12/19/22: Laura Molen sets NBCU exit

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday December 19, 2022

Today’s Premieres
NBC: The Wheel at 10p
Netflix: Trolley

Today’s Finales
Food Network: Holiday Baking Championship at 8p; Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown at 10p
TV One: Sins of the City at 10p


NBC isn’t ready quite yet to give the 10p hour back to affiliate stations. The possibility had been under discussion as a cost-cutting move amid declining linear ratings, but NBCU has reportedly decided to hang on to the network’s final primetime hour, at least for the 2023-24 season.

Apple TV+ has canceled “Shantaram” after one season. The drama follows a man who escaped a maximum-security prison in Australia and winds up fighting Russian troops in Afghanistan.

Also one-and-done is Netflix comedy “Blockbuster,” a workplace comedy that premiered November 3. Randall Park starred as the owner of the last Blockbuster Video store in America.

While a date hasn’t yet been announced for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, the Television Academy shared that the eligibility period has been set for June 1-2022-May 31 2023, with submissions opening February 21 and an entry deadline of May 9. Nominations will be announced July 12; the show will air on Fox in September.

Thirty-five percent of advertisers say they will be returning to linear TV in 1Q23, according to a report by Advertiser Perceptions. In the third quarter of 2022, Advertiser Perceptions found that 3 in 10 US linear TV advertisers had reduced or paused their linear TV ad budgets, with many saying they were planning to bring that spend back later in Q3 or in Q4. But in October, they found that the portion of linear advertisers still cutting back on their linear TV spend was unchanged, and a plurality is now planning to wait out the holiday season and instead return in 1Q23.

Eroding consumer trust is the top concern among media experts for advertising on social media platforms in 2023, according to the IAS Industry Pulse Report. Findings from the report include:
· While 91% of respondents plan to advertise on social platforms in 2023, the study shows a decrease in monetization intent across platforms, except for a slight increase for WhatsApp (2% year-over-year).
· Two-thirds agree that insufficient transparency will negatively impact their media spend.
· Publishers are bullish about video game advertising, with 34% recognizing the potential for opportunities in the year ahead.
· 44% of media experts (44%) agree that CTV and digital video hold the most potential for innovation in the coming year.
· 58% will prioritize contextual targeting to combat consumer privacy issues and cookie deprecation while still targeting desired audiences at scale.
· Mobile remains a key priority for 47%f of media experts.
“IAS research found 77% of media experts agree that eroding consumer trust in major social media platforms may negatively impact their media spend,” said Khurrum Malik, Chief Marketing Officer of IAS. “At the same time, marketers can’t turn away from the allure of reach and engagement that social media can provide. This love / worry relationship highlights the need for increased transparency for social media advertisers.”

Cox Media Group reached a long-term carriage agreement with Verizon FiOS TV on Friday, avoiding a blackout on Fios systems. “This deal with Verizon, consistent with our long history of carriage agreements, reflects the value of our market-leading stations and commitment to delivering vital and award-winning news and entertainment programming,” said CMG. “We’re pleased to have reached this renewal before our prior deal expired, exemplifying our commitment to reaching timely and fair-market agreements with partners that negotiate in good faith.”

December 17 was Cecily Strong’s last appearance as a series regular on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Strong joined the show in fall 2012. “Tonight we send off one of the best to ever do it. We’ll miss you, Cecily!”, said a post on SNL’s Instagram account ahead of Saturday’s show.

Optimum, a brand of Altice USA, announced that households that enroll in the Federal Government’s Affordable Connectivity Program can now receive free or reduced-price wireless service through Optimum Mobile after applying the program’s maximum $30 credit. In addition, qualifying households on Tribal Lands are eligible for a maximum $75 ACP credit.

Sharon Osbourne was filming an episode of “Night of Terror” with her son, paranormal investigator Jack Osbourne, when she suffered a medical emergency and was transported to the hospital. The two were filming at the famously haunted Glen Tavern Inn in California. Sharon has since been given the “all clear,” reports Jack, and is now home.

2023 Sports Media Awards

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We are thrilled to announce our site launch for the 11th annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards! In case you missed last year’s event, senior executives were honored from NBC Sports, NFL, Twitter, Bleacher Report, NBA, MLB, ESPN and other industry leading companies. To learn more about how you can enter and attend next year’s event on April 18th, visit the link below.



Peacock handed a straight-to-series order to an untitled horror thriller inspired by the novel Stinger, following a disparate group of people on a ranch who must come together in the face of a mysterious threat. Atomic Monster’s James Wan (“The Conjuring Universe”), Michael Clear (“Swamp Thing”) and Rob Hackett (“I Know What You Did Last Summer”) will executive produce alongside director/executive producer E.L. Katz (“The Haunting of Bly Manor”), writer/executive producer Ian McCulloch (“Yellowstone”) and executive producer/author Robert McCammon. Danielle Bozzone will oversee for Atomic Monster.

