08/19/20: Ron Meyer exits NBCU after extortion attempts


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday August 19, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Discovery: Dodgeball Thunderdome at 9p, Growing Belushi at 10p
MotorTrend: Resto My Ride at 10p
Netflix: DeMarcus Family Rules, High Score
Vice TV: Cari & Jemele: Stick to Sports at 10p, Donkmaster at 10:30p


Ron Meyer resigned as Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal amid extortion attempts. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure from NBCUniversal,” Meyer said in a statement. “I recently disclosed to my family and the company that I made a settlement, under threat, with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against me. Admittedly, this is a woman I had a very brief and consensual affair with many years ago. I made this disclosure because other parties learned of the settlement and have continuously attempted to extort me into paying them money or else they intended to falsely implicate NBCUniversal, which had nothing to do with this matter, and to publish false allegations about me.” NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said Meyer had behaved “in a manner we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values.” The woman Meyer had an affair with is reportedly actress Charlotte Kirk, whose affair with Kevin Tsujihara led to his exit as Warner Bros. CEO last year.

Ad campaigns that include core messages tied to diversity and inclusiveness lead to positive business outcomes, according to a new VAB study, “Do the Right Thing: How Diversity & Inclusion Drives Brand Outcomes.” The analysis of hundreds of advertising campaigns and more than 3,300 TV spots from over 50 brands across multiple categories spans the last five years. “Today’s business environment and economic climate present a multitude of challenges for marketers,” said Sean Cunningham, President & CEO at VAB. “Do The Right Thing provides statistical evidence that embracing diversity and inclusion as a core brand component leads to positive business outcomes, such as increased engagement across each stage of a customer’s path to purchase, as well as growth in sales.”

Software company Oracle is working with a group of US venture capital firms that have a stake in TikTok to acquire the social media company’s US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand assets from Chinese company ByteDance. That would pose a challenge to Microsoft, which has been working with the US government to acquire the TikTok assets. President Trump has threatened to ban the app, citing data and privacy concerns about the Chinese government.

Meanwhile, a survey from Horizon Media found three quarters of Americans support a TikTok ban, and 62% of users don’t trust TikTok with their data. Twenty-three percent of Americans support the ban no matter who owns TikTok, even if it’s an American company.

Three producers are out at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, following allegations of misconduct in the workplace. Executives Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have “parted ways” with the series, said Warner Bros. A BuzzFeed News report in July set off an internal company investigation over employee complaints.

ViacomCBS is in talks to sell CNET to Red Venture. The tech website could fetch $500 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj has been canceled after six seasons on Netflix. “What a run. @patriotact has come to an end,” wrote Minhaj on Twitter. “I got to work with the best writers, producers, researchers, and animators in the game….TY to @Netflix and everyone who watched. Now it’s time to return these screens to Best Buy.”

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group division, Allen Media Broadcasting, signed a purchase agreement for its acquisition of broadcast television station KITV from SJL Broadcasting for $30 million. KITV-ABC 4 also operates multiple satellite stations and translators to rebroadcast the station’s programming outside of metropolitan Honolulu, to cover all of the Hawaiian islands. To hear more from Byron Allen, register for the free, virtual Cynopsis Big TV Conference, taking place September 22-24.

Maryland-based website CertifiKID has acquired Macaroni Kid, a digital media company that delivers hyperlocal content on kids’ activities and family-friendly events, destinations, products and services to parents nationwide.

Join Cynopsis in one week, on Thursday, August 27th from 1:00-2:00pm and learn how you can make a difference during the free webinar, Black Owned Media Matters: The Ways You Can Include Us & Build Long Term Partnerships. There are limited spots available, so sign up today.

Meredith Corp. and its MNI Targeted Media division launched a television ad campaign, “I Believe,” about helping local businesses thrive through advertising. Each ad has a local tag/call to action; the campaign has just begun airing in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Additional ads tailored for other Meredith Local Media Group TV markets will follow.

Fuse Media and Voto Latino Foundation are once again teaming to encourage Latinx participation in November’s general election. Fuse Media and Voto Latino Foundation previously partnered to engage Latinx youth during the 2008 and 2016 election cycles. The current campaign will be part of Be Change, Fuse’s call-to-action social responsibility initiative.

