Friday, January 9th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Friday, January 9, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Is America really ready for the switch to digital television? Barack Obama doesn’t think so. The President-elect’s team called for a delay in the cutoff of analog TV signals yesterday after The Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Tuesday requesting that the Feb. 17 transition be postponed to better prepare elderly and poorer consumers who still rely on rabbit ears for their television signals. The requests come days after federal officials announced that the program to distribute $40 coupons to defray the cost of digital converter boxes has run out of money. (The boxes retail for between $50-$80 each, without a coupon.)


The convergence theme was sounded by many during the first full day of CES:

  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who gave audiences a glimpse of the new Windows 7 operating system on Wednesday evening, discussed the convergence of the PC, phone and TV 
  • Head of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division Robby Bach unveiled the new Primetime channel for Xbox Live featuring interactive games such as one for NBC’s 1 vs 100 designed to complement live broadcasts. The Xbox has now sold 28 million consoles and 17 million customers have signed on to become Xbox Live subscribers
  • Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer claimed that hastening the convergence of networked entertainment and technology was the industry’s best chance at surviving the recession. He outlined 7 imperatives for the industry to rally around, including focusing on adding value with customer service, embracing social networking and user-generated content and making products whose value build on each other

IPTV programmer NeuLion unveils a new HD TV Box today that allows participating networks to deliver 720p and 1080i HD streaming to PCs or directly to HDTV sets. The current NeuLion box, available for $129, delivers a wide selection of foreign broadcasting services in 480p and 480i as well as sports programming including NFL football and NHL hockey to broadband customers on an a la carte basis. The new box is expected to ship in March 2009 for an undetermined price.
Macrovision, the company that purchased Gemstar/TVGuide about a year ago, is beefing up the interactive programming guide (IPG) it licenses to television manufacturers. The new guide – being developed under the project name “Neon” – provides a framework for CE manufacturers to build next-generation devices that can find and play broadcast and premium content including television shows, internet-delivered media and music. The IPG will also be able to access and manage content from consumers’ personal media libraries from the same screen. Macrovision says it is working with CBS to demonstrate the integration of select CBS content including episodes of CSI, which can be accessed directly from Macrovision’s CE IPG on a broadband-connected television.
added a new network-based DVR feature to its Mediaroom IPTV platform allowing users to return to the beginning of programs they are watching – a la Time Warner Cable’s Start Over service. Other new Mediaroom features include Live Anytime, allowing viewers to scroll backwards to watch previously aired programs and Download Anytime, providing access to a menu of on demand movies and programs. A group of programmers have also built new applications for the Mediaroom Anytime platform including BBC’s TopGear, PGA of America, the Associated Press and ES3.
While HBO has a lock on the rights to broadcast the opening ceremony of Inauguration Week on Jan. 18, Disney/ABC plans to provide multiplatform coverage of the many of the subsequent activities celebrating the affair. Disney Channel will broadcast “Kids’ Inaugural: We Are the Future” on Monday Jan. 19, a concert that will also be simulcast on Radio Disney as well as streamed on immediately following the telecast. Meanwhile ABC will broadcast “The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration,” on Tues. Jan 20 at 8p ET that will include Obama’s initial speech, President and First Lady’s first dance of the night and live performances from a star-studded cast.
Discovery’s has unveiled a new site, covering tweetups, dorkbots and other gatherings of the tech obsessed. Resident bloggers from three strategic cities – road warriors Noah (NYC), Michelle (Austin) and Amber (Portland) – will scour their cities for happenings, news, arts and other community events.


Funny eGreetings site JibJab closed on a $7.5 million series C round of financing. New investors include Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, who join existing investor Polaris Venture Partners. JibJab has raised more than $17 million in three funding rounds.
MySpace will have its own widget on the Widget Channel designed to run on the televisions and other devices powered by Intel’s CE 3100 Media Processor. The MySpace Widget for TV will allow users to receive friends updates, read and respond to messages, publish personal status and mood updates, browse photos and view friends’ profiles.
Content delivery network Move Networks announced that it is optimizing its media player with a simplified user interface for Intel Atom processor-based Mobile Internet Devices and Netbooks, allowing consumers to quickly access high quality internet television remotely. Move is demonstrating the player on a number of devices this week and will release a beta version of an enhanced software development kit for new and existing device manufacturer partners in Q1 2009.


