• MediaVest: Buyers Can Still Tweak Upfront Deals
    Marketers sat on their wallets at this year's upfront, pushing networks into 20% declines. Negotiations dragged on for more than two months, and all were under tight wraps. Amid the secrecy, what lessons did media buyers and marketers learn? Donna Speciale, president at MediaVest, says bigger media buyers, like MediaVest, had a leg up this year because they didn't rely on information about other buyers' deals. "It was the smaller buyers who needed the information. If the secrecy continues, and I think it likely will, it's the smaller agencies that will suffer," she says. The good news is ...
  • Despite Controversy, Novelty Mag Covers Going Strong
    Expect more gimmicky ad treatments from magazines in the coming months as publishers hunt for revenue. For instance, Esquire is pitching ads that would jump off the page when the magazine is held up to a computer's Webcam. The augmented reality technology would enhance its December "Best & Brightest" issue focusing on innovation. It would be the first editorial-driven use of augmented reality, and sparks more questions about the mixing of editorial and ad content. To advertisers, Esquire's effort is described as having the cover subject greet readers, who will then see the cover image be built. Inside, ...
  • Will E-readers Help Save Newspapers?
    E-readers like Amazon's Kindle DX represent a way for news publishers to cut costs in addition to capturing new readers and revenue streams. Newspapers are drawn to cutting general print and circulation costs, which often represent 30% to 50% of their total costs. In an e-reader model, this distribution would cost the publisher virtually nothing. Dallas Morning News publisher James Moroney thinks e-readers give newspapers a new lease on life. By 2012, Forrester anticipates an e-reader market potential of 12 million people. In comparison, daily newspaper circulation was roughly 48 million copies in 2008. So far, The ...
  • CNBC Uses Web to Put a Face on the Recession
    CNBC.com is looking to tap into the user-generated content phenomenon to cover the recession. The site is inviting its users to submit personal stories on how the recession is directly impacting their lives. Now through Sept. 30, those stories will be collected and used to populate a new feature on the site called "Faces of the Recession." The idea is to examine the recession on a more micro-level that goes beyond big business and macro statistics. "We have heard from some who are giving up, some who are getting by, and some who are getting ahead. These ...
  • ESPN To Use Holograms On-Air in Spring
    ESPN is working on virtual set technology that allows people in distant locations to appear as holograms on-screen. The tech special effects are set to go on-air in the spring. To demonstrate the new technology, ESPN assembled anchor Chris Berman and EVP of technology Chuck Pagano in a conference room, seated eight feet apart, with a series of large HD displays behind them. Then longtime anchor Bob Ley magically appeared, seated on a chair between them, in hologram form on the TV screens. Ley was actually seated in a green-screen set down the hall. In the demonstration, Ley's virtual appearance ...
  • WNBC Launches Rock Music Radio Show
    As part of WNBC-TV's new lifestyle approach to programming, this Saturday the New York NBC flagship will launch a weekly radio show on Emmis Communications' WRXP-FM. Called NYFM, the half-hour program will focus on the New York rock music scene. NYFM will be hosted by radio personalities Matt Pinfield and Leslie Fram and be produced by LX.TV, the production house of NBC Local Media. The show will feature new album releases, concert dates, industry gossip, local breakout bands, in-studio performances and artist interviews. The launch of the radio show precedes the Sept. 14 debut of LX New York, ...
  • Tribune Bondholders Unhappy With Zell Takeover
    Tribune Co. bondholders have asked a U.S. bankruptcy judge to let them investigate Sam Zell's 2007 buyout of the newspaper-and-television chain. The filing calls the $8.2 billion transaction a "fraudulent conveyance" that left Tribune insolvent from the onset of the 2007 deal. It accuses senior lenders led by J.P. Morgan Chase of completing a leveraged buyout they should have known would push the company into bankruptcy. The filing will seek to slow or nullify an advancing plan for Tribune to exit from bankruptcy protection that calls for J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch and other banks to get nearly all of ...
  • U.S. Mulls Single Rating System for TV, Phones, Games
    U.S. regulators will consider a single ratings system that would warn parents of programming on television, video games and wireless telephones that could be inappropriate for children. The Federal Communications Commission will begin the inquiry Aug. 31 after an agency report is sent to Congress on media blocking and rating techniques, say insiders. The FCC action follows congressional queries into whether children are harmed by inappropriate content, such as sex, violence and obscenity. Senators want to know whether revisions are needed to the law to protect children, says Senator Jay Rockefeller. The West Virginia Democrat, who chairs the ...
  • What Advertisers Will Pay For News Sites
    A new study suggests that advertisers will pay top dollar for a different kind of access to online news readers. A report from ad broker Pontiflex says that marketers will pay publishers an average price of $2.27 for each reader they can convince to fill out a form with their real name and e-mail address, along with a few bits of personal data such as their Twitter handle, phone number or shopping habits. Pontiflex founder Zephrin Lasker calls the packages of user data extracted from surveys and polls "marketing leads" and says that publishers can boost their revenues ...
  • Ad Market Slow for Olympics, Super Bowl
    The advertising market is moving at a glacial pace for two of the biggest ticket items of 2010-Super Bowl XLIV and the Winter Olympics. Though the events are less than six months away, their network rights holders both have considerable inventory left to sell, and ad buyers seem content to wait until much closer to the events to make their buys. While NBC is said to be holding the line on its pricing for the Olympics, ad buyers described CBS as more flexible, with the average cost of an A-position 30-second spot during the Super Bowl dropping from ...
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