Cynopsis Presents: That Big TV [Virtual Experience]
September 22-24 | 1-4PM ET


With ViacomCBS’s acquisition of Pluto, Fox’s purchase of Tubi, and Comcast’s takeover of Xumo and Vudu, the monetization formula for media firms will be changing. On Tuesday, Sept 22, we’ll dig down to talk about how these more automated platforms will influence the advertising future of legacy media players. (Sponsored by Tubi)




Seth McFarlane, She’s Gotta Have It writer Elise Davis and Chadwick Boseman are developing a drama about Carlotta Walls, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine, Black students who attended all-white Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. The show is based on Carlotta Walls LaNier’s novel, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High.

Netflix placed an order for competition series American Barbecue Showdown, from Maverick TV USA and All3Media America. Judges are Kevin Bludso, founder of LA’s Bludso’s BBQ, and Melissa Cookston, the seven time world barbeque champion and owner of Memphis BBQ Company.

Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) will star in and exec produce Dead Ringers, a reimagining of the 1988 film. Amazon gave the project, from Weisz, Alice Birch (Normal People), Annapurna Television and Morgan Creek Entertainment, a straight-to-series order.

Sonay Hoffman, writer/producer for For Life, inked a multi-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. Hoffman will develop dramas across platforms, in addition to being promoted to executive producer on For Life.


All 10 episodes of the original docu-series Becoming will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, September 18. The series tells the origin stories of 10 athletes, entertainers, and musicians including Adam Devine, Anthony Davis, Ashley Tisdale, Caleb McLaughlin, Candace Parker, Colbie Caillat, Julianne Hough, Nick Cannon, Nick Kroll, and Rob Gronkowski.

The first of five new, 90-minute episodes of HGTV’s Windy City Rehab premieres Tuesday, September 15 at 9p. Renovation expert Alison Victoria deals with unexpected challenges like a strained business relationship, permit delays and stop work orders. “Running a design and renovation business in Chicago is not for the faint of heart,” said Victoria.

Secret State launches on Ovation TV on Saturday, September 12 at 7p. The four-part 2012 British political thriller stars Gabriel Byrne (In Treatment) and Ruth Negga (Preacher).

Amazon’s Utopia drops Friday, September 25. The eight-episode conspiracy thriller features “shocking twists and radical evolutions for its dynamic characters,” promises Amazon.


Every Sunday morning in September, Insp will feature an Insp original film. First up: The Warrant, on September 6 at 9a.

The Latin Recording Academy announced that the 21st Annual Latin Grammy Awards will air on Univision on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 8p, preceded by the one-hour pre-show, Noche de Estrellas at 7p.

Tyler Perry and The Perry Foundation will receive the Television Academy’s 2020 Governor’s Award during ABC’s Emmys telecast on September 20. The award is traditionally presented during the Creative Arts Emmys, but has been bumped up to the main event. “Tyler Perry has changed the face of television and inspired a new generation of content creators. He pioneered a new brand of storytelling that engages people of color both in front of and behind the camera, and his shows have resonated with a global audience,” said Governors Award selection committee Chair Eva Basler.

Lilly Singh is ready for prime time. The host of NBC late night series A Little Late With Lilly Singh will star in Sketchy Times with Lilly Singh, a two-part NBC special shot at Singh’s home that will satirize how the country is adjusting to the new normal under COVID-19.


News brand NowThis has officially launched its first-ever kids news brand, NowThis Kids, sponsored exclusively by Cheerios. NowThis Kids is hosted by 13-year-old activist Naomi Wadler and will target Millennial parents and their Gen Z children with a weekly video series, dedicated YouTube channel, podcast and newsletter.

Yahoo Life is teaming with Soledad O’Brien (SOB Productions) to present the national digital exclusive premiere of her new documentary, Outbreak: The First Response, which shines a spotlight on how a Seattle community reacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The documentary can be found on Yahoo Life, along with a first-person essay from O’Brien.

Peacock landed exclusive US rights to docu-series The Defiant Ones, telling the story of Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The four-parter debuted on HBO in 2017.


An Election Central experience on Xfinity X1 and Flex enables Xfinity Customers to request the latest voting information in their state via their Xfinity Voice Remote and makes election news available in one place in both English and Spanish. X1 and Flex customers can say “How to vote” or “Cómo votar” into the Xfinity Voice Remote to find general voting information such as how to register, how to vote this year, and breakdowns of the key 2020 races. By selecting the tile that says “Voting Information” or “Información para votar,” customers will be able to enter their mobile number and receive a link to vote.gov, the official US government voter information website.