Web-based classified advertising solutions developer Adicio launched a new job-search portal,, containing extensive job listings from Adicio client websites across the U.S. and Canada.


Time Warner
announced it will take a non-cash impairment charge of $25 billion to reflect the declining value of its cable, publishing and AOL units. The company said it would post an operating loss for 2008, in contrast to operating income of $8.9 billion in 2007. Time Warner Cable, which is preparing for a spin off, plans to book a $15 billion asset writedown for Q4.
Women’s magazine publisher Meredith plans to record a special charge of $16 million (or $9 million after tax) and cut approximately 250 jobs to compensate for dwindling ad revenues. The company will also shutter Country Home magazine and relocate its ReadyMade and brands to its Des Moines, IA headquarters.
TVN Entertainment struck a long-term VOD services deal with Grace Creek Media, the Washington, D.C.-based production outfit which recently purchased Rainbow’s VOD instructional brand Sportskool.


The desire to connect to the net from an HDTV from the comfort of one’s couch is rising among consumers, according to a new U.S. consumer study by Oregan Networks and the quality of the user interface is a primary concern. The research measured the importance of internet and home media browsing to tech savvy consumers who plan to purchase a new TV within the next 2 years. Some 71% of all respondents would prefer a default media browser to be installed, with the option to be able to change it out in the future. If their next TV did not come with a pre-installed media browser, 29% of respondents said that they “definitely would” download one, while an additional 45% would be likely to download one. Another 69% of respondents would pay something to download a digital media browser to their next television, if this was supported. More than 87% of respondents would select a TV with a media browser because it would offer them more entertainment choices.


Dish Network unveiled the world’s first “SlingLoaded HD DuoDVR,” integrating Sling Media’s place shifting Slingbox technology with a dual tuner HD DVR enabling subscribers to view HD programming on their TVs, laptops or smartphones both at home and remotely.
Sony’s latest line of Bravia LCD televisions will also offer a full complement of Yahoo Widgets, providing real-time weather, stock and financial news updates as well as access to Yahoo Video and Flickr. Previous Sony programming integrations include deals with Amazon’s Video on Demand portal, YouTube, Slacker and others.
Interactive advertising services provider NetShelter announced the finalists for the annual Last Gadget Standing competition, always a favorite at CES. Attendees are encouraged to view live demos of each of the products at the show but voting is open to the general public at Winners will be announced on Saturday at noon. This year’s finalists are:
Eye-Fi – allows users to wirelessly upload and share your videos in real time, over the internet
Bug Labs – enables consumers to create their own gadget out of modular, programmable units
ClickFree – its Transformer USB cable turns any USB drive into an automatic backup hardrive
emWave PSR – a biofeedback tool from HeartMath to help users reduce stress, balance emotions and increase performance (it’s the early favorite)
FlipMino HD – the world’s smallest video camcorder now captures HD-quality video
LiveScribe Smart Pulse Pen – a pen-sized computer that records and syncs audio with what you write
MSI Wind -the first 10″ notebook to feature the speedy new Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor
Motorola ZN5 a mobile handset that combines Motorola’s mobile device design, call quality and technology with Kodak’s imaging innovation
T-Mobile G1 Powered by Google Android the first mobile phone to feature Google’s Android OS
WowWee – comes to market with the Joebot, a walking, talking, sassy interactive buddy


Ted Cahall was named the new President of AOL’s Products & Technologies Group, which will undergo a reorganization following the departure of Kevin Conroy from the company. As head of Products & Technologies, Ted will oversee Mail, Truveo, Mobile, Toolbar, Safety & Security and Parental Controls as well as the AOL Client. He will also continue to manage the Technologies division as well as Search, MapQuest, Global Publishing Technology and Relegence. AOL is also realigning its AOL Video, AOL Radio, Winamp, SHOUTcast, Marketing, Registration, Affinity and Widgets divisions under Bill Wilson in the Programming Group, along with AOL’s commerce and marketplace channels.


