Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Cynopsis: Year in Review

2011

01.01.12

Happy New Year! It’s Sunday, January 1, 2012, and this is your first early morning briefing of the New Year. As always, before looking ahead to a brand new year, we take a moment to look back on 2011.

It’s been quite a year.  In the last twelve months, we Occupied Wall Street and a multitude of other locations; saw more states get on the Same Sex Marriage bandwagon including New York; dealt with a record-breaking year of national and international natural catastrophes in the form of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms and volcanic eruptions. We saw the loss of Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Rooney and too many others; made solemn note of the 10th anniversary of 9/11; saw Rupert Murdoch called to account and the closing of the News of the World; watched the news reports of the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Moammar Khadafy; waded through the US and European debt crisis; learned of the scandal at Penn State; and finally heard the news the US had declared the War in Iraq was over.  We also witnessed the incredible comeback journey of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords; collectively watched a beautiful Royal Wedding; watched Casey Anthony found not-guilty despite the efforts of many reporting pundits, and cheered the final lift off of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis.  And also this year, we launched Cynopsis Sports on May 9th and on July 1st finalized the sale of Cynopsis Media to Rockland MD based Access Intelligence.  Yes, both near and far, it was quite a year.

We also watched a little television in 2011: 111 million tuned in for this year’s Super Bowl, making it the most viewed telecast of the year; 56.5 million viewers tuned in to hear President Obama tell us the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, 28.74 million viewers flipped on the season opener of Two and a Half Men; 25.4 million cheered through the 7th game of the World Series on Fox; 16.4 million watched the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show; 12.4 million total viewers watched the Primetime Emmy Awards on Fox, and we’re watching anything that includes Betty White.

On Monday January 3, 2011, when we all returned to work after the holidays, several negotiation extensions were ongoing between networks and cable systems, including E! and Style with Dish; Sinclair Broadcast Group with Time Warner Cable; Hearst, Northwest Broadcasting and DirecTV; and WGXA/Macon and Dish.

Numerous notable film actors found their way to the small screen (or at least in development projects for the small screen) including Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Aidan Quinn, Jeremy Irons, Anjelica Huston, Keira Knightley, Ellen Barkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Danny Glover, Josh Lucas, Dev Patel, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Melanie Griffith, Ewan McGregor and Jane Fonda, among others.

Here’s a quick and completely non-exhaustive rundown of some of the major news stores of the year ….

