WHAT WERE 2003'S TOP MEDIA STORIES? -- That's what the Riff would like to know. Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll compile them and post them with an accompanying story.
INCOMPLETE PASS - ESPN spiked a live interview with football legend Joe Namath during Saturday's Jets-Patriots game after Namath told the interviewer, Suzy Kolber, that he wanted to kiss her. Apparently Kolber asked Namath about what he thought of the Jets' losing season, to which Namath replied "I want to kiss you.
MEDIA BEAN COUNTERS GROW OPTIMISTIC, HAVE BIG AD SPENDING PLANS - Corporate America is growing more optimistic about the economy and that's translating into plans for higher capital expenditures, especially for advertising and marketing. While this is obviously good news for the media business, the industry itself is among the most optimistic, according to a new survey of America's chief financial officers.
ANCHORS AWAY - Now that NBC News has tapped anchorman John Seigenthaler to succeed Brian Williams to the helm of CNBC's nightly broadcast, "The News," the Riff is wondering who will be the next network anchor to move on. Williams, of course, will be taking over Tom Brokaw's slot on NBC's "Nightly News" when Brokaw retires in November 2004.
WHO'LL BE FIRST TO DIVE IN THIS POOL? - The Riff admires Henry Schleif's ability to insinuate the spunky Court TV cable network into every conceivable judicial news opportunity, but his latest "offer" tops them all.
HERE'S SOME REAL COMPETITIVE MEDIA INTELLIGENCE -- If the Riff could lunch anywhere today, it would be at a table within earshot of Neil Klar's and Mike Lotito's. Klar, who owns ad cost data firm SQAD, and Lotito, a former top agency media director who now runs media auditor Media IQ, consider themselves competitors, but that's not stopping them from getting together for a bite in New York today.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS (GREATER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK) -- The hot new medium, according to the top management at the Aegis Group, isn't the Internet, nor interactive TV, or even wireless communications. The really hot medium, said the team, in a report delivered to Wall Street this week, is outdoor.
YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SPAMMER CLAUSE - The ink is barely dry on the state's new spam law, but Virginia authorities have wasted little time enforcing it. Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore Thursday said a North Carolina man has been arrested on four counts of using fraudulent means to transmit spam.
THOUGHT EQUITY - OR IS IT A CREATIVE COMMODITY? -- The Riff agrees with Carat chief David Verklin. It's not media that's being unbundled.
TEN BLOCKS IS A LONG WAY TO RUN IN THE SLUSH - Count the Riff as among the unenthusiastic regarding the scheduling of two weeklong Wall Street media conferences, one by UBS Warburg and the other by Credit Suisse First Boston. Both began Monday at the same time, UBS at the Grand Hyatt on 42nd Street near Grand Central Station and CSFB up Fifth Avenue at Central Park South.