Good morning, it’s Friday, December 5, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.
Job cuts at media and tech companies continued to mount as companies try to adapt to gloomy revenue forecasts and a rapidly shrinking economy. The trickle of layoff announcements seemed to become a torrent on Thursday:
- AT&T said it would lay off 12,000 employees or 4% of its workforce, beginning this month and continuing through next year. AT&T will take a charge of approximately $600 million in Q4 of 2008 to pay severance to affected employees
- Viacom announced it was shedding 7% of its workforce eliminating 850 jobs in all. The restructuring and write-down together will result in a pre-tax charge of $400-$450 million
- NBC Universal laid off a reported 500 workers or 3% of its staff as part of a larger $500 million cost-cutting initiative announced by NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker in October
- Adobe announced it was cutting 600 full-time positions as part of a restructuring program that will result in pre-tax charges of $44-$50 million
Rental chain Blockbuster is entering the realm of fast food chains’ dollar menus, cutting the price of its DVD rentals to 99 cents to lure in more first time customers, reports Reuters. The details – how long the rentals are for or what markets the offer will be available in, have yet to be determined.
Spanish-language pay TV channel Cine Latino signed film licensing deals with 5 film distributors for a total of over 90 new titles from across the U.S., Latin America, Mexico and Spain. The packages were acquired from Sony, Disney, MGM, Lionsgate and Gussi. Cine Latino has assembled the largest collection of Pedro Almodovar films on a Spanish-language service with the Almodovar films being available exclusively on Cine Latino.
SK Telecom has struck a deal with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (WBITD) to launch the original shortform digital series Sorority Forever on its mobile platform in Korea. The series is available to SKT users via the Nate and June services on their mobile devices.
Call for Content: YouTube’s annual short film competition Project Direct is underway. The task is to create a 5-minute film incorporating Moviefone’s red phone and 2 other props that represent the most memorable films from the first 25 years of the Sundance Film Festival. The winner gets tickets to the festival and will see his or her film screened publically. The submission deadline is Dec. 14.
~ INNOVATORS & START-UPS ~
Web video distribution service ClipBlast has signed a deal to integrate its video search platform into KickApps‘ on-demand social media, online video and widget applications. Using ClipBlast, members of a KickApps-powered site can now search and embed online videos from premium video publishers, YouTube and other video-sharing Web sites onto KickApps-powered blogs, message board posts, member-to-member messages and comments on other member profiles.
Live video streaming provider Mogulus launched a new PRO service offering a number of enhancements to producers willing to pay for the privilege. Video channels deployed by PRO will no longer carry ads from Mogulus but instead enable producers to embed overlay adds from ScanScout or Google AdSense to help monetize the content. Mogulus’ PRO service also come with detailed measurement reports and improved privacy options.
Online tween entertainment network GoFish secured $22.5 million in equity financing co-led by Panorama Capital, Rustic Canyon Partners and Rembrandt Venture Partners. The company will use part of the funding to repay its outstand debt and further expand its sales and marketing team.
Online video service Joost added 11 new content partners to its library including hit reality Cheaters, tech and design show Cool Hunting and the homespun Farmers’ Almanac TV.
African American-targeted Codeblack.com launched a new vertical online book service offering more than 4,000 black book titles and 2,000 urban DVDs culled from major studios, publishers and independent suppliers.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reiterated its final offer to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) put forth on June 30, naming it the “richest ever by historical standards.” The contract stipulates minimum increases of 3.5% in the first and third years and 3% in the second year of the contract, with pension and health benefits increasing from 14.5% to 15%. New Media residuals for ad-supported streaming of films and TV are spelled out in great detail for the first time. Coverage of performers in “Experimental New Media Productions” – defined as costing $15,000 or less per minute, $300,000 or less per production or $500,000 or less per series – is given as the Producer’s option (provided that the performer does not have 2 or more old media credits.)
Managed digital delivery service provider SmartJog announced that Singapore’s pay TV operator StarHub is using SmartJog for its file-based workflow to receive content for its newly launched cable VOD platform.
Disney-ABC Television Group signed on to utilize Quantcast‘s online measurement tools. ABC.com, ABCNews.com, ABCFamily.com and Soapnet.com will implement Quantcast services helping them to more accurately define their unique audiences for the benefit of marketers and advertisers. Quantcasts says over 85,000 publishers are now participating in its Quantified Publisher program, directly measuring more than 10 million unique web destinations including web sites, videos, widgets and games.