THE NETWORKS

  • OWN launches on January 1, 2011 and first blush ratings in primetime show 1 million viewers tuned in for the evening; and ultimately averaging 0.55 rating and 505,000 total viewers in primetime for it’s launch event (Jan 1-9) …. in mid-February Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said the company will invest a further $50 million in OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, that’s beyond the $189 million already invested .. in early May Christina Norman exited after having been tasked with launching the channel. Chief executive at Discovery Communications, David Zaslav said to investors that OWN had a “slower start” than expected … Peter Liguori, COO with Discovery Communications will act as interim CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
  • ABC gained a win as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the FCC’s fine against the broadcast network relating to a nude scene on the former series NYPD Blue.
  • MGM and Weigel Broadcasting Co. are partnering on the national launch of Me-TV, a television network showcasing classic television shows
  • E! continues to expand the Kardashian TV series franchise with a new eight-episode series featuring Khloe Kardashian and her husband LA Lakers star Lamar Odom. Khloe & Lamar
  • ESPN 3D will air content 24-hours a day starting February 14. A year after launching in January 2010, ESPN 3D, beginning next month, will air encore ESPN 3D events when the network is not airing a live event.
  • Suze Orman will soon have her own series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network called Money Class, set to launch in Fall 2011
  • CNN kicks off Piers Morgan Tonight on January 17 and the first guest on the show will be Oprah Winfrey
  • Discovery‘s Cash Cab adds new cities beyond NYC — Chicago
  • Hallmark Channel adds chef Emeril Lagasse to its daytime lineup
  • Starz is moving forward with a second full season of its series Spartacus, recasting the role of its lead character with Australian Liam McIntyre
  • CBS Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television agreed on a deal to renew The Big Bang Theory for three more years
  • Discovery Communications rebrands its FitTV network to become Discovery Fit & Health launching February 1
  • ESPN forged a 20-year agreement with The University of Texas and IMG College to create, launch and operate a 24/7 network concentrating solely on UT
  • GSN tapped TV personality/radio star and author Wendy Williams to host its new original strip series, Love Triangle opening April 18
  • TeleFutura launched the 24/7 TeleFutura On Demand with most US distributors
  • Commercials in Super Bowl XLV are sold out by FOX, with each 30-second spot priced at an estimated $2.8 million to $3 million
  • Bravo adds yet another location to its Housewives franchise — The Real Housewives of Miami
  • Super Bowl XLV on FOX ranks as the most-watched television program ever in the US with an average of 111 million total viewersAnimal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII attracted its largest audience ever with 9.2 million unique total viewers over the 12-hour marathon
  • Tia and Tamera Mowry return to TV for the first time since their 1990’s sitcom, this time for The Style Network on Tia and Tamera Take #2 … also making returns this year were Roseanne Barr on Lifetime (albeit short-lived) and Tim Allen on ABC and Paul Reiser on NBC (true not all stayed on as long as they had perhaps envisioned)
  • MyNetwork TV renewed by its station groups for another three years
  • 30-second ads in the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are going for $1.7 million each
  • Planet Green is up for a re-brand – CEO David Zaslav says he thinks “something else more meaningful” could happen with the network
  • Cult-favorite sci-fi series Firefly returns to basic cable on the Science Channel
  • Bi-cultural Latino network Si TV reveals plans for a major branding and programming overhaul to become nuvoTV on July 4, 2011
  • Logo picked up the complete five-season series of Absolutely Fabulous
  • AMC and producer Lionsgate officially made a deal with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to continue as showrunner for the series’ previously announced fifth season as well as a sixth season
  • A production deal was forged between REELZCHANNEL and Asylum Entertainment to develop and produce original scripted series for the network
  • News Corp.’ Fox Networks and National Geographic partnering to launch a new Spanish-language channel, Nat Geo Mundo on July 1
  • New 24-hour, over-the-air broadcast television network, Bounce TV will launch September 26 at 12n.
  • Meredith Vieira is expected to exit her position as co-host of NBC’s Today show when her contract expires later this year
  • Science Channel is morphing into a new brand identity and will now be known as SCIENCE, sporting a futuristic on-air look and interactive logo called “Morph.”
  • For the first time, Bravo canceled one of its The Real Housewives series, voting no to a second season of The Real Housewives of D.C.
  • Univision Communications Inc.’s EVP/COO Randy Falco said yesterday the company is planning to launch up to three new Spanish-language cable networks in the US in the coming year
  • Discovery Communications established a new virtual worldwide unit under the umbrella of Discovery Studios which concentrates on developing fresh original content for its various global channels
  • TNT is bringing back the primetime soap Dallas. Charlene Tilton reprises her role of Lucy Ewing, J.R.’s niece and Steve Kanaly is back as Ray Krebbs, the former Southfork ranch hand who discovered he is J.R.’s half brother. TNT’s Dallas pilot begins its production schedule in Texas later this month or next month. Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray were previously confirmed to appear in the pilot.
  • Showtime renewed its drama series The Borgias for a second season
  • Cable news organizations had to scurry to cover the Sunday night 5/1/11 breaking news of the death of Osama bin Laden … When President Obama delivered his live speech relating the news that US military forces killed Osama bin Laden last Sunday night, Nielsen reports the sum of the average audience totaled 56.5 million viewers
  • Like mother, like daughter, Bristol Palin gets her own docu-reality series on BIO Channel scheduled to premiere later this year with ten half-hour episodes
  • Lucky number seven for FOX as the network ended the current broadcast season on top among A18-49. CBS notched its eighth time in nine years as the most-watched network
  • New true-to-life cable and satellite television channel, Black Heritage Network (BHN) announced its planned launch
  • NBC is resuscitating reality series Fear Factor which ran on the network for five years starting in 2001
  • Host of Discovery Channel’s Cash Cab, Ben Bailey selected as host of NBC’s upcoming game show Who’s Still Standing?
  • The Inspiration Networks made a contractual arrangement with Nielsen to provide daily ratings for INSP-The Inspiration Network
  • Long-time sports broadcaster Marv Albert becomes a new play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports joining the network’s The NFL on CBS team
  • Announced at a press conference in Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee granted NBCUniversal the US television rights to the next four Olympic Games through 2020
  • As of early June, the five broadcast networks tallied between $8.8 billion and $9.3 billion in the 2011 upfront. This projection is a boost over last year’s tally of $8.1 billion to $8.7 billion
  • KRBK/Springfield MO and WISE/Ft. Wayne both become Fox affiliates
  • WSBK/Boston becomes a MyNetworkTV affiliate
  • CBS will carry the Grammy Awards now thru 2021
  • James Spader is in negotiations with the network to apparently join the sitcom’s eighth season next fall
  • As part of a new multi-year agreement, Hallmark’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movies will air exclusively on ABC beginning with the 2011-2012 season
  • FX continues its film buying spree by picking up the commercial premiere rights to Captain America: The First Avenger along with the comedies Friends With Benefits and Horrible Bosses
  • Bravo President Frances Berwick said the network will re-edit episodes of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills following the alleged suicide of Russell Armstrong, the husband of series star Taylor Armstrong
  • Absolutely Fabulous makes a comeback after 20 years to television with three all-new specials from BBC Worldwide Sales and DistributionBBC America and Logo serve as joint American co-producers for the series and both networks will air the series in early 2012
  • Over Labor Day Weekend, ABC is promoting its new drama series Revenge which is set in the Hamptons, by offering New Yorkers waiting to board Hampton Jitney buses a printed script of the first episode of Revenge plus a Revenge beach towel for their Hampton weekend. 
  • America’s Most Wanted is being reinstated on Lifetime for its 25th season later this year.  John Walsh continues as the show’s host and executive producer when the show returns on Lifetime with new episodes
  • FOX approved a one-hour single-camera comedy project co-created by Academy Award-winning Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, marking the brothers’ first venture into television production
  • The longest-running scripted show in television history, The Simpsons was renewed by FOX through season 25
  • According to series creator, Julian Fellowes, a third season of British period drama Downton Abbey is on the horizon … season two kicks off January 8, 2012
  • Mnet targeting Asian American fans of Asian pop culture unveiled its new fall 2011 programming schedule
  • McDonald’s is getting into the TV business by launching an in-store digital TV network, The McDonald’s Channel in twenty locations around the country featuring local news, sports, movie and TV show previews, entertainment segments and human interest stories
  • MTV welcomes back Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head on Thursday’s
  • Discovery Networks International (DNI) is teaming with Nutopia to produce the five-hour new docu-series How We Invented the World
  • A new series on HISTORY delves into the high-stakes collectibles market when Real Deal premieres November
  • Howard Stern to join NBC’s America’s Got Talent as a judge
  • CBS will revamp its third-ranking morning show, The Early Show transforming it into a two-hour news show — hosting duties go to Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill .. the new show titled CBS This Morning is set to debut January 9
  • Chelsea Handler signed a new multi-year deal with E! Entertainment that keeps her as host and executive producer of her late night series Chelsea Lately through 2014
  • Cable’s longest-running animated series South Park got an extension to remain on Comedy Central for three more seasons
  • Joy Behar will no longer pull double duty as host of two shows as her HLN primetime program The Joy Behar Show will end after airing two years
  • Interactive late-night talk show Watch What Happens: Live is expanding to five nights of new episodes on Bravo airing Sunday through Thursday starting January 8
  • 3net, the joint venture 24/7 3D network from Sony, Discovery and IMAX will premiere the epic four-part original miniseries, Fields of Valor: The Civil War
  • NBC and the NFL announced Madonna was selected as the halftime performer for Super Bowl XLVI
  • It’s not 2012 yet though the Upfront is in the news.  USA Network said it plans on moving its upfront presentation to the same week in May when the broadcast networks serve up theirs.  USA Network will host its upfront on the evening of May 17 at Alice Tully Hall’s Starr Theater at Lincoln Center.
  • Lisa Rinna is officially returning to her original role with NBC’s Days of Our Lives
  • The NFL and CBS forged a new deal encompassing a nine-year broadcast rights agreement through the 2022 season allowing CBS Sports to remain as the broadcast home of the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC)
  • ABC cancelled Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ending the show with its ninth season finale on January 13 which also is the show’s 200th episode.
  • The interview series, Person to Person, created by Edward R. Murrow is being resurrected by CBS and is premiering February 8 at 8 with hosts Charlie Rose and Lara Logan
  • HBO handed good news to frosh comedy Enlightened starring Laura Dern, renewing the series for a second season.  Three other HBO comedies were cancelled including Hung, How to Make It in America and Bored to Death
  • FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard Sippel ruled in favor of Tennis Channel in its program carriage dispute against Comcast Corporation

