Google's efforts to grab a share of the ad agency pie -- online, of course, but also TV ad inventory -- needn't threaten agency giants, according to a report just released by Pivotal Research Group. A bigger threat to ad agencies: publishers and "IT services firms along the lines of Accenture and IBM, who are building platforms to help execute media campaigns, and to leverage the business and strategic consulting positions they already have with these brands," writes Ingrid Lunden.
Are you ready for (more than) some football? Next week NBC Universal will feature 18-plus hours of programming supporting the Feb. 5 big game. Broadcast and cable entities on the Super Bowl team include the Golf Channel, the Weather Channel, NBC's "Access Hollywood" and Bravo's "Top Chef" (popular former cheftestants Richard Blais and Antonia Lofaso will compete to create "the perfect tailgate food" on a pre-game show). And "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" is even traveling to Indianapolis on what is billed as its first road trip.
If you're a fan of the NBC comedy-spy show "Chuck," you'll know that it ends its five-season run tonight with a finale of two back-to-back episodes. Feeling sentimental? Then check out this TV Guide piece
that interviews many of the show's principals during final filming, complete with crying from stars Zachari Levi and Yvonne Strahovski, and this intriguing quote from producer Chris Fedak: "We wanted a finale that was perilous and scary, and not just in a spy-mission sort of way. Everything'Chuck has achieved in the last five seasons will be in jeopardy." Feeling celebratory? Then check out Alan …
It's CNN, claims -- surprise! -- CNN. According to its data, last year's total for average monthly unique visitors -- 73 million -- for CNN Digital "beat 'MSNBC by 38%, Fox News by 187%, ABC News Digital by 217% and CBS Interactive by 260%." The company tracked 2.3 billion total page views for the year, which means, it claims, it "outperformed MSNBC by 83%, Fox News by 143%, CBS News by 819%, and ABC News Digital by 1013%."
With its Q4 2011 numbers, Time Warner "easily beat analyst estimates on practically every front," writes Mike Farrell. Net income grew 44%, with cash flow up 9%, and a 4% increase in revenue. The loss of 129,000 basic video customers in the period, however, was in line with forecasts, along with its addition of 117,000 high-speed data customers and 37,000 telephony subscribers.
According to comScore, that's British tabloid The Daily Mail, beating out presumptive leader The New York Times with a December user score of 45.3 million people to 44.8 million, respectively. But the Times claims the Mail total unfairly added in a personal financial site. "The Daily Mail is not in our competitive set," sniffs a spokeswoman. Whatever. Still, a good discussion of the Mail's digital strategy -- moving slowly toward monetizing international traffic -- here.
From domestic diva to a sweet song-and-dance lady! Hallmark Channel is close to a deal with ATI for the production company's talk show "Marie," starring Marie Osmond, which would replace the canceled "The Martha Stewart Show," the flagship of Martha Stewart Living Omnmedia. The fate of other shows MSLO produces for the channel, including "Martha Bakes," is also up for discussion. That's just one of the signs of "a poor start for MSLO President and COO Lisa Gersh, who is trying to get the company’s financial house in order," writes Claire Atkinson. Our favorite part of the story, though, was …
The Washington Post is partnering with the fashion-themed social networking site Polyvore for an "Oscars Remixed" contest. From now until the awards ceremony Feb. 26, the Post "will ask readers to create 'sets'–Polyvore’s version of a fashion inspiration board–visually expressing who should win best picture or what a particular starlet should wear to the ceremony," writes Emma Bazilian. "The top selections will be interspersed with Oscars coverage on the Post’s website, and one winner will have [his or her] own Q&A featured in the newspaper."
"Turns out rumors of Bethenny Frankel's demise – as a syndicated talk show – were premature," writes Paige Albiniak. Despite earlier reports that the show was dead in the water, the reality star's Warner Bros. show is getting a six-week tryout on "select Fox Television Stations – including WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles," writes Albiniak.
Time Warner launched a media research lab at its New York headquarters. Complete with "a faux living room [and] a 47-seat 3-D movie theater," it's "meant to serve as a central hub not just for testing its own shows, but also for marketers who want to learn how viewers watch television and use the Web," writes Amy Chozick. "The company hopes the Manhattan location will appeal to nearby Madison Avenue."