• Nielsen's "Live Plus" Goes Live, Sort Of
    Nielsen Media Research's new DVR-added ratings showed up for the first time on Wednesday--sort of. The data comparing so-called "live plus same day" of DVR viewing to simply "live" ratings was still incomplete as of press time. However, preliminary results indicate ABC won Monday night among adults 18- 49 with a 4.5 rating and a 13 share--largely on the basis of "Monday Night Football," which coincidentally was the last telecast in the network's 36-year-long association with the show it launched. The show averaged a 5.0 rating and a 14 share among adults 18-49.
  • Whither TiVo?
    A question from Variety: Can the company that invented the digital video recorder overcome its problems--shrinking market share and generic competitors--fast enough to "keep from becoming the next Betamax"? Like that long-dead brand, TiVo is said to be superior to its rivals, but it has not capitalized on that angle with consumers. Some media analysts doubt that the company can rebound, despite the efforts of CEO Tom Rogers, who has inked several major deals that aim to create a new connection between TiVo and advertising. "If all goes well, TiVo will deploy technology that gives DVR users new ads to …
  • Magazine Bigshots Predict Future
    "Either Time Inc. will be spun off from Time Warner, or [CEO] Ann Moore will lose her job." That forecast--credited to "Anonymous"--tops the list of Folio: magazine's "114 Magazine Industry Predictions for 2006," a lively grab-bag of quotes from assorted industry heavy-hitters. One common theme in many statements: magazines have to change to fight competition from the Internet. "The industry must embrace new technology and take more chances," writes one prognosticator, predicating a "move from the traditional circ model [that will] increasingly look at magazines as full-blown media properties." Another prediction: "At least two of the celebrity/gossip books will fold." …
  • Public Schools End Ad Segregation, Begin Bussing
    Budget-tightening public school districts have broken another educational taboo, allowing marketers to place ads on their buses. To date, ads for soft drink, credit union and auto retailer brands have begun popping up on buses in Arizona and Massachusetts school districts, with Michigan, Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania districts soon to follow. "This will spread across the nation, because there's so much money that will come into schools as a result of doing this," Daniel Shearer, director of transportation at the Scottsdale Unified School District, tells USA Today.
  • From Saturday Night To Lazy Sunday, "SNL" Video Goes Chronic
    A rap music video parody of the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" created by "Saturday Night Live" cast members Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg has become one of the most widely circulated Internet podcasts since it first debuted on NBC on Dec. 17. The video, dubbed "Lazy Sunday," has been downloaded 1.2 million times from video file-sharing site YouTube.com, and it has become one of the hottest downloads on NBC.com and the iTunes Music Store. There are even T-shirts based on the video being marketed at Teetastic.com.
  • Rob Weiss Blows His Fuse, Mullen Slated To Run Rainbow Net
    Rob Weiss has blown out of Fuse. Citing unnamed sources, The Hollywood Reporter reports Weiss has stepped down as head of the Rainbow Networks unit and that Catherine Mullen, former general manager at MTV's U.K. and Ireland networks, will be named general manager next month. That role has been vacant since Marc Juris left as president of Fuse to join Court TV as general manager.
  • Interpublic Accelerates Stock Options
    Interpublic Group, the parent of Initiative Media, Magna Global, Universal McCann and other agencies, is giving employees an unexpected Christmas gift: accelerating the besting of their stock options. The financially beleaguered agency holding company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Dec. 23 to accelerate vesting on 8.3 million shares of publicly traded stock.
  • Comcast Joins The Family-Friendly Family
    With its proposed purchase of Adelphia Cable's assets still before the Federal Commmunications Commission, it was no surprise yesterday when Comcast Corp., the country's largest cable company, announced it would offer a family-friendly tier of programming. Time Warner, which is splitting Adelphia's assets with Comcast, earlier said it would offer a family tier as well. Comcast's offerings will be broader, however, and also cost a little more. The package, priced at $14.95 monthly, will include a variety of kids-only channels (Disney, Discovery Kids, Toon Disney), but it will also include Nickelodeon, the highest-rated cable channel for children. Additionally, Comcast will …
  • Merrill's Top Media Analyst Optimistic for 2006
    According to a report in Forbes.com, Merrill Lynch's influential research analyst Jessica Reif Cohen, who covers the media, is generally optimistic about the sector for 2006. She said media and entertainment stocks would outperform the market and issued "buy" ratings on two companies, News Corp. and Viacom. Maya Roney, of Forbes.com, says that in Cohen's view "traditional media stocks deserve a premium multiple." Earnings-per-share growth is expected to be 15-to-20 percent for the sector, Cohen projects. She puts News Corp.'s price target at $28 per share and Viacom's at $41. She also likes the Walt Disney Company and Univision, both …
  • Yet One More Way To Watch Television
    Techies have been reading about the development of the Slingbox for quite some time, but yesterday's lengthy--and fawning--story in The New York Times is sure to create a certain amount of lust for the latest chunk of wondrous hardware. The Slingbox, about the size of a shoebox, makes TV even "more" portable. How so? It enables the truly devoted to watch any program that comes into their home--even when they are on the road. Think "place shifting" rather than simply time shifting. As long as one has a laptop computer, a broadband connection, the required software, and, of course, a …
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