WHEN THINGS DON’T EXACTLY WORK OUT AS YOU PLANNED …

  • Film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will co-host Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies along with Christy Lemire when the show premieres January 21 on PBS affiliates nationwide — in December it was announced funding for this series had dried up and the series would go on hiatus at year’s end
  • A&E Television Networks canceled premiere plans for its eight-part miniseries The Kennedys on the HISTORY Channel — later Reelzchannel picked up the miniseries and set a record with 1.9 million viewers for its premiere on April 3 and throughout the premiere week the miniseries reached more than 7.6 million viewers. The Kennedys earned itself several Emmy nominations including Outstanding TV Miniseries and Outstanding Lead Actor for both Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper
  • Nightline trimmed back to 25 minutes, and Jimmy Kimmel LIVE begins at midnight
  • MSNBC and Keith Olbermann parted ways as Olbermann signed off as host of his nightly Countdown show for the last time on live TV … soon thereafter he joins Current TV with a new show called … wait for it … Countdown with Keith Olbermann!
  • CBS, Warner Bros. Television and executive producer Chuck Lorre said Two and a Half Men would go on production hiatus due to star Charlie Sheen’s decision to go into a rehabilitation center …. this statement from CBS made on February 25th: “Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen’s statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of ‘Two and a Half Men’ for the remainder of the season.” … On March 1st, this ran in Cynopsis: A note from Cyn: Cynopsis will not cover the daily updates concerning Charlie Sheen and any related news of Chuck Lorre, CBS, Warner Bros. or any other person/entity in this mix, until the dust settles and we know the bottom line business related results. … On March 7th: Charlie Sheen received a pink slip yesterday from Warner Bros. Television which ends his contract as star of Two and a Half Men on CBS. … On August 3rd, details are revealed on Ashton Kutcher’s role …. 28.74 million total viewers flipped on the season opener of Two and a Half Men …. Making a comeback on television next summer, Charlie Sheen will star in the new sitcom, Anger Management acquired by FX
  • Production on the second season of ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was halted as the Los Angeles Unified School District terminated the show’s license to film inside other schools in the district. The district Superintendent Ramon Cortines said a filming permit would not be renewed unless Oliver could guarantee it would cast the schools in a positive light.
  • In February, CBS invited Katie Couric to remain as anchor of the CBS Evening News after her current contract expires June 4 … she left the anchor desk in exchange for a talk show host seat, distributed by CBS Television Distribution … Shortly after signing off as anchor on CBS Evening News, Katie Couric made a multi-year, multi-platform deal with Disney/ABC Television Group to host and produce a one-hour nationally syndicated talk show.
  • A retransmission consent dispute erupted between LIN Media and Dish Network when the two entities did not reach an agreement before their previous contract expired … a couple of weeks later an agreement was reached in all 17 markets
  • The X Factor names its judges: Simon Cowell, Antonio “LA” Reid … later the FOX series officially tapped British pop star Cheryl Cole … shortly later Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones signed deals to become hosts, and Paula Abdul will join as a judge …. even later Cheryl Cole appears to be out as judge. It is being reported in several sectors, though not officially by FOX, co-host Nicole Scherzinger will replace Cole as judge. It is unclear if the other co-host, Steve Jones will continue to share hosting duties with some other unnamed personality or if he will become the solo host. … and even later still: After some back and forth, it now appears Cheryl Cole will be joining the cast of The X Factor here in the US … and then finally: FOX’s upcoming competition series The X Factor said British pop star Cheryl Cole officially will not continue on the show. Additionally, Nicole Scherzinger, who had previously been tapped as a co-host of the series, will move into a judging role. Steve Jones will now be the show’s solo host. Thank goodness that’s settled!
  • Man Men will return to AMC in early 2012 for its fifth season … yeah!
  • Harpo announces the new Rosie O’Donnell show will move into the Harpo Studios in Chicago once Oprah has finished her season
  • Glenn Beck reassured viewers that while he is ending his daily show on Fox News later this year, he is not parting from Fox News Channel … On June 30, FOX News Channel will end The Glenn Beck ProgramGlenn Beck and his Mercury Radio Arts multi-media production company launched GBTV, a live streaming video network. On September 12, GBTV begins airing Beck’s new daily two-hour show at 5p and the network will house other original and licensed programming
  • Don Bellisario, the creator of CBS’ NCIS filed a lawsuit yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court against CBS Studios. Bellisario’s complaint for unspecified damages alleges he was not given the first chance to develop and participate financially in CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles, the spinoff series of NCIS. Bellisario was let go from the show a few years back.
  • Both TBS and TNT were in the thick of things, hosting their Upfront presentations in New York in mid-May. After a power surge briefly disrupted the morning presentation … …. okay, hang on here a sec. If you weren’t there, you need to get a better idea of what a “power surge” in the middle of an Upfront presentatation means. The first indication there’s an issue is when Conan O’Brien tosses to a clip that could have been embarrassing to Michael Wright, EVP/Head of Programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, but it only has audio, no video — and that wasn’t the joke. Then Michael Wright, comes out and introduces the first new series clip for The Wedding Band. The lights go down, the room is dark and …. nothing happens. Really, nothing happens. We all sit there in the dark for a bit and eventually elevator music kicks in. I couldn’t tell you how much time passed, but everyone in the house was probably thinking the same thing — the poor tech guy back stage who was no doubt in a panic to get this figured out. For heaven’s sake, Bewkes and Kent were in the house! Yes, it was a little uncomfortable just waiting. And then Steve Koonin comes out on stage introduces himself: “Hello, I’m Steve Koonin, former President of Turner Entertainment Networks” [big laugh – tension eases measurably] and begins to explain: “We had a power surge that attacked the hard drives of the computers …. (pause) …. look, I’m Jewish, so I have absolutely no clue what happened!” The room goes wild, huge applause, and Koonin keeps vamping for the next few minutes and we’re all thinking — he’s got a future in late night! After about 3-4 minutes, the problem has been “fixed” and he leaves the stage to a standing ovation. In a few moments tho, it’s clear the problem has not been 100% corrected, so this time Ray Romano comes out and vamps for a few minutes, diving right into his hilarious standup routine. This could have been a complete and utter disaster, but everyone appreciated the honesty and humanity and the humor – making this the best upfront of the season. Well done Turner! Well done! Okay … so back to the actual upfront …
  • While the local Salt Lake City NBC affiliate chose not to air the new NBC series Playboy Club, KMYU/Salt Lake City has picked up the series … NBC cancelled the show shortly after it premiered
  • Eddie Murphy was chosen as the next host of the 84th Academy Awards when the event is televised live on ABC February 26, 2012 ….. and shortly thereafter he bowed back out again.  Murphy’s buddy Brett Ratner was on tap to produce this years Oscar fest, but after an inflammatory remark, Ratner was let go and Murphy quickly followed. Brian Grazer now on tap to produce … and wait for it …. Billy Crystal returns as emcee!
  • Roberts Broadcasting‘s Michael and Steven Roberts have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  The group includes four TV stations: WRBU/St. Louis (MyNet); WZRB/Columbia, SC (CW); WRBJ/Jackson, MS (CW); and WAZE/Evansville, IN (CW)
  • After his 2010 Golden Globe Awards performance, it seemed unlikely Ricky Gervais would ever be asked back again to host, but he was and he will!  January 15 on NBC.
  • ABC News announced Christiane Amanpour anchor of This Week will take on a new role within the ABC News division as the Global Affairs anchor across all platforms.  George Stephanopoulos will take on the dual role as anchor of This Week in addition to his current role as anchor on Good Morning America.

