Thursday, August 30, 2007

William Spain, August 30, 2007, 11:31 AM
  • Dead Live Again On Sirius New York Post

    The Grateful Dead will live again next week on Sirius as the satellite radio operator rolls out a channel dedicated exclusively to the band. At noon on Sept. 7, the channel will go live with one of the Dead's most famed performances: live sets from 1974 at The Hollywood Bowl.

    Along with recorded music, The Grateful Dead Channel will also have unreleased live performances and programs hosted by founders Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. In addition, listeners can expect to hear interviews with singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia, who died 12 years ago.

    The new channel joins a growing roster of 24-hour channels on Sirius that are devoted to a single band or artist, including Elvis Radio and Siriusly Sinatra. Read the whole story...

  • CNN Dumps Reuters Bloomberg

    In a cost-saving effort, CNN is ending its use of Reuters news service, according to an internal e-mail leaked to Bloomberg News. "We are making significant investments in our own newsgathering, while simultaneously reducing our reliance on agency material," reads the note, sent to employees by CNN International's Managing Director Tony Maddox.

    The company needs to manage "continually rising costs" of outside content, he adds, and that means "changes to some longstanding business relationships." CNN will continue to use material from Associated Press and Associated Press Television News, a spokeswoman says, declining to discuss how much Reuters had cost.

    "However, we have a multi-million dollar investment plan in place for international newsgathering that will increase the number of resources we have around the world," she adds. Read the whole story...

  • New Geico Campaign Rolls This Week Brandweek

    A new campaign for Geico that breaks this week turns the lens on some pop culture icons, including a whole family of beloved cavemen. Themed "the real scoop," the effort involves three 30-second spots on network and cable that feature the Cabbage Patch Kids, The Beverly Hillbillies and The Flintstones. The spots are designed to mimic the look of those quasi-investigative shows that probe the seamier side of Hollywood stars.

    For instance, viewers discover that one of the first Cabbage Patch Kids was a child star before hitting the skids, switching to Geico to save money and then becoming a star on a reality dance show. The tag "15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance" remains and while spending was not disclosed, the insurer spent $558 million on media last year and $140 million through June of this one, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

    "Finding a fresh new way to talk about savings that stays true to the Geico brand personality was tough," says Ted Ward, the company's vice president of marketing. "The Real Scoop" campaign uses contemporary media imaging combined with an unexpected use of famous American icons ... to drive home a strong and entertaining savings message." Read the whole story...

  • MTV Orders High School Paper Reality Show Broadcasting & Cable

    MTV has ordered a new series called "The Paper," reality fare that follows what goes on at The Circuit, the newspaper at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida. Eight episodes are on tap, and the show is expected to make its debut early next year.

    "With "The Paper," we dive into a rarely seen side of high school life -- showcasing the dynamic and surprisingly intense life of students working on their high school newspaper," says Dave Sirulnick, executive vice president for MTV News and Docs. "MTV has always been about reflecting the lives and interests of our audience, and "The Paper" is a perfect example. The compelling and fiercely competitive personalities of these student journalists prove that the news doesn't stop -- even in high school."

    The Circuit has won several local journalism awards, including ones from the Florida Scholastic Press Association and the Sun-Sentinel. Read the whole story...

  • NFL Ads Try To Polish Soiled Image The New York Times

    In an attempt to polish an image soiled by the thuggery of some of its top players, the National Football League is launching an ad campaign that focuses on some of its more positive role models. The TV efforts, from BBDO Worldwide, are borrowing the playbook, so to speak, of industries like Big Oil and the big drug companies, which have relied on the magic of Madison Avenue to redeem their public images.

    The idea is to spotlight the good behavior of many of its players; the NFL has its works cut out. In just the last couple weeks, Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons pleaded guilty to a felony dog-fighting charge, while Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears was nailed for leaving the scene of an accident after he totaled his $350,000 Lamborghini.

    The new spots feature five players, picked for their clean-cut images, doing things like reading to their kids and talking to their mothers. They are set to run through the season on television and Web sites, including "It's as simple as this," says Lisa Baird, senior vice president for marketing at the National Football League in New York. "We're going to do everything necessary to protect the strength of our brand." Read the whole story...