04/20/18: Cynopsis Special Edition: Upfront with National Geographic

Cynopsis Special Edition: Upfront with National Geographic

Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks, explains how exceptional content has lifted the brand from reverence to relevance – collecting awards, as well as audiences, along the way.
With the television landscape constantly expanding, and everyone jockeying for viewers’ and advertisers’ attention, how did National Geographic break through so quickly?
At National Geographic, we have spent the past 18 months on a new journey, and part of that journey has been to demonstrate that with premium content from best-in-class creatives, not only can you be extremely entertaining and informative, but audiences will respond. There is simply no way to break through without being exceptional and without content that is creatively excellent and worthy of viewers’ time. This is precisely why we pursued transformational change at National Geographic and dramatically elevated our content. And in television time, 18 months is not that long, but we are already seeing results. In fact, we have premiered our top three shows of all time – Genius, Mars and The Story of God with Morgan Freeman; released the most awarded documentary of 2017 with Jane; and received the most Emmy nominations in our history, including 10 for our first scripted series, Genius. And I like to say we are just getting started!
Who’s working with you to help create that elevated content?
We have been so fortunate to partner with some incredible talent: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Leonardo DiCaprio, Katie Couric, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, and Darren Aronofsky, just to name just a few. They all contribute to creating the sort of premium content that not only lures viewers but drives the conversation.
National Geographic has what companies strive for – an internationally recognized brand. How do the magazine and network work together, and how does this help drive online traffic, which raises the profile even higher?
Our push to move our brand from reverence to relevance also moves beyond our television programs. For the first time in our history, National Geographic magazine was named as a Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the 2018 National Magazine Award for Single-Topic Issue for its coverage of gender. Last month’s edition of the magazine, a single-topic issue dedicated to race, generated worldwide coverage and more than 200 million views online in the first two weeks alone. Even Oprah tweeted about it! We have 423 million followers on social media and are the top media brand on Instagram.  For all of our programming, we work to create opportunities across all of our media platforms. Picasso is also the cover of the May issue of National Geographic magazine.  For One Strange Rock, we were the first to film VR onboard the International Space Station. And last week, Will Smith (host of One Strange Rock) completed the first-ever live Instagram conversation with an astronaut on the ISS.  These are just a few examples of how we use the power of our portfolio to support our programs in ways no one else can.
What are some of the standout shows coming up?
Next week, a new season of Genius, the anthology series, premieres with Antonio Banderas as Picasso. America Inside Out with Katie Couric is on now. Both are wonderful examples of the diverse facets of our devotion to storytelling.
Upcoming, we have an eclectic mix including six-part series Hostile Planet, from Oscar-winner Guillermo Navarro on how animals are adapting to extreme environmental change, and a new scripted series Valley of the Boom. Arianna Huffington is an executive producer, and Bradley Whitford and Steve Zahn star in this series, which takes us to the early days of Silicon Valley.
Winner of this year’s audience award at Sundance and SXSW Science Fair chronicles nine students as they prepare for the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair. Merging science with drama, the second season of our hit Mars mixes interviews with visionaries such as Elon Musk as astronauts colonize the red planet in what is now 2042.
Fan favorites returning include Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson and The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.
Most people may not realize how wide your reach is. What are the actual numbers?
We reach 487 million households in 172 countries in 43 languages.

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina | 203-218-6480
VP, Sales
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak | 203-899-8459
Director of Operations

Related Stories

02/20/24: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Video advertising

Tuesday February 20, 2024 Google responded to claims made about Privacy Sandbox in a report by the IAB Tech Lab. Google maintains the analysis contains inaccurate information and overlooks the goal of Privacy Sandbox to improve user privacy while still enabling effective digital advertising. The report said Privacy Sandbox could make it more difficult to […]

Cynopsis 02/20/24: Pre-school platform Noggin shutting down

Pre-school platform Noggin shutting down

Tuesday February 20, 2024 Today’s Premieres ABC: Will Trent at 8p; The Rookie at 9p; The Good Doctor at 10p CW: Crime Nation at 8p HGTV: Renovation Aloha at 9p MHz Choice: Six Women Netflix: Risqué Business: Netherlands & Germany TLC: Little People, Big World at 9p Today’s Finales Fox: Name That Tune at 8p […]

02/18/24: Cynopsis Jobs


MANAGER, CONSUMER MARKETING TV One SILVER SPRING, MD – HYBRID REMOTE Contribute strategic thinking and new ideas to the building and development of consumers promotions and marketing campaigns and work on marketing strategies, in partnership with the internal research team and media agency, for programming initiatives to inform our understanding of the target audience. Full […]

Cynopsis 02/16/24: “Evil” to end with season four on Paramount+

"Evil" to end with season four on Paramount+

  Friday February 16, 2024 Today’s Premieres CBS: SWAT 8p; Fire Country 9p; Blue Bloods 10p CW: Totally Funny Kids 9p; Totally Funny Animals 9:30p Netflix: Comedy Chaos Saturday’s Premieres Weather: Back Road Truckers at 8p; Fast: Home Rescue at 9p Oxygen: Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them at 7p Sunday’s Premieres ABC: American […]