SYNDICATION:

  • Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) reupped the entertainment news program TMZ through the 2013-2014 season
  • By early January 2011, Twentieth Television sold the ABC comedy series Modern Family, in a total of 33 markets, representing 50% of the US. Modern Family will make its national syndication debut in fall 2013
  • Debmar-Mercury’s The Wendy Williams Show was renewed for a third season beginning next September
  • A week before NATPE, CBS Television Distribution (CTD) sold the new first-run syndicated strip show Excused to stations representing more than 50% of the US for a fall 2011 launch
  • Distributed by Twentieth Television, Glee cleared in syndication on Fox stations and numerous others
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent sold as a Monday-Friday strip in syndication launching fall 2011 by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution
  • The Closer cleared for a second season in broadcast syndication in more than 88% of the country according to Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
  • ION Television acquired 65 new theatrical titles from Universal Pictures, MGM and Sony Pictures
  • Oprah Winfrey took her last bow on The Oprah Winfrey Show May 25 and the finale episode averaged 16.4 million total viewers, making it the most-watched episode in more than 18 years since February 15, 1993
  • By early April, new digital classic television network, Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television), a joint venture of Weigel Broadcasting Co. and MGM is now cleared in 45% of the US comprising 14 station groups
  • Twentieth Television’s Futurama sold in 90% of the US for broadcast weekend syndication with a September 2011 launch
  • My So-Called Life which catapulted actress Claire Danes to stardom, picked up by Sundance Channel from Disney-ABC Domestic Television
  • Judge Judy Sheindlin made a new multi-year pact with CBS Television Distribution to remain the star of her daytime syndicated court show, Judge Judy through 2015
  • Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution was asked by HBO to pull Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage from its syndicated lineup citing low ratings after one year
  • Tribune Broadcasting and ITV Studios America to produce the daily talk show, The Bill Cunningham Show which will air on Tribune’s TV stations across the country
  • Nancy Grace is departing as host of the syndicated frosh series Swift Justice distributed by CBS Television Distribution, opting to not move to the West Coast as the court show switches its production base to Los Angeles. Nevada District Court Judge Jackie Glass, based in Las Vegas will take over as host of the show
  • LIN TV Corp. agreed to carry Bounce TV in five of its markets when the network launches this fall
  • Oprah Winfrey ended her 25-year run of her syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show on a high mark by posting a 13.3 HH rating in the overnight metered markets, based on Nielsen’s data
  • HBO made an exclusive output deal with Summit Entertainment to release the studio’s roster of films arriving in theaters starting January 2013 through the end of 2017
  • Weekly entertainment news show, The Electric Playground cleared in 75% of US households for a September 2011 launch
  • TNT picked up the exclusive off-network cable rights to the ABC crime series Castle from Disney-ABC Domestic Television
  • Half-hour entertainment news show, Dish Nation opens July 25 airing over six weeks on seven specific Fox Television Stations
  • Production begins June 23 on Bethenny Frankel‘s talk show pilot at the Warner Bros. … Bethenny Frankel will not happen for fall 2012.  The distributor, Telepictures, a unit of Warner Bros. could not secure a commitment from a major US station group for the proposed talk show
  • CBS’ comedy series Rules of Engagement enters into off-network syndication and Sony Pictures Television has sold the sitcom to local stations in the top three markets of the US
  • Long-time Survivor host, Jeff Probst inked a deal with CBS Television Distribution to develop a first-run talk show pegged to premiere in fall 2012
  • CBS Television Distribution made an off-network licensing rights deal involving the one-hour reality series Undercover Boss with both OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and TLC
  • ESPN and ESPN Classic is the new home of football-themed drama series, Friday Night Lights
  • Health, wellness and lifestyle show, Dr. Steve launches in national syndication this fall, from Tribune Broadcasting
  • Entertainment Studios, Inc. said its new court series We the People with Gloria Allred has cleared in US
  • For the third cycle of Friends in syndication, the sitcom has been sold in 90% of the US announced Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
  • Game show host, syndicated radio personality and author Steve Harvey is teaming with Endemol USA to star in a new talk show targeting a fall 2012 launch … Steve Harvey was sold by NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution to the NBC Owned Television Stations for a Fall 2012 launch
  • Daily lifestyle television show, Better from Meredith Corporation will launch September 12 on WNYW/New York.  The CW Network PLUS will also add Better to its schedule this fall
  • AMC’s drama series Mad Men will be seen via Sundance Channel in Asia and Europe per a acquisition deal made by AMC/Sundance Channel Global
  • FOX International Channels (FIC) acquired the distribution rights for the upcoming new series American Horror Story from Ryan Murphy and produced by 20th Century Fox
  • Antenna TV, a Tribune Broadcasting multicast broadcast network is now cleared in 53% of the US including 14 of the top 20 markets
  • Entertainment Studios is launching Justice For All with Judge Cristina Perez in fall 2012
  • Artists Den Entertainment, behind the concert series Live From the Artists Den and Connecticut-based Northstar Media are teaming to take the public television series to international markets
  • British talk show host Trisha Goddard is starring in a new daytime talk show in the US called Trisha which was sold by NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution to the Sinclair Station Group
  • The Wendy Williams Show has been renewed through 2014 by Debmar-Mercury and the Fox Television Stations on the FOX-owned stations
  • A new daytime syndicated talk show is being developed with Queen Latifah as host from Overbrook Entertainment and Flavor Unit Entertainment in partnership with Sony Pictures Television
  • Family Feud, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and produced by FremantleMedia North America was renewed through 2015 in more than 75% of the US.
  • Kelly Ripa just signed a new five-year deal with Disney-ABC Domestic Television to remain in place at Live! after the departure of Regis Philbin
  • Anderson distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution was renewed for a second season by the Fox Television Stations on its stations KTTV/Los Angeles; WFLD/Chicago; and WFXT/Boston
  • Political drama series House of Cards, which will air via Netflix, will be distributed by Media Rights Capital and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) in a new partnership forged by the two entities
  • Warner Bros. Television Group and ABC made a deal involving a new twist in the usual syndication rights and digital distribution windows.  The deal allows ABC to distribute any series produced by WBTVG during the current 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 seasons online through ABC.com and Hulu’s ad-supported platform.  The series will also be available as part of ABC’s branded VOD offering though other cable, satellite and telco providers
  • Joy Behar will no longer pull double duty as host of two shows as her HLN primetime program The Joy Behar Show will end after airing two years
  • GSN (Game Show Network) picked up the exclusive off-network rights to ABC’s Dancing with the Stars from Disney-ABC Domestic Television
  • A nationally syndicated talk show that would have been hosted by reality TV star
  • The Nate Berkus Show is ending after this current second season.  Sony Pictures Television and Harpo Studios officially announced the cancelation though the show will continue in production and will deliver all scheduled original episodes.
  • BBC is working in the US with Comcast’s Xfinity TV to launch BBC’s 24-hour international news channel, BBC World News in major markets.  At the end of this year, BBC World News will be available in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Portland in addition to Northern California, Michigan and Western New England
  • TV Land’s comedy series, Hot in Cleveland was picked up by CBS Television Distribution in an exclusive broadcast domestic distribution rights deal.
  • A new version of Bloopers from dick clark productions (dcp) will debut in syndication fall 2012 distributed by Trifecta Entertainment & Media
  • Telco Productions, Inc. introduces the 30m, weekly program What America Thinks with Scott Rasmussen which is slated for a fall 2012 premiere

