VNU NV is considering radical measures to win support from institutional shareholders skeptical about its $7 billion deal to buy IMS Health Inc., according to a media report Thursday. To appease those investors, VNU could sell its business-information unit, which publishes trade magazines such as Hollywood Reporter and Billboard and organizes trade fairs, The Journal reported, adding such a sale could bring more than $1.2 billion.
Viewers flocked to old favorites "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Desperate Housewives" and tried out new fare "My Name is Earl" and "Everybody Hates Chris" in the first week of television's new season. The season began like the old one left off: ABC is hot, NBC is not and CBS remains the nation's most popular network.
So much for synergy. Fairchild Publications said it was shutting down Vitals Man and Vitals Woman effective with the winter 2005 editions. The move is likely to roil the waters at Fairchild, which has long functioned under the impression that it was, as one insider put it, "the ugly step-sister to Condé Nast," the glitzy publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour.
The script was almost finished, the production was in its final stages, but in the end, the DreamWorks-NBC Universal deal could not be done. Late Monday, DreamWorks SKG, the movie studio that the director Steven Spielberg helped found, called off talks to be acquired by NBC Universal when Universal executives sought to reduce the price they would pay, citing the disappointing performance of some DreamWorks movies, several people involved in the talks said.
Maidenform ladies are dreaming again. Many of those too young to remember probably know about the ad campaign that Maidenform ran from the end of World War II up through the mid-1960's. It was the one with gorgeous ladies, their bottoms modestly clad but their tops ensconced only in their bras, dreaming they "went shopping" - or rode fire trucks, or crossed the Nile on Cleopatra's barge - "in their Maidenform bras." Well, the dream around Maidenform's Bayonne, N.J., headquarters is that women will happily pay $32 - a relatively high price for Maidenform - for the "Dream Bra" the …
Demonstrating against the practice of product placement in TV programs, a group of protestors armed with Writers Guild of America West literature disrupted the Madison & Vine session of Advertising Week at New York University's Skirbal Center in Greenwich Village. Fliers being distributed by protestors outside the session said WPA West "is concerned about the runaway growth of product integration in reality TV."
Infinity Radio has signed contracts with "five or six people" who will be used to replace departing shock jock Howard Stern in 41 markets, according to CEO Joel Hollander.
Catastrophic natural events of late have offered stark reminders to major media companies, consumers and even grass-roots broadcasters of the unique role that local television and radio stations continue to play even in this dizzying era of rapid advancement in digitally enabled communications technologies. The trick now is for local broadcasters to believe in that mission and invest enough in it to leverage their connection with local viewers and advertisers in a way that will allow them to reinvent their business model before it's too late. There are recent signs that effort is under way.
Rumors supplanted accurate information and media magnified the problem. Rapes, violence and estimates of the dead were wrong.
The billionaire Newhouse family took a giant step yesterday to bring all its diverse magazine holdings under one name, Condé Nast Publications. The move means that the Advance Magazine Group moniker, which had been used as the parent company name, will be retired.