• WWE Aims to Put Viewers in Full-Nelson This Fall
    A heavy-pounding body slam is needed to examine TV wrestling. World Wrestling Entertainment isn't throwing its weight around like it used to. The Motley Fool wonders: "When did watching pretend fights between overgrown men in bathing suits stop being cool?" WWE's North American revenues reached a high point in 2001 - and have steadily slipped since then. Now it has a second chance; it's back on the big cable channel, USA Network. Helping to possibly fuel a renewal, Viacom's Spike will carry Total Nonstop Action's (TNA) one-hour wrestling program in the fall. Spike had WWE's programming for ...
  • Branding the Late Night Funny
    Marketing geniuses love the trick of getting TV producers to talk like advertising geeks. Accomplish that and they believe the whole will right itself; media planners and executives will all breathe a collective sigh of relief. They'll be understood. In a story on the growth of late night cable programming, Rob Burnett, executive producer of "Late Show with David Letterman," has the vernacular down. "What's extraordinarily valuable in TV right now [are] brands," he told the Los Angeles Times. "It's a lot harder for newcomers to gain the audience that someone like Dave has."
  • Marketing the Next "American Idol"
    Paula Abdul is not guilty. But we'll all be very guilty when observing the next "American Idol," which could give the show another high-note year. on how to wear his hair and clothes. Clark also said Abdul was his girlfriend for a period.
  • Watch, Er, Read CBS Carefully This Fall
    CBS is launching a free, quarterly, consumer-targeted looking entertainment magazine called Watch!, with feature stories, behind-the-scenes coverage, and exclusive interviews of -- what else? - CBS television shows! The magazine will be distributed at Paramount Parks, CBS show tapings, and at about 200 CBS affiliates across the country. Gil Schwartz, executive vice president of the CBS Communications Group, told Daily Variety: "If people read the magazine and it reads like propaganda from the organization, then I think we've not succeeded."
  • News Corp. Gets Greedy, Blames Nielsen for Revenue Dip
    News Corp. finally thinks it has some legitimate Nielsen ratings blood on their hands. In financial results released yesterday, the press took the bait from the News Corp. analysis into why its Fox TV station group witnessed a 5 percent drop in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter. Well, we know. It's those damn local people meters, of course, which produce fewer minority viewers and therefore yield lower advertising revenue.
  • Icahn to Force His Hand at Time Warner
    It's a TV news story that'll raise the blood of every hardworking media business journalist in the business -- a good, old-fashioned corporate raider making an uninvited bid for a major media company. We are speaking of the noted Carl Icahn and the always fun-to-bash Time Warner. No, Icahn isn't formally offering a fight yet - just talking to major shareholders and big hedge funds to see if they are as unhappy with Time Warner's stock performance as most of America who invested in the company.
  • ABC News Looks to the Future
    A tough decision awaits any broadcast network when one of its most visible on-air personalities dies. ABC News has to decide exactly how, when, and with whom to replace the loved anchorman in its "World News Tonight." Juggling emotions for the man from viewers, as well as tens of millions of advertising dollars, ABC needs to be thoughtful - especially if that person will be a major network figure, such as Jennings, for decades to come.
  • NBC Universal Follows The GE Way
    organized. But now it seems that isn't the case - not when Chairman Bob Wright is talking about $400 million in cuts. And, not when NBC Universal seems to want to build up more entertainment assets - especially in buying the live action film unit of DreamWorks. A lot has been made of the General Electric effect that will take over the companies it acquires. Now is the true test of what becomes of NBC, Universal, and its other entertainment properties.
  • Key to Branded Entertainment Deals: NYC Bagels and LA Lattes
    ZenithOptimedia is the latest New York-based media agency to go west and wacky for those important, ground-breaking, branded entertainment connections. The Firm's Rich Frank, who helped Zenith's client Toyota Motor Sales into what turned out to be a less-than-spectacular deal for Mark Burnett's "The Contender" earlier this season, will now, as a consultant, get to represent all of Zenith's clients, including General Mills, Hewlett Packard, JPMorgan Chase, Lexus, L'Oreal, Nestle, Scion, and Verizon Wireless.
  • Roger Ailes Looks to Conquer More TV Lands
    One wonders what loud-mouth, high-volume, news and programming magic Roger Ailes might spin should he become the new chairman of Fox Television Stations. The Fox brand -- with its bold and strong attributes - would no doubt get a needed Fox-style kick. Reports have circulated that Ailes, the staunch Republican who created the successful conservative-laced Fox News cable network brand, is destined to assume the top spot replacing Lachlan Murdoch while also keeping his job as chairman of Fox News Channel.
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