Posts Tagged ‘cable’

5 Viacom Board Members, Including the CEO, Are Ousted in Massive Overhaul

June 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After taking weeks to line up all his pieces in his battle with Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, Sumner Redstone has finally made his big move to regain control of his company. Today, his National Amusements, Inc., which controls Viacom and CBS Corp., announced that it had removed five members of Viacom's board of directors—including Dauman—and had elected five new independent directors. The massive board overhaul also sets the stage for Dauman's eventual dismissal as Viacom CEO. The five new directors are Kenneth Lerer (BuzzFeed chairman and former chairman and co-found of The Huffington Post), Thomas May (chairman of Eversource Energy), Judith McHale (president and CEO of Cane Investments, and former president and CEO of Discovery Communications), Ronald Nelson (Avis Budget Group's executive chairman of the board, and former co-COO of DreamWorks SKG) and Nicole Seligman (former president of Sony Entertainment). They are replacing Dauman, George Abrams, Blythe McGarvie, Frederic Salerno and William Schwartz, all of whom have been battling with 93-year-old founder and chairman emeritus Redstone over the company's future. Remaining as Viacom directors are COO and director Thomas Dooley, Cristiana Sorrell, Deborah Norville, Charles Phillips, Jr., Redstone and his daughter Shari, who is non-executive vice chair

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How ‘The Americans’ Chooses Its ‘80s Ads, Like Brooke Shields’ Iconic Calvin Klein Spot

April 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After spending four seasons making one of TV's best shows, The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields are pretty confident in their ability to determine what's best for the series. But that all goes out the window when it comes to incorporating period-specific ads and other pop culture references into the FX drama about two Russian spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) undercover as a suburban D.C. family in the early '80s. "We work from a place of fear, and in general, we work very hard not to work from a place of fear," said Weisberg. "But we're very worried about hitting things too much on the nose. It's so easy with pop cultural references to be screaming, 'Here we are in 1983! Here we are with the thing that everyone remembers and knows signifies the time period!' We're really careful not to do that and be so judicious when we hit the big ones." They saved one of "the big ones" for Wednesday's episode, the seventh of Season 4, called "Travel Agents." During one scene, two teenage boys bond while watching one of Brooke Shields' iconic Calvin Klein ads, which featured her whistling "Oh My Darling Clementine" and then saying, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." Adweek responsive video player used on /video

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With These Products, Google Is Beefing Up Its Push Into TV

April 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When you do a Google search for "TV is dead," you get 338 million results. Daniel Alegre, Google's president of global partnerships, says he's "not going to be person 338 million and one." Alegre used his time as the closing keynote speaker at the NAB Show in Las Vegas to talk about why TV is alive and well and how several Google products are helping make that true. "With all the doom and gloom of TV dying, a newer version is rising," Alegre said, adding, "TV by the old definition is down, but the new TV is alive and well." Among a flurry of announcements, including that Google search will soon add live TV listings and that Google Fiber will soon expand to 11 U.S. markets, Alegre announced that Google's DoubleClick successfully tested addressable advertising during two big recent TV events: the Rugby World Cup finals on France's TF1 and the Republican presidential debates on Fox News. Alegre also announced that Roku and Cablevision are partnering with DoubleClick for Publishers for cross-screen TV and video ad serving. Cablevision's COO Kristin Dolan joined Alegre onstage. "What we're able to do with 7 million set-top boxes in the New York City area is aggregate all the viewership data, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in a non-personnally identifiable way to target our audience," Dolan said. "For programmers it's very valuable." And while one-to-one addressable advertising is the future, Alegre wondered if it can ever scale. "Traditional, linear advertising is great for brands," Dolan said, using automakers as an example. "Cadillac stands for this, or Lexus stands for that. But then you can customize to the target audience—a sedan, sports car or convertible." Alegre summed up the discussion this way: "The biggest change is the elimination of the barriers to viewing. With all the doom and gloom of TV dying, a newer version is rising."

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What’s Causing Vice’s Huge Fluctuations in Web Traffic?

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever since Vice decided to get into the cable TV game, the self-assured digital news and lifestyle publisher has been under the microscope. That came blaringly to the fore last month when Variety reported that Vice's web traffic plunged in February. But after free-falling 17.4 percent, from 59.5 million unique visitors in January to 49.2 in February, Vice rebounded nearly all the way back in March, drawing 58.3 million uniques. So what caused Vice's huge fall—and subsequent Phoenix-like rise—the past two months? Ironically, it was smaller sites that Vice bundles with its own traffic in an effort to boost its overall numbers for sales purposes.

