02/03/22: Relationship with a colleague pushes Jeff Zucker out of CNN

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday February 3, 2022

Today’s Premieres
A&E: After the First 48
Allblk: Double Cross
FYI: United We Drive at 10p
HBO Max: 40 Means Nothing; Raised by Wolves
ID: Undercover Underage at 9p
Netflix: Finding Ola; Murderville
SundanceNow: New Gold Mountain
YouTube: Giganto Club

Today’s Finales
Bravo: Project Runway at 9p
HBO Max: And Just Like That…

IN THE NEWS

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker announced Wednesday morning that he quit his job due to a relationship with a colleague. “As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” said Zucker in a memo to employees. “I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today….I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”

The woman in question, EVP and chief marketing officer for CNN Allison Gollust, said in a statement of her own that her relationship with Zucker changed during COVID. Gollust, who served as communications director for Governor Andrew Cuomo for four months in 2012-13, long before the imbroglio that led to Chris Cuomo’s dismissal, said she plans to stay with CNN. Michael Bass, EVP of Programming for CNN US; Amy Entelis, EVP for Talent and Content Development at CNN Worldwide; and Ken Juatz, EVP of CNN/US, will serve as interim co-heads of CNN through the close of the company’s merger with Discovery, expected in 2Q22.

A&E responded to an open letter denouncing its “Secrets of Playboy” docuseries, which looks at the dark sides of Hugh Hefner and his empire. “From all we know of Hef, he was a person of upstanding character, exceptional kindness, and dedication to free thought,” states a letter, signed by hundreds of former employees, Playboy Bunnies and ex-girlfriends, which calls allegations in the show “unfounded.” Responded A&E, “The stories shared in ‘Secrets of Playboy’ are the personal experiences of the documentary’s participants and deserve to be told despite how difficult they may be for some to hear. Signatures on a letter, or a different experience with Mr. Hefner or the Playboy culture, do not negate the experiences of those who have come forward to share their truth on the series and we look forward to continuing to bring these stories to light.” “Secrets of Playboy” airs Mondays at 9p.

ABC suspended “The View” host Whoopi Goldberg for two weeks for comments she made during a discussion about the banning of a book about Nazi death camps. Goldberg said the Holocaust was not about race, but “about man’s inhumanity to other man.” While Goldberg offered an expansive apology hours later, Jewish groups and others blasted the remarks. “I’ve asked her to take time to reflect and learn about the impact of her comments,” said ABC News President Kim Goodwin. “The entire ABC News organization stands in solidarity with our Jewish colleagues, friends, family and communities.”

The Senate Commerce Committee’s confirmation vote for Gigi Sohn, a nominee for the FCC, has been postponed, and a request from Sen. R. Wicker (R-Miss.) for a hearing into Sohn’s possible conflict of interest has been granted. Wicker has questioned Sohn’s time on the board of now-shuttered streaming service Locast. The confirmation vote had been scheduled for Wednesday.

Americans place the most trust in their families when seeking information around social issues, according to Who Do We Trust With Our Lives? The Trusted Messenger Study,” from the Ad Council Research Institute. Most people surveyed said they trust their spouse or partner (72%), closely followed by immediate family members (66%). Doctors or medical professionals (60%), close friends (59%) and scientists (51%) are the next most trustworthy messengers for the American public, followed by local or community leaders including pastors/religious leaders (40%), teachers or school leaders (39%), church members (32%), and local business owners (31%).

“We know from experience that when it comes to inspiring action around social issues, the messenger is just as important as the message itself,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “This study challenges all purpose-driven marketers to broaden the definition of trusted messengers for unique audiences, ensuring messages reach, inform and inspire action. In addition to the scale and relevance of celebrities, influencers and others with vast networks, these findings reinforce the need to complement their incredible platforms with the most relatable and trusted voices, helping us all to make a difference in our communities.”

During its second Measurement Innovation Forum on Wednesday, NBCUniversal’s EVP of Measurement and Impact, Kelly Abcarian, unveiled a new Measurement Framework Look Book, offering an evaluation of where eight audience measurement providers (Nielsen, Samba TV, 605, TVSquared, Comscore, Videoamp, Oracle, and iSpot.tv) are in their cross-platform measurement journey. Categories include completeness of solution, ability to deliver, and cross-platform readiness.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”) announced the launch of Dunshire Productions, a creative content and production studio that will focus on advertising content and campaigns for brands. Onboard are Morgan Sackett (“The Good Place”), director, producer and editor Dean Holland (“The Good Place”), Bailey Brand Management founder Troy Bailey and designer and creative director Benjamin Hart. “Dunshire Productions is really just us selfishly chasing that first day of summer camp feeling, because we all love working with each other. Every time we wrap a project together we want to keep it going. So we are,” said the company’s founders in a joint statement.

