01/27/17: Report: Verizon mulls acquisition of Charter Communications


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Good morning. It’s Friday January 27, 2017 and this is your first early morning digital briefing.


A/B Testing: The phrase A/B Testing refers to presenting two different versions of online content, such as a webpage, to see which performs better with users.


The media landscape is beginning to look a bit like a Russian nesting doll – companies within companies within companies. First came the Comcast/NBCU merger, then the proposed AT&T/Time Warner acquisition. Now, about a year after Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable, the Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has expressed interest in acquiring Charter. According to the Journal, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has made “a preliminary approach to officials close to Charter.” Such a deal would consolidate a vast network of cable TV, home broadband, mobile voice and data services within one company. Charter, which has a market value of over $80 billion, is the second-biggest cable company in the U.S. Neither Verizon nor Charter have commented on the Journal’s report.


Snapchat parent Snap Inc. is likely headed for an IPO this spring, so this is no surprise: The company has announced a partnership with Nielsen’s mobile Digital Ad Ratings (mDAR) unit. The partnership will enable brands to buy guaranteed Snapchat audiences based on gender and age group – roughly the same system that Nielsen’s TV clients use. Bottom line: Effective targeting is crucial to effective digital advertising, and Snap wants would-be investors to know that it’s got their needs covered. The deal expands on an existing relationship with Nielsen, which was already working with Snapchat on measurement.
Philips intends to start showing video ads in the menus of its smart TVs. Viewers will see the ads before they start their smart TV apps. Paulo Lopes, a spokesman for TP Vision (the company that makes the smart TVs sold under the Philips brand), recently detailed the plans in comments to the Dutch media. The ads will vary by country and time of day, at least at first, but in the future the goal is to personalize the ads based on viewer behavior. Myce has more details.


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Google-parent Alphabet released its earnings report for Q4 of 2016. Its $26.06 billion in revenue was a year-over-year improvement (it was $25.2 billion in Q4 of 2015). It also beat Wall Street’s expectations, in part because Google’s mobile search and video ads performed better than expected. Nonetheless, increased spending on hardware and new businesses affected Alphabet’s bottom line. The company’s cost of revenues amounted to $10.66 billion, up from $8.188 billion in Q4 of 2015. Alphabet’s stock fell by 3% in after-hours trading.


Twitter has spent much of the past year locking up a slew of live-streaming partnerships, from the NFL to Dick Clark Productions. Now the company’s making it easier to find that content. Twitter is rolling out a new tab for its mobile apps, dubbed Explore. The tab combines live video, trends, and Twitter’s curated Moments feature onto a single platform. (The Explore tab will take the place of the Moments tab.) Explore has already begun rolling out to iOS devices, and will come to Android devices in in the coming weeks.


Video analytics firm Tubular Labs has launched its new #VideoAces Awards, honoring 2016’s top 52 winners in online video for Media Companies, Brand, and social media Personalities on YouTube, Facebook and Vine. Some of Tubular’s results:
-In the Media Company category, Unilad, a UK-based comedy and entertainment media company took the #1 spot with 25.5 Billion views in 2016, followed by The LADbible Group, the largest online community for men ages 16-30 at #2 with 24.3 Billion views.
– In the Brand category, Red Bull ranked #1 with 2.7 Billion views in 2016, followed by LEGO at #2 with 1.9 Billion views.
– Top personalities on YouTube were dominated by entertainment, gaming and toy content creators, like Ryan ToysReview at #1 with 7.4 Billion views in 2016, and Family Fun Pack at #2 with 5.3 Billion views.
– The top 2016 personalities on Facebook include health & nutrition expert, David Wolfe at #1 with 3.9 Billion annual views, followed by science communicator, Hashem Al-Ghaili at #2 with 3 Billion views, and recording artist Braddy at #3 with 2.7 Billion views.
– Top Viners for 2016 are Thomas Sanders, Lele Pons and meechonmars who took #1, #2 and #3 ranks with 2.7 Billion, 1.1 Billion and 646 Million annual views respectively.


Amazon has hired a new Head of Event Series. Sharon Tal Yguado joins the company from Fox, where she served in various programming roles starting in 2005. (Her most recent title: EVP of Programming and Development). In her new role, Yguado will oversee the development production of Amazon’s action, fantasy, sci-fi and horror series.


Facebook just hired a tech veteran to oversee its virtual and augmented reality efforts. Hugo Barra will serve as VP of Virtual Reality, a role that will include oversight of Facebook-owned VR company Oculus. (He’s effectively replacing former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who left his leadership role in October.) Barra previously served as VP of Global at Chinese electronics company Xiaomi. Before that, he served as VP of Android Product Management at Google. He joins the company at a crucial moment: Oculus didn’t have the smoothest time of launching its new hardware last year, encountering shipping delays and, by some accounts, lower sales than its chief rivals. “Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in announcing Barra’s hire.


What’s the first .com domain ever to be registered online? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
Our Last Trivia Question: Netflix received an Oscar nomination this week – what was it for? Answer: Best Documentary Feature, for Ava DuVernay’s ‘13th.’ Kudos to Erica Rubinsky-Available Light NY/NY, Alejandro Sacasa-Albavision/FL, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-Whose Line Is It Anyway?/Angst Productions/CA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/CA, Anjali Desai-Departure Films/NY, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Lorrie Shilling/CA, Mathew Tombers-Intermat, Inc./NY, Luke Swinney-TIJAT/CA, and Aaron Paquette-Maru/Matchbox/TX



Our award show continues to spotlight the groundbreaking work created by the sports media industry. Don’t let your efforts go unnoticed!

