• Sezmi Gets More Cash For Multichannel TV Service
    Sezmi Corp., a startup working on an over-the-air multichannel TV service, has nailed down $33 million of additional financing. The money comes from new investors, including Advanced Equities, as well as from previous backers Morgenthaler Ventures, Omni Capital Group, TD Fund, and Legend Ventures. Sezmi plans to compete with satellite TV and cable operators with a service that will deliver 35 to 40 cable networks, local TV stations and extensive VOD offerings for half the price. The proposed service will also link subscribers' sets directly to the Internet from which they can draw video clips and streamed linear ...
  • 'Life & Style' Publisher Axed, Circ Slashed
    Celebrity magazines can't seem to catch a break. Bauer Publications is making drastic cuts to its ailing Life & Style in the hopes it can save the patient. Publisher Maria Padova and the mag's entire six-person advertising and marketing staff have been let go in the latest shake-up. In October, Donna Armstrong departed as the magazine's editor. In Touch publisher Mark Oltarsh will become publisher of both titles, which will now be part of a newly named Bauer Entertainment Group. "When the celebrity weekly category heated up, we decided to sell the magazine brands individually, with separate staffs. Now, ...
  • Cable Builds A Bigger Stable Of Shows
    Maybe someone forgot to tell the cable nets that we're in a recession. Just as the broadcast networks continue to emulate the cable model -- fewer pilots, more unscripted fare, more repeats -- the cablers are developing series like they're one of the Big Four. HBO has a whopping 20 comedies and drama series in development, with talent like Martin Scorsese and Sarah Jessica Parker. On the basic cable side, TNT has so many series on the air and in the hopper that it may expand its schedule next year to three nights of original shows. ...
  • B-To-B Mag Rev Shrunk Slowly Since 2005
    Total revenue generated by B-to-B publications was down slightly in 2007 and basically flat in 2006 and 2005, while editorial, advertising and circulation expenses continued to grow. That's the pattern shown in a new American Business Media Trend Report, prepared by the Jordan, Edmiston Group. Revenue for the average b-to-b publication was $5.47 million in 2007, a decline of .4 % over 2006 and flat over 2005. Print advertising accounted for 84% of the average b-to-b title's income -- a share that held steady over the three-year period despite the growth of online content. In general, publications reduced their ...
  • Comedy Central Intros Two-Minute Satirical Ads
  • Ted Koppel Exits Discovery, Like 'Oil and Water'
    Former "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel and Discovery Communications are parting ways about six months ahead of Koppel's May 2009 contract end date. Koppel joined Discovery Channel in January 2006 as managing editor. Discovery, under CEO David Zaslav and Discovery Networks chief John Ford, has lately taken a new direction, away from news. Koppel's critically-acclaimed documentaries were not in line with that direction. "It was like oil and water, it didn't mix particularly well," Koppel says. As for his plans, Koppel still does commentaries for National Public Radio and also works for BBC World News from Washington. He ...
  • To Keep CBS, Redstone May Sell Theaters
    Sumner Redstone may sell the theater chain owned by his National Amusements Inc. holding company to keep control of CBS and Viacom. Redstone, 85, told bankers he is willing to part with the 1,500- screen cinema chain as a possible step to raise money and meet his debt obligations. National Amusements sold $233 million in non-voting shares of the New York-based media companies on Oct. 10 to meet debt covenants. The company is seeking to refinance $800 million in bank loans that come due next month. But it is possible that selling the theaters won't be enough. ...
  • MTV To Host Inaugural Ball in Washington
    In a bid to connect more closely with the young, politically-minded audience, MTV is throwing an inaugural bash for President-elect Barack Obama. The network will televise the event across its various channels and platforms, including MTV and MTV.com. MTV's "Be the Change Inaugural Ball" will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington on Jan. 20. The Viacom Inc.-owned network said the event is designed to celebrate the large youth voter turnout in the election. Organizers will choose hundreds of young people to attend based on their volunteerism. The ball will also feature ...
  • MediaCom Makes Senior Moves
    Stephen Allan, worldwide CEO of WPP's MediaCom, is rapidly assembling his management team. Key appointments are David Kyffin, who has been promoted to global chief ROI and direct marketing officer, and Mick Mernagh, who has been named global chief insight officer. Kyffin had been managing director of direct and digital for WWP's GroupM. He will now focus on planning for direct-response efforts in both online and offline media. Prior to his GroupM role, Kyffin led MediaCom U.K.'s DM department. Mernagh was director of consumer insight at MediaCom U.K. In his new post, he is tasked with maintaining ...
  • Future Of Newspapers: Hyper-Local News
    Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, the online bane of all newspaper classified sections, sees a promising new phase for news media. He believes that people want a few sources of national news overall and then a lot of sources for very local information and assistance. "Now and then we do care about really big issues, but we also need to see the hyper-local stuff, and I think that's the way many newspapers are going to survive," he says. Readers care about what's happening around them because they all live in communities, and "in our culture now, we feel ...
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