BET inked a first look deal in non-scripted and second look deal in scripted with Mary J. Blige’s production company, Blue Butterfly. The first unscripted project being developed is “The Wine Down,” a talk show hosted by Blige. “BET has been one of my biggest supporters throughout my career,” said Blige. “Being able to now create together, for them to be so supportive of my vision for the type of content I will create, is something I am grateful and excited for. We already have multiple projects in the works and there is much more to come.” In addition to the partnership with BET, Blue Butterfly has a first look scripted television deal with Lionsgate Television.

Robert De Niro is set to star in and executive produce a crime drama series in development at Entertainment One. “Mr. Natural” follows man released from prison after 30 years, eager to return to his family and a life of crime in Palm Springs. De Niro and Mitch Glazer (“Magic City”) executive produce alongside Art and John Linson “Yellowstone”). Last month, De Niro was cast in a Netflix project, limited series “Zero Day.”

Brooks Darnell, who has starred in a number of Hallmark movies (“Advice to Love By” and “A Winter Getaway” among them), has signed an overall deal with Hallmark Media. Darnell’s next film, “Holiday Heritage,” is Hallmark’s first to celebrate Kwanzaa.


Univision melodrama “Cabo” launches Monday, January 9 at 10p. The series tells the story of a man who returns home wounded and amnesiac, to find his wife being conned by his brother to steal the family fortune.

Season three of “Godfather of Harlem” premieres January 15 on MGM+. The series tells a story inspired by infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker) who in the early 1960s returned from 11 years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles.


InsightTV announced the launch of three FAST channels on FuboTV across the US and Canada. INFAST (Lifestyle), INTROUBLE (Action & sports) and INWONDER (Science and tech) have been added to the FuboTV streaming platform.

MTRSPT1 has signed a multi-year agreement with SLING TV. MTRSPT1 offers over 2000 hours of motorsports content along with live events.


Last week’s two World Cup semi-final matches were the most-watched Men’s World Cup semi-finals on English-language television. On Tuesday, the Argentina/Croatia match drew 6.46 million total viewers across the Fox broadcast and digital platforms. The match aired at 2p and viewership peaked from 2:30 to 2:45p with 8.2 million. 2018’s Day 1 semi-final telecast of the France vs. Belgium match averaged 4.5 million total viewers. A day later, France’s win against Morocco on Wednesday, which aired at 2p, delivered 6.59 million total viewers across linear and digital, peaking with 8.6 million viewers from 3:30 to 3:45p. That’s up 17% from the equivalent 2018 telecast.

The 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic® festivities kick off at Boston City Hall Plaza with the NHL Winter Classic Plaza™, a free two-day, non-ticketed fan festival open to the public. On December 30 and 31, the NHL and its corporate partners will treat hockey fans to experiences including autograph sessions, hockey interactives, giveaways, food, and a special appearance by the Stanley Cup.

Television network development group Obsession Media is partnering with editorial brand, Speed Sport Magazine, to launch Speed Sport 1, a live motorsports FAST channel expected to debut in the spring of 2023. Dan Teitscheid is taking the wheel as President and GM of SpeedSport1; he joins from the MAVTV Motorsports Network.

FITE is launching 12 Days of FITE+, a series of the best recent sports events, all included in FITE+ subscriptions, debuting at 8p nightly from December 19 to December 30. Content includes Triller Fight Club events Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. and Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren; Ric Flair’s Last Match, as well as events from NWA, BKFC, GCW and Subversiv.


Red Arrow Studios International has picked up the worldwide distribution rights (excluding German-speaking territories) for an exclusive interview with tennis star Boris Becker on his release from a UK prison. Becker will record the interview with German channel SAT.1 on his return to Germany.

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Thursday’s holiday-themed episode of “Ghosts” hit a series high 7 million viewers, up 7% from the CBS comedy’s season 2 average in Live+SD Nielsen data.

TLC will finish 2022 as cable’s highest-rated network without sports in primetime with women 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34, reports the network. TLC will also hold its #1 position as the top primetime cable network without news or sports across key demographics Persons and Women 25-54, 18-49 and 18-34. “TLC has a magic formula that our viewers crave and come back to again and again,” said Howard Lee, President of TLC Streaming and Original Networks.