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS:

  • The Weinstein Co. (TWC) purchased a 25% stake in Starz Media helmed by John Malone, which also includes the DVD distribution company Anchor Bay Entertainment. The deal, however, does not allow films from TWC to air on pay cable network Starz which is a separate unit from Liberty’s Starz Media.
  • FCC commissioners voted yesterday 4-to-1 to approve the Comcast alliance with NBC Universal valued at $30 billion
  • NBC Universal is selling its independent Spanish-language TV station KWHY/Los Angeles to the holding and investment company Meruelo Group.
  • Comcast and General Electric completed their joint venture transaction involving NBC Universal and Comcast’s cable networks and valued at $30 billion. The new venture is called NBCUniversal with Comcast owning a 51% stake while GE has 49%
  • New York-based MTB is selling KCNS/San Francisco and WMFP/Lawrence, MA to Texas-based NRJ TV.
  • Lockwood Broadcast Group is buying WBXX-TV, the CW affiliate in Knoxville from ACME Communications
  • PBC Broadcasting, LLC is purchasing KTKA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Topeka from Free State Communications, LLC
  • Cumulus Media Inc. put in a bid to purchase Citadel Broadcasting Corp. in a transaction valued at $2.4 billion
  • Hearst Corp. acquired a major ownership stake in Mark Burnett’s production company, forming a 50/50 media, production and events joint venture. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • New York-based MTB sold independent TV stations KCNS/San Francisco and WMFP/Lawrence, Massachusetts to Texas-based NRJ TV
  • In a statement released yesterday, McGraw-Hill said it is actively pursuing “the divestiture of its Broadcasting Group” which includes four television stations that generated revenues of nearly $100 million in 2010. The stations include ABC affiliates KMGH/Denver; KGTV/San Diego; KERO/Bakersfield; and WRTV/Indianapolis as well as Azteca America affiliates in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, San Diego and Bakersfield.
  • Cynopsis Media has been acquired by Access Intelligence, the third such acquisition for A.I. in the past six months
  • News Corp. under the helm of Rupert Murdoch said yesterday it has pulled its take-over bid valued at $12 billion for the remaining portion of British Sky Broadcasting Group it currently does not own. This revelation comes after the British phone-hacking scandal has delayed the UK government’s review of the proposed acquisition which also prompted the closing of News Corp.’s newspaper News of the World.
  • Telemundo Station Group has plans to grow its local news and public affairs programming for its O&Os by more than 25%
  • Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. and Virgin Media Inc. forged a new deal allowing Scripps Networks Interactive to purchase Virgin Media’s ownership in UKTV, a collection of ten lifestyle, entertainment and non-fiction programming channels
  • KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa, CA was sold to Una Vez Mas, LP based in Dallas by Kansas-based Newport Television, LLC and Oklahoma-based High Plains Broadcasting License Company, LLC.  Una Vez Mas owns 40 other TV stations across the country.  KFTY-TV is now an Azteca affiliate
  • EW Scripps Co. is purchasing the nine TV station group from McGraw-Hill for $212 million in cash.  The station group includes ABC affiliates KMGH/Denver, WRTV/Indianapolis, KGTV/San Diego and KERO/Bakersfield, in addition to low power Azteca America affiliates in five cities: San Diego, Bakersfield, Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs

ONLINE

  • AOL Inc. and Endemol USA entered into a production deal to co-develop and co-produce new web programming to attract AOL’s increasing female audience as well as the online company’s larger audience.
  • At the end of April, Warner Bros., Fox, Sony and Universal along with DirecTV are launching a premium VOD service which will allow consumers to watch a movie 60 days after it was released in the theatre
  • Lionsgate forged a multi-year deal, licensing the first four seasons of Mad Men to Netflix
  • DIRECTV is making HBO’s new online video destinations, HBO GO and MAX GO available as of April 12
  • A retro-inspired online serial series, The Mercury Men makes its worldwide debut on Syfy.com
  • NBC reups with Netflix; CBS signs two year non-exclusive international deal
  • Hulu to launch an original long-form series, A Day in the Life, with six 22-min. episodes, shot in documentary-style following 24 hours in the life of a famous person
  • Telemundo Internacional forged an international licensing deal with Netflix allowing for the streaming of content from Telemundo Internacional’s library to Netflix subscribers across Latin America
  • Daytime dramas All My Children and One Life to Live, after being on ABC 41 years and 43 years respectively, will end their long runs after ABC announced yesterday it is replacing both soaps with two daytime lifestyle series. Before AMC ends, a number of the soap’s alumni return for the series finale including Josh Duhamel, Carol Burnett, Eva La Rue, Thorsten Kaye, Kate Collins, Jennifer Bassey, Melissa Claire Egan and Leven Rambin. When ABC’s soap One Life to Live ends its long run in January, several of its stars have agreed to continue their roles online under Prospect Park, the media and production company that acquired the soap along with fellow ABC soap All My Children in an exclusive multi-year production deal to continue both programs beyond their ABC finale dates. … then in late November the news came that neither serialized dramas will move from network television to online after all.  Prospect Park, the independent production company that had snagged the rights to continue both via an online network, announced just before Thanksgiving the production details could not be worked out.
  • Starz Entertainment President/CEO Chris Albrecht said the company will sever its distribution deal with Netflix for streaming video online when their agreement expires on February 28, 2012.  Albrecht further explained in his statement, “This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content. With our current studio rights and growing original programming presence, the network is in an excellent position to evaluate new opportunities and expand its overall business.”
  • Media Rating Council (MRC) voted to give accreditation to Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, a new measurement system that will provide overnight audience reach, frequency and gross rating points (GRPs) for online display and video advertising
  • Executive producer Mark Burnett’s VIMBY (Video in My Backyard) partnered with Youtoo.com to launch Youtoo TV, the first social TV network
  • Come January, the new online network from Prospect Park that will air episodes of All My Children and One Life to Live will be called The Online Network or TOLN.  The network will also house first-run entertainment and lifestyle programs and Prospect Park said in the future TOLN will add reality, scripted comedy and drama fare to its lineup.
  • Reports are circulating that the former FOX comedy Arrested Development might get a reprisal as Showtime and Netflix are in discussions about airing a limited number of original episodes. 
  • Univision Communications made a multi-year content deal with Hulu which involves hundreds of hours of Spanish-language novelas, variety shows, comedies and reality series from the Univision networks to Hulu and to Hulu Plus
  • Zodiak Rights, the international unit of Zodiak Media Group made a deal with Netflix to allow its subscribers to instantly watch the original UK and the US adaptation of the drama series Being Human
  • A multi-year licensing deal was reached between Netflix Inc. and AMC Networks Inc. involving AMC’s original series The Walking Dead
  • A four-year licensing deal was forged between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television Group with Netflix.  The agreement allows US Netflix subscribers to instantly watch previous seasons of scripted shows from The CW from its present schedule through the 2014-2015 season
  • On Friday, CBS and Warner Bros. announced a licensing deal was forged between The CW Network and Hulu.  The five-year deal will allow Hulu to stream CW shows on Hulu and Hulu Plus
  • Disney-ABC Television Group said it is extending its licensing pact with Netflix’s streaming video service and also made a new deal with Amazon.com
  • Fans of the former FOX comedy Arrested Development will have a chance to see new episodes available exclusively through Netflix beginning the first half of 2013
  • Eleven classic TV sitcoms from Carsey Werner were added to the online video joint venture Hulu and its Hulu Plus subscription service: The Cosby Show, Whoopi, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Grounded For Life, That 80’s Show, The Tracy Morgan Show, Damon, Men Behaving Badly, Game Over, Davis Rules and Normal, Ohio
  • NBC is offering all previously aired episodes of its new fall shows for free via NBC.com
  • Super Bowl will officially be available through live streaming.  The NFL will live stream the Super Bowl’s NBC telecast in addition to this current season’s Pro Bowl and NBC’s broadcasts of Wild Card playoff games through the NFL’s and NBC’s websites via Verizon’s NFL Mobile app

