• Ads Spur Tomato Sales
    A national TV ad campaign is really moving the needle for Florida field-grown tomatoes, which have been garnering market share over rival varieties. According to Samantha Winters, director of education and marketing for the Florida Tomato Committee, movement percentages for competing tomatoes are down by double-digits, while the Sunshine State's field-grown product rose 2.5 percent during the time period when the committee's ads would have had the most effect. "We took our message to the consumer that Florida tomatoes are flavorful, healthy and available," Winters says. "The outcome of our national campaign was that people talked and created a lot ...
  • Geffen Eyeing Los Angeles Times
    Not long after Dean Baquet became editor of the Los Angeles Times, entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg sought a meet-and-greet. And it was during lunch that Katzenberg purposefully let slip the news that his DreamWorks partner David Geffen wanted to buy the newspaper. Baquet was shocked, reportedly saying: "How's he going to feel the first time we review a movie or music produced by a friend of his?" That was last year, and Geffen's pursuit of the Tribune Co.'s property has continued--and not just because the paper's 20 percent profit margin is so much better than the 6 percent earned on ...
  • Tribune Move Spurs Speculation Of Going Private
    In a development that is apt to fuel speculation about a management-led effort to take Tribune Co. private, the company has hired Merrill Lynch and Citigroup as financial advisors to help as it "explores strategic alternatives to create additional shareholder value." At the same time, a special committee of the board of directors announced that it had hired the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as legal counsel--and that it plans to retain its own financial advisor. While a Tribune Co. spokesman cautions against reading anything into the announcement, the company's own flagship newspaper reported that "management's favored ...
  • Clinton Interview Raises 'Fox News Sunday' Ratings
    It's been months, if not years, since an interview on the Sunday morning politics shows made more than a ripple in the ratings. But that's what happened this week, when on "Fox News Sunday," President Bill Clinton slapped around interviewer Chris Wallace and spurred the show to its best ratings since the week Saddam Hussein was captured. "Sunday," which consistently ranks last among the Big Four news shows, was well above its third-quarter average of 1.2 million, according to preliminary Nielsen figures--and finished ahead of the usual leader "Meet the Press," although the latter was pushed back because of Ryder ...
  • Additional Video Coverage Of Forecast '07: See Erwin Ephron, Joe Plummer, Bob DeSena, Sean Cunningham, Others
    Full video coverage of Media magazine's Forecast '07 conference is now available. See Erwin Ephron and Dave Smith in an engaging debate with Joe Plummer and Rob DeSena. Watch the heads of the major media groups as they forecast their outlooks for 2006. Hear leading industry economists debate the "efficiency effect" and quite possibly the demise of advertising as we know it.
  • Kazakhstan Fights Back Against 'Borat'
    The government of Kazakhstan has launched an ad campaign to salvage its country's image after being made a laughing-stock by Borat, the alter ego of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. A four-page color ad supplement has appeared in The New York Times that paints the Central Asian nation as an industrialized, outward-looking place with a stable economy and thriving tourist industry. And that's a far cry from the anti-Semitic, "horse-urine drinking, incestuous people" that faux journalist Borat has brought to TV--and soon, to the big screen in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." Of course, ...
  • Oprah Radio A Hit With Sponsors
    Oprah Winfrey's new channel on XM Satellite Radio is looking good to the U.S. advertising community. XM and Oprah's Harpo Radio say that 13 "high-profile" advertisers have signed on with "Oprah and Friends," a 24-hour talk channel that debuted on XM Monday. The advertisers include Jenny Craig, Honda, and Target. "In terms of ad sales, this is XM's most successful channel launch ever," says XM vp D. Scott Karnedy. "Not only are clients investing millions of dollars to be a part of "Oprah & Friends," but most of them are advertising on XM for the very first time."
  • Less Mudslinging In Political Ads
    Viewers can expect kinder, gentler political ads in coming months, according to David Axelrod and Mark McKinnon, media advisers and strategists for the Democrats and Republicans, respectively. Coming into this year's midterm elections and the 2008 presidential contest, the two expect voters to notice fewer negative ads from official campaigns. "[Voters] are very cynical about political advertising," says McKinnon. "They don't believe in political advertising, so that's a very tough filter that we have to break through." And "people don't want a lot of spin on the ball," says Axelrod--instead preferring simple and direct messages. Also, despite increased use of ...
  • Cablevision Sells NBC Via VOD
    Cablevision Systems has inked a deal with NBC that will allow it to sell on-demand versions of "The Office," "Law & Order" and other series for 95 cents each. Beginning immediately, Cablevision's iO: Interactive Optimum customers will be able to download "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and "The Office" the day after they premiere on the Peacock Network. The fee gives subscribers access to each program for 24 hours. Plus, beginning next month, episodes of "Friday Night Lights" will be added to the lineup, along with "Las Vegas." There won't be any commercials during ...
  • News Corp. Buys More New York City Papers
    News Corp., which already owns the New York Post, has broadened its presence in the city by acquiring two newspaper groups with 28 weekly papers serving Queens and Brooklyn. With the move, the company now increases its reach to boroughs outside Manhattan and the minority populations that have been strongholds of its main competitor, the Daily News. While the price of the acquisition was not revealed, a source says News Corp. paid $16 million for the TimesLedger and Courier-Life newspaper groups. TimesLedger publishes 16 weekly newspapers in Queens with a total circulation of 50,000. Courier-Life publishes 11 Brooklyn newspapers with ...
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