Stephen Colbert’s Late Show Wish? That Donald Trump Stays in the Presidential Race

August 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the debut of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert approaches, only one thing is keeping Colbert up at night. It's not the pressure of replacing an icon like David Letterman, nor is it doing a show without his "Stephen Colbert" persona, which he retired after winding down The Colbert Report last year on Comedy Central. Instead, he's is most worried Donald Trump will drop out of the presidential race by Sept. 8, Colbert's launch day. "I want to do jokes on Donald Trump so badly, and I have no venue.

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Don’t Panic, Says CBS: More People Are Watching TV Now Than a Decade Ago

August 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Friday, FX sounded the alarm about the state, and future, of television. But today CBS offered a counterpoint to FX chief John Landgraf's argument, as network execs made their case that TV's future is much healthier than many would believe. That was the message that David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp. and president of CBS Vision, and Marc DeBevoise, evp and gm at CBS Interactive, kept hammering home as they met with reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. Poltrack set out to puncture what he called three major "myths" about the industry and its future: that TV viewership is in decline (not true, he said), that millennials are moving away from TV content (only partly true) and that advertising in TV programs has lost value (also untrue, per Poltrack: "If executed effectively, advertising in TV programs has actually gained value"). When it comes to watching TV shows, Poltrack said, the audience for CBS programming has actually grown in the last decade. It's up to 12.3 million viewers in 2014-2015 from 12.1 million viewers in 2003-2004.

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Vice Uses YouTube’s 360 Degree VR for New Sports Series

August 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever wonder what it's like to jump and flip around the desert of Utah's Goblin Valley Skate Park? A new series from Vice Sports will let you experience that, without the threat of injury. Vice Sports has teamed up with lead sponsor Reebok for The Moment, which will spotlight athletes and give viewers a first-hand experience of extreme sports. The Moment utilizes YouTube's 360-degree virtual reality functionality, a technology that has also been used by Lincoln Motor Company, Syfy, MTV and GoPro. The series launched today with Parkour athlete and stuntman Ronnie Shalvis as he performs, jumps and flips throughout the desert of Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. The 360-degree VR kicks in around the four-minute mark of the six-minute video. Each episode can be watched either in standard definition or using a 360-degree view on the YouTube player.

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In a Year of Poignant TV Farewells, Jon Stewart’s Topped Them All

August 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This past year has felt like an extended period of mourning for TV lovers, as one iconic legend or program after another has bowed out. David Letterman, Stephen Colbert (and his "Colbert" persona) and Craig Ferguson stepped down from their respective late-night talk shows after legendary runs, while several of the past decade's finest TV shows—including Mad Men, Justifed and Parks and Recreation—also headed into the television sunset. So by the time Jon Stewart got around to signing off of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Thursday night, capping a 16-year run that forever changed the role of comedy in political and current events, it may have seemed like there would be no tears left to shed and no possible way of topping all the memorable finales that had come before it. But—of course!—Stewart proved us wrong and took us by surprise one last time. His Daily Show finale was the finest, funniest and most poignant TV farewell of them all.

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CBS Is Getting $5 Million for a 30-Second Super Bowl Spot

August 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The NFL season doesn't start for another month—though preseason action does return this weekend with the Hall of Fame Game—but CBS is already is already planning its own ticker-tape parade. During the company's earnings call on Wednesday, CBS Corp.'s CEO and president Leslie Moonves told investors that CBS is getting $5 million for a 30-second spot in next February's Super Bowl, which will be the 50th edition of the big game. "Super Bowl advertising is already proving to be more lucrative than ever, with 30-second spots selling for $5 million and additional digital revenue being generated for Super Bowl ads online." Back in February, Moonves predicted that CBS would get "north of $5 million" for ads but had been selling them for $4.6 million to $4.7 million . This year will also mark the first time Super Bowl ads will run both on air and on the livestream of the game; advertisers previously purchased ads for the game's livestream separately. The cost of Super Bowl airtime has continued to rise as live sports remain one of the few drivers of major viewership in today's time-shifted world. The $5 million price tag represents an 11 percent jump from the $4.5 million that NBC brought in last February. That game drew north of 114 million viewers, the most-watched TV telecast in U.S. history

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Here’s How Streaming Service Crackle Will Start Acting Like a Linear TV Network