Food Network’s “Holiday Wars” reached more than 6.8 million P2+ viewers with Sunday night’s finale delivering .8 P18+ / 1.1 W18+ Live+3 ratings, up 19% and 17%, respectively, versus the prior six weeks.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, December 15
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)

ABC: Beauty and the Beast 30th 4.26 (0.8), The Parent Test 1.99 (0.4)
CBS: Ghosts 7.00 (0.6), So Help Me Todd 4.70 (0.4), CSI: Vegas 1.93 (0.3)
CW: Christmas Around the USA 0.52 (0.0)
FOX: HouseBroken 0.67 (0..1), HouseBroken 0.45 (0.1), Welcome to Flatch 0.52 (0.1), Call Me Kat 0.52 (0.1)
ION: Chicago PD 1.10 (0.1), Chicago PD 1.15 (0.1), Chicago PD 1.14 (0.1)
NBC: Baking It 1.93 (0.3), NBC Movie Special 2.01 (0.2)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos: All Stars 0.96 (0.3), La Reina del Sur 0.84 (0.3), Amor y Traicon 0.73 (0.2)
Univision: Vencer la Ausencia 1.21 (0.3), Mi Camino es Amarte 1.40 (0.4), La Madraste 1.17 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Laura Molen, President, Advertising Sales for NBCUniversal, has decided to step down. “While I love NBCUniversal and this team, it is time for me to re-prioritize my focus, have more family time and fully explore my numerous passions,” said Molen in a note to colleagues. “I’m particularly interested in utilizing my expertise to partner with others and help companies succeed, including taking on more Board advisory roles, like so many leaders I admire.” Molen, a 10-year veteran of NBCU, has agreed to stay on as an advisor through the first quarter of 2023.

Cinedigm Corp. has hired Russell Schneider as Senior Vice President, Brand Partnerships. Schneider most recently served as VP, Head of Brand Partnerships at Malka Media/Showtime Sports.


This Day in History
1918 – Robert Ripley launched his “Believe It or Not” column in the New York Globe.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What did Marshall buy Lily for Christmas in the “How Lily Stole Christmas” episode of “How I Met Your Mother”? An Easy-Bake Oven. Kudos to: Anna Andree-Universal Studio Group/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Rachel Kerstetter-Nickelodeon/Cherry Hill, NJ; Sandy Spiegel/Chicago; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Joe Lyons-Fox Sports/FL

Today’s Trivia Question
On the season six Hanukkah episode of “The Nanny” (1993-99), who prayed with Fran for the safe return of her family (and C.C.) from a snowstorm? (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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Job of the day

SILVER SPRING, Hybrid, Remote

Lead the Consumer Marketing media, promotion and marketing campaigns by prioritizing shows & campaigns across the brand, and support for each of those priorities. Work with internal research and marketing analytics team to gather and organize past performance and insights, construct goals and objectives, and develop target definitions. 7+ yrs exp. Full info HERE (1/16)

Operate and analyze ad tech stack, optimizing on the partner level as well as overall enterprise level. Onboard and manage new programmatic (SSP and Ad Network) partners and assist in any troubleshooting around SSP setups, partner integrations and ad delivery. 7-10+ years of ad operations experience in the programmatic ad tech ecosystem. Full info HERE (1/13)

Frequently liaise with senior level internal & external contacts, screening & prioritizing all forms of incoming communications, dealing with routine issues & coordinating more complex responses ensuring these are delivered in a timely and effective manner. 3+ yrs of exp. providing administrative assistance at Executive level in the Media industry. Full info HERE (1/13)


Latitude is searching for an experienced research analyst. This position will focus on client communications and managing projects across their entire lifecycles – from design/proposal through reporting and presentation. Ideal candidates will be experienced in media, and comfortable both analyzing research data and communicating with clients. Full info HERE (1/13)

VEVO/Remote: Harness the power of Vevo’s data to provide better experiences for Vevo’s end users, advertisers, artist & label partners, along with deep insights for internal business groups. Full info HERE (1/12)

VEVO/NYC: Play a vital role in the success of the Ad Operations group by helping to drive revenue across key business initiatives. Responsible for helping to lead the technical ad implementation strategy across our ever growing distribution landscape. Full info HERE (1/12)

VEVO/NYC: Develop and position Vevo’s B2B brand among the advertising and buying community. Responsible for planning and executing strategic marketing initiatives that drive sales and further Vevo’s brand objectives. Full info HERE (1/12)


Lead strategic design and user-experience vision for the current website, INSP.com. Make front-end and back-end design recommendations and evaluate the potential for a reimagined user-experience for the site. Manage multiple project timelines and executions simultaneously for maximum efficiency. 5+ yrs exp. leading management of a website property. Full info HERE (1/11)


Responsible for all elements of the creation, pre-production, production, and post-production of all on-air promotion videos, off channel ads, digital/social video content and other video projects created for other departments. Manage Creative Marketing & Promotion department. Min 10 yrs exp. at a broadcast or cable entertainment network. Full info HERE (1/11)

HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Lead promotion and brand management for our national marketing and digital content strategies. This role will interface with the management team, show producers, our national network and streaming partners, and program sponsors. Full info HERE (1/11)

HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Support with audience and consumer information related to our national programming. This role will compile and analyze linear, digital and OTT cross platform viewership for the purposes of strategic planning and to create actionable internal insights and client presentations. Full info HERE (1/11)

