Ad pages for men's magazines rose 13% this year, "with all but one title gaining pages," and the "laggard" was Maxim, writes Michael Sebastian, citing figures released by the Media Industry Newsletter. But the category was down 6% last year, which "stands to make this year's gains sharper."
Gap "earns some serious points for its quick, classy response" after hearing that a New York City subway ad featuring a Sikh model had been defaced with anti-Muslim slurs, writes David Gianatasio. The company used social media to figure out the exact location of the ad -- though no word yet on what steps it's taken to get the poster down.
This year, the "rarity" of TV networks going straight to a series commitment without seeing a pilot first "has become far more commonplace," a trend pioneered by Fox, which is "handing out series commitments to more than a half-dozen 2014 projects, including a high-profile comedy from Tina Fey, the fantasy adventure Hieroglyph, and the Batman-inspired Gotham," writes Josef Adalian. He analyzes this trend and other changes in the TV development cycle like "off-cycle pilots" here.
Yesterday the rumors were all about Charter Communications, and now it's Cox Communications reportedly considering jumping into the ring for the purchase of Time Warner Cable -- which would make "the nation's third-largest cable operator" taking over the second-largest one, write Wall Street Journal reporters.
TV's longest-running program, "Meet the Press," recently added to its digital footprint with "#TweetThePress," a mid-week online text interview that runs on the show's Twitter page. "I start asking questions, and [Twitter users] retweet the responses or the fact that it's happening. They sort of take over the interview," David Gregory, "Meet the Press" host, tells Jefferson Graham.
When NBC airs "The Sound of Music" on Dec. 5, the show will be live, but the hills will be "props," according to this post's headline (playing of course on the eponymous song's first line, "The hills are alive...") Live musical broadcasts are hardly the norm in TV, so everyone from the actors to production folks are worrying: “I have three hours to screw up,” notes Beth McCarthy-Miller, director. More fun quotes and behind-the-scenes scuttlebutt in this post, including the news that Carrie Underwood, who stars as Maria, is nervous about her dance scene with Stephen Moyer’s Captain von Trapp.
The Economist is starting to put automatically playing video ads in between paragraphs of its text articles, working with a French firm, Teads. Um, are we the only ones who see a huge consumer annoyance factor with this kind of in-your-face advertising?
The Washington Times inked a content-sharing deal with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, "allowing the newspaper to use the regional TV sports channel's digital coverage on its website and in print," starting immediately, writes Ben Fischer. "Financial terms were not disclosed."
Rumors are currently afoot that Comcast wants to buy Time Warner Cable. While neither company will comment, press speculation has begun, including this post by Marguerite Reardon. "Because a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable company would be so huge, there has been talk that Comcast may partner with smaller cable operator Charter Communications to split up the customers and territory as a way to win regulatory approval," she writes.
Last week's news that Maria Bartiromo, CNBC's "Money Honey," was leaving the network for Fox Business Network, "was just the type of tectonic shift with gossipy back story that has long made the television business such a glamorous game of brinksmanship and backstabbing," writes Michael Wolff. "But this time it hardly registered" and "nobody much tried to stop her" from CNBC, since the feeling was now that "everybody's replaceable." Wolff also analyzes the gradual slowdown of television business news that fed this feeling.