A+E Networks has acquired author V.C. Andrews’ library of bestselling novels, and Lifetime – already home to “Flowers in the Attic” adaptations – is developing Andrews’ five-part Cutler series for TV. Prequel series “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” is ls slated to premiere this summer. Lifetime broke the news during its TCA press tour session.

Netflix has ordered dark comedic drama “The Brothers Sun” from Brad Falchuk (“Glee”) and Byron Wu. Falchuk will serve as showrunner and exec producer, while Wu will write and executive produce the series, following a Taipei gangster who must protect his mother after his father is shot by an assassin.

Athena Pictures and Starlings Television are teaming with Propagate Content’s Ben Silverman to co-produce the female-driven wildlife crime thriller, “Shadowland,” from creator Jacqui Barcos, director Darnell Martin (“American Rust”) and executive producer Peter Elkoff (“Sons of Anarchy”).

Lion Forge Animation (“Hair Love”) has inked a deal with the Tuff Gong Collective, a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Cedella Marley (daughter of Bob Marley), to develop and produce an animated series based on Marley’s new picture book, Marley and the Family Band, with Tracey Baptiste and illustrated by Tiffany Rose. Polygram Entertainment, a film and television production and development division of UMG, is co-producing the series with Lion Forge Animation and Tuff Gong Collective.

Warner Bros. Television Group has renewed its overall deal with executive producer/writer/showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois (“Claws”). This is her third pact with the Studio. Under the terms of the deal, Sherman Barrois will continue to develop original programming to be produced through WBTV for all platforms.

Casting notes: Onboard AMC spinoff series “Tales of the Walking Dead” are Anthony Edwards (“WeCrashed”), Parker Posey (“Lost in Space”), Terry Crews (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Poppy Liu (“Dead Ringers), and Jillian Bell (“Rough Night”)…Tom Ellis (“Lucifer”) has joined the cast of Hulu’s “Washington Black” in a series regular role…Arielle Kebbel (“Midnight, Texas”) is set to recur in a major role on Fox drama “9-1-1”.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

AMC thriller “61st Street,” starring Courtney B. Vance (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”), premieres Sunday, April 10 at 10p on AMC, with the first two episodes streaming on AMC+ and Allblk.

The sixth and final season of “Saints & Sinners” premieres on Bounce Sunday, April 3 at 8p. The drama is set against the backdrop of a large southern church.

HGTV’s “Fix My Flip” premieres Thursday, March 10 at 9p on HGTV. The six-parter follows real estate agent Page Turner as she lends a hand to floundering house flippers.

AXS TV has acquired all 10 seasons of “Wahlburgers,” where it will make its network debut Sunday, February at 7p. The reality show ran on A&E from 2014-19.

COMING UP

Two of Lifetime’s Fallen Angels Murder Club movies, starring Toni Braxton as an amateur sleuth, have premiere dates. “Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For” premieres on Saturday, April 2 at 8p, followed a week later by “Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons.”

Also on the way from Lifetime: “Stolen by Their Father,” starring Sarah Drew as the mother of kidnapped children, debuts Saturday, March 5 at 8p, and “Cruel Intentions,” about the mistreatment of teens at a residential treatment center, premieres Saturday, March 12 at 8p. Both are based on true events.

“We Have a Dream,” a syndicated special celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will run through Black History Month. The two-hour show from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios features inspirational African-Americans who have achieved the great American dream, more than 58 years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Appearing in the special are Regina King, Will Smith, Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan, Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Judge Mablean Ephriam, Daymond John, Neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Judge Karen Mills-Francis and more. The second quarter of 2022 will bring an R&B music special for Black Music Month, “Feel the Beat.”

The AccuWeather Network, AccuWeather NOW streaming and accuweather.com are celebrating Black History Month with tributes to pioneering figures in meteorology, science, climate change and all things weather. Features will also highlight meteorology and science programs at Jackson State University and Bethune-Cookman University, both historically Black universities.

Kym Whitley (“Animal Practice”) returns as host and Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy joins the judging panel for “Puppy Bowl Presents: The Winter Games.” The canine competition starts streaming today on discovery+.

Turner Classic Movies will kick off the 13th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 21 with a 40th anniversary screening of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” Director Steven Spielberg will be on hand, along with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. This year’s festival, held in Hollywood April 21-24, will center around the theme “All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen.”

STREAMING

Music network Vevo is bringing the Vevo app to Google TV and other Android TV OS devices, available across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil. “Vevo’s mission is to maximize the commercial and promotional value of the music video, an art form that marries sight, sound, and motion and is a key pillar of entertainment,” said Kevin McGurn, President, Sales & Distribution, Vevo. “So, as consumer viewership trends of music videos continue to shift towards internet-enabled, connected TVs in today’s world, we continue to expand our distribution to meet consumers in those environments they are actively frequenting.”