MATTER OF FACT WITH SOLEDAD O’BRIEN/WASHINGTON, DC: Must have highly developed program production skills, a keen eye for visual and graphic show elements, and an editorial commitment to amplifying diverse voices in the conversation about the nation’s future. The Senior Producer will assist with production scheduling and budget. Full info HERE (1/10)

TEXAS TECH UNIV./LUBBOCK, TX: Practitioner/teacher with min. 5 yrs. exp. In VR/AR/MR, virtual production, digital world-building, interactive media, human-computer interaction, motion graphics, VFX, etc. Apply by Dec. 1. Full info HERE (1/10)

STARZ/SANTA MONICA: Identify and successfully pitch programming to media, including long leads, dailies, weeklies and online publications; as well as secure electronic bookings; respond to media requests timely for information and interviews. Develop and maintain close working relationships with members of the press. 3+ years of entertainment exp. in public relations. Full info HERE (1/10)

TMZ/LOS ANGELES: Partner with the Head of Revenue & Strategy to develop new growth opportunities for TMZ’s digital products and execute various revenue initiatives. Optimize current suite of products (web, apps, other) against desired goals. 10+ years of work exp. including experience in programmatic and digital (display and video) advertising and online media. Full info HERE (1/9)


Manage post production storage systems both on premises and in the cloud. Collaborate Production Operations team to ensure that workflows align across the wider A+E enterprise. 5 years experience as a Manager in post production technical support. Comprehensive knowledge of post production workflows and processes. Full info HERE (1/9)

INSP/CHARLOTTE, NC: Develops strategy & annual goals for the Affiliate Monthly Campaign, executes the strategy & oversees the implementation of other assigned campaigns. Provides reporting, analysis & recommendations on assigned campaigns and oversees development of creative & content to support network distribution. 5+ yrs of related exp., 3+ yrs of management exp. Full info HERE (1/9)


Aggregate & analyze data from various sources to develop audience insights & help drive programming/marketing strategy across traditional and streaming platforms. 3+ years’ experience in media research at a broadcast/cable net, streamer or an agency. Strong Nielsen & data viz tools a must plus MS Office, quant, comm & presentation skills. Full info HERE (1/9)

NYC or Remote

Primary point of contact for the development of standards, processes, procedures, metadata retainment & other functions related to “cloud” operations (AWS). Responsible for the operational development, scale & best practices of all on-premises and cloud-based archives. 10+ yrs of exp. in supply chain modernization, on-premises & cloud archives. Full info HERE (1/6)

BBC STUDIOS/NY, CHICAGO, LA: Frequently liaise with senior level internal and external contacts, screening and prioritizing all forms of incoming communications, dealing with routine issues and coordinating more complex responses ensuring these are delivered in a timely and effective manner. Manage Executive’s travel logistics and scheduling. 3+ yrs of exp. Full info HERE (1/6)

NEWSMAX/ NYC: Determine best news stories for the program and create daily rundown. Work with show host in program preparation and execution. Identify compelling news stories. Develop story ideas, research and plan segments. Delegate responsibilities as appropriate. Supervise production staff. 3+ years executive producing exp. or overseeing newscast production. Full info HERE (1/6)

Responsible for developing and expanding a roster of content creators and growing Outloud Talent as a business unit. You’ll provide one-on-one support and guidance to your roster of talent. Looking for someone with 3+ years of experience managing content creators and comfortable with building from the ground up. Full info HERE (1/5)


Client and agency interface, attending client social events, and supporting the multi-platform sales process. Customize client presentations and provide effective information to drive budgets. Research target accounts and create strategy to break new business and increase share. Min of 3-4 yrs exp. in digital, radio or linear sales. Full info HERE (1/5)

SILVER SPRING, Hybrid Remote

Work closely with SVP, Scheduling & Acquisitions and team to develop programming strategies/schedules that achieve or exceed rating & revenue goals. Manage the production of network schedule grids from scheduling database & supervise schedule changes across platforms. Min of 5 yrs exp. scheduling and acquisition w/cable/digital channel or network. Full info HERE (1/5)

SILVER SPRING, Hybrid Remote

Serve as the lead in initiating content request fulfillment by tracking and pulling requested media. Review, transfer, and archive all content that arrives on hard drives and DVDs. Upload, catalog, and archive media from photography and field shoots. 5+ years of experience in the field of digital media or cable/broadcast. Full info HERE (1/5)

ABC: NFL Football
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i
CW: Greatest Holiday Commercials, World’s Funniest Animals: Christmas
FOX: LEGO Masters, 9-1-1
NBC: Shrek, The Wheel [p]
PBS: American Masters, Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas, Independent Lens
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos: All Stars, La Reina del Sur, Amor yTraicon
Univision: Futbol


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