Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Cynopsis: Kids!

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 23, 2012, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Time Out With… Margaret Loesch

If you’re thinking of an iconic kids brand, there’s a good chance Margaret Loesch is connected to it. The industry veteran’s latest accomplishment, the 2010 launch of Discovery-Hasbro’s The Hub (in 71.4 million homes), is on a roll with five straight quarters of year-over-year growth. It’s a testament to Loesch’s vision of interrupting the uber-competitive kids market with a program slate heavy on heritage characters. Here’s Margaret in her own words on…

Heritage brands
We’re the new kids on the block and we recognized beloved, well-known brands could give us a boost. What we recognized is those legacy brands are beloved by multiple generations and as we were developing The Hub we had an opportunity to build on that as a strength, not as a weakness.

Multigenerational viewing
Co-viewing has been a big part of our strategy and, percentage-wise, we’re delivering well against the competition in co-viewing. We’ve never tried to position the network as a nostalgia network. We coined a phrase we only use internally – “Nowstalgic.” Programming that’s relevant now but has nostalgia for the older audience. It builds on our strategy to align with strong brands and deliver cross-generational appeal. We knew the audiences that want to come out and see the new Transformers would also want to see shows from their youth that were on in prime time. And we would be able to sell advertising to adult audiences as well as kids.

Distribution evolution
The expectation of the audience today, particularly kids, is programs should be ubiquitous. And as a programmer, we have to deliver on that. It’s challenging because the revenue opportunities haven’t caught up with the demand side of producing content on variety of platforms. But the audience expects it, so we all have to be there. It’s also a challenge for our MSO partners and satellite providers because they are paying us for our programming and we have to be careful we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot and devalue our product in their eyes. It’s a balance.

I’m a huge consumer of YouTube. I watch it every night, looking for what kids and young families are looking at, and I’m laughing along with them. But it is very clear to me that kids in particular are more interested in consuming short segments through YouTube than whole shows.

Kids and community service
We associated ourselves with Generation On, the youth services division of Points of Light. We’ve done campaigns and PSAs, and one of the things we recognize is you have to be more specific for kids. So we continue to drill down and see if we can be more unique in showing them how to make a difference. We’re in an era where a lot of adult generations are inherently narcissistic, and it’s great to be able to showcase it in way that encourages them to give back.

(Time Out is a new Cynopsis Kids! monthly Q&A with a children’s entertainment thought leader. For the complete interview with Margaret Loesch, please go to


February 9, 10, 11

Little Airplane Productions is accepting applications for a unique workshop taught by accomplished preschool TV veterans on each step of creating a high-quality preschool series. Topics include Writing, Pitching, Legal, Design, Music, Directing, Producing, Distribution and more. A panel of noteworthy Children’s TV broadcasters will be on hand to discuss pitching to a network. 

Limited to 30 participants. Contact Tone Thyne:

More Kids Stuff

Following the Jan. 21 premiere of season 2 of Marvel series Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment is spinning out a new merchandising line with 200-plus licensees including Hasbro, Huffy, Lego and Street Flyers. The line spans all major product categories, including toys and apparel.

Disney Everywhere: AT&T U-Verse is the lucky seventh distributor to reach an agreement to carry Disney content in just over two years. The multiyear deal has the telco launching the full suite of TVE Watch products as well as ESPN 3D, Disney Junior and ABC News/Univision’s upcoming joint venture. The deal also includes retrans consent for Disney owned and operated stations.

As part of his plan to reduce gun violence, President Obama is asking Congress to fund a Centers for Disease Control study “investigating the relationship between video games, media images and violence.”

Disney Junior’s new animated series Henry Hugglemonster debuts Feb. 9 in the U.K., with an April premiere date in the States. Early episodes of the music-laden series will feature Spice Girl Geri Harriwell, Brenda Blethyn and Brian Blessed.

Sesame Street’s newest resilience initiative, “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” offers multimedia resources for parents of children 2-8 to help as they encounter the tough transitions that accompany divorce.

ABC Family is vamping out with a weekend of “Twilight” Feb. 9-10. The network will premiere the first film in the series Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., and air it an additional three times during the two days.

Grammy-winning recording artist and Fred Rogers devotee Jason Mraz lends his voice to a special Valentine’s Day episode of PBS Kids’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Mraz will sing the show’s opening and closing songs.

To fete the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Oceanhouse Media is releasing an app the same day as Random House Children’s Books’ newly recolored anniversary hardcover edition.