Two-thirds (64%) of streaming consumers make streaming their default setting in the search for content, according to Adtaxi’s annual Consumer Streaming Trends and Super Bowl Viewership survey. One-third of TV streamers report obtaining 100% of their TV/Video content from such services and 77% of TV streamers get the majority (over 50%) of their content via streaming services. Other key findings include:
· 92% of respondents stream some form of TV/Video content. The majority do so through either connected TV (64%), followed by smartphone/mobile (54%) and/or laptops (38%).
· 33% of Americans believe ads on streaming services are more applicable to their personality and preferences, versus 13% for cable and 10% for broadcast TV.
· As for the Big game, 51% of viewers plan to watch the Super Bowl on broadcast or cable TV, while digital will account for 49% of the total Super Bowl audience.

Full stream ahead: SkyShowtime, a streaming service from Comcast and ViacomCBS, has been granted regulatory approval to launch in 20 European markets this year. The service will not be available in markets where Comcast’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ operate.

TECH TALK

After Meta Platforms fell short of analysts’ estimates for 4Q22 earnings, shares tumbled 20% in extended trading on Wednesday. The company formerly known as Facebook reported earnings of $3.67 per share versus the expected $3.84 – and didn’t paint a rosy picture for 1Q22, with a projection of $27 billion to $29 billion in revenue, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.15 billion.

In Spotify’s very bad week, the company reported monthly active users rose 18% to 404 million in the fourth quarter, premium subscribers rose to 183 million, and revenue grew 24%. But disappointing growth forecasts caused shares to dive 17% in after-hours trading. As for the controversy over Spotify star/vaccine skeptic Joe Rogan, CEO Daniel Ek said, “There’s no doubt that the last several weeks have presented a number of learning opportunities,” and that Spotify has “a critical role to play in balancing creative expression with the safety of our users.”

FreeWheel announced the launch of its Partner Certification Program, focused on certifying its integrated TV and premium video buyers and sellers and data companies. “The goal of the Partner Certification Program is to provide another tool to make TV simpler and more efficient to plan and transact upon, while continuing our commitment to interoperability in a way that benefits the future of the industry,” said Mark McKee, GM, FreeWheel.

DoubleVerify introduced Fully On-Screen pre-bid targeting, enabling CTV advertisers to target inventory from sources that have received DV’s Fully On-Screen Certification, an MRC-accredited post-bid measurement solution. DV tests and evaluates CTV devices and apps to ensure ads are only displayed 100% on-screen and when the TV screen is turned on. DV Fully On-Screen pre-bid segments are available on Amobee, MediaMath and Xandr, with more media-buying platform integrations forthcoming.

LOCAL DISPATCHES

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s “Connect to Congress” is returning after a hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic. The multimedia initiative enables members of congress in Sinclair’s news markets to speak directly to their constituents through their local TV news stations. The initiative launched in 2015.

Spectrum is launching a new TV campaign called “We Are Local,” featuring real employees and emphasizing their connection to the communities Spectrum serves, and highlighting small businesses that are powered by Spectrum’s connectivity services. “We Are Local” consists of 10 ads, two national spots and eight targeting local markets.

IN PRINT

The contributions of Black comic creators, artists and characters will be honored by DC and Warner Bros. Consumer Products this month with a collection of new comics, books and merch. The company will also launch initiatives to support and develop Black creators and inspire a new generation of comic book professionals. In addition, Milestone Compendium One allows DC fans to explore the anthology of Black Super Heroes.

Fox News Books, the publishing imprint of Fox News Media, will roll out its fourth book, Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak: Lessons on Faith from Nine Biblical Families, on March 29 as part of its first franchise series.

GOING GLOBAL

Roku is expanding their advertising business to Mexico. As part of the launch, Roku has partnered with digital marketing and media company Entravision.

Endemol Shine Finland landed their first scripted commission, a 10-part series called “Dance Brothers,” for Netflix and YLE, created by Max Malka.

Abacus Media Rights has secured worldwide distribution rights (excluding UK) for one-hour feature documentary “Race and Medical Experiments: What’s the Truth,” an Uplands TV Production for Channel 4.

Reality competition “Dance Revolution” fox-trots to season four on Canada’s TVA. Produced by Fair-Play and Quebecor Content, the season three finale scored a 44% share and saw 1.6 million viewers tuning in.