Join Cynopsis and NATPE for “Coffee With” Q&A Sessions
Dana Walden & Gary Newman
Twentieth Century Fox Television Co-Chairmen
Wednesday, January 28, 8:00 – 9:00 am


Michael Steib
Director of TV Ads, Google
Thursday, January 29, 8:30am – 9:30 am
Register for NATPE, Promo Code ZERSN09, and save $500



Good news for movie fanatics – Oscar’s web home has received a major makeover just in time for Academy Awards season. No longer simply a place to browse past award winners, the site finally displays the polish and depth of the grand show itself. A History of the Academy takes visitors through the early days of the foundation, founded after a meeting of the minds at the Ambassador Hotel in 1927. (Douglass Fairbanks, the Academy’s first president, was in attendance, along with UA co-founder Mary Pickford.) The Education & Outreach section details the Academy’s ongoing literacy and grant programs including Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship program which helped writers such as Allison Anders and Susannah Grant get their starts. Searchable databases include comprehensive records of past winners and nominees, the officially sanctioned Motion Picture Credits Database and a catalogue of every script holding in six L.A.-area libraries. However, there’s surprisingly little video content here for a film site – just  a few interviews with Academy members such as Sidney Poitier and Cameron Crowe as well as a link to the Oscar’s YouTube page.
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC/Radio Disney/NY:Sell local advrtsng, spnsrshps & events in NY mkt.2 yrs exp sales req, pref in children’s mktg/promos. Spec events or media sales a +. BA pref. Apply: Req ID 184566 (1/16)

JOB OPENING: REGIONAL NAT’L SALES DIRS/NY/CHI/LA: Meredith Broadcasting seeks 3. College or equiv. req’d. 5+ yrs in TV sales, incl 2+ yrs as Nat’l Sales Mgr for local station. Res/sal info: [email protected]. EOE (1/16)

JOB OPENING: DIR PROJ MGMT/Versus/PA: Mng mult TV promo/pckgng projects for busy mktg/creative services dept. Req. 5 yrs exp at ntwrk, post/design firm or ad agency. Apply online: . EOE (1/16)

JOB OPENING: SR. FINANCIAL ANALYST/DISCOVERY/NY: Work w/ ad sales on frcstng, reporting, variance analysis, id & comm of risks/oppts, ind & compet analysis, earning calls. 5+ yrs acct/fin. exp. Apply: Req#8650 (1/14)

JOB OPENING: CNBC AUDIENCE DVLPMNT/Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Interpret/Analyze site traffic pattern/opps to improve. Dvlp email newsletter. Monitor monthly cost assoc. w/ email campaigns. 3-5 yrs online aud dvlpmnt req’d. [email protected] (1/14)

JOB OPENING: MGR/SR MGR, AFFILIATE FINANCE/MTVN/NY:oversee 50M of affil expenses/prepare LRP’s/Budgets/Forecast. Prepare mnthly close/variance analysis/Supv exp. rq’d. Apply: [email protected] EOE (1/14)

JOB OPENING: CORP FIN’L PLNG ANALYST/Comcast Networks/NY: Resp for the day-to-day financial activities. 3-5 yrs related experience and proficiency with Great Plains financial system a must. Apply @ EEO/AA/Drug Free (1/13)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST /Telepictures Prods/LA: Publicist for TV project. News bkgd & exp on assign desk a must. Pitch/secure stories/content. Write/distrib releases. Fast paced enviro. 5-8yrs exp Res: [email protected] (1/13)

JOB OPENING: SR. MGR, RESEARCH/Music Choice-Support sales, mrktng& prgrmng initiatives across multiple platforms w/accurate & actionable research. BA/BS, plus 6-8 yrs relevant media research exp. required [email protected] (1/10)

JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASST/Comcast Networks/NY: Asst Sr execs w/ daily admin duties.3-5 yrs exp asst Sr execs.Strong writ/verbal comms skills; det-oriented. MS Off. knwlg a must. Must Apply @ . EEO/AA/Drug free (1/10)

JOB OPENING: PRODUCER/EDITOR : Univ. of Albany seeks a creative and experienced Producer/Editor to create entertaining and engaging youth-oriented content. Details (1/10)

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free , and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected] .