Enter by January 31, 2017
Awards Event: April 13, 2017 (NYC)
Learn about the awards program & how to enter:



Snapchat just rolled out a new, more user-friendly design. TechCrunch has a quick overview – check it out here.

See you Monday,
David Teich

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE DESIGNER/NBCU/NYC: Play a key role in advertising strategy, content creation, developing digital campaign and arming the sales force with the right tools to delight advertising partners. 3+ year’s professional exp in digital advertising space. Full info/apply HERE (2/2)

JOB OPENING: CONTENT SCREENER/MEDIA INFORMATION SERVICES/NYC: Entry-level position writing summaries of TV programs. Full Time w/Benefits. Requires BA/BS, strong writing skills, attention to detail and love of TV. Send resume to [email protected] (2/1)

JOB OPENING: ASSOCIATE WRITER PRODUCER/IFC/NYC: Write/Produce promos for Originals launches & brand campaigns, with an emphasis on movie promo & stunts. Idea-generating/writing/producing mastermind with a comedy background & ‘Slightly Off’ sensibility. 2 yrs exp. Submit resume and reel. Full info/apply HERE (2/1)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES SPECIALIST/NYC: The Digital Sales Fulfillment Specialist will work closely with sales, creative and advertising operations, and is expected to provide superior customer service at all times. Full info/apply HERE (2/1)

JOB OPENING: MGR BRAND & DIGITAL MKTG/NBC/LA, CA. Develop & execute brand strategy for multiplatform campaigns for NBC show brands. 3 yrs marketing exp. req.; digital exp. Desired. Full info/apply HERE (2/1)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR WRITER/PRODUCER/NAT GEO/NYC: The Senior Writer/Producer conceptualizes, writes, & produces the Channel’s highest priority promotional spots for specials, stunts & priority series for NatGeo & NatGeo Wild. Full info/apply HERE (2/1)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE DR/WGN/NYC: Self-motivated, personable, competitive & energetic professional to help inspire/grow a young & expanding Direct Response Team. BA deg or 5  yrs sales exp within the industry. Mini 3-5 yrs combined exp. Full info/apply HERE (2/1)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING MGR/MSG NETWORKS/NYC: Sports enthusiast w/3+ yrs creative, social media, & media exp at cable net or agency; Exp w/social community mngmt, project mngmt, strategy & budget mngmt; Creative thinker & collaborator http://bit.ly/2j0OiGS (2/1)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR PRODUCER/MSNBC/East Coast: Responsible for creating, producing and supervising programming for a MSNBC New Primetime Show.Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: LINE PRODUCER/PRODUCTION MGR/NYC: A hands on, not afraid to get your hands dirty field exp’d LP/PM type. Must be willing to wear both hats & mng daily operational processes of a fast moving prod. 3 – 5 yrs operations LP/PM exp pref’d. Strong kwldg of guild & union guidelines. Resume to: [email protected] (1/31)

JOB OPENING: SCI & TECH VIDEO PRODUCER/NBCNews.com/NYC: The digital arm of NBC News, is looking for a highly skilled video producer to produce smart, stylish videos for our digital, mobile and social platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER/NYC: Join our Investigative Unit! The Investigative Producer will be pitching and developing original story ideas for NBC News broadcast, cable, and digital platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: VIDEO PRODUCER, LIFESTYLE/NBCU/NYC: TODAY.com, the digital arm of the TODAY show, is looking for a highly skilled video producer to join our lifestyle team and produce stunning original videos for our platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: VIDEO EDITOR, LIFESTYLE/NBCU/NYC: TODAY.com, the digital arm of the TODAY show, is looking for a video editor to help produce snappy, addictive original videos for our digital, mobile and social platforms. Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: BOOKING PRODUCER/MSNBC/NYC: Book wide variety of national and international newsmakers, experts, and guests from various fields including politics, foreign relations, business/economy, health, etc. Full info/apply HERE (1/31)

JOB OPENING: MANAGING EDITOR/NBC News Digital/NBC/NYC: We are looking for a managing editor who can help lead that charge. We are looking for an exceptional journalist who is highly motivated to lead the daily editorial mission. Full info/apply HERE (1/28)

JOB OPENING: SEGMENT PRODUCERS/MSNBC/NYC: We are looking for experienced Segment Producers to write and produce segments with speed and accuracy for news programming, in a breaking news environment. Full info/apply HERE (1/28)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, PRODUCTS/NBCU/NYC: Want to reinvent how we get the news? The role: product manager to lead Mobile and OTT experiences for all NBC News brands, reporting to the VP of Product. Full info/apply HERE (1/28)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST, RESEARCH & ADVANCED MEASUREMENT/GSNTV/Santa Monica: 2+ yrs ntwrk Research exp. Familiarity W/synd rsrch software; Data fluency; Strategic analysis of data such as overnight ratings, universe estimates, aud growth stories, trend analyses, demo, lifestyle & industry reports. Res/cvr: [email protected] (1/28)

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