Realeyes, a computer vision and emotion AI company, announced the launch of its PreView attention measurement system, to help identify and test the ads and creative elements that are the most compelling to consumers and deliver the best attention outcomes. Using front-facing cameras to analyze facial coding data of opt-in viewers as they watch video content online, Realeyes PreView provides predictive in-market performance metrics like second-by-second audience retention, ability to capture and hold attention in the first seconds, and presence of emotional peaks that lead to memorability. “An advertiser’s creative is the single-most influential component of a quality commercial exposure in video advertising,” Max Kalehoff, VP of Marketing at Realeyes, tells Cynopsis. “Managing a video creative asset portfolio like a financial portfolio, enabling advertisers to reduce the cost of quality exposures and improve ROI. PreView’s predictive intelligence enables you to select and optimize your video creative to maximize attention outcomes, improve media performance and eliminate waste.”


Banijay Rights struck a first-look deal with regional independent production company Nineteen11 that will give Banijay Rights exclusive access to a wide range of programming, encompassing documentaries, factual entertainment, and reality TV, including new Channel 4 commission, Swingers.

Synchronicity Films is launching Synchronicity Australia, headed by former BBC Drama Development Producer Ruth Underwood. Following the success of The Cry, the Glasgow-based production company is setting up shop in Melbourne to expand its focus on producing high-end drama for both the domestic and international markets.

Viasat World announced the renewal of its deal with operator partner Antenna Hungária, through which its channels Viasat History, Epic Drama, Viasat Nature and Viasat Explore will be made available to more platform subscribers.

Cartoon Network and anime brand Crunchyroll announced the return of Toonami, the anime programming block, in Latin America starting August 31. The partnership, initially for a year, aims to deliver a selection of iconic anime properties to a new generation of fans.

Canada’s Global expands picked up of The Drew Barrymore Show, the syndicated daytime show produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. The show is distributed internationally by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.

In light of the current Covid-19 crisis, we’re conducting a survey to formulate insights & analysis of our market and how it will affect the future. Feedback form you will help us publish a thorough report that will provide the media sector with a trusted benchmark for expectations.


members will get first dibs on the report!

Everyone who takes the survey will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card.




NBC and ABC delivered 0.4 among A18-49 for Monday’s Democratic convention coverage, followed by 0.2 in the demo for CBS. ABC drew 2.44 million viewers, NBC grabbed 2.28 million and CBS counted 1.99 million.

On cable, MSNBC won during Monday’s 10p convention hour with an average of over 5 million viewers, and 1.01 million A25-54. CNN was second in total viewers (4.7 million), but topped the demo with 1.496 million. Fox News delivered just over 2 million viewers and 438,000 among A25-54.

In syndication, Dr. Phil (four-week high 1.9 Live+SD national Nielsen rating, up 6% from the week before) reclaimed first place in the talk show race in the session ending August 9, despite being in reruns on all five days. Live with Kelly and Ryan (1.6, down 16%), which had shot to the top in the prior week with tributes to late co-host Regis Philbin, was second. Ellen DeGeneres (1.0, unchanged) remained at the lowest ratings in its 17-year history for a third straight week, tied with Maury (1.0, down 9%), which matched its all-time low.

UniMás’ weeknight 10p newscast, Noticiero Univision, increased its audience week-over-week by double-digit margins among Total Viewers 2+ (+26% to 313,000), A18-49 (+13% to 131,000) and A18-34 (+34% to 47,000) the week of August 10. The newscast also delivered double-digit audience growth to the network’s Monday to Friday 10:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. time period year-over-year among Adults 18-34 (+34%).

Basic Cable Top 5 for the Week of August 10
Primetime (P2+)

Fox News (3,386,000)
MSNBC (2,088,000)
HGTV (1,384,000)
CNN (1,353,000)
TLC (1,248,000)
Total Day (P2+)
Fox News (1,739,000)
MSNBC (1,224,000)
CNN (977,000)
HGTV (705,000)
ID (519,000)

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of August 3 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Family Feud (CTD) 5.6 AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 5.4 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 4.7 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 4.5 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.5 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.4 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.3 AA
Hot Bench (CTD) 2.0 AA
Last Man Standing (DAD) 1.9 AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 1.9
Source: Nielsen