Virgin Mobile USA rolled out two new features for prepaid and conventional customers. “Connect” is a new social networking dashboard designed to give Helio members (recently acquired by Virgin) access to the latest updates from popular social media and networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. “Mobile Lounge,” provides a social network for Virgin Mobile USA customers to share ideas and opinions, offering microblogging capabilities, discussion boards, chat rooms, profile creation and contests.
Microsoft announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as President of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft’s efforts in search and online advertising and all the company’s online information and communications services, reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. He most recently served as EVP of Engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo!, where he was responsible for development efforts around Yahoo!’s Web search and monetization platforms.
IAC is shuttering its programming group as part of its post spin-off reorganization, reports paid content.org. The group, which included CollegeHumor.com; Very Short List, 236.com, RushmoreDrive.com and Daily Beast, had been overseen by Nick Lehman, who is leaving the company. Former President of Programming Michael Jackson will stay on as Senior Advisor.
Facebook began a new chapter in its history yesterday flipping the switch on a new sign-on system that is poised to more deeply integrate the social network’s platform into the fabric of the web at large. By logging on to Facebook Connect the site’s 125 million users have the option of re-transmitting stories, comments and data from multiple sites back to their friends on Facebook. And instead of having to register and set up profiles on new sites you’re introduced to, Facebook Connect users can log on to a new site using their Facebook account. (Participating sites like Citysearch will have a log in option at the top prompting visitors to “sign in using Facebook.”) For the generation who has grown up wanting to share what their doing on the web with their friends, the system will be seen as a godsend. Tracking your posse’s activities on the web has never been simpler. Those more concerned with privacy may feel differently. Facebook promises the same privacy settings you set up on your profile will be honored on Facebook Connect, which allows you to choose which friends you’re sharing with. But ultimately third party sites are agreeing to share vital data they collect about all their users who log in through Facebook.
Later — Wayne
Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital
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JOB OPENING: STRATEGIC MARKETING MANAGER/SciFi/NBCU/NY: Develop and execute cross-platform marketing solutions to drive revenue to SCI FI and SCIFI.com. BA & 5 yrs industry exp. www.nbcjobs.com , job#853374 (12/12)
JOB OPENING: ANALYST, RESEARCH/Music Choice-Support sales, mktg& prgmg across multiple platforms w/ accurate & actionable research. BA/BS 2-4 yrs media research exp. req. [email protected] (12/12)
JOB OPENING: VP/PROD/ Leading CDN non-fiction Prod Co: Oversee variety of Factual & Fact Ent prgrms. Successful candidate must possess strong budget dvpmnt/mgmnt skills. Prior exp w/ est. brdcstr pref’d. Res to: [email protected] (12/12)
JOB OPENING: MEDIA INDUSTRY BUSINESS SYSTEMS ANALYSTS. Multiple-NYC: Exp. w/ad sales, traffic, programming, production, rights mgmt. and requirements gathering. Use case development a plus. Apply to: [email protected] (12/12)
JOB OPENING: AFFILIATE MKTG MGR/NY: Spanish-fluent mgr to dvlp affil materials incl. cross-channel, web, VOD, etc. Direct agencies, support sales staff, mng budget, US Hispanic mktg experience req. EOE [email protected] (12/11)
JOB OPENING: SR SCHED./Discovery/MD:Resp for sched daytime/manage acquisitions process. Min 3yrs exp in scheduling, programming, research. Apply: www.discovery.com #8386. No relo. (12/10)
JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR of SALES/Vancouver, Canada: Bus development & key account mngmnt; knwldg of LA Film business & North American post production communities. 10 yrs exp in sales/mktg. Apply to: [email protected] (12/10)
JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PROMO PROD/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Head up its promo dept.Previous promo producing exp REQ’D, pref @ ntwrk level, & sports promo exp is advised. Res/reel link: [email protected] (12/6)
JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PROMO EDITOR/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Master-class FCP skills, pref w/After Effects knwldg.Previous promo editing exp REQ’D, pref at ntwrk level & sports promo exp. Res/reel link: [email protected] (12/6)
JOB OPENING: FREELANCE POST SPRVSR/POST PROD/Rising sports TV network/Glendale:Knwldg Final Cut Pro hrdwr/sftwr systems a must.3yrs + of post sprvsng exp.Post coord doesn’t count.Res: [email protected] (12/6)
JOB OPENING: FREELANCE SR EDITOR/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Knwldg of Final Cut Pro hrdwr/sftwre systems. Previous sports event editing exp REQ’D.res/reel link: [email protected] (12/6)
