• Cruise Axed Over Shields Cracks?
    Tom Cruise was allegedly fired by Paramount over his criticism of Brooke Shields' use of post-natal antidepressants. Paula Fortunato, the wife of Paramount's ultimate boss--Sumner Redstone--was enraged when she heard Cruise's comments on live TV, and warned her 83-year-old husband that the star's Scientology-inspired tirade is off-putting to female fans. Last week, Redstone said: "As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal. His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount." And he hinted that his decision was largely because of Cruise's bizarre antics on TV shows like "Oprah" and "Today." But ...
  • No Change In Political Ad Rules For Now
    Federal regulators have refused to ease limits on political advertising, blocking an effort to allow interest groups to run radio and television ads mentioning elected officials within weeks of an election. The Federal Election Commission voted 3-3 on a proposal that would have allowed the ads if they dealt with public policy issues and did not promote or oppose a sitting member of Congress. The commission's three Democrats voted against the proposal, and the three Republicans backed it. "With 70 days left before the general election, the change could have let loose a wave of unrestricted ad spending in the ...
  • CW To Stream Shows On MSN
    The new CW network is finalizing a deal with MSN to stream the first episodes of several of its prime-time series on the portal between now and the start of the upcoming TV season. Sources familiar with the negotiations say that returning series "America's Next Top Model," "Everybody Hates Chris," and "Supernatural"--plus the new drama "Runaway"--are candidates to make their fall debuts on the Web. That would happen one week prior to their various on-air premieres in September. While this is the first Web stream play for the newly formed CW network, several former WB and UPN series (which were ...
  • Media Reflects On Overkill In Karr Coverage
    First the media blitz, then the backtracking. Two weeks ago, the news organizations and television programs had breathlessly announced the news that John Mark Karr had been arrested in the death of JonBenet Ramsey. News of Mr. Karr's arrest had landed on the front pages of the country's biggest newspapers and filled hundreds of hours on the cable talk shows that had obsessively covered the case. On Monday, however, Mary T. Lacy, the Boulder County district attorney, announced that charges against Mr. Karr would be dropped after tests revealed that his DNA sample did not match the unidentified DNA found ...
  • Consumer See, Consumer Buy
    Consumers seem to like watching ad-supported media while grocery shopping, and their buying decisions can be swayed by the messages. A Nielsen Media Research study that examined in-store media reports 68 percent of those surveyed say in-store ads would sway buying decisions--and 44 percent say they would swap a product they had intended to buy for one advertised on an in-store network SignStorey. The research, Nielsen's first customized analysis of supermarket data, gauged overall SignStorey viewership at close to 40 percent. And that represents about 22 million shoppers. Says SignStorey CEO Virginia Cargill: "Retailers get a halo effect, since they're ...
  • CBS Tries To Disavow Katie Slimdown Pics
    CBS is blaming the "editorial staff" of a promotional magazine for doctoring a photo to slim down news anchor Katie Couric, but staffers are, in fact, part of the network's PR division. CBS' Watch magazine altered a picture of Couric from the network's upfront presentation, thinning her waist and face. Magazine photos are frequently altered, but this one happened when the network is struggling to portray longtime NBC "Today Show" co-host Couric as a news anchor with the gravitas to convey serious news. A CBS spokesman says "the editorial staff of Watch magazine retouched the photo without the knowledge of ...
  • Best Of WB, Worst Of UPN
    While the upcoming CW network is being positioned as the best of the WB and UPN, the melding of the two is looking a bit wobbly going into its first fall season, which kicks off Sept. 20. Media buyers say that if CW has inherited the best of the WB, it also got the worst of UPN--i.e., a lineup that is all over the demographic map. Since the merger, CW executives have worked to knit together a schedule under Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment at the CW and former UPN president. She says the mix-and-match lineup is part of appealing ...
  • Karr Case Exposes Media's Bad Judgment
    "Another one of those good old media shamings has begun," reports Gal Beckerman in a CJR Daily piece titled "Won't Get Fooled Again?" Since news broke that John Karr, who confessed to the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey, would be released from custody without charge, "media critics have been breathing fire." And Karr's now-presumed innocence has exposed the media madness that accompanied his arrest, highlighted by details of the food he ate on an extradition flight out of Bangkok. Of course, she notes, there were indicators 12 days ago when Karr's arrest was first announced that should have alerted journalists ...
  • Product Placement Is Booming
    The product-placement business is expected to jump 25 percent to $7.5 billion worldwide this year--and hit $14 billion by 2010, says a study conducted by PQ Media. But that growth is pushing some industry agencies to re-examine their business models. Product placement has evolved from a novel marketing tactic to a key marketing strategy on a global scale. Now, brand marketers seek "more effective methods to make important emotional connections with consumers," says Patrick Quinn, president of PQ. "Fear of ad-skipping technology, doubts about traditional advertising's effectiveness and declining government media subsidies have fueled a dramatic increase in the value ...
  • New Orleans Media Market Still Suffering
    A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, New Orleans has only about half of its pre-flood population and the media market has slipped significantly, reports Mediaweek, citing research from Zehnder Communications. Using its own data and ratings, the Big Easy-based ad agency says that its home town has fallen from the 46th-largest radio market to 58th, while the Times-Picayune newspaper has lost about 30 percent of its circulation. But despite the hardship, New Orleans ad agencies have adapted to the new environment, says Joann Habisreitinger, media director at Zehnder: "Our region has not only survived, it's thrived in relation ...
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