THE COOL TO THE RIDICULOUS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN:

  • ABC Daytime and cable network TV Land are partnering on a storyline cross-over featuring characters from ABC’s All My Children and TV Land’s original series Hot in Cleveland.
  • On January 13, 2011, ID, President/GM Henry Schleiff and On the Case with Paula Zahn host and EP Paula Zahn rang the NASDAQ Closing Bell at 350p in New York City’s Times Square.
  • FX scheduled the series finale of Rescue Me for September 6, 2011, a date coinciding near the 10th anniversary of 9/11 which also highlights the origins of the drama series. FX decided to not position the series conclusion on September 11, because network president John Landgraf said “there are more solemn and appropriate things to do on the day.”
  • Comcast Spotlight, advertising sales unit of Comcast Cable, began selling local advertising on the AT&T U-verse TV service in more than twenty markets where both Comcast and AT&T provide television service
  • Jeopardy! introduced the first of three episodes featuring IBM’s supercomputer Watson competing against former show champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter … and how can we forget the story of Alex Trebek being robbed in the wee hours of the morning in his hotel room
  • Henry Winkler gets the royal treatment from the Queen of England – one of only four people outside the UK to receive an Order of the British Empire in 2011 for his work with learning-challenged children in the UK
  • Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s Royal Wedding in London was covered live by virtually everyone in the US
  • Jane Lynch, playing Glee’s favorite meanie on FOX, the role that won her an Emmy Award in 2010, will take on a new gig as host of the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, airing live on FOX September 18
  • The cast of Jersey Shore traveled to Florence, Italy to film its fourth season on MTV …. and everyone back home held their breath … remarkably, there were no long lasting international incidents
  • The Perry Mason franchise will be made into a feature film produced by Warner Bros. and Team Downey and Robert Downey Jr. is considering the title role as the iconic defense attorney which was played by Raymond Burr in the CBS television series that ran from 1957 to 1966
  • ESPN said it was ending its relationship with country singer Hank Williams, Jr. whose song was used as the network’s opening for Monday Night Football broadcasts.  ESPN’s action comes after Williams’ remarks about President Obama while speaking to Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Monday morning
  • The silver screen version of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is on tap from Steven Soderbergh, who has chosen Bradley Cooper in the role of Napoleon Solo
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its 2008 ruling that the fine CBS received from the FCC pertaining to the Janet Jackson Super Bowl indecency decision was arbitrary

etc.

