Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Three Takeaways from Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Debut

September 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

That sound you just heard was Comedy Central exhaling. The Trevor Noah era of The Daily Show kicked off Monday night, and it felt like the summer of 2013 over again. Two years ago, John Oliver filled in for host Jon Stewart, and proved the program could still be funny and innovative, even with someone else in the anchor chair: The Daily Show, ultimately, was more than just Stewart. Noah proved that again Monday night, as he smoothly assumed his new role as host, presiding over a show that stuck to the same tried-and-true format that was so hilariously successful under Stewart. Viacom pulled out all the stops for his debut, simulcasting it across all its major networks (did CMT audiences know what they were in for?). From the first moments (the opening theme) to the last ("your moment of Zen"), it was clear that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah was going to bear a striking resemblance to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (even the pre-Stewart Craig Kilborn-hosted version had those familiar bookends)

Read More

A+E Networks Shake-up Leads to a New History Chief

September 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Dirk Hoogstra is history at History. The evp and gm of History and H2, who has been overseeing the networks since June 2013, is out, effective immediately. His replacement is FYI and LMN president Jana Bennett, who has been named president and gm of History, A+E Networks announced today. Bennett, who joined the company in 2013, will now oversee all strategic planning, programming and marketing for History and H2. "Jana has one of the strongest track records building and shaping global brands—first at the BBC and now here at A+E Networks," said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO, A+E Networks, in a statement. "She joined our company with the mandate to take our networks into new and exciting places and what she's done with FYI in such a short amount of time is remarkable. History and H2 will greatly benefit from her creative prowess and steady stewardship." "I have a passion for History—where we've come from and where we are headed," said Bennett in a statement. As head of FYI—a July 2014 rebranding of what was Bio—Bennett drove the network to double-digit ratings growth

Read More

A French Company Is About to Become America’s 4th Largest Cable Provider

September 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After 42 years, the Dolan family will no longer control Cablevision. The New York-based cable operator announced this morning it has agreed to sell to Altice Group, a European telecom company controlled by French cable entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Altice will pay $34.90 a share, making the deal worth $17.7 billion including debt. The acquisition also includes Newsday Media Group, publisher of Newsday and amNewYork, but does not include the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the namesake arena and the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. It's the second U.S. deal for Altice this year. The company announced plans to acquire Suddenlink Communications, which operates in 17 midwestern and southern states, in May. Cablevision, which predominately serves the New York metro area and Long Island, has about 3.1 million subscribers. Altice says that with Suddenlink and Cablevision combined, it will be the fourth largest U.S. cable provider, behind Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable (the latter two of which are attempting to merge). "The deal underscores the increasingly global nature of premium video content and distribution, a trend that is also illustrated by the international growth path that Netflix is on," said Eric Schmitt, evp of TV and media at cross-channel marketing firm Allant. This morning's deal caps a frenzied two years of cable consolidation as subscribers continue to drop cable in favor of going over the top—Cablevision lost 16,000 cable homes in the second quarter while adding 14,000 Internet-only customers. And that's not going to make customers who are increasingly dissatisfied with their cable service any happier, notes Stephen Beck, founder and managing partner of management consultancy cg42. "Cablevision was not as bad from a brand vulnerability perspective as a Comcast or Time Warner, but they had substantial frustrations that customers were experiencing," said Beck, who has found 33 percent of cable customers are not happy with their service. "The frustration rates are higher than any category that we've studied," he said. "Will nontraditional players and OTT providers continue to benefit from the soup of misery that the cable companies seem to want to create for their customers?" Altice has invested heavily in broadband and Internet services for its other global operations. With Cablevision and Suddenlink, it hopes to have the heft to keep what it pays for programming in check. Schmitt said the heat is already high on networks, and this deal could bring it closer to a boiling point; Suddenlink dropped Viacom's channels earlier this year when the two couldn't come to carriage terms.

Read More

Marsh Broflovski Cartman & McCormick: If South Park Were an Ad Agency

September 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

South Park begins its 19th season on Wednesday, which makes it older than plenty of notable ad agencies. (Droga5 isn't even 10 yet.) To celebrate the never-endingly awesome Comedy Central cartoon, Brooke Wylie, a copywriter at Denver agency Faction, imagined if South Park were an ad agency. Check out the results below—with Wylie's illustrations and write-ups. You might not hire them, but they'd probably produce some unforgettable work. Picture this.

Read More

Two L.A. Ad Guys Welcome Zombies to Their Midst With ‘Cheer the Walking Dead’

August 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Just what Los Angeles needs. Fewer brains." Unfortunately, that's not a tagline for Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres this Sunday on AMC as the second series in the cable-television-eating Walking Dead zombie franchise. Rather, it's a line from two freelance L.A. creative directors, Charlie Noback and Brian Engleman, who are launching an Instagam called Cheer the Walking Dead. The idea is simple: Celebrate the arrival of the undead in their fair city by zombifying classic L.A. images. They've posted half a dozen so far, and are hoping to get submissions (via email) from other creatives. "There are so many overworked ad professionals right now, sometimes I think we're the real zombies," says Engleman

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

To Promote Its New Scream Series, MTV is Killing Its Audience

June 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As MTV continues its huge promotional push on social media for the upcoming series Scream, the network has unveiled its latest method for hooking potential viewers—killing them. In the spirit of Scream, a series based on the hit horror-film franchise that debuts June 30, MTV has launched Choose Your Own Murder, an interactive online game that places users in the middle of their own horror movie scenario, which unfolds from their POV and asks them to select from various options a way to escape a killer that's pursuing them. As the game begins, the user is about to have sex with a half-naked woman when there's a noise outside the bedroom. The action pauses while the user has 10 seconds to choose between two options: "Go check it out" or "Ignore it." As in the Choose Your Own Adventure books, the story unfolds differently depending on the path users take. (Later options include "Run for door"/"Hide & call someone" and "Stay where you are"/"Go out window.") The end result, however, is always the same: users are murdered, and in a variety of different ways—sometimes right after their first selection.

Read More