• If An Anchor Fell In The Forest...
    By most standards, Anderson Cooper looks like a winner, reports the New York Observer. The CNN anchor and new “60 Minutes” correspondent has two hours of live TV a night, adorns magazine covers and wrote a best-selling book. “But there is one pesky measure of victory that Mr. Cooper doesn’t quite satisfy,” notes Rebecca Dana. “He doesn’t actually win.” She points out that the viewership of “Anderson Cooper 360” is  tiny and often below that of his predecessor, Aaron Brown. In April, for instance, Cooper’s ratings were down more than 20 percent--and 36 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic--from Brown’s ...
  • Pimp That Stock!
    Sex may sell, but in Playboy Enterprises' case, that doesn't apply to its stock, reports Andrew Bary of Barron's, who points out the shares have actually lost ground since going public in 1971. The company is bedeviled by losses at its flagship magazine, competitive pressures in the U.S. TV business and the proliferation of porn, Forbes notes, but it still has some fans. "Playboy has a wonderful franchise and brand," says Mark Boyar, head of an eponymous New York investment firm that owns some of the stock. "I don't think there's a single global media company with such a small ...
  • If The NYT Jumped Off A Cliff. . .
    The New York Times deserves the most criticism for its disclosure of a secret taxpayer-funded program to monitor financial transactions, even though two other newspapers reported the same story at almost the same time, White House spokesman (and former Fox News operative) Tony Snow tells Editor & Publisher. But, he adds, the newspaper of record will keep its White House press credentials even as some right-wingers call for them to be yanked. Snow, along with his bosses, has attacked the Times for publishing the story despite administration efforts to spike it. He tells E&P that the paper deserves the ...
  • But Who Gets Sudoku?
    Tribune Co. has declared victory over the Chandler family, as stockholders tendered most of the shares it sought despite outspoken opposition by the second-largest shareholders of the Chicago-based conglomerate, reports the Associated Press. But the Chandlers warn that the fight over the company's direction ain't over yet--especially since the tender made them the single biggest holders of Tribune stock. They pledge to keep trying to bring "positive change for the benefit of all Tribune stockholders.... We, like many other non-tendering stockholders, believe there is greater value to be realized through prompt and meaningful strategic action," they say. Tribune fell short ...
  • Start With Falafel Bill
    Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes is on the warpath following a recent ratings slump, reports Broadcasting & Cable, and he won't hesitate to clean house to turn things around. So far this quarter, the No. 1 cable news outlet is down 22 percent in prime time for its core 25-54 demographic--and 8 percent in total viewers. And the first quarter was even worse. Rival CNN is also off, by 18 percent in the same demo and 2 percent in total. Ailes is fuming over what he sees as "complacency" among his staff, the trade magazine says. Production values are slipping, ...
  • Pecker, Bonnie Both Safe For Now
    American Media renewed Bonnie Fuller's contract, reports The New York Times. Editorial director of a company best known for its supermarket tabloids, Fuller signed the new three-year deal late last week, and will continue to rake in a $1.5 million annual base salary--but can earn more in bonuses over the next three years than she has in the past, as she is guaranteed an annual bonus of at least $500,000, based on the performance of Star. The new contract is a sign that her job--and that of David Pecker, chief executive of American Media--are safe for the time being, the ...
  • Online Tears Into Upfront Take
    This could be the year when the digital revolution finally takes a bite out of the network upfront, reports Ad Age, as "TV's take could be down as much as $600 million." While deals are still being negotiated, agency executives and industry watchers see the market ending up anywhere between $8.5 billion and $9 billion--down from $9.1 billion the last go-round. One big reason is the explosion of digital options, which has given marketers more to bargain with: "The power has shifted back," one big advertiser tells the trade magazine. "It's cyclical ... because of all the pressures in the ...
  • Spelling Out Success
    One of Marc Berman's favorite memories in his time at Mediaweek was a "shoot-for-the-moon" interview he once got with the late Aaron Spelling. He was asked to write a feature story that involved an interview with a TV producer, and knowing that Spelling's wife was getting his column, he asked if he could speak to her husband for a few minutes. "To my amazement, I received a call that night," he remembers. "And we spent over one hour reminiscing about Alexis and Krystle fighting in the mud on "Dynasty," "Charlie's Angels" fever, guest stars popping up on "The Love Boat" ...
  • OK, Patriots, Let's See Your Tax Returns, Too
    Right-wing opinion magazine National Review says that regular media--specifically one big newspaper--"are undermining our ability to win the War on Terror" with the latest alleged blow coming from the exposure of a secret government program to track private financial transactions. The government "must demand that The New York Times pay a price for its costly, arrogant defiance," the publication says. The newspaper should at least lose its White House press credentials "because this privilege has been so egregiously abused, and an aggressive investigation should be undertaken to identify and prosecute, at a minimum, the government officials who have leaked national-defense ...
  • CBS Praying For 'Opie And Anthony'
    The comeback is nearly complete for "Opie and Anthony," reports the Associated Press. Fired by CBS Radio four years ago after the "sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral" stunt, the shock jocks are now doing shows on both satellite and terrestrial radio, the latter for CBS. "Oddly enough, our goal a few years ago was just to get work," said Anthony Cumia, half of the team. "We wanted to get a job." From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., they host a syndicated radio program for CBS, and then move to XM Satellite Radio for two hours. They are probably the first ...
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