09/25/20: Scripps to go national with ION Media acquisition


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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday September 25, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Amazon: Fernando, Utopia
Apple TV+: Tehran
CBS: The Greatest #AtHomeVIdeos at 8p
Disney+: Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom
FX: A Wilderness of Error at 8p
Netflix: Country-ish, The School Nurse Files, Sneakerheads
Peacock: The Amber Ruffin Show

Tonight’s Finale
VH1: RuPaul’s Drag Race at 8p

Sunday’s Premieres
Bravo: Bravo’s Chat Room at 10:30p
BYUtv: Relative Race – After the Finish Line at 6:30p
Fox: The Simpsons at 8p, Bless the Harts at 8:30p, Bob’s Burgers at 9p, Family Guy at 9:30p
FX: Fargo at 9p
ID: Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up at 9p
Showtime: The Comey Rule at 9p
Syfy: Magical Girl Friendship Squad at 12a, Wild Life at 12:30a
Travel: Paranormal Caught on Camera: Top 100 at 9p

Sunday’s Finales
HLN: How It Really Happened with Hill Harper at 9p
PBS: Van der Valk on Masterpiece at 9p


The EW Scripps Company is buying national broadcast network ION Media for $2.65 billion, with Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway helping finance the deal. The move combines ION with Scripps’ Katz networks and Newsy to create a full-scale national television networks business, which will reach nearly every American through free over-the-air broadcast, cable/satellite, over-the-top and digital advertising. It also increases Scripps’ reach into the ad market as it offers advertisers a larger platform to reach their audiences.

Saturday Night Live has named its 46th season premiere host. Chris Rock will tackle the assignment on October 3, marking his third stint as the NBC late-night show’s master of ceremonies. Megan Thee Stallion will also be on hand for the opener as musical guest.

Thank you to all of you who attended Cynopsis’ That Big TV virtual experience. The event’s closing day included two powerful sessions on the changes necessary to celebrate and elevate Black entrepreneurs and consumers. “I ended up owning 100% of my company because no one believed in me, and no one invested in me,” said Byron Allen, who recalled paying exorbitant interest rates to get funding. “What I went through for the first 30 years, no one should have to go through.” Other hot topics included pain points in CTV and media, the future of TV and advertising, strategies for reaching target audiences, and reality programming – and that was just on day three. Earlier in the week, we explored the impact of AVOD on traditional media, the importance of news, the allure of lifestyle programming done right, OTT advertising, strategies for niche networks and more, with industry thought leaders offering insights and next steps for moving the business forward. We appreciate your participation – and hope to see you in person next year.

Procter & Gamble is opting to negotiate directly with media outlets going forward, a move likely taking it out of typical “upfront” discussions. “A better name than the ‘upfronts’ might be the ‘FOMOS,’” said Marc Pritchard, the company’s Chief Brand Officer, at an industry conference. “We almost always end up buying too much, but we can buy ‘options’ to return some spending without penalty – and to avoid the open ‘scatter market’ where even higher prices are extremely punishing.” Buying too much inventory is inefficient at best, and at worst, leads to excess frequency though heavy ad loads in programs, said Pritchard, adding, “The system must change.”

The International Academy of Television Arts & Science released nominations for the International Emmy Awards 2020. Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson is up for best actress for her role in BBC dementia drama Elizabeth Is Missing. Among other highlights: PBS and Channel 4’s Oscar-nominate Syria film, For Sama, will vie for best documentary, Showtime’s Back to Life competes for best comedy, and Netflix’s Criminal and Delhi Crime were both recognized in the drama series category.

Meanwhile, CMT unveiled nominations for the 2020 CMT Music Awards. Ashley McBryde, Dan + Shay, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett lead the pack of nominees, each with three nominations spanning Video of the Year, Female Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year. Other artists with multiple nominations include Blanco Brown, Carrie Underwood, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, Old Dominion and The Chicks. The ceremony airs Wednesday, October 21 at 8p on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, Pop TV and TV Land.

WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports and Major League Baseball inked a seven-year rights extension through 2028, with HBO Max potentially a future venue for game broadcasts. The deal, reported to be in the neighborhood of $3.75 billion, keeps games on TBS, particularly in the postseason, and adds a season-long Tuesday night game to TBS.

A federal judge tossed out a defamation claim against Fox News brought by Karen McDougal on Thursday. The former Playboy model, who claimed to have had a affair with Donald Trump, sued the network over remarks that Tucker Carlson made about her on one of his shows. U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote that Carlson was making a statement of opinion, not fact, so a defamation claim was not actionable.