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Busy Media Production Company. Support Prod Coord, Editor and Prod. Help organize/maintain Prod office. Assist on location shoots. Interest in advancing in prod industry a must. Email: [email protected] (1/13)

WINTER/SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: ENTERTAINMENT/MKTG & COMM INTERNS/Cynopsis Media/Shelton CT: Asst various depts as needed in advrtsng sales, mktg, & rsrch. Highly orgnzd & reliable Sophomores/Jrs/Srs; Excellent MS Word/Excel skills. Contact: [email protected] (1/13)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

SITUATION WANTED: Accomplished ADVERTISING, MARKETING, SALES PROMOTION AND DIRECT MARKETING EXECUTIVE experienced in developing advertising programs. Will consider Agency freelance, consulting assignments. Contact: [email protected] (1/16)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced FIELD AND POST PRODUCER looking for work. Experience in television and documentary film. References available. Please e-mail [email protected] (1/16)

SITUATION WANTED: DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, WRITER in L.A. Credits include National Geographic, PBS, Discovery, History Channel, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (1/16)

SITUATION WANTED: SPORTS/ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCER (NY): Seeking F/T or Freelance. 10 years exp. w/major networks. Field, Segment, Writer, Talent Booker.  Contact: [email protected] (1/16)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE or Full-time MEDIA BUYER w/ over 25 yrs of buying exp. is newly available. Seeking F/T or Freelance wk from your office or my home (New York based) Please contact me @ [email protected] (1/15)

SITUATION WANTED: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER or ASSOCIATE STORY PRODUCER (L.A.): 9+ yrs in all aspects of production, exp. in reality, inc. game, & scripted.. Valid passport – willing to travel. [email protected] (1/15)

SITUATION WANTED: SPONSORSHIP MARKETING/NY: Experience in evaluating and negotiating sponsorships and promotions. All media types- broadcast, outdoor, print, digital, mobile, hospitality, etc. Contact: [email protected] (1/15)

SITUATION WANTED: COMEDY WRITER: For samples, please visit Contact: [email protected] (1/15)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR (NY) Ultra-creative, award winning, all formats, all genres, all major networks and major cable. Fast, frugal and fun! [email protected] (1/15)

SITUATION WANTED: SEASONED PRODUCER. Experience in talk/reality/game show genres. Produced shows overseas and on location. Hard working, detail oriented, motivated, ready to start today, will travel. Contact: [email protected] (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED: Celebrity Talent PROD with exp on both coasts.Will connect your synd, ntwrk or cable prgrm w/ quality & approp celebrity guests. Staff or freelance – visit or email [email protected] for free consultation. (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED: SR. SALES/DOS Chicago/NYC-Experienced, motivated online salesman. Huge rolodex and selling experience with many Fortune100’s. Uber-competitive, hardworking, persistent. Meets/exceeds goals. [email protected] (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE MEDIA BUYER w/more than 8 yrs of buying exp. is avail. for work.Seeking PT or Freelance wk from your office or my home-locally or remotely.(Cincinnati bsd) Pls. contact me @ [email protected]. (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced,Media Sales Marketing Research Professional, well-versed & superior in all analytic, presentation, oral & written communications areas withAd Agency, Rep & Consulting background. [email protected] (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/WRITER : Seven yrs experience in brdcst, cable & online media. Highly creative, tackles everything from conception to completion; comedy, sports, news and entertainment background; NYC. [email protected] (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED Mature ACTRESS seeks survival job in SFV. Experienced exec asst, former asst to celeb, 16-1/2 yrs at major studio.Part-time to supplement retirement. Computer-savvy, efficient, loyal, discrete. [email protected] (1/13)

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Deadline activist to the rescue. FREE COPY @ contact: [email protected] (1/13)

SITUATION WANTED: Emmy-winning WRITER/PRODUCER of short-form animation & digital content is available for freelance writing/producing/consulting. Reel & resume: or contact [email protected] (1/13)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE COPYWRITER/MARKETING CONSULTANT: 14 yrs exp. in ad sales marketing and copywriting w/ B2B focus. Upfront scripts/presentations, media kits, brochures, web content, program descrips etc. [email protected] (1/13)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent Harvard grad and FREELANCE WRITER will do pretty much anything involving words and writing them. Currently writing for a Gawker blog. Hard worker, strong writer, great bargain. [email protected] (1/10)


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] (1/10)

SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER. I will write and develop your pitch & produce and direct a winning sales tape.  3 Emmy noms; unscripted or narrative formats; LA based, will travel. [email protected] (1/10)

SITUATION WANTED: VP/DIRECTOR NEW MEDIA SALES-Unprecedented SUCCESS building Revenue/Content/Operations/Infrastructure. Creative, solutions based TEAM builder and motivator, Let’s Talk, [email protected] (1/10)

E-mail [email protected] for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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