August 5, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two weeks after becoming the first streaming network to start sharing ratings information , Crackle is taking another page out of the linear playbook: It will begin programming television, just like a network. In the latest addition of its "Always On" service, unveiled at April's upfront , the Sony-owned, ad-supported streaming service will start scheduling programming, Crackle announced at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "Movies, TV series and original dramas, comedies and game shows, in all dayparts: daytime, prime-time and late-night," said Andy Kaplan, president of worldwide networks for Sony Pictures Television. "From the moment you watch Crackle, you will see a movie or series that has been scheduled and is already playing. 'Always On' allows viewers to settle into a show title, restart from the beginning or browse through a guide without ever having to leave the video playing in front of them. It's an experience that is truly the best of both worlds." "Always On" is currently available on Roku and will expand to other platforms this fall. Crackle unveiled its first one-hour drama, The Art of More.

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Canceling 19 Kids and Counting Cost Discovery $19 Million

August 5, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting last month , the network knew it would take a hit. Now we know just how big that hit was. On this morning's earnings call, TLC's parent company, Discovery Communications, revealed a restructuring charge of $19 million "primarily due to content impairment charges from canceling TLC's 19 Kids and Counting," said CFO Andy Warren. TLC canceled the reality show July 16, two months after reports surfaced that the oldest of the Duggar children, Josh Duggar, now 27, had molested several underage girls when he was a teenager. While the show will no longer air, TLC will continue to work with the family, producing a one-hour, commercial-free documentary featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of Josh's victims. Discovery's revenues increased 3 percent in the second quarter of 2015, but earnings were down 2 percent. "We will look back on July 2015 has a pivotal month in our company's history," said CEO David Zaslav on the call, touting Discovery's acquisition of Eurosport, an agreement to air the Olympic Games in Europe, and inking a long-term renewal deal with Comcast in the U.S.

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Vice Launches Its First Female-Focused Channel

August 3, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Vice is still not ready to announce its much-rumored linear channel , but the media company unveiled its 11th digital channel today. Broadly is the first Vice channel designed for women. With Broadly, the company that's mostly been seen as a place for edgy, male-driven content will now battle with the likes Jezebel, Hairpin, and Bustle. Jezebel alum Tracie Egan Morrissey will lead the site as editor in chief and director of content. "New media has been a game-changer for feminism—its appeal is palpable," said Morrissey in a statement. "We can no longer be told that it's not relevant or that we're just imagining things. And so now is the time to elevate the coverage of women's interests by telling the stories that matter to us through in-depth, original reporting and documentary video." Launching in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, Broadly will touch on topics from a female perspective including politics, culture, sex, and fashion

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Destination America Tries to Scare Up Viewers With a Live Exorcism

July 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Discovery may have gotten out of the outlandish-TV-stunts business, but its sister networks didn't get that memo. Destination America will televise what it's calling the first live exorcism in U.S. history, airing Exorcism: Live! on Oct. 30. A house, not a person, will be the subject of the exorcism, which will take place at the same suburban St. Louis home where an exorcism was performed on Roland Doe in 1949. That event inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist and its iconic 1973 film adaptation, which starred Linda Blair. During the telecast, paranormal investigators the Tennessee Wraith Chasers from the network's Ghost Asylum, along with psychic medium Chip Coffey, "will explore each crevice of this terrifying home, from the attic to the basement, to find whatever or whomever has scared Americans to death for decades," said Destination America in a release.

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No Surprises, No Compromises: Freddy Wong’s Tips for Great Brand-YouTuber Partnerships

July 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

RocketJump is one of the most successful entertainment channels on YouTube. With more than 7.6 million subscribers the channel has grown into a powerhouse in the action/comedy genre. And while that reach can be alluring to advertisers, RocketJump CEO Freddie Wong says there are a few things you need to know before brands get into bed with creators. We caught up with Wong at Vidcon where, in the video above, he gave practical advice to brands and YouTubers: "If it doesn't feel organic to the audience, you gotta trust your gut." We also challenged RocketJump's CFO Jamie Lukaszewski to interview his boss about how the company works with brands, and how DIY digital video is changing how media is produced, consumed and sold. "It's going to look, in some ways, like traditional movies and traditional television, and in some ways it's going to look like nothing you've ever seen befofre," says Wong. Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

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