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of August 10
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) – 5.19%
Modern Family (ABC) – 2.30%
The Rain (Netflix) – 1.76%
Friends (NBC) – 1.47%
The Office (NBC) – 1.46%
Good Girls (NBC) – 1.32%
One Piece (Fuji TV) – 1.28%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 1.19%
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) – 1.10%
The Seven Deadly Sins (MBS) – 1.09%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, August 17
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Holey Moley 2.11 (0.4), To Tell the Truth 2.06 (0.3), Democratic National Convention 2.44 (0.4)
CBS: The Neighborhood 3.52 (0.4), Bob Hearts Abishola 3.48 (0.4), All Rise 2.15 (0.3), CBS News: 2020 America Decides: Democratic Convention 1.99 (0.2)
CW: Whose Line Is it Anyway? 0.93 (0.2), Whose Line Is it Anyway? 0.93 (0.2), Penn & Teller: Fool Us 0.96 (0.2)
FOX: 9-1-1 2.21 (0.4), 9-1-1: Lone Star 1.98 (0.4)
NBC: America Ninja Warrior 2.45 (0.4), 2020 Democratic Convention 2.28 (0.4)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.20 (0.3), Cennet 1.22 (0.4), Enemigo Intimo 0.82 (0.3)
Univision: Rosa de Guadelupe 1.29 (0.4), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.49 (0.5), Como Tu No Hay 1.62 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Adam Gaynor has joined Vizio as VP of Network Partnerships. Gaynor was most recently VP of AMCN Agility.

VICE Studios has tapped Alex Moore for the newly created role of VP, Non-Fiction based. Moore joins from Grain Media, where he was CEO and Creative Director.

Zack Olin has been appointed to the newly created position of SVP, Live Action for Nickelodeon. Olin previously served as a live-action development consultant for Nickelodeon.

Insight TV is expanding its sales efforts into Latin America with the appointment of Raquel Yepes, who will oversee content sales in the region. Marco Ibarra and Edgar Spielmann, co-founders of 2BE NAMED Strategic Partners, will lead their team to drive linear and digital channel distribution efforts.

This Day in History
1934 – Adolf Hitler, already chancellor, was elected president of Germany.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was Stockard Channing’s first TV role? A victim of The Number Painter’s on Sesame Street. Kudos to: Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX

Today’s Trivia Question
Who played Casablanca’s Rick in short-lived TV prequel to the classic film? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
Newsmax Media

Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE


FUTURE TODAY INC/CHICAGO, LA, NYC: Seeking salespeople to represent our CTV portfolio spanning kids/family, entertainment and lifestyle content. Ideal candidate will have exp within Retail, Insurance, and/or CPG verticals as well as existing relationships with major agencies. Minne relationships are essential for the IL role. Full info HERE. (9/1)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NY, NY: Seeking an individual who is looking for the opportunity to learn and grow in an exciting, evolving research environment supporting ELG Research team. Min 2 yrs exp in research, advertising, or media outlet. Prefer exp at a cable network. Full info HERE (8/28)

TWIN CITIES PBS/ST. PAUL, MN: New, FT position, that will design and implement a holistic and enterprise-wide inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategy into all of our programs and business initiatives. Min 10ys exp in IDEA in a nonprofit, educ and/or media preferred. Full info HERE. (8/27)

GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/Phila, PA: Seeking motivated, self-starter to join our podcast team. This individual will be responsible for securing ad campaigns across our slate of podcasts. Must have podcast, audio or digital ad sales experience. Full info HERE (8/27)

A+E/NY: Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/26)

MAVTV MOTORSPORTS NETWORK/Corona, CA: Seeking individual to support all areas of the programming team’s responsibilities, including editorial, research, analysis, scheduling and presentation of all content categories. Min 2yrs exp in media and enter, with focus programming. Full info HERE (8/25)

Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/24)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/23)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/21)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/21)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/21)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/21)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/21)

ABC: United We Fall, The Goldbergs, The Conners, American Housewife, The Democratic National Convention
CBS: Big Brother, Tough as Nails, CBS News: 2020 America Decides: Democratic Convention
CW: The 100, Coroner
FOX: MasterChef
NBC: America’s Got Talent, Ellen’s Game of Games, 2020 Democratic Convention
PBS: PBS NewsHour Convention Coverage
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enimigo Intimo
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Medicos, Linea de Vida, Como Tu No Hay


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