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Cynopsis: DIGITAL

Good morning. It’s Monday, December 23, 2013, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
This is our last edition in 2013; we will return to daily publication on Jan. 2, 2014. Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!


Blackberry reported a $4.4 billion Q4 loss on Friday. As sales continue to plummet, the phone carrier also announced a five-year contract with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, the company best known for being a lead supplier for Apple. Fairfax Financial and other investors recently completed a $1 billion investment in the Blackberry, and John Chen replaced former CEO Thorsten Heins last month. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch says the Foxconn partnership may be Blackberry’s key to selling the company.

In anticipation of Showtime’s new literature-themed series Penny Dreadful, the network has has launched the Penny Dreadful Production Blog. www.PennyDreadful.com will provide a deeper look into the series and the creative team as they film in Ireland. The first blog is a video post from three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Skyfall) talking about the inspiration for the series. The blog is expected to extend through the first season, which begins this spring.

Oracle has acquired cloud-marketing player Responsys for $1.5 billion. “Large enterprise software companies are increasingly looking to round out their portfolio that mediate one-to-one interactions between brands and consumers,” said Lyris CMO Alex Lustberg, a Reponsys competitor. “This acquisition, and price paid, validates the strength of our market and the strategic nature of customer-centric messaging technologies.”


Def Jam hip hop label founder Russell Simmons has teamed up with 51 Minds to produce a digital series, Teddy Ray & DoBoy: Blowin’ Up, for Simmons’ All Def Digital channel on YouTube. The show follows two up-and-coming comedians who are challenged by Simmons to change their life through meditation, yoga and diet. The series premieres Jan. 7.

Long-running web hit Jake and Amir (half a billion views across all platforms) is in development for television at TBS. CollegeHumor scribes Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld will write and act in the series; Ed Helms (The Office) will produce.

Tell us your 2014 Resolutions and win a $50 Whole Foods gift card! http://tinyurl.com/cynnewyearspoll

CES 2014

LG announced it will present its Ultra HD 4K 105-inch curved TV at CES, which takes place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. Samsung made a similar announcement of an almost identical product (Ultra HD 4K 105-inch curved TV) just hours after LG’s announcement. Sony is the only other company that has already unveiled a 4K curved TV.

TUV Rheinland will demonstrate its ZigBee test at CES, which won an Innovation of the Year award at the European Smart Metering Awards 2014. The tool allows manufacturers to pre-test and de-bug their products in the development phase.


Dyle mobile TV, a joint venture of 12 broadcast groups, announced that its TV programming receiver app is now compatible with Kindle Fire HD tablets. Dyle is available across 38 markets, and reaches about 57 percent of the U.S. population.


Netflix may need to make room for AMC Networks in the binge-viewing business, according to new data released by pay-TV tracker Rentrak. As AMC’s Breaking Bad ended and Walking Dead returned in the fall, the network clocked 15 million VOD orders in September and ten million in October.


Hearst Television‘s Digital unit has promoted Michael Rosellini to Vice President of Digital Operations, and Jonathan D. Sumber to Vice President of Digital Sales. Previously, Rosellini was Director of Product Development since 2008, and Sumber was Director of Digital Sales since 2011.

John Jonnarone has been named Senior Writer for CNBC Digital. Jannarone most recently worked for the Wall Street Journal for the past five years as lead corporate reporter.

10 Minutes With…

Publications are increasingly placing digital and video front and center, such as The New York Times and its daily video news project, the Times Minute, or Conde Nast Entertainment‘s video content for Roku devices. A new player on the field is Complex TV, the American men’s magazine founded in 2002 that launched a digital and video news site, Complex News, on December 2nd.

The site received plenty of buzz after releasing an audio clip on December 11th of rapper Wale freaking out on a Complex editor over the phone (he later apologized via Instagram video). That video may have been the key to reeling in 100 million unique visitors and one billion page views to Complex News this month, according to Complex General Manager Nathan Brown.

“Our original objective was to produce, license and acquire original series and unique featured video content,” Brown said. “But as we continued to dig into how our audience consumes video, we realized that topical, lifestyle-focused, quickly-consumable news was a huge opportunity. Video is clearly the next frontier for publishers, and it allows us to add narrative into our stories in a way that only filmmaking really can.”

