Posts Tagged ‘media’

Berlin: Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams Teaming in Prohibition Era Drama

February 1, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams have signed on to star in the Prohibition era drama “Ezekiel Moss” with Philip Seymour Hoffman directing. Exclusive Media’s Alex Walton, president of international sales and distribution, will introduce the film to buyers at next week’s European Film Market in Berlin. Producers are Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman, PalmStar Media Capital’s... Read more

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Viacom Is Creating a Full Division Devoted to Branded Content

January 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom is doing at scale something that TV entertainment companies—especially those with a wide footprint in the unscripted world—are relying heavily on for growth: It's creating a full division devoted to branded content. (The Nickelodeon family of kids' networks isn't a part of this—those channels operate under very different advertising rules.) The new group is called Viacom Velocity and will work closely with the marketing divisions of every adult network in the Viacom portfolio, including Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, TV Land and BET. The original content part of the unit—creative solutions, run by Neils Schuurmans, formerly evp of marketing and exec creative director at Spike—will serve partly as a think tank for new ideas. One example is Comedy Central's recent half-hour prime-time special with Kevin Hart—called Serve & Protect—which led into Hart's new movie with Ice Cube, Ride Along. The other part of the venture will be working with existing talent. Evp Dario Spina will head the integrated marketing half of the equation, working on content that "weaves in and out of our existing programming," as Spina puts it. Both involve a significant amount of production oversight, as well as air traffic control between very different brands. "This is something we've been doing informally for the last few years and it's really reaching a tipping point of scale," said company ad sales head Jeff Lucas, who is also refreshingly frank about why the company is announcing the new unit now: "As we're approaching the upfront, we want to make some noise to get out there and broaden it." Indeed, it's a good time to formalize this setup—throughout television, it's harder every year to sell clients on a purely spot-based buy. Viewers skip ads, they pirate, they wait for the DVD set or the streaming air date, or they buy by episode on digital. But Lucas says this is the way forward. "We've spent years investing in content based on deep research," he told Adweek. "We can get closer to the creators of that content than anyone." (Both Spina and Schuurmans report to Lucas.) Network executives at several companies have been trying to do this on different levels for years—a few years ago at NBCUniversal, Lauren Zalaznick (who left the company late last year) instituted cross-network demo buys for women and Hispanic viewers that forced the sometimes internally competitive NBCU family to play nice together when it came to pleasing ad clients. Ad sales president Linda Yaccarino created a "client solutions group" with similar aims in October. Discovery purchased Revision3 last year in a bid to create more deeply branded properties that aligned with its existing linear networks; thus far its Animalist and Test Tube digital platforms (half-siblings of cable channels Animal Planet and Science) have yielded several sponsorships. And Turner has Funny or Die and a particularly deep client-network setup at Adult Swim—with the exception of reality, comedy content is the easiest to integrate. But Viacom has been doing this sort of thing well and for a long time: Spike, in particular, has been a focal point—it does Dick Clark-style countdowns to the release of new Call of Duty games, and the whole organization united to promote Relativity's raunch-comedy anthology (which is poised to sweep the Razzies this year). Hey, the money's green. So how will Schuurmans assemble the new team? "Some of it is just realigning people, but some of it is definitely bringing people in," he said. "It's just about rallying those folks and saying, okay, you're now working on dedicated creative content." And there are plenty of people at the company that were already working on just that

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Mandalay Sports Media Acquires New York’s Roadside Entertainment

January 20, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Mandalay Sports Media has acquired Roadside Entertainment, a sports and entertainment production company based in New York City and founded by veteran producers Ron Yassen and John Hirsch.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Roadside and its staff will operate under the Mandalay Sports Media banner and Yassen and Hirsch will become exec veeps of production  for Mandalay Sports.... Read more

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BAFTA Inks Distribution Pact with IMG Media for Awards Shows

January 20, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has inked a deal with IMG Media, a division of IMG Worldwide, the global sports, fashion and media company, to distribute programming of the BAFTA awards ceremonies. The deal, which begins in June, will see IMG Media sell coverage of BAFTA’s four main events, led... Read more

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How IFC Got Alex Prager to Shoot Portlandia Ads in the Style of Her Fine-Art Photos

January 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

IFC just released the key art for season 4 of Portlandia, and the photos are fantastic. Not only did the network get the great young photographer Alex Prager on board—she decided to shoot the ads in the style of her "Face in the Crowd" photos (many of which are on display through March 9 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and at Lehmann Maupin in New York through Feb. 22). It's almost like getting a couple of non-advertising Prager originals as gift. AdFreak spoke on Thursday with Blake Callaway, IFC's svp of marketing, about how Prager got involved, and how the two photos will be used differently in the media buy. How did Alex get involved with this

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Roger Ailes Book Creates Dilemma for Dueling CNN, Fox News Media Shows

January 12, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Cable’s dueling media programs, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz,” faced one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situations with “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Gabriel Sherman’s warts-and-all biography of Roger Ailes, who happens to run Fox News. So CNN’s Brian Stelter covered the book, devoting half his show to an interview with Sherman,... Read more

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Web Design Company Will Have Ads During Super Bowl Alongside Global Brands

January 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Website design and management service Squarespace confirmed to Adweek today that it will be a national advertiser in this year's Super Bowl. Amid a field of global brands and top-tier ad agencies, Squarespace will be a a bit of an outlier, with limited national awareness and a spot produced entirely in-house. The ad was even directed by the company's chief creative officer, David Lee, who previously served as TBWA Worldwide's digital executive creative director. Los Angeles-based Quigley-Simpson is serving as the media agency for the ad buy. The spot represents a bold move by the content-management company, which primarily advertises digitally and by sponsoring podcasts.

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Hearst’s Swartz Eyes B2B Media, Entertainment, for Growth

January 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hearst Corp. had record revenue and profits in 2013, when it marked the fourth year in a row of growth on both fronts since the 2008 recession, Steven Swartz said in a New Year’s letter to employees recapping the year he took over as chief executive. Swartz, formerly the head of Hearst’s newspaper division and the company’s chief operating officer, succeeded Frank Bennack Jr. last June , and his letter (full text here ) going out today makes clear he plans to continue on the path set by his predecessor. Bennack led a dramatic diversification effort during his 30-year tenure, expanding the company beyond its newspaper roots into broadcasting and syndication and the less-glamorous but highly profitable business media. He didn’t ignore print, either; Hearst’s $900 million acquisition of Lagard

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The NSA and the Corrosion of Silicon Valley

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I believe that the people who work at the NSA are patriots. They devote their considerable intellects to preserve, protect, and defend the people of the United States. I wish their patriotism + brainpower would do the same for the U.S. Constitution. But those issues are getting plenty of ink elsewhere. My concern is more personal and local: The NSA’s version of patriotism is corroding Silicon Valley. Integrity of our products, creative freedom of talented people, and trust with our users are the casualties. The dolphin in the tuna net is us — our industry, our work, and the social fabric of our community. Product integrity is doomed when the NSA involves itself in the product development process. The scope of NSA’s activity here is unknowable

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Media Stocks See ‘Wolf of Wall Street’-Like Rise in 2013

December 27, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Media stocks enjoyed a heady run in the bull market of 2013. Shares of most major congloms closed out the last full week of the year at or near 52-week highs. Netflix regained its platinum-plated status, thanks to solid subscriber growth and a generally warm reception to the company’s first slate of original programs. CBS... Read more

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