The WSJDigitalNetwork last week jumped 234% on AdWeek’s YouTube Original Channel Tracker but credit belongs to Pixar. A teaser for its animation short “The Blue Umbrella”–about two umbrellas that fall in love on a rainy day–was posted on the channel and spiked the surge in viewership. The film was directed by camera and staging artist Saschka Unseld.

Discovery Kids’ partnership with Burger King will continue for a second year with a new line of space-themed DK premiums included in very BK Kids Meal debuting in January.

A fond farewell to L.A. Youth. The newspaper produced by teens, largely comprising first-person accounts, and distributed to schools across Los Angeles County, will cease publication in February after 25 years.

Have a winning children’s show or marketing program in your midst? Nominate them for the Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards (enter here).


Don’t Forget to Register for Tomorrow’s Webinar!
Tomorrow: Jan 24 | 1:30-3pm ET

Capitalizing on Mobile Video: Strategies + Tactics to Drive Revenue
Learn how to leverage the growing consumer desire for accessing content/services from a multiplicity of devices to boost your existing marketing efforts + increase sales/ROI. Speakers include: JoAnna Foyle Abel, VP Marketing at FreeWheel, Charlie Echeverry, EVP Sales for Univision Interactive at Univision and GM of North America at Millennial Media, Marcus Startzel.

Learn More + Register.

By the Numbers

Only four of the 12 top-grossing domestic films for Jan. 18-20 were kids/tween/teen movies rated G, PG or PG-13. Data provided by Rentrak:

Les Miserables (Universal) PG-13  $7.8 million
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros.) PG-13  $6.4M
Lincoln (Disney) PG-13  $5.4 million
Parental Guidance (20th Century Fox) PG $4.2 million

Executive Moves

Toronto-based Studio Licensing appointed Monika Sharma director of brand marketing.

Paris-based PGS Entertainment restructured operations and named Guy Soutter CFO. In addition, Laure Cubeau has been promoted to head of operations, Charlotte Selignan has been appointed head of marketing and Richard Bickersteth at Looking Forward Productions signed on as a consultant on the company’s toys and games global licensing strategy.




Award categories range from Best App to Video Game for a TV Series, from Best Tweens 9-14 Series to Marketing Campaign for a Toy or Game.
To see the complete list of categories, click here.

Entry deadline is February 20 – Submit your Entry Today.

Answer to Last Week’s Trivia Question: Who was Underdog’s love? Sweet Polly Purebread. Kudos to: Alan Dorfman-Topcat Worldwide, LLC/Bristol, PA; Brad Stern-Mobileye, Inc./Jericho, NY; Frank DeCaro-Sirius XM Satellite Radio/NYC; Andy Krinner-aNb Media/NYC; LeNea Ricks-KIDK/KXPI/Idaho Falls, Id; Tom Boyd-WGN-TV-Chicago; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Richard Quan-BSSP/San Francisco; Pat Brady-CESD/LA; Lou Fazio-The Hub/Burbank. 

Today’s Trivia Question: Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven are all apart of what group? (Email with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Cheers — Cathy for Cynopsis Kids!

Denise O’Connor: Group Publisher, Media Entertainment
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP Sales & Marketing | 203-218-6480
Classifieds Sales: Trish Pihonak | Director of Operations & Content | 888-702-3858

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JOB OPENING: LOCAL MEDIA SALES POSITIONS/Vidicom/NY/Chi: Lead sales efforts selling brand integration opptys for the Citybuzz DOOH Ntwrk. Strong kwldg local ad mktplace & non-trad media.1-3 yrs exp req’d. Res to: (1/30)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL DIR/Bleacher Report/NYC: Min 8 yrs Digital Mkting exp. Must be passionate about sports. Partner with sales to bring Promos to market, spec focusing on Bleacher Report. To apply: click here: (1/30)

JOB OPENING: MGR, PRICING & PLANNING/Fox Sports Media Group/NY: 3-5 yrs Media Ad Sales, planning or research req. Reporting & forecasting. Must have exp w/Ad Sales Systems, Excel, analytical & math skills req. (1/29)

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INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at

WINTER INTERNSHIPS CREDITS ONLY: Susan Blond, Inc has Internship opportunities for students & graduates interested in lifestyle, consumer & entertainment PR. MINIMUM of 3 full days per week. Send resume, cover letter to (1/25)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at

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E-mail or call Trish Pihonak at 888.702.3858 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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