Posts Tagged ‘business’

This Is What Business as Usual Looks Like at CBS, Even With a New President

January 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. That was the overall theme of new CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller's first executive session with reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. Geller, who was at CBS for 14 years before taking over as president, echoed the same sentiments of dominance and stability as his predecessor, Nina Tassler, who announced in September that she would be stepping down as chairman at the end of 2015. Despite a decline in linear ratings, "more people are watching CBS shows than they did 15 years ago," Geller said. With multiplatform viewing factored in, CBS draws an average of 13.2 million viewers, a 6 percent increase over the linear-only average of 12.5 million in the 2000-2001 season. "CBS's ability to build a big audience distinguishes our brand in all parts of our business," said Geller. "We saw the marketplace turn around in the third quarter of 2015. it gained strength in the fourth quarter, and it's currently very strong in the first quarter of 2016.

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For Hallmark Channel, Christmas Is the Most Wonderful (and Lucrative) Time of the Year

November 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Now that Thanksgiving is over, most networks are preparing to roll out their Christmas-themed shows and specials for December. But Hallmark Channel is way ahead of them. The cable network's annual Countdown to Christmas, which features 55 straight days of round-the-clock holiday programming and more than 1,300 hours of content, has been going strong since Halloween. In its fifth year, Countdown to Christmas is bigger than ever for the family-friendly network, which is debuting 17 original holiday-themed movies (with titles like Angel of Christmas and Merry Matrimony), up from 12 last year. An additional four movies will premiere on sister network Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. "It's not just about the holiday programming because anybody could put that on 24-7," said Bill Abbott, president and CEO for Crown Media Family Networks. "It's the fact that our brand is so strong. Like ESPN is synonymous to sports, Hallmark is synonymous to the holidays." Christmas aficionados certainly agree. In 2014, Hallmark Channel was the No. 1 cable network in total day in households and women 25-54 for the duration of Countdown to Christmas, and last December was the network's highest-rated month ever in prime time in both women and adults 25-54. Last year's film Christmas Under Wraps was the top-rated telecast in Hallmark history, attracting 5.8 million viewers.

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How Superproducer Greg Berlanti Juggles 6 (and Counting) TV Shows

November 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Anybody who thinks broadcast television is dying obviously hasn't met Greg Berlanti , the talented and prolific writer and superproducer behind this fall's two biggest freshman series among viewers 18-49. First, there's NBC's Blindspot , which the network has already renewed for a second season. Then, there's Supergirl on CBS, Berlanti's third superhero series along with the CW's The Flash (that network's most-watched show ever) and Arrow. (A fourth superhero project, the Flash/Arrow spinoff DC's Legends of Tomorrow, will debut Jan. 21.) As if that weren't enough on his plate, he's also got The Mysteries of Laura, NBC's sole freshman series from last season to make it to a second year. Berlanti, Adweek's TV Producer of the Year, never intended to oversee six TV shows at once (he serves as co-showrunner on the four superhero series and is executive producer of Blindspot and Laura). "It's a combination of a lot of past relationships coming to fruition—and, as always in this business, luck," says Berlanti, who delegates many duties to key allies like Sarah Schechter, who runs his production company, but maintains strict control over each show's essential elements. "I find I can affect the quality of an episode if I focus on the things that I've always enjoyed the most: What are the stories, who's acting in them and the finished cut," he says. Juggling six TV shows requires "a lot of time management," notes Berlanti, who begins every day writing scripts ("My morning time is my most creative," he relates) before transitioning to making notes on other writers' scripts and "breaking" story arcs for upcoming episodes. After that, he shifts his attention to casting and budget matters, before ending the day in the editing room "because I don't have to use my brain in quite the same way," he says. "It's more reactive than trying to generate something." Berlanti employs the same mantra for all his projects: "Heart. Humor. Spectacle." "My favorite episodes of TV as a viewer, and certainly as a writer or producer, have those elements," he explains. "The humor keeps the episodes enjoyable and reminds you that not everything has to be deadly serious. Heart is something that I've always led with when I've written, or responded to in other people's stories. And the spectacle can be the emotional spectacle, or it can be the visual effects and action of it all." The producer, who previously worked on the WB's Dawson's Creek and Everwood and ABC's Brothers and Sisters, continues to create smashes for broadcast television even as many of his writer-producer peers have turned to cable channels and streaming sites. "To me, there's still nothing more thrilling than, every week, people getting to see another chapter in this story that you're telling," says Berlanti, who recently extended his lucrative TV deal with Warner Bros. through 2020. Berlanti's phenomenal success seems to surprise him as much as anyone.