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TV One Just Nabbed the Cable Rights for Fox’s Smash Hit ‘Empire’

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TV One is entering its awkward middle-school years, but as the African-American themed channel heads into its 12th year, it sees an opportunity for reinvention. "The great thing about adolescence is that we're not quite fully formed; we're ready to try new things," Rahsan Lindsay, evp of sales, told buyers today during TV One's upfront presentation at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in New York. During its first 11 years, the network positioned itself as a culturally relevant, family-friendly channel for African-American audiences. And it's coming off a year in which it saw its highest ratings and revenue, thanks to a 23 percent increase in original content. "That has served us well and still serves us well," said TV One president Brad Siegel. "But we need to move forward. We need, as an adolescent, to grow." Even though it's only four months into 2016, Siegel and svp of programming and production D'Angela Proctor spent the majority of the presentation looking ahead to 2017, save for one big announcement: The network acquired the cable rights to Fox's hit drama Empire. In May, TV One will air a marathon of all 17 episodes of Empire's second season in the lead-up to the season finale on Fox. Then in the summer, it will start airing both seasons of the show

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FX CEO Says ‘Human Curation’ Is Still More Important Than Data

April 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just a month into upfront season, and the buzz around data has already become deafening. But at least one company, FX Networks, is making the case to advertisers that their upfront buys should be based on more than just audience targeting. "I think something's really getting missed in the focus on data, which is the quality of attention," FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told Adweek. "It doesn't really matter how well you can target people. You need to give them something valuable enough to really command their attention, and not only the attention to engage with your content but the advertising associated with that content." Landgraf said FX's slate—which includes shows like American Horror Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Fargo—has value to advertisers that is "vast orders of magnitude greater than anything you can get from somebody watching 30 seconds or a minute of amateur content [online]." The CEO argued that getting a consumer to engage with a show for 30 minutes, the average time spent viewing FX's digital programming, "is way more valuable than associating a commercial with a short, disposable clip which the viewer will not remember five minutes after she sees it [on Facebook or YouTube]." "Year after year, we work really, really hard to try to make things of extraordinary value to the audience on the theory—and I think it's a valid theory—that it creates extraordinary value for advertisers," Landgraf said. "So you can have all the sophisticated data and targeting in the world, and you can put an ad in front of a specific viewer. But if you don't provide them with a piece of content they love, you can't get them to watch the commercial." It was a point the network drove home last week when it kicked off its annual upfront bowling party (now in its seventh year) at New York's Lucky Strike Manhattan by screening the riveting finale of The People v. O.J. Simpson, which airs tonight

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Discovery Communications Is Thinking Globally (and Digitally) With Advertising Bouncing Back

March 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Discovery Communications will be interacting with U.S. buyers and advertisers during this year's upfront presentations as always, but the company has shifted to a global focus on its content. "The basic elements of our business have turned significantly more positive," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, at an upfront press breakfast today. "We're spending more money on content and our brands. Our primary focus is growing audience around the world." (The company spends more than $2 billion annually on content.) For a second year, the company is eschewing its traditional upfront gala in favor of holding 14 agency presentations around the country. As part of his upfront message, Zaslav pointed to "deceleration" of Discovery's recent U.S.

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NBCUniversal Will Combine Its Cable, NBC and Telemundo Upfront Presentations