  • Members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) jointly voted at nearly 94% in favor to pass new three-year contracts involving television and theatrical productions
  • Regis Philbin, long-time host of the daytime talk show, LIVE! with Regis and Kelly announced he will be retiring from the show in the fall
  • Rosie O’Donnell aligns herself with the OWN brand, beginning with hosting OWN Documentary Film Club offerings
  • Magna Global revised its DVR homes penetration estimate in a new report that says at least 50% of all US TV homes, or approximately 61.8 million households, will have a DVR by the end of 2016.
  • And the Oscar goes to The King’s Speech for Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress to Colin Firth for The King’s Speech and Natalie Portman for Black Swan, and both supporting Oscars went to The Fighter for Christian Bale and Melissa Leo
  • Kathleen Parker departs the Parker Spitzer show on CNN … Spitzer continues and gets a couple of new contributors
  • FCC passed unanimously the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a series of proposed changes pertaining to its retransmission consent oversight rules
  • Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau said 2010 was cable industry’s best year ever, as national and local cable advertising sales combined totaled $27.1 billion
  • Cablevision Systems Corporation took steps to spin-off its Rainbow Media assets. In so doing, the company appointed Rainbow Media executive Josh Sapan as President/CEO of the new public company which will be named AMC Networks Inc. directly after the spin-off. AMC Networks Inc. will consist of the networks AMC, WE tv, IFC and Sundance Channel; AMC/Sundance Global; IFC Entertainment; and AMC Network Communications.
  • Steve Carrell departs NBC’s The Office with an extra 50 minutes Supersized episode
  • Members of the Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America, West jointly ratified a new three-year agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
  • Four additional partners joined the Advanced Advertising Media Project (AAMP) according to the 4A’s and BlackArrow, a global provider of advanced advertising solutions for New Television platforms. The foursome includes ABC, NBCU, CTAM and Intel
  • PBS NEWSHOUR, long-time anchor Jim Lehrer announced yesterday he will not be part of the daily anchor rotation team beginning June 6
  • Cablevision Systems said yesterday its board okayed the previously-announced spin-off of its networks unit, presently known as Rainbow Media to be renamed as AMC Networks
  • NBC station group president, Valari Staab is renaming NBC Local,,, , , Media to be known as NBC Owned Television Stations
  • The Daytime Emmy® Awards goes to…
    • Outstanding Drama Series: The Bold and the Beautiful – CBS
    • Outstanding Game Show: Wheel of Fortune AND Jeopardy!
    • Outstanding Talk Show: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
    • Outstanding Talk Show/Informative: Dr. Oz
  • And the Primetime Emmy® goes to ….
    • Outstanding Comedy:  Modern Family (ABC)
    • Outstanding Drama:  Mad Men (AMC)
    • Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series:  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
    • Outstanding Reality Competition Series:  Amazing Race (CBS)
  • Storylines involving ad man Don Draper will continue on AMC’s Mad Men as Jon Hamm inked a three-year deal with Lionsgate Television to remain on the drama
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the FCC’s 2008 decision not to loosen the TV duopoly, radio ownership or TV-radio cross-ownership regulations
  • Harry Smith moves to NBC News from CBS News to become a correspondent, effective July 18
  • For the first six months of this year, total measured advertising expenditures increased by +3.2% compared to a year ago and finished the January-June 2011 period at $71.5 billion, according to a quarterly report from Kantar Media … Late in the year, a report released by Kantar Media said total advertising expenditures during the first nine months of 2011 were up by +1.5% over a year ago and finished the period at $104.7 billion.  In third quarter alone, spending growth slowed and was up by +0.4% compared to 2010.  Specifically, most forms of television saw increases in third quarter: expenditures on cable networks jumped by +6.5%; network TV rose a skosh by +0.2%; Spanish-language TV saw the largest gain at +18% followed by national syndication at a strong +14.8%; and spot TV had the only decrease in third quarter at a -5.7%.
  • Even though traditional primetime hours are 8p to 11p, Monday through Friday, Nielsen found more Americans tune in from 915p to 930p than any other period during primetime.  The fewest viewers are watching at the end of primetime between 1045p to 11p.  Additionally, A18-49 viewers usually tune in much later, watching TV from 945 to 10p and this demo further watches the least amount of TV from 8p to 815p.
  • From Nielsen, the number of US Asian TV households will increase by 9.6% during the 2011-2012 TV season representing over 400,000 homes compared to last year.  In addition, Hispanic or Latino households will see a 4.6% bump (over 600,000 homes).
  • After an approximate month and a half dispute, LIN Media and cable MSO Mediacom reached a new retransmission consent deal
  • The following is the official statement from Fox Networks regarding DirecTV‘s decision to potentially cease carriage of Fox Networks:  “Despite Fox Networks’ offer of an extension during our ongoing negotiations, DirecTV has informed us and their customers that unless we agree to their demands, they ‘will suspend our networks on November 1.
  • In the carriage dispute between Fox Networks Group and DirecTV, yesterday DirecTV sent a letter to the FCC saying the News Corp.-owned Fox Networks Group has been “abusing the public trust” with advertising they contend is misleading.  DirecTV also said in its letter sent to FCC Bureau Chief Bill Lake that Fox was negotiating in bad faith … On the cusp of their November 1 deadline, Fox Networks and DIRECTV forged a new agreement and no programming or networks will be blacked out on the satellite provider
  • A new television broadcast service, Soul of the South is aiming at African Americans in the southern US states.  The new entity is allegedly spending at least $10 million by early next year to launch the service in 50 markets with a mix of entertainment, sports, news and cultural programming
  • FCC passed rules that would lower the volume on television commercials

CYN’S LOG NOTES FROM VARIOUS TRIPS:

Seattle & LA in January:

Leaving Seattle and heading to LA this morning .you know what I hate about traveling?

The guy across the aisle on the plane who deeply inhales with every sip of coffee and then asks for a second cup
The woman sitting on the inside by the window who has to get up and out every 45 minutes
The rental car GPS system that doesn’t recognize the possibility of “6th” Avenue
Checking into the hotel and finding there’s no hot water and the hair blower blows cold
That I have to leave my blackberry clock on eastern time or my whole calendar is thrown off – and good luck my trying to set my blackberry alarm to get up in the morning
Hotel TVs that don’t have any of my favorite channels, but do have 18 different sports channels

You know what I like about traveling?

Arriving at the airport early in the morning – it’s just exciting, I’m going someplace! And lets face it, my finding the airport on my own is a bonus too!
Watching people try to stow bags that are just too big in the crowded overhead and getting overheated – I call this in-flight entertainment
Arriving at my destination and getting three more hours on the day
Ordering room service – feels quite extravagant and special though rarely is it either
Being in a city that’s is 50+ degrees warmer than the one I left – and missing the snow Connecticut got this morning (and subsequent shoveling thereof)
Making appointments to see only people I really want to come all this way to see

Every time I come to Los Angeles, I stay in a different place. One of these trips out here, I will find the perfect boutique hotel. It’s not that I require so much, just a few things– not too expensive, well located (Beverly Hills, Santa Monica or West Hollywood), a clean room with decent lighting and desk, and a blow dryer that heats up. A little charm would also be nice, as would some sort of view, and maybe a nice lounge/restaurant suitable for meetings. The last time I was out here, hotel employees kept walking into my room unannounced (that’s a problem for me), my room door wouldn’t stay shut (a bigger problem) and there were bugs. Deal breaker. So this time, I’m staying at the round Hotel Angeleno – “A Joie de Vivre Hotel”, located in the shadow of the Getty Center and the cost is right in my wheelhouse. Staff upon arrival were nice enough, room clean and I had my choice of views — “city view” (which is really the entrance ramp to the 405) or the parking lot. Room service – not to shabby. If this works out, maybe I’ll stay here again. (It didn’t work out — too far from everything for me.)

NATPE 2011 – Miami

My experience at NATPE 2011 in Miami – Day 1: Well, actually we have to begin with Sunday, the day before Day 1, when most people arrived. The renovated Fontainebleau Hotel is fabulous – on the water with several pools, cabanas, you name it. And without rubbing it in, I have to say the weather has been most cooperative. The set up is pretty good with the Bleau Bar smack dab in the middle of the hotel lobby where meetings are conducted thru the day for those without suites or exhibit floor space – and at the end of the day, it’s great place to catch up.

