So here's the big yawn of the week: the Parent's Television Council (PTC) is going after MTV advertisers. Why? Because of what it calls MTV's programming sleaze. Sleaze? Please. This is the same organization who had to apologize for wrongly linking World Wrestling Entertainment's programming to the deaths of four children back in July 2002, as well as claiming certain advertisers had stopped advertising on its show "SmackDown!"
Family feuds sometimes don't seem like all they're cracked up to be. In the media world, a dramatic TV show cascades into a final torrent of emotion - anger, sadness, or euphoria. But real life squabbles wind up being downright pedestrian.
Brian Roberts, chairman/CEO of Comcast, not only knows a thing or two about cable business issues, but also how to soften the tough turf known as journalism. For the last two weeks, he has been the subject of a two-part interview by Stephen Unger, an executive recruiter, who is penning a column for Daily Variety, called "Working The Town."
For any major media company, it comes down to micro-managing versus "hands-off." Hands-off always seems to get a favorite airing among the press, while disgruntled employees cringe under the micro-management approach. Under Bob Iger's new regime at Walt Disney Co. the hands are with "hands-off."
Heading into upfront season everyone is looking for an edge. For TV programmers that edge may come in the form of programming, even though that might put advertisers on edge. Sharpen your programming schedule pencils, then.
Good news for traditional sellers of television time - branded entertainment isn't all that entertaining for advertisers. The Association of National Advertisers said 63 percent of its 118 marketers have used branded entertainment, but only 11 percent say they'll do another deal again this year. Worse still, a business-crushing 79 percent say branded entertainment stuff is overpriced. And you know what that means? More sharpened pencils up and down Sixth Avenue - especially those that will write higher CPMs for traditional 30-second spots to be sold during this upfront.
Advertisers must be scratching their heads when it comes to departing network executives and the timing of the New York upfront meetings. Less than two months away from those meetings - and for the second year in a row --- the head of the broadcasting network will leave. Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman is taking a senior position at Paramount Pictures.
How much labeling do we need on U.S. television programming? Obviously a lot more. Two Senate Democrats joined two public interest groups in asking the Federal Communications Commission to investigate TV news segments produced by the Bush Administration that have been aired on TV newscasts without viewers knowledge.
"American Idol" has a new owner and that new company wants TV networks around the world to sing a more doting economic and advertising song. Robert Sillerman's Sports Entertainment Enterprises will buy 19 Entertainment Ltd. for about $200 million in cash and stock. Sillerman's companies also own an 85 percent stake in the Elvis Presley estate.
On your mark. Get set. Go upfronting. With seven weeks to go before media agencies and TV sellers warm up the microwaves for all that late night upfront buying and selling activity, it's probably a good idea to reminisce over the good times - of 2004.