Sean Combs’ music-oriented cable network, Revolt, is gaining distribution via a new carriage deal with Comcast’s Xfinity TV. Revolt will be added to the Xfinity Digital Starter package in several cities, including Philadelphia, Orlando and Indianapolis. In markets where the network was available in standard definition as part of the Xfinity Digital Premier package, it will be moved to Digital Starter in HD, starting September 29.

HBO Max and Carrie Underwood are getting into the holiday spirit with a Christmas special highlighting her new album My Gift, which drops on CD and digital, today. Underwood will appear with a live orchestra and choir, performing traditional favorites, as well as new original material from her first ever Christmas album. The streamer will premiere the event this holiday season.


FOX New Channel will present live programming surrounding the first presidential debate on Tuesday, September 29 from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. At 9p, Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum will co-anchor live coverage outside the debate venue. Prior to the debate, a special edition of FOX News Sunday will air live from Cleveland on September 27. FOX Business Network will also offer live coverage, starting at 8p with  FOX Business Network Presents Democracy 2020: The Presidential debate, anchored by Neil Cavuto, at 8p.

HBO Max and Rock the Vote are kicking off a new partnership encouraging voters to highlight the issues that have most affected their daily lives, families and communities. In addition, a new PSA features talent from a variety of HBO and HBO Max original programming wearing face masks that prominently showcase the issues most important to them as the election approaches.

YouTube Originals announced the pickup of two voting specials. You Choose 2020, premiering Monday, October 5, takes viewers through the key steps in the voting process. Kid Correspondent, a four-part election special on YouTube and YouTube Kids, is a kid-driven, inquiry-based program that helps children participate in the conversation that bows Wednesday, October 28.

Virtual Roundtable Event: Tuesday, OCT 20 / 1-2PM ET

Our roundtable of experts have both institutional knowledge and up-to-the-minute intelligence. Join us to learn about the must-haves of political advertising, how to streamline the process of getting your message across every screen within the all-important limited political window timeframe and more.


(Sponsored by New York Interconnect – so it’s free to attend!)


A new generation of Pretty Little Liars is on the horizon. HBO Max has given a direct-to-series order to original drama Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. From executive producer/writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and co-executive producer/writer Lindsay Calhoon Bring (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), the dark, horror-tinged drama centers on a group of teen girls tormented by an unknown assailant.

CBS All Access ordered comedic documentary series For Heaven’s Sake. Created by and starring Mike Mildon and Jackson Rowe, the filmmakers behind Trophy Husbands, it follows the search for Harold Heaven, who mysteriously disappeared from his remote cabin in Ontario, Canada, in the winter of 1934.

Chernin Entertainment struck a multi-year partnership with Spotify to mine its library of original series and new podcast content for projects. The duo is already developing The Clearing, a true story about a woman who believes her father is a serial killer, and Blackout, an apocalyptic series starring Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody).

Nickelodeon renewed Emmy-winning kids’ series, The Casagrandes, for a third season. A spinoff of top-rated The Loud House, it has ranked as the #2 animated property across television with Kids 2-11 since debuting in October 2019.

HBO Documentary Films acquired North American rights to The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. The feature length doc will debut on HBO later this year.

ABC ordered Mason Dixon, an hourlong drama from Lee Daniels (Empire, Star) and writer Julian Breece (The First), reports Deadline. Lee is set to direct the potential pilot written by Breece, which explores the story of a man and a woman, who in the wake of their spouses’ cheating scandal and untimely deaths, form an unlikely alliance.

Peacock has committed to Freedia Got A Gun, a feature-length documentary about hip hop star Big Freedia, who uses her platform to shift the focus on gun violence following the murder of her brother. The project will launch on the streamer on Thursday, October 15.

Crypt TV (The Birch) is making its first animated horror series for Facebook Watch. Woman in the Book, starring Diane Guerrero (Orange Is the New Black), follows the lives of three estranged siblings who reunite at an aging Mexican hacienda to wrestle for their inheritance, but inadvertently unleash a book-bound horror upon them that has plagued them for generations.


This Is Us has moved up its premiere date. The NBC series, which had been set to return for its fifth season on November 10, will now bow on Tuesday, October 27 at 8p. Meanwhile, Superstore and Connecting are moving back a week. Superstore will return on Thursday, October 29 at 8p, and Connecting will debut on Thursday, October 1.

Amazon Prime Video’s Truth Seekers is set to bow on Friday, October 30. The eight-episode paranormal comedy series hails from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.

Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 8p on Discovery. Inspired by years’ worth of rescues, Marty Raney will attempt his greatest ever – his very own 40-acres homestead.