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WINTER/SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: RLR Associates Ltd. seeks intern w/interest in Sports & Ent with strong creative & writing skills. Rsch./writng/broadcast reels/website updates/mkting. 2-3 days/wk Resume to Bella: [email protected] (12/10)
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SITUATION WANTED: Shooting in NY? Need a great PRODUCTION ASSISTANT? For trained, experienced and motivated PA’s who are certified by the NYC Mayor’s Office call the MINY hotline 24/7 at 718-757-5816. Our service is FREE. (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: MKTG/ADV/PROMOTIONS/NYC prof w/exp in ent & TV seeks opp. w/ agency/network/prod. company. Skills: Web Analytics,SEM, Event Prod., Premiums,Re-branding.Email: [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: EXCEPTIONAL MARKETING PRO adept at strategy, project management & implementation, whatever needed. Good thinking! Smart, savvy, hands-on, good humor. Freelance, part- or full-time. [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: Creative and professional AVID AND FCP EDITOR with 9+ years experience in broadcast, promos, and documentaries looking to add to his NYC-area client base. Reel at www.chrisguido.net . Contact [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, WRITER in L.A. Five prime time Emmy Awards. National Geographic on NBC and PBS. Discovery, History Channel and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: TV DEVELOPMENT EXEC: nonfiction programming, with hits airing now, seeks Manager/Director position at Prod. co. or Network. Most recently was Manager at a Prod. co. (LA based, but would relocate) [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR-20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hisp, & sales experience. Let me be your “Remote RD” for competitive, one-sheets, breakouts, Nielsen probs, etc. Avail – contract basis. Email: [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: MKTG CONSULTANT/FREELANCE/NY professional w/ 15+ yrs exp sales/ mktg/sponsorship/product placement in entertainment industry & family/kid oriented universe seeks FT/PT or proj based. [email protected] (12/12)
SITUATION WANTED: TONY NOM. B’WAY PROD/THEATRE CONSULT/ACQUIS. & DEV./NYC 30+ yrs exp. in theatre. Superb theatre/film/TV contacts seeks FT or Consulting Position w/Studio/Prod Co. looking for properties. Contact: [email protected] (12/11)
SITUATION WANTED: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/NY: With extensive experience in advertising, film, , and web. Proficient with Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, MS office. Will Travel. www.jlr-media.com (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: ORIGINATIVE KIDS TV PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR w/ 18+ yrs hands-on exp. Seeks agent & TV/new media projects. Credits: PBS Kids (Buster, Fetch!, Zoom), History, CBS, BBC. Screen reels & CV: http://www.alangrazioso.com (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: FIELD PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR: Docusoap, Makeover, Lifestyle Infotainment,Feature Doc formats. Resonant leader, excellent director/ writer, strong storyteller and showrunner. 8+ yrs. Will travel. [email protected] (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: MKTG/ADVERTISING/PROMOTIONS/NYC professional w/exp in entertainment & TV seeks opp. w/ agency/network/prod. company. Skills: Web Analytics, SEM, Event Prod., Premiums, Re-branding. Email: [email protected] (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: UPFRONT FREELANCER/PROJ MGR with 15+ cable TV mktg experience. Can also help with ad sales, consumer and affil mktg related projects inc. promotions, sweeps, events, proposals, trade shows. [email protected] (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR, network experience (ad sales/prog/mktg), sales estimate expert, all Nielsen software, MRI, MS suite, supervisory exp., references. Full-time or consulting. [email protected] (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: ASSOC MEDIA DIRECTOR 15+ years exp. with most media. Strong overall background particularly b-2-b and retail. Agency or client side, also consider vendor-side mktg position. [email protected] (12/10)
SITUATION WANTED: TRAFFIC MANAGER with over 12 years exp seeks position in Radio/TV/Entertainment or traffic software in NY/NJ Area only. [email protected] (12/9)
SITUATION WANTED: FILM/TV/ENT PR/NYC: Seeking F/T or Freelance opps. Write press releases/pitch to targeted print/online & brdcst media, track news clips, editorial calendar opps, build press lists w/Cision [email protected] (12/9)
SITUATION WANTED: SR OPERATING EXEC w/deep knowledge of media business ops, ad sales, finance, research, programming.Able to identify strategic and operating opportunities, recognize risks and take action. relo [email protected] (12/9)
SITUATION WANTED: Emmy Award-winning WRITER/PRODUCER short-form animation & digital content, available for freelance writing/producing work. Reel & resume: www.elliotblake.com or contact [email protected] (12/9)
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