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RATINGS

It appears HBO has struck gold with “The Gilded Age.” Episode two delivered 1.2 million viewers across platforms, up 15% from the series premiere. And the audience for the debut episode has ballooned from 1 million viewers to 3.4 million.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, February 1
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Judge Steve Harvey 4.00 (0.6), Abbott Elementary 2.77 (0.6), black-ish 1.98 (0.4), Abbott Elementary 1.38 (0.3), black-ish 1.25 (0.2)
CBS: FBI 7.54 (0.6), FBI: International 6.25 (0.6), FBI: Most Wanted 5.91 (0.6)
CW: Superman & Lois 0.78 (0.2), Naomi 0.51 (0.1)
FOX: The Resident 3.33 (0.5), Real Dirty Dancing 1.54 (0.2)
NBC: American Auto 2.08 (0.4), Grand Crew 1.43 (0.3), This Is Us 4.54 (0.8), New The Wall 1.80 (0.3)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 0.97 (0.3), Hercal: Amor e Venganza 1.16 (0.3)
Univision: Soltero con Hijas 1.76 (0.5), Vencer el Pasado 1.78 (0.5), Madre 1.64 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Sabio Holdings has tapped Jon Stimmel to serve as Chief Growth Officer to expand their New York presence. Stimmel was most recently Chief Investment Officer at UM Worldwide.

AMC Networks’ Aisha Thomas-Petit, who joined the company in late 2020 as its first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, has been elevated to Chief People & Diversity Officer. Thomas-Petit succeeds Chief Transformation & People Officer Jennifer Caserta, who has decided to leave the company.

Joe Caporoso has been named President of Team Whistle. Caporoso has over 14 years of digital experience, with nearly a decade at Team Whistle.

Richard Cowles has been named Managing Editor of ITV Studios label Lifted Entertainment. Cowles joined Lifted in 2012 as Creative Director.

WME has added Adam Bulleid, Carolyn Massey and Bernard Tyler as agents in the brand partnerships division. Bulleid joins from UMG, Massey comes from ICM Partners and Tyler served at CAA Sports.

This Day in History
1876 – Albert Spalding invested $100 to start a sporting goods company.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was Adam Cartwright’s occupation on “Bonanza” (1959-73)? Architectural engineer. Kudos to: Rory Rosegarten-The Conversation Company/Manhasset, NY; Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Winifred Holmes/Denver; Sandy Spiegen-WTTW/Chicago; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA; Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/Playa del Rey, CA; David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which anthology series aired episodes including “The Toothpaste Millionaire,” “Which Mother Is Mine?”, and “The Terrible Secret”? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four per time zone.)

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TV ONE
NYC

Maintain client relationships and process client requests. Negotiate client rates and provide weekly budget reports. Provide quarterly agency/account budget tracking reports and summaries. Analyze and report average unit rates on a weekly/monthly basis. Min of 2 yrs of relevant advertising/media and min one yr direct response experience required. Full info HERE (2/7)

BROADCAST MANAGER >>
AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB/NYC, NY:
Primary contacts for AKC.tv & AKC productions. Manages the production calendar, including national broadcasts, livestream events, weekly shows, & studio productions. Tracks & monitors the process with AKC clubs for televised events, including contracts & payments. 2+ yrs of exp in broadcast management, communications, marketing, or related field. Full info HERE (2/6)

DIRECTOR III, SALES >>
NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP/CHAMPAIGN, IL:
Provides leadership for the broadcast/digital sales teams. Makes decisions regarding hiring, evaluating, promoting and terminating of employees. Manages recruitment, Training, evaluation, and development of sales professionals. Develops and cultivates client relationships alongside Account Executives. 3+ yrs exp in selling TV, Video and Digital. Full info HERE (2/6)

SENIOR ANALYST, TV AUDIENCE RESEARCH
E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY, ION & BOUNCE
ATLANTA, NYC

Report & evaluate existing metrics, develop new metrics and reports, & provide strategic recommendations to assist with driving decision-making & measuring performance for key stakeholders. Perform analyses for network programming & competitive analysis for programs on other networks. Minimum 3+ yrs Media and/or TV audience research experience. Full info HERE (2/5)

ACQUISITIONS SPECIALIST >>
VIACOMCBS/LOS ANGELES: Forecast & develop delivery schedules & confer with creative teams, management & production company production personnel to handle special requests & production scheduling issues. Collaborate daily with program suppliers to coordinate the delivery of program content. Min 3 yrs in acquisition and delivery of media assets used to produce marketing. Full info HERE (2/5)

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 3
ABC: Soul of a Nation Presents: Screen Queen Rising, Soul of a Nation Presents: X/onerated: The Murder of Malcolm X and 55 Years of Justice, Promised Land
CBS: Young Sheldon, Ghosts, Big Brother: Celebrity Edition, Bull
CW: Walker, Legacies
FOX: Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer, Call Me Kat, Pivoting
NBC: 2022 Winter Olympics
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, Around the World in 80 Days, All Creatures Great and Small
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Hercal: Amor y Venganza
Univision: Soltero con Hijas, Vencer el Pasado, Madre

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