It's tough to feel sorry for the long-time face of Verizon Wireless with the hipster glasses and jacket, asking "Can you hear me now?" A piece in the latest issue of "The Atlantic" with the subhead "The Verizon Guy Gets His Life Back" would have you believe the actor Paul Marcarelli was in Alcatraz and actually uses the word "imprisonment" to describe restrictions the ad campaign placed on him.
GMC's Mary Jeanne (MJ) Cavanagh has been meeting with buyers to pitch upfront inventory for years. Increasingly, though, even kinetic PowerPoint slides or a compelling highlight reel, don't make people look up from a BlackBerry. So this year, she thinks she's found a way to drive interest in GMC, formerly known as the Gospel Music Channel. A bus.
Remember five years ago when TV was moribund. The Web was supposed to be an advertiser's medium of choice with superior targeting and metrics. Now, a link between TV and the Web looks to be a major reason TV is soaring.
Two Wall Street analyst reports Thursday gave more evidence that it's an excellent time to be a TV programmer over the short term (with an upper hand in this summer's upfront) and looking ahead (content puts them in a pole position). The upfront looks to be robust, while cord-cutting and a Netflix threat minimal.
As ESPN's service that streams live sports online was maturing, the company opted to go with little advertising. For viewers, that was a blessing -- but also a curse. For ESPN, it was smart business that's now being replicated by its move to go commercial-free with a new iPad app.
The producers of a new show about how struggling companies can innovate and evolve have found a turnaround expert versed in finding undervalued companies, taking a stake and then helping them adapt and grow. They won't reveal the individual - billed as a "titan of finance," who manages a $7 billion fund -- only to say he's a "celebrated authority."
With the use of social games on Facebook soaring, advertisers are eager to slot brands into them. They're hungry to find ways to exploit Twitter. In many minds, online video is ripe for more investment. Yet, TV's reach and attraction is unavoidable. The prediction here is even with the excitement for new opportunities -- and companies facing financial hurdles from rising oil and other prices -- they will line up to buy upfront inventory with the fervor of an early-morning Black Friday crowd.
No question government criticism convinced executives at the company behind the faulty rig in last year's Gulf oil spill to forgo safety bonuses. Transocean had to change course with the head of the cabinet department that regulates many of its activities taking it to task. But it is this type of potentially unnoticed absurdity that heightens the importance of Jon Stewart and the "Daily Show."
Time Warner Cable's aggressive effort to win the PR battle against networks taking their content off its new TV-on-iPad service would gain steam if it took an important step to show greater concern for customers than profits. The cable operator should immediately lift the mandate that a customer subscribe to both its TV and broadband offerings in order to experience live TV on the Apple device.
MediaCom's U.K. office took a break from buying time on Royal Wedding programming for some predictions about where TV and online video may be going -- and where the two intersect. In TV, the adage is viewers watch programs, not networks and the agency raises the issue whether that extends to the digital realm.