March 30, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The broadcast upfront week just got a lot more interesting—and a little bit shorter. NBCUniversal has decided to merge its NBC, Telemundo and NBCU cable entertainment upfronts into a single NBCU presentation, which will be held on Monday, May 16 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter . Traditionally, NBC has had the Monday Radio City upfront to itself, with Telemundo following on Tuesday evening, and NBCU cable wrapping upfront week with a Thursday afternoon event at the Javits Center. Now, Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal, will make just one upfront pitch to advertisers and buyers that week instead of three separate ones. "As a media company, we have an unparalleled array of networks and digital platforms that reach the most audiences across all dayparts. Our event will reflect the way we go to market as a unified portfolio which makes it easier for our clients to do business with us all together," said Yaccarino said in a statement. "There isn't going to be an upfront event as big and bold as this one. Through our content, we have an unrivaled ability to create an emotional connection like no one else. There's only one place to go for scale and meaningful consumer engagement." In many ways, it's a move that makes sense for NBCU, which has been transacting all of its advertising under a single, companywide portfolio since 2013. Last year's upfront brought in $6 billion across the portfolio. Last November, Yaccarino continued streamlining NBCU ad sales by merging her linear and digital ad sales teams . "Because of the scale of our company, we needed to be more accessible in a bigger, faster way to our clients," who had been requesting a more streamlined method of working with the company, she told Adweek at the time. This will also mark the end of NBCU's combined cable upfront, which the network had added to broadcast upfront week in 2014. Previously, it held individual upfronts for its cable networks like Bravo, USA and Oxygen. Advertisers and buyers will certainly appreciate having two fewer upfronts to attend during that overstuffed week, especially because so many of them have run out of steam by the time they arrive at NBCU's cable presentation on Thursday afternoon. But that Monday upfront—which will now cover Bravo, CNBC, E!, Esquire Network, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Entertainment, NBC News, NBC Sports Network, NBC Universo, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, Telemundo and USA—could easily turn into a marathon, as each of those broadcast and cable networks will get their due. Plus, Yaccarino will also need to highlight her team's new initiatives, including selling TV advertising programmatically for the first time this fall . The new format also puts NBC at a disadvantage compared to its fellow broadcast networks, which won't need to share the spotlight as much, if at all, during their respective upfronts later that week. It's also unlikely that the combined upfront will allow for spectacles like NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt's duet with Dolly Parton , which was a memorable, surreal highlight of last year's NBC presentation.

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Scripps Is Planning a 6-Network Halloween Crossover Special

March 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Marvel and DC aren't the only media companies engineering major crossover events to showcase their biggest properties. Scripps Networks Interactive—home to HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country—is planning a Halloween special featuring talent from many of its channels to air on all six networks. The company discussed cross-network and cross-platform opportunities for advertisers during a media briefing before today's upfront presentation, which will be held at New York's Alice Tully Hall. It's the third stop on Scripps' seven-city upfront tour, which kicked off March 15 in Atlanta and also includes stops in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and L.A. Jon Steinlauf, president of national ad sales and marketing, touted Scripps' robust portfolio and said its top three channels are growing in ratings, revenue and share. "We're delivering our advertisers' schedules with a growing stable of hit shows that families can watch together," Steinlauf said. And almost all of those shows are being watched live: 97 percent of Scripps' C3 audience watches either live or later that same day, making Scripps the No. 1 network group in the category. Scripps' ratings growth is led by HGTV, which had its highest rated year in 2015 and as of February is the No.

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ComScore Says Multiplatform Deal With Viacom Will Transform How Ads Are Bought

March 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The newly merged comScore and Rentrak have set their first multiplatform deal with a big client: Viacom. Today, the companies announced a multi-year cross-platform measurement deal, which will allow Viacom to power its Vantage data platform with comScore's measurement tools. That means advertisers will be able to target specific consumers across Viacom's properties and platforms, ranging from linear TV and digital, to video on demand (VOD), and over-the-top (OTT) services. It's the first cross-platform agreement since the comScore and Rentrak merger was completed Feb. 1. Last September, the companies first announced plans to merge and take on Nielsen . "This partnership with comScore marks a fundamental watershed moment in the business of television," said Bryson Gordon, svp, data strategy for Viacom, in a statement. "This revolution in targeting, currency and measurement is the equivalent of shifting from black and white to color. Viacom's longstanding investment in data and innovation and our unique ability to merge creativity and science has positioned us far ahead in the marketplace by delivering what partners crave—the most comprehensive view of the consumer and the most effective way to reach them." ComScore's tools cover more than 40 million televisions and 120 million VOD users in 210 U.S. markets. "We are excited to partner with Viacom on a deal that we believe will transform the way that advertising will be bought and sold," said Serge Matta, CEO of comScore, in a statement. "Viacom's expertise in data strategy makes them an ideal first partner to leverage our cross-platform metrics and advanced demographics as a more powerful currency on which to transact. With these new capabilities, Viacom's advertising partners will be the first to benefit from a radically more efficient way of conducting business and reaching the most precise audiences imaginable." This deal will also bolster Viacom Vantage, which has been one of buyers' favorite data platforms . Viacom has expanded its Vantage suite ahead of the upfront, which it said will simplify data targeting, help clients improve predictive targeting and measure the effectiveness of custom creative marketing campaigns. The deal helps comScore gain ground in its battle with Nielsen, which is working on its rollout of Total Audience Measurement . The company hopes to have that rolled out in time for this year's upfront.

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