• Hoop It Up: NBA To End Lockout With Xmas Game
    The National Basketball Association has ended its nearly six-month-long work stoppage  and should be playing its first three games on Dec. 25. That's a nice Christmas present for such advertisers as Kia, Miller Coors and American Express, along with "TV outlets such as Disney's ABC Sports/ESPN and Time Warner's  Turner Networks, the latter being particularly exposed to a prolonged lockout because it lacks lots of substitutable sports programming," according to Advertising Age.
  • Is Consumer Reports Moving Closer To Ecommerce?
    Consumer Reports publications have always positioned themselves as above the commercial fray, accepting no advertising and no free products in their aim to provide purely impartial product reviews. So we’re watching carefully CR’s new partnership with search engine Decide.com for a section of the CR Web site called "Deals of The Day," featuring products "recommended by Consumer Reports [that]  have recently dropped to their lowest-ever prices at the indicated retailers according to Decide's price data" -- complete with links to the deals. There are not one, but two, disclaimers about how purely informational and noncommercial the whole things is: …
  • Tiger Woods Sets Two Sponsorship Deals
    Showing "hints of a comeback," Tigers Woods has signed two new sponsorship deals with Rolex and Fuse Science, a sports nutrition startup whose first product has not yet been released, according to The New York Times. Both partnerships "replace only a fraction of the income Woods lost when AT&T, Accenture, Gatorade, Gillette and others cut ties with him."
  • Bring On The Funny: Comedy Radio Stations Abound
    Here's some cheeful news: a number of radio stations around the U.S. (as well as, most recently, in Canada) have adopted all-comedy formats this year, from Kansas City's Funny 102.5 to Grand Rapids, Mich.'s Funny 1410. Most of the stations use Donkey Comedy Network’s 24/7 Comedy programming service.
  • Jenny's Not On The Block Today
    The discovery that a Fiat ad showing Jennifer Lopez returning to her old Bronx neighborhood used a body double for the Bronx scenes may have shocked "a jaded public well accustomed to fakery in TV advertising," writes Noam Cohen. But the blogger who first wrote about the shoot in October gave Lopez some points for "trying to make [the] connection [with her Bronx childhood] – the majority position is that people from that background don’t look back.” Check out the piece for Fiat's "nonchalant" confirmation of the body double, as well as speculation about the authenticity of another element in …
  • Celeb Weeklies' Star May Be Fading
    With a continued slump in newsstand sales of weekly celebrity magazines, Bauer Media Group’s In Touch Weekly and Life & Style have cut their circulation guarantees, by 18.8% and 11.1% respectively.  The moves follow a 21.9% rate base cut by American Media’s OK earlier this year, and several cuts for its sister publication Star.  On the other hand, Wenner Media’s Us Weekly increased its rate base 2.6% last January and the industry leader, Time Inc.’s People, has held steady.
  • Turkey Drop Honors A TV Classic
    Tomorrow's Turkey Day -- and while giant televised balloons parade here in New York, our thoughts will be in Danville, Ill., where 12 balloons of the hot-air type will drop poultry (rubber versions, thank goodness) to the ground in the 14th annual “Les Nessman Memorial Turkey Drop.”  If that doesn’t ring in bell in your TV memory archives, here’s a Hulu link to the classic “Turkeys Away” episode of “WKRP in Cincinnati.”
  • Global Piracy Still Problem As Walled Gardens Come Down
    Interesting post here about the differences between U.S. video streaming habits and ROW (the rest of the world).  While Netflix dominates mainstream entertainment downloading in the U.S., BitTorrent and similar sites take the prize elsewhere.  This, of course, screams global piracy, and Peter Lewinton here identifies the most-pirated sports networks -- namely ESPN, SkySports and Al Jazeera Sports, stating, “This activity is supported (directly or indirectly) by an impressive list of blue chip advertisers such as Google, Vodafone and BT.”
  • Are James Murdoch's Remaining News Corp. Roles Just Empty Titles?
    Despite his resignation today as head of the group that publishes the U.K.’s Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun (and that used to publish the scandalized, now-shut-down News of the World), James Murdoch remains chairman of News International and deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.  But, writes Corky Siemaszko, other British papers “are suggesting that Rupert’s boy may be chairman in name only.”
  • 'Playboy' Liked Most On Facebook
    Cue the girlie-magazine jokes. With a total of more than 5.5 million "likes," Playboy has the most popular magazine page on Facebook, according to recent research from Magazine Radar. The page includes such features as interaction with Playmates (well, through what's called "candid Q&As," writes Stefanie Botello) -- so that's a no-brainer, right?  Next on the list: Food NetworkMagazine and Vogue.
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