And there’s plenty of opportunity within the video space. Beyonce shattered records and crashed iTunes on December 13th, due to the demand for her new 19-track album, which included 17 companion videos. Complex regularly focuses on music and artists, so the Beyonce phenomenon did not go unnoticed. “I have a background in production, so I’ve always felt music was better framed, merchandised and contextualized by companion video content, whether that’s traditional music videos or something more conceptual,” Brown said. “Beyonce is clearly a special case; however, I expect this approach to trend.”

Complex is directing a large portion of its resources to Complex News, and expects to produce as many as 20 or more video pieces a day by the end of 2014. Check out Complex News at www.complex.com/news.


Just Announced…

Jan. 30, 2014 | 8-10:30AM | New York Athletic Club (NYAC)

Featuring Pro Athletes:
Pierre Garcon
(Washington Redskins – WR)
Keith Rivers (New York Giants – LB)
And More!!!

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Aatma Studios released a holiday video of 2,000 iPhone 5s falling like dominoes to spell out “Happy Holidays.” The catch, however, is that it’s a completely animated demonstration. Aatma made a similar video with iPhone 5 devices last year but it’s still cool. Take a look at the video at www.cynopsis.com.


Entry Deadline: Jan. 17, 2014

Here are the NEW categories added to this year’s awards:
Best B2B Program, Integrated Campaign, On-air Technological Innovation, On-air Technological Innovation in a Sponsorship, Partnership with an Athlete, Proprietary Asset, Retail Activation, Sales Professional & Best Sports Blog.

Learn about the awards program & how to enter.

See you tomorrow,
Jessica Reese

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

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

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JOB OPENING:SENIOR INTERACTIVE ART DIRECTOR/A+E Networks/NY: Create/maintain consistent visual style that best represents A+E Networks brands in all forms of dig mktg. Full Info/Apply: http://www.aenetworks.com/careers (1/8)

JOB OPENING:DIRECTOR, RESEARCH/NYC: Channels & Ad Sales: manages research needs for BBC America across programming/scheduling, ad sales, affiliate sales & senior management. The position oversees 1 Manager and 2 Senior Analysts. Apply HERE (1/8)

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JOB OPENING: FINANCE COORDINATOR/NBCU/LA: Coordinate and process financial records for the Art Department and assist Production Manager in managing production and department budgets. Apply HERE (1/5)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/Zee TV/NYC: Support our broadcast sales & distribution teams through in-depth research & analysis. Mine Nielsen, Rentrak & other databases for compelling narratives. 4+ yrs exp. Email: [email protected] (1/3)

JOB OPENING: SR PUBLICIST/BBC Worldwide/NYC: Exp w/publicity in digital and/or TV sales/co-prod deals, as well as exec profile raising req’d. Min 5yrs trade media, comm/PR exp TV ind. Resume: [email protected] (1/3)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR/IFC & WEtv/NYC: build, maintain & lead digital partnerships w/IFC & WEtv clients & agencies, sell integrated cross-platform w/heavy emphasis on web, mobile & VOD. 10+yrs. exp. APPLY HERE https://amcnetworks.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=16300&lang=en&sns_id=mailto (1/3)

JOB OPENING: DIR PRICING AND PLANNING/El Rey Ntwks/NY: Ad/Media netwk experience preferred strong exp with Ad Sales. Must be detailed/analytical/able to multi-task. BS/BA Deg req, must have strong analytical & math skills. APPLY HERE (12/24)

JOB OPENING: SR DIR TALENT RELATIONS/NBCU/NYC: Direct talent relations for USA, incl. events, press junkets, & media appearances. 5+ yrs exp. in TV talent relations required. Apply HERE (12/24)

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WINTER/SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Entertainment Intern: NYC ISO talented writers, adept rsrchrs, enthusiastic, personable interns to help build brand new prod/content dvlpmnt co headed by 30-yr veteran of ent. ind. Res/cover: [email protected] (1/5)

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SITUATION WANTED: L.A.-based film & theatre director/producer/casting dir w/strong people & research skills available Jan 2. Exc refs. http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221474682&trk (1/3)

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