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Presidential Hopefuls Ask for Equal Airtime After Donald Trump’s SNL Gig

November 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This was inevitable. Following Donald Trump's hosting stint on the Nov. 7 episode of Saturday Night Live, three Republican presidential hopefuls have requested equal time on NBC stations. According to the FCC's "equal time" rule, broadcast and radio stations are required to offer an equivalent opportunity for candidates to appear on non-news programs. NBC tallied up Trump's airtime at 12 minutes and five seconds. Opposing candidates then had seven days following Trump's SNL episode to request that amount of time on NBC stations. And three of them have: former New York Gov

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The Average Viewer of Last Night’s GOP Debate Lost Interest After Just One Hour

October 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last night's GOP presidential debate on CNBC—in which the moderators got more attention than the candidates — was watched by 14 million people . While that's a record audience for CNBC, it's significantly lower than the 24 million viewers who watched the first Republican debate on Fox News in August, and the 23.1 million who tuned in to CNN for the second debate last month. The Oct. 13 Democratic presidential debate, which also aired on CNN, was watched by 15.3 million. In addition to pulling in smaller numbers than the two previous GOP debates, last night's showdown was watched for the shortest amount of time,according to data from Samba TV, the social TV analytics platform. Samba tracked debate viewership over five-minute intervals, and found that the average viewer tuned in to only 60 minutes of last night's debate, compared to 71 minutes for the first debate, which was also two hours

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Q&A: Why the Founder of NY Comic Con Is Bringing YouTube Stars to Agencies’ Backyard

October 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Look out New York, here comes GloZell, as well as Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Joey Graceffa, iJustine and Connor Franta. The stars of social video will gather in the Big Apple this weekend for the first annual Stream Con . The three-day convention, from the people who brought Comic Con to New York, will kick off Friday at the Jacob Javits Center with an Industry Summit , followed by fan events and a "creator camp" throughout the weekend. Event producer Greg Topalian, president of LeftField Media, spoke with Adweek about the goals of Stream Con and the inspiration from its West Coast cousin. Adweek: Why did you decide to start up Stream Con? Topalian: I couldn't believe that New York City didn't have an event that was a 'con' really dedicated to the YouTube, Vine, Snapchat space. We knew the fan demand was there, but the piece that got really exciting was realizing the business behind it. The ad dollars are flowing towards digital. There are certainly plenty of conferences that talk about the digital revolution and social influencers. We felt like there was an opportunity to combine that type of content but also in a fan-friendly environment. Your events are very fan focused, so how do you tailor that experience towards the business audience? We had a lot of conversations with brands and agencies upfront to say: "What do you want? What do you actually want this to be?" What we heard over and over was, "We're not looking for the big philosophical overview. Get down in the weeds, give us case studies and introduce us to the talent." It was a lot of "We know this is big, we know this is moving, there is not a client on our roster that's not asking about this. Get us the details and connect us with the right people." There is already a major online video conference, VidCon, that takes place in Anaheim, Calif. each summer.

