’t Skip the Presidential Debates

September 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The longest-running show on American television is having a moment, once again. NBC's Meet the Press is beginning its new season with a formula that hasn't changed much since it debuted on Nov. 6, 1947: A moderator interviews a newsmaker, usually a politician or candidate, followed by a discussion of the top political and policy issues of the day. These days the moderator is Chuck Todd, a political wonk who got his start in politics briefly working for the 1992 presidential campaign of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "Basically, I was the runner to go to the bank to deposit checks," he explained. After 15 years at National Journal's The Hotline, including six as editor in chief, the late Tim Russert recruited Todd to NBC as political director.

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Chuck Todd on Why Donald Trump Probably Won’t Skip the Presidential Debates

September 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The longest-running show on American television is having a moment, once again. NBC's Meet the Press is beginning its new season with a formula that hasn't changed much since it debuted on Nov. 6, 1947: A moderator interviews a newsmaker, usually a politician or candidate, followed by a discussion of the top political and policy issues of the day. These days the moderator is Chuck Todd, a political wonk who got his start in politics briefly working for the 1992 presidential campaign of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "Basically, I was the runner to go to the bank to deposit checks," he explained. After 15 years at National Journal's The Hotline, including six as editor in chief, the late Tim Russert recruited Todd to NBC as political director. In 2014, Todd took over Meet the Press from David Gregory after it fell to third place in the ratings. Since then, Todd and his team have brought the show back to No. 1 in the ad-friendly news demo, beating out ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday. Todd, meanwhile, still has some unfinished business, which includes completing his degree from George Washington University. Adweek: We're in the home stretch now. The presidential candidates have their late-game strategies. What's the plan for Meet the Press in these final eight weeks? Chuck Todd: The challenge is the speed with which the waves are going to come at us and the struggle to filter out what matters and what doesn't.

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