• Obama Signs Up Omnicom Shop
    Sen. Barack Obama has signed up Omnicom Group's GMMB and independent SS&K to work on his presidential campaign. The two agencies will work with AKP Media's David Axelrod, the campaign's chief media strategist, while Jim Margolis, a partner at GMMB and a veteran Democratic media strategist, will consult on media. GMMB, based in Washington, is among the biggest of Democratic media-buying agencies, handling Sen. John Kerry's run in 2004. Meanwhile, SS&K will advise "on nontraditional media and outreach and mobilization of young voters," says Bill Burton, an Obama spokesman. Axelrod will help produce TV spots. The ...
  • City Dailies Take Hits In ABC Data
    There will lots more bad news when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its latest numbers next week. Insiders say total daily circulation for the six months ended in March will be off about 2.5%, while Sunday is down 3%. Major metros are getting the worst of it: The Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, San Diego Union-Tribune, Austin American-Statesmen, San Jose Mercury News and South Florida Sun-Sentinel are among those down 5% or more. Among the few city papers showing increases will be The Indianapolis Star, helped by the Colts Super Bowl win, and The St. ...
  • DirectTV Adds Original Show "Passions"
    In yet another move into original programming, DirecTV has cut a deal to keep the soap opera "Passions" alive after NBC canceled it. Under the pact, NBC Universal Television Studio will produce new episodes of the show that will air Monday-Thursday on DirecTV's own channel, The 101. Other shows on the same channel include "Project MyWorld" and "The Fizz." "Passions" currently averages more than 2 million viewers and has a loyal fan base. It will end its network run on Sept. 7, and pop up on DirecTV 10 days later. "Passions" fans no longer need to ...
  • Supremes Skeptical Of Campaign Ad Restrictions
    Some on the Supreme Court seemed skeptical of parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, especially a provision that bars interest groups from running corporate-funded radio and TV ads that mention a candidate's name within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. The case argued before the high court Wednesday revolves around ads that an anti-choice fringe group, Wisconsin Right to Life, was prevented from airing in 2004 campaign. Attorney Seth Waxman, representing lawmakers defending the provision, tells the court ads like those could still air if they are paid for with money ...
  • Interpublic CEO's Pay Valued at $8.7 million
    Michael Roth, chairman and CEO of Interpublic, walked away with compensation valued at about $8.7 million in 2006, according to the money-losing company's proxy statement. To get that figure, the Associated Press calculated total pay that includes salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards. Roth's salary was $1.1 million, and he got stock and option awards valued at almost $5.4 million, along with incentives worth $2.1 million and "other compensation" of $172,948. Interpublic reported a loss of $79.3 million in 2006 as the company struggled ...
  • ESPN Expands Poker Coverage
    ESPN will expand its coverage of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. tournament at the 2006 "World Series of Poker," expanding its time from two one-hour episodes to six. And in another change, the final table will continue to play five poker variants instead of switching to just No Limit Hold 'em. "If you took a poll of the H.O.R.S.E. players here today, 95% of them would tell you that they would prefer to keep playing the mixed game at the final table," says ESPN analyst Norman Chad. The switch will present some interesting challenges to ESPN, which has only dabbled ...
  • Firm Tracking In-Store Digital Screen Ads
    Digital screens running ads at local supermarkets or gas pumps are becoming ever more ubiquitous as advertisers try to reach their targets at the very moment they are making purchases. A new company named DS-IQ Inc. wants to see if they are paying attention. The Bellevue, Washington, firm makes software designed to measure the effectiveness of such ads, and is already in Supervalu stores and some other retail centers. By telling advertisers when and where their in-store ads generated the most sales, it hopes to help them produce better campaigns. "They get to see very specifically how their ...
  • Campbell Sticking With "Mama's Boys"
    Campbell Soup will stick with its "Mama's Boys" campaign for Chunky Soup through a 10th version set to feature eight NFL players, the most yet. The effort, from Young & Rubicam, will have stars including Larry Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs, Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks -- and all their moms. TV and print are set to roll around the NFL's 2007 opening weekend in September. The tag "It fills you up right" will also be back for another go. "With our biggest roster of NFL players and more ...
  • FCC TV Violence Report Due
    The Federal Communications Commission is about to release a report on TV violence suggesting a link between viewing it and aggressive behavior in children. And it is likely to recommend that Congress bar "excessively violent" content form being aired between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The report, which could be out this week, leaves legislators to decide the definition of "excessively violent," but media associations and some civil-liberties groups have pointed out that such a definition could be impossible to determine. And they say any such attempt raises First Amendment issues as the FCC's current "indecency" rules are ...
  • Va. Tech Slaughter Tops Cable Coverage
    The slaughter at Virginia Tech is the runaway winner in the cable news coverage race so far this year, representing more than three-quarters of news stories in the medium between April 15 and 20. That word comes from the Project for Excellence in Journalism's "News Coverage Index," which analyzes 48 news outlets. Coverage of the shootings filled at least half the news hole during that stretch, with 50% of radio airtime and 62% of network TV news coverage. That tops the second-biggest story of the year, the Bush Administration's escalation of U.S. involvement in the Iraq, which managed ...
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