Good holiday financial news for Comcast, which "saw its market value close above $100 billion for the first time, validating the bet it made on NBC Universal almost two years ago," writes Alex Sherman. "The company has benefited from improving prime-time ratings among 18- to 49-year-olds at the broadcast network, which climbed from last place to first this season." Topping off the good news is Comcast's first place rank in the "16-member Standard & Poor’s media index
In "its largest attempt to date to attract big swaths of ad dollars from TV advertisers," by April Faceboook will launch a video-ad product that will "target video ads to large numbers of Facebook users in their news feeds" on both desktops and mobile devices, writes Jason Del Rey.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Lisa Gersh will leave that position -- which she had held only since July -- "as directors begin to search for a successor," writes
deadline.com's David Lieberman. "For months, there also has been talk of tension between Gersh, an experienced media executive [formerly at Oxygen] and the company’s namesake founder and chief creative officer," according to Keith Kelly. "Stewart was said to crave broad television exposure and was upset in January when the Hallmark Channel ended her daily talk show. Gersh worked out deals with Hulu and AOL to distribute new and archived clips …
The Boston Globe will begin swapping content with Boston-based station WBZ-TV on Monday, "for the first time regularly broadcast[ing] videos produced by the newspaper’s staff on a major market television station," writes Callum Borchers. Besides airing videos that will include footage of breaking news events, the station will also interview Globe reporters and preview "notable" upcoming articles. What content will the station give the paper? So far, just "weather forecasts by WBZ meteorologists [which] will be updated on Boston.com’s home page five times each day," according to Borchers.
Well, maybe, according to reports that "various talent agents... admit they have quietly been contacted by NBC officials hoping to find a new late-late host who will eventually take over Fallon’s 12:35 a.m. time slot"-- which would leave Fallon free to take on the big job after Jay Leno's contract expires in 2014, writes Don Kaplan. "[M]y money is on how NBC brass are betting it’s high time they cash in on a generational shift toward younger viewers that has been going on in late-night television for some time."
Andrew Beaujon takes a serious, comprehensive look at the media's coverage of the Newtown Conn. shootings, discussing such issues as early journalist and social media mistakes and media-bashing itself. He presents two examples of excellent pieces -- including this "deeply reported" one
from the nearby Hartford Courant
-- and concludes, "Great journalism still takes time, usually, and breaking stories don’t require great journalism. They just require honesty about how damn hard it is to find out what happened and relay what you’ve learned." Beaujon also provides fascinating examples of how the process of breaking news has always …
"Gossip Girl," which ended its five-year stint on CW Monday night, was a landmark show for product placement, as "perhaps... the training ground for a horde of tech-savvy advertisers trying to find ways to make their products seem less complex and more easy to adapt to modern lifestyles," writes Brian Steinberg. With most characters "rich beyond viewers' wildest dreams," it made sense for them to have the latest tech devices and show how such devices worked, "whether that activity involved checking a map or trying to identify a new song," according to Steinberg. "'Gossip Girl' helped make it OK, more …
Film production company Participant Media will launch an as-yet-untitled cable network next summer "by combining the assets of two obscure channels, The Documentary Channel and Halogen TV," writes Brian Stelter. Targeting viewers under 35, the network will include original programming, and also "could be a destination for documentary films made by Participant and other producers," according to Stelter.
Twitter and Nielsen have partnered to create a "'Nielsen Twitter TV Rating' that will measure the total audience for social TV activity on Twitter, including both people who comment and people who are exposed to their comments," writes Nat Ives. This metric will "act as a complement and companion to the Nielsen TV rating," helping to measure audience engagement with TV programming, according to Chloe Sladden, VP-media at Twitter.
Next year in streaming video? "There will be significant progress made towards a new monetization model beyond the traditional ad-supported and subscription service ones," such as "a next-generation Home Shopping Network" that realizes "the full potential of combining streaming video and e-commerce." That's one of four predictions made by Kun Gao, CEO of global video network Crunchyroll, Inc., in this post. Gao also forecasts more "globalization of professional content."