CBS made the safe choice by hiring Katie Couric, but it seems it could have taken a riskier move--hiring MSNBC's wisecracking, very opinionated Keith Olbermann. This is according to a recent story in the New Yorker magazine.
It didn't seem possible just a few months ago that there could be another strike hitting the TV and film industry. But the way the Screen Actors Guild is talking, there's a real possibility that it could happen again, following up on last winter's Writers Guild of America strike.
PBS has been moving to a more advertising-supported model over the last several years. Now the Internet seems to be helping this trend along. PBS will be adding shows on Hulu.com -- "Nova," "Wired Science," "Carrier" and "Scientific American Frontiers" - and looking for more marketing associations.
Who am I to judge a TV viewer's moral opinion? Here's a recent blog about CBS' somewhat controversial 1970s period drama about adult swingers, "Swingtown" : "This show is just trash. It's primetime porn. And it is sending the wrong message to young people, but Nina [Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment] knows this. This show is morally wrong and does not belong on any network." Then, one more thought: "I want 'Moonlight' back." Right. So extramarital relationships are bad -- but blood-sucking mythical creatures, vampires, are fine. Tell the kids it's wrong to screw around -- but it's okay to ...
Time Warner mulling a possible NBC smells like another potentially big deal of years past -- one that didn't live up to expectations. When asked about an NBC Universal purchase at a recent investor's conference, CEO Jeff Bewkes was quick to point out what even NBC Universal president/CEO Jeff Zucker has mentioned many times -- that the bulk of the company profits, more than 50% of its net earnings, is driven by its cable channels.
Surprised by how the CW fared this upfront period? Not everyone is. For all the bad press the network got, one thing was always clear: it always stuck to its niche marketing premise of targeting young women. Even with a 20% reduction in its ratings, there was no doubt advertisers still recognized the CW was one of the few places to go to get this audience. So this upfront the CW commanded 7% to 8% cost per viewer [CPM] increases -- more or less the same increases as other networks.
Sony was never big in the traditional business of TV distribution -- networks, TV stations, or cable channels. For years, analysts wondered how Sony could gain enough market synergies from its limited traditional network outlets -- the Game Show Network and a number of branded international channels. Sony was always compared negatively to other media companies like Time Warner, NBC Universal, CBS and Viacom, since it lacked traditional media arenas.
Where are the movie studios this upfront market? Typically these companies are first to get in on the ground floor for the new season. They need premium positions for their movies -- especially in the key holiday and summer time periods. Networks always like grabbing movie media dollars first (as well as automotive dollars). All this sets the bar nice and high for other advertisers to follow. But maybe there are some changes afoot.
NBC might be "on track" with its Beijing Olympics TV advertising sales -- but the train is sure to come in late to the station. NBC claims it is 80% finished with its goal of selling TV advertising time in the Olympics -- its goal being some $1.2 billion in advertising revenue. Historically, that means they are well behind where they should be, according to media industry executives. (NBC disagrees). Typically going into the summer, most analysts say any Olympic TV sales should be about 85% to 90% completed.
Will we have a repeat of the Super Bowl with the NBA Finals? ESPN Sports can't get a much better marquee match-up then the two longtime-storied NBA franchises of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. The hope for ESPN and ABC is that big viewership will result in, if not new TV ratings records, at least a tremendous improvement from the historical lows the NBA Finals pulled in last year when the San Antonio Spurs bested the Cleveland Cavaliers, a series that earned a low-bouncing 6.2 household rating.