• Murdoch: Big Media's Influence Wanes
    Media conglomerates and governments cannot stop, much less reverse, the reduced power they endure, brought about by the Internet and digital media. Instead, they have to learn to embrace change as an opportunity. At least that's the word form the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Big media's influence is waning amid an explosion of news sites, blogs and podcasts, says News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. "It's so pluralistic," he says. "We all have less power, much less." In addition, there are not only more outlets for news and opinion. but traditional media can ...
  • Cable Upfront Looking Better This Year
    After years of explosive growth, last year's spending in the annual cable upfront came in flat, making it the second-worst ever in terms of percentage growth, with the exception of the one after the 2001 terrorist attacks. The medium found itself beset by problems, including a leveling off of ratings and penetration growth. It was no longer stealing viewers--and ad dollars--from the broadcast networks while it faced a new competitor: the Internet. While that would seem an ill omen for this year's upfront, some media analysts say cable is doing fine and will get a spending increase. ...
  • Fox Sports Super Bowl Road Show Sold Out
    If CBS still has some Super Bowl time to sell, that is not the case for Fox Sports Networks' "Best Damn Sports Show Period." It has sold out of sponsorships for its fifth annual "Super Bowl Roadshow," set to be live from Miami for a week prior to the game. Sponsors include Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Keystone, Full Throttle and Hooters. Each will have televised commercials, along with branding within the shows with tentative plans for segments like "Keystone Unsmooth Moment" and "Full Throttle Rebel of the Day." Hosted by Chris Rose, guests this week will include Don ...
  • "Idol" Rubbing Out "Sopranos" On A&E
    After rubbing out the competition in its first week, "The Sopranos" on A& E is up against Fox's "American Idol." A&E's Jan. 24 two-episode installment of the HBO's series pulled a 1.9 household rating and 2.1 million viewers, down from the 3.9 (4.3 million viewers) it drew for the Jan. 10 premiere, but even with last week. Robert DeBitetto, A&E executive vice president and general manager, says the net anticipated a dropoff. "It's stabilized, which is a great sign," DeBitetto says. "We knew we'd be up against a phenomenon [in "American Idol"], but the show is where it ...
  • A-B Still Biggest Super Bowl Advertiser
    Anheuser-Busch is back in the Super Bowl this year with nine spots, featuring humor, horses and Jay-Z, in what it considers an essential part of strategy. Even as the cost of time in the game can top $85,000 a second, the brewer is holding position as the top advertiser in it. "It is absolutely essential for us to kick off our selling season with Super Bowl," says Bob Lachky, Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.'s executive vice president of global industry development, who oversees advertising. "It's always the guys who can't get their work on the Super Bowl who say it's ...
  • ESPN "Sports Center" Hitting 30,000 Show
    The ESPN flagship show "SportsCenter" will celebrate its 30,000th live episode on Sunday, Feb. 11 with anchors Stuart Scott and Steve Levy weaving in past segments into a traditional edition. They will be joined by former SportsCenter anchors, among them current "Outside the Lines" host Bob Ley. The program, first televised by ESPN on September 7, 1979, currently airs live at 6 p.m., 11 p.m., 1 a.m. and weekend mornings. And, according to ESPN, it is seen by up to 21 million people a day.
  • Fox Ramping Up Business Channel
    Having signed its first round of carriage agreements for its soon-to-be-launched Fox Business Channel, News Corp. is stepping up efforts to staff the new network and has tapped Fox News Channel interim Washington bureau chief Bruce Becker as vice president of business news. He was put in his current post last year after Kim Hume bailed on the job and has been with Fox News since its launch in 1996. Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes says Becker's "extensive experience and insight in Washington is now integral to our development of the proposed business channel." At ...
  • Sitcoms Struggling In Syndication
    While sitcoms like "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Seinfeld" and "Friends" finished up on network long ago, they continued to dominate in syndication -- until now. The three are showing big ratings declines, calling into question whether syndicated comedy can bounce back. "The decline for the big three comedies isn't all that surprising,; "Seinfeld" has been off the air nearly a decade, and "Friends" and "Raymond" are beginning to seem dated. And many fans have already seen every episode. But there is little to take their place, as nearly all returning syndicated sitcoms have declined this season, while new offerings, ...
  • Restaurant Group Irked By Nationwide Ad
    A restaurant trade group is insulted by a Super Bowl ad that stars Kevin Federline as a fast-food worker. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.'s 30-second spot shows Federline performing in a music video -- but he is really only daydreaming while cooking French fries. It was called a "strong and direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry," says National Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Steven Anderson in a letter to Nationwide chief Jerry Jurgensen. The commercial gives the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant, Anderson adds. And he ...
  • Wendy's Drops McCann For Saatchi
    Wendy's will move its $300 million account from Interpublic's McCann Erickson to Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi with Saatchi sister shop MediaVest taking over media buying and planning from Universal McCann. The fate of the business has long been the subject of speculation, and various agencies have met with Ian Rowden, senior vice president-chief marketing officer, according to insiders. He refuses to comment; ditto the fast-food chain's spokespeople. But according to one agency exec, Rowden eschewed the traditional pitch process for a series of meetings with agencies in which each showed off their work and talked about ...
« Previous EntriesNext Entries »