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The Weather Channel’s Future Just Got Harder to Predict After Digital Sell-Off

October 28, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Weather Company has agreed to sell its digital and data assets—including, a suite of apps, its forecasting technology and the Weather Company brand—to IBM in a deal valued at more than $2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Financial terms were not disclosed by either company. The deal does not include the TV channel, which will continue to be owned by Bain Capital, Blackstone and NBCUniversal and operate as a stand-alone business. The Weather Channel will now become a client of IBM, licensing weather-forecasting data it once owned. On the digital side, it shows the value of the products The Weather Company built, mostly through acquisition, and should help IBM make good on its $3 billion commitment to develop Internet of Things-type services. "The Weather Company's extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM's global cloud and the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of Watson, will be unsurpassed, providing our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather in real time," said John Kelly, svp for solutions portfolio and research at IBM. But for the TV channel, the future is much cloudier. "This can't be the end of what they're planning to do with the TV network," said John Swift, president and CEO of North American investment at Omnicom Media Group. "Do they plan to take the TV content and use it as a content engine and syndicate it to other people with weather?" For now, The Weather Channel plans to handle advertising the same way it has, but the digital sell-off has certainly raised more than a few questions.

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With So Many Americans Dropping Cable, Will Cord Cutting Doom TV as We Know It?

October 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cord cutting is happening; that much is not up for debate. Some 300,000 Americans dropped cable service last quarter, and analysts are calling it good news for providers because the number was just half the amount lost in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg estimates. While reports of the steady stream of households fleeing cable point to an industry in peril, some observers still believe linear TV is here to stay (at least for now). A recent study conducted by Leichtman Research Group found that the percentage of households that subscribe to a pay-TV service of some kind is actually higher in 2015 than it was in 2005. "The misdirection that people take with cord cutting is the idea that there's been a significant acceleration," noted Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst of his eponymous firm. While thousands of consumers are indeed abandoning the cable industry, 2010 marked a low point for those who chose to become what researchers once called "non-subs" or non-subscribers, and the number of subscribers has increased incrementally since then. Leichtman found that about 2.5 percent of TV households dropped their cable service in 2015

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Want to Improve Your Business Revenue? Buy More TV Ads

July 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

There is one surefire way for companies to increase their business performance: up their TV ad spending. A new study from the Video Advertising Bureau looked at the correlation between TV investment (based on Nielsen-measured national cable and broadcast media) and key financial indicators. It focused on 100 large parent companies with significant media spending in nine advertising categories: automotive, CPG, entertainment, financial, pharma, restaurants, retail, travel and telco. Sixty of those companies increased their TV spending between 2011 and 2014, while the other 40 spent less. "2011 is really the point when we get out of the down economy, so we really didn't want to compare anything against hard-core recession years," said Jason Wiese, vp, strategic insights, VAB. "And we liked the spread of four years, because we really thought that would take out any sort of yearly anomaly that might have happened for certain companies." The findings: Almost all of the companies that increased their TV spending over the four years also saw substantial growth in revenue, stock price and earnings per share. Meanwhile, the companies whose TV spending decreased underperformed the averages of the 100 companies. Those increasing their spending (by an average of 40 percent) on TV—including Apple, Coca-Cola, Marriott, Comcast and United Airlines—saw a 26 percent increase in revenue over the same period

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How the Creator of Jersey Shore Ended Up Working for CNBC

July 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If Mark Burnett is the king of reality TV , then SallyAnn Salsano is certainly its queen. Salsano, a former Howard Stern Show intern, has produced dozens of reality shows for her company, 495 Productions, including MTV's mega-hit Jersey Shore and its various offshoots. She's worked on series for HGTV (Design Star), Oxygen (Dance Your Ass Off), TLC (Wedding Island), VH1 (Tool Academy), TV Guide (Nail Files), Spike (Repo Games) and Syfy (Fangasm), and she's spent the last year as showrunner of the syndicated daytime talk show The Real. Salsano's latest reality creation is Blue Collar Millionaires, which premieres Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on a seemingly unlikely network for her: CNBC. Blue Collar Millionaires, which she described as "Dirty Jobs meets MTV Cribs," spotlights entrepreneurs who made money by getting their hands dirty in professions like pest control, hazmat services and waste management

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