Ready for more Tiger drama? Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up bows on ID Sunday, September 27 at 9p. “Joe Exotic is not the only one with skeletons in his closet. In ID’s three-hour special over two nights, Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up, viewers will learn shocking new theories and evidence about the disappearance of Don Lewis,” promises Henry Schleiff, Group President ID, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

National Geographic Documentary films airs five-part documentary series City So Real in a one night, five-hour, commercial- free event on Thursday, October 29 at 7p. From filmmakers Steve James (America to Me, Hoop Dreams) and his producing partner Zak Piper (Life Itself, The Interrupters) the doc delivers a look into the soul of Chicago, set against the backdrop of its history making 2019 mayoral election.

Food Network celebrates Halloween with a pair of specials: Good Eats: The House That Dripped Chocolate premieres Thursday, October 8 at 9p, while Worst Cooks in America: Halloween Redemption, with chefs Anne Burrell and Carla Hall, debuts Sunday, October 18 at 9p.

CentroAmericaTV is set to air the Honduran National League Apertura soccer tournament. Live game coverage kicks off with Real Espana vs. Olimpia on Sunday, September 27 at 9p.

HBO Latino’s news stand-up comedy special Shayla Rivera: It’s Not Rocket Science debuts Friday, October 9 at 9:30p. Rivera has made a name for herself, not only as a comedian, but also as an aerospace engineer and former rocket scientist with NASA.


605 struck a deal with Walmart to support its TV ad initiatives with insights via 605 platform, a TV measurement and audience analytics platform for national TV networks, advertisers and agencies. The retailer will use 605 Platform to support planning, posting, measuring and analyzing programming or ads based on demographic, intent, psychographic, purchase or CRM audience segmentation. The platform empowers customers to analyze all time-shifted viewership across live, DVR and STB VOD, covering recent viewership or as far back as two years.


Doubleverify released its “Four fundamental shifts in media and advertising during 2020” report, an international study that considers the impact devices, evolving news cycles and new ad technologies have had on consumers’ engagement with online brand promotions. Key findings from the study, conducted with over 10,000 respondents across France, Germany, Spain, the UK, and the US, include:
* Online content consumption has doubled from 3 hours 17 minutes to 6 hours 59 minutes
* The growth is being driven, in part, by streaming, with 44% using more connected TVTime spent on social has exploded, with almost half (48%) upping their time there
* On social, YouTube has seen the greatest increased interest (43% more time spent there) overall, while TikTok has seen the highest growth across the 18-24 demo.


Kiefer Sutherland and Joey King were tapped as the voice cast for Shudder’s The Creepshow Halloween Special, bowing Monday, October 26… Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter franchise), Jemima Kirke (Girls) and recording artist Dua Saleh join the Season 3 cast of Netflix’s Sex Education, reports Deadline.


Expanding its efforts to tackle misinformation in Europe, YouTube will begin showing users in the U.K. and Germany fact-checking panels on some video searches. The Google-owned service will start displaying information and links from third party publishers on questions related to issues like elections and the coronavirus. The feature initially rolled out in Brazil and India, last year, and launched in the US in April.

Amazon announced the fourth-generation of its Echo smart speaker. The model features a new spherical design and better sound performance. The biggest change: a new, on-device speech recognition module that will locally process a user’s audio on Echo, making requests faster.


BBC Studios sold Dancing With the Stars to Mongolia’s Mongol TV, making it the 60th territory for the dance competition series. The show goes into production this month and will air in early 2021.

Armoza Formats commissioned Life Isn’t Everything in Greece. From JCS Productions, the romantic sitcom centers on a comedy writer who can’t figure out life. The local adaptation will air on Open TV.

All3Media International struck a partnership with Two Rivers Media to support the development of projects and handle the rights to titles in in global market. The first non-scripted series to be distributed by All3Media International is Escape to the Chateau: Make Do & Mend.

Wild Brain Media secured global distribution rights (excluding the UK) to The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. Recently commissioned by Sky in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the project is produced by TG Entertainment and based on Liz Pichon’s bestselling children’s books.

Gaumont, the production company behind Narcos, is developing Spanish-language drama Los Ultimos Analogos. The project, which hails from Max Zunino and Hari Sama, chronicles the peak of the Rock en Espanol movement during the mid-1990s in Mexico City.

Cynopsis’ Adtech Awards

With more than a dozen categories, these companies reign supreme: Adobe, Amobee, Bell Media, Concert, Cuebiq, Dell, Disney, Dotdash, Discovery Engage, Gamut Total, GroundTruth, IBM, Imagine Communication, Jaguar Land Rover, ListenFirst, MagicLinks, NewsON, Nielsen, New York Interconnect, Premion, Publica, Realeyes, Roku, Simpli.fi, Spectrum Reach, Tap Native, The AI Exchange, TVSquared, Giant, Viamedia, Vistar Media, WarnerMedia, and Xandr.

