• Animal Planet Bows Investigative Series About Testing, Abuse
    Animal Planet is launching a quarterly series of investigative documentaries, beginning with a January special on dog fighting. The decision is based on the success it had last year with "Animal Witness: The Michael Vick Case," its most-watched telecast of the year among adults 25-54. Animal Planet president Marjorie Kaplan says, "We looked at that and the success of the documentary 'Whale Wars,' and were moved the passion our audience has for these kind of things. We decided to curate a series of specials." First up, "Dogfighting: An Animal Investigates Special," in January. Future editions will look at ...
  • Marketers Ask Radio Execs for Research, Flexibility
    Radio executives at the Advertising Research Foundation's Audio Council in New York got an insightful look as to what radio advertisers are looking for. A big issue is breakthrough research. "Radio promises us effectiveness and tells us that X million people listen, but what are they doing with it? How are they engaging with it?" asks Diane Whitehead, ad director for Verizon Wireless. Whitehead and others are also conscientious of commercial-pod length. "If you have data that says listeners love listening to these pods, bring it on, because [then] we'd love to be in those pods," she says. ...
  • Palo Alto 'Daily News' Goes from Tab to Broadsheet
    The free Daily News of Palo Alto, Calif., will convert in the fall to a 21-inch-deep broadsheet, which will make it one of the few free broadsheet daily newspapers in the U.S. Based in the community that surrounds Stanford University, the five-day-a-week paper is making the transition because it is changing its printer to the pressroom of owner MediaNews Group's San Jose Mercury News. The change from commuter-friendly tabloid to broadsheet is not expected to hurt circulation, because most readers pull copies from newsracks rather than pick them up on mass transit. The new size may help ...
  • Lifetime, 'Marie Claire' Join Hands for 'Project Runway'
    Working in conjunction with Hearst, Lifetime Television will offer some of its affiliates free, one-year subscriptions to Hearst's Marie Claire fashion title, which local advertisers can extend to their customers. Additionally, Marie Claire will be integrated into the programming of "Project Runway" and its new companion series, "Models of the Runway." The sixth season's winning designer and respective model will be featured in a fashion photo spread in an upcoming issue of the magazine. The two shows are scheduled to bow on Lifetime on Aug. 20. The initiative also offers participating affiliates in the top 20 markets ...
  • Major Media Agencies and Owners Try Out MediaEquals
    MediaEquals, a new U.K.-based player, wants to create an automated online trading system that covers all media buying and selling, not just distressed sales. It is currently running trials with six major media buyers -- Omnicom, WPP, Publicis, Aegis, Interpublic and Havas -- and with media owners, including BBC Magazines, The Guardian Media Group and Bauer Publishing. MediaEquals' system, which has been in development for three years, claims to offer something more than rival auction-based or pure transaction systems. The founders say it replicates the way media is bought and sold in the real world and acts as a ...
  • Vincent Bollore Sells Paper Subsidiary to Republic
    Bollore Group, the French conglomerate run by Havas chairman Vincent Bollore, has sold its cigarette paper subsidiary for an undisclosed sum. The unit, which has annual sales of about $166 million and employs 440, was sold to U.S. based Republic Group, which makes cigarette packaging. In addition to Havas, Bollore is the largest shareholder in media buying group Aegis and has made several failed attempts to win two seats on the board of Aegis. Industry experts say Bollore is seeking to combine the two agency networks.
  • Fox, CW Set to Finish Upfront Sales
    At least two broadcasters -- Fox and the CW - are poised to complete their upfront selling by the end of this week. The CW is doing deals for its prime-time inventory at an average of -2% to -3%, while Fox is averaging prime-time CPMs at -1%, according to sources. NBC is also said to be quite far along, but unlike Fox and the CW, is negotiating many of its deals for NBC inventory in conjunction with its cable networks, which slows the process. NBC, which did its first deal more than a month ago, is averaging prime-time CPM ...
  • Media Firms vs. Google in Real Estate Listings Brawl
    In a sign of what could be ahead in the U.S., two of Google's largest media customers in Australia are threatening to pull their ads from Google because it is entering the real-estate listings market. Fairfax Media and News Limited may pull the millions they collectively spend on buying key search terms on Google following the latter's decision to list properties for sale on Google Maps. The two media companies dominate the market for properties being searched for on the Internet and the $144 million of classified advertising revenue that goes with it. Google sources property listings from ...
  • Weather Channel in Web Pact With Frommer's
    The Weather Channel has hooked up with guidebook giant Frommer's to beef up its travel-related weather content on the Web. As part of the new partnership, Weather.com's travel destination guides will feature Frommer's content covering hundreds of destinations worldwide. Consumers in trip-planning mode can sort through the warmest, coldest, driest and wettest months for possible vacation spots, as well as gage average temperature and rainfall measures. Weather.com's destination sections are now expanding to include travel information on attractions, hotels, kid-friendly activities and restaurants.
  • Why Cooke Is Buying Local Newspapers from Cox
    John Kent Cooke, former president of the Washington Redskins and son of the legendary Jack Kent Cooke, has followed his late father into the newspaper business. Last week, he bought three daily newspapers and 10 weeklies in North Carolina from Cox Enterprises. Cooke already owns the Key West Citizen daily newspaper and a string of Florida weeklies. Why is Cooke investing in the embattled newspaper business? "These are very attractive markets," he explains. "They are isolated. They are not too close to Washington, D.C., or New York City or Los Angeles. As a result, the news in those ...
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