Save the date for our virtual awards event on Dec. 1st to see who wins!


Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, September 23
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Guardians of the Galaxy 1.93 (0.4), The Goldbergs 0.98 (0.2)
CBS Big Brother 4.03 (1.5), Love Island 1.88 (0.7), 48 Hours Suspicion 1.98 (0.5)
CW: The 100 0.57 (0.1), Coroner 0.71 (0.1)
FOX: The Masked Singer 5.42 (1.4), I Can See Your Voice 4.46 (1.1)
NBC: America’s Got Talent 5.74 (0.7), America’s Got Talent 6.37 (0.9)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.14 (0.3), Todo Por Mi Hija 1.33 (0.3), Falsa Identidad
0.79 (0.2)
Univision: Medicos, Linea de Vida 1.28 (0.7), Imperio de Mentiras 1.34 (0.8), Dulce Ambicion
1.08 (0.7)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


AMC Networks President of SVOD, Miguel Penella is expanding his role. The executive is adding oversight of AMC+ to the portfolio of subscription video on demand service he oversees.

Peter Bevacqua was named the third NBC Sports Group chairman. He joined the company in 2018 after stints at the PGA Tour and CAA.

FuboTV appointed former NerdWallet and current Getaround CFO, Laura Onopchenko, to its board of directors as an independent director. The move is effective immediately.


Coliesa McMillan, who appeared on the latest season of TLC’s My 600-lb Life, died Tuesday, September 23 due to complications from weight loss surgery. She was 41.

Friday Fun Fact
The moon has moonquakes which occur during its ongoing contraction.

This Day in History
1997 – The cast of ER performed the episode “Ambush” live.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What song was the title character on Frasier (1993-2004) forced to sing on PBS? Buttons and Bows. Kudos to: Natasha Manners-Floy-ABC Disney/NYC; Carl Mayer-Active International/Pearl River, LaKendra Kennedy-Sinclair Broadcasting Group/Hunt Valley/MD; NY; Charles Lore/NYC; Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago, IL; David Sikula-San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA; Ken DuBow-Bob’s Your Uncle/LA; Susan Nessanbaum Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question
What was Nina’s nickname when she was a model on Just Shoot Me (1997-2003)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four.)


Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Mike Farina

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

Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (10/9)

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS/STAMFORD, CT: Resp for accessing and leveraging internal/external data, as well as building models to support Charter’s various business grps (Programming Acquisition, Original Content, Spectrum Nets, Mktg, Product, etc.) on critical initiatives and decisions. Min 5 yrs exp in data modeling and analytics. Full info HERE (10/9)

Public media leader seeks VP to promote APT brands, impact, marketing strategies, diverse content & engage audiences. Min 10 yrs experience. APT is EOE. Full info HERE. (10/9)

Counter Logic Gaming/Madison Square Garden Sports/LA, CA: Counter Logic Gaming is looking for someone to lead the digital mktg team, with a focus on digital content and social media. Resp for creating/executing all CLG digital/content strat across all social/streaming platforms. Min 5 yrs of digital/mktg exp. Full info HERE (10/9)

Nickelodeon/NYC, NY: Ideal candidate will lead a team of mktg and campaign mngrs in all aspects of marketing across all platforms in support of Nickelodeon series and content. Min 8 yrs exp in marketing, media or a consumer strategy position. Full info HERE (10/8)

Clear Channel Outdoor/NY, NY: Resp for dev mktg strategies, content and compelling programs for clients/agencies to increase awareness and build a value proposition for Clear Channel Outdoor’s products and data solutions. Min 5yrs Mktg exp in a media sales org, focusing on integrated solutions, creating innovating sales tools and building revenue-generating opps. Full info HERE (10/8)

VIACOMCBS/REMOTE: 6 mon, temp maternity cover position starting in mid-Dec 2020. Must have exp in mktg/brand tracking data, market and product research. 10yrs of research exp with background in quantitative/qualitative methodologies. Knowledge of consumer insights within the US TV streaming landscape (part AVOD). Full info HERE (10/8)

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 (10/7)

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 (10/7)

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 (10/7)

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 (10/7)

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 (10/7)

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 3yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (10/7)

ABC: America’s Funniest Home Videos, 20/20
CBS: The Greatest #AtHome Videos, Love Island, Blue Bloods
CW: Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion, World’s Funniest Animals, World’s Funniest Animals
FOX: WWE Friday Night SmackDown
NBC: 2020 Stanley Cup Final
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Great Performances, Art in the Twenty-First Century
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Todo Por Mi Hija, Falsa Identidad
Univision: Medicos, Linea de Vida, Imperio de Mentiras, Dulce Ambicion


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