On to Day #1 – and I stumbled upon a major wrinkle around 915am: the 4-lift elevator bank taking people up and down to the suites where the majority of the exhibitors are located. First thing this morning as I and many others attempted to get to 10am meetings, the line for the elevators was anywhere from 30-60 minutes long. While I did get to my meeting on the 33rd floor on time only because I began the process 45 minutes early, but the person I was meeting was late and ended up walking up 15 stories to meet me! That’s nuts! Coming back down via elevators was also an issue – me and many other ended up walking down when the “going down” elevator never showed up (33 floors … my legs are like rubber).
The good news for me was the issue didn’t repeat itself after the morning rush. In fact the elevator bank was no longer a “situation” when I needed them again for the first post-lunch meeting on the 26th floor, tho coming down was again an issue and again I walked (I’ll be crippled tomorrow). So the question is, will there be an issue again Tuesday morning? My guess is everyone will plan accordingly. I haven’t been to the Exhibition floor yet or the other s, uites tower, so that’s for tomorrow.
As to the market itself — the buzz is there is business being done here and a lot of talk about formats. Interestingly, not the exporting of US formats, which is the norm, but rather the import of international formats, both with and without track records. There are shows being announced, i.e., American Now; some purchases made and announced (see above), and partnerships forged – all reminiscent of NATPE of yore. Minus the one glitch, a good first day … on to Day #2 and the Exhibition Floor.

In my experience at NATPE 2011 in Miami – Day 2: Elevator situation much alleviated on Day 2, in part because elevators being floor specific, and because many meetings were moved to the hotel lobby and poolside cabanas (I know, rough, right?). In any case, that problem doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem as it was the first morning. Next year, assuming NATPE is back in Miami again, unsolicited suggestion to exhibitors is to consider the Versailles tower where this year only Warner Bros. Domestic and Int’l TV Distribution were camped, and no lines for anything.
On Day #2, the market is still quite busy, with more talk of formats and digital channels. And today – something that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to at NATPE – a new show was announced … Father Albert, distributed by Debmar Mercury, is a strip series launching as a test this summer in partnership with the Fox Television Station group. Rumors are a-swirling, if the show does well both Mort and Ira will convert … but again, just rumors.
The Exhibition Floor had steady traffic on the afternoon of Day 2, and set in a room just the right size, so it didn’t feel too empty or too cramped. The Digital Seminars on the Exhibition Floor also continue to get good traction with attendees.
Outside of TV shows, the main conversation here seems to be the weather up north and potential travel situations. So for those still here in Miami, here’s what I’m hearing about the weather for those headed toward NYC — Wednesday: Mix of rain/sleet/snow midday and for the afternoon. At night, changing to heavy snow. Highs in the 20s to mid 30s. Then on Thursday, early heavy snow ending around dawn. Total accumulation 8-12 inches …. seriously? Aw cripes.

As to next year — I put my vote in for NATPE in Miami again next year. Far and away an improvement over being stuck inside a Las Vegas hotel. Really like getting outside in the fresh balmy air (cabanas … it’s all about the cabanas) and suites and exhibition floor relatively close, make this a good choice. (did I mention the cabanas?)

MIPTV 2011 – Cannes, France:

My view from MIPTV – April 4: Traveling to another country is always an interesting thing. And what people feel they cannot travel without, gives some unique insight as well. For instance, I cannot travel anywhere without at least two laptops. You know, just in case. Just in case something goes awry with one of them – and it always seems to – that I have a second one to make sure you get these daily missives! And sure enough, this trip the 2nd machine came in handy! But for others, and I’ve talked to a few people about this, the relevance and importance of that must-have item isn’t so obvious. For instance, what about these — fuzzy slippers, Berocca (some mysterious effervescent vitamin drink), eyeliner and lipgloss (naturally) or for some it’s a bone stimulator. Try explaining that one to the customs agent! Meanwhile for others it’s all about the traditions of what you do once you arrive in Cannes — a Seaweed wrap and a personal hose down at a local spa (really?!), lunch with the all the girls at Cafe Romma, or a glass of Rose on the patio at The Grand. Whichever way you roll, and no matter what you packed or forgot and left at home, traveling to this particular part of the world is a pretty sweet deal.

My view from MIPTV – April 5: Whenever I come to this particular convention (tho here it’s known as a “market”), I’m always struck by the civility and the work ethic. By “work ethic” I mean that meetings are scheduled every 30 minutes from breakfast meeting thru lunch, then post lunch thru dinner. Most people are jamming in a dozen to 16 meetings a day, every day of the market. Yes, sometimes they run late, but not too often. Everyone seems to be completely on board with the 30m rule. And then of course, there’s the civility — perhaps a nice breakfast, enjoy your coffee (you’ve heard me say before nobody, but nobody, walks around with a paper cup of coffee here), then later a good long lunch with clients or networking, but sit down, eat, enjoy, relax. Then return to the Palais for more meetings during the afternoon. Then meetings over cocktails and dinner with clients or again, networking, but always a lengthy enjoyable meal. What is amazing is that so many of the international buyers may come to a US based “market” and attempt to do the same thing, only to find meetings often run long, people run late, and the unexpected glitches can mess with a perfectly organized schedule pretty quickly. There’s something to be learned here.

My view from MIPTV – April 6: You can’t help but notice the fashion in Cannes, and perhaps be inspired by it. The way the French can toss together an assortment of seemingly unrelated articles of clothing and somehow it just works beautifully. Some of the things I saw in stores or on the street we don’t have back home yet include the light and flowy Jeannie pants (think MC Hammer … maybe the better visualization is Barbara Eden). And dresses with 3″ of toule below the regular hem can be flattering. Ruffles are “out” and micro pleats and ruching are “in.” For the guys, the always-in-fashion European skinny jeans, and new I think are the tiny flower monochromatic print shirts for guys. For little girls, hand painted silk summer dresses that may cost you upwards of 320 Euro (about $450 bucks). And everyone, men and women must wear a scarf, wrapped loosely a few times around the neck. I think it may be illegal to go out without one. I like scarves, but mine are bold colors – purple, orange, pink. The scarves here are muted prints. In fact most of the colors of the newest clothes in the most fashionable stores along the Croissette are muted tans, beiges, whites, greys. So I suppose that’s where the neon lipstick comes in. I’m talking Bozo Orange lipstick that could be used as a beacon at night in a storm. Yes, I may pick up a new scarf or two, but I’ll leave the lipstick behind.

My view from MIPTV – April 7: This time in Cannes, I’m staying in the same apartment as I did in October. When you do take an apartment instead of booking a hotel room, there are a few luxuries you give up — maid service, room service, that sort of thing. But I like seeing the people in the neighborhood and watching them go about their business each day, a view of life in Cannes you can’t get from a hotel room. For instance, from my balcony every day I see the same elderly lady with her small dog (“must have” accessory in Cannes), and rather than walking or carrying the dog, she opens a small umbrella stroller and he climbs up and in for his ride. She then meets up across the street with another woman of a certain age and together they “walk” their dogs. Only they have so much to discuss, that after 10 or 15 minutes, they’ve rarely made it all the way to the end of the block before they must part ways and get on with their day. About that time, there’s another lady, again around the same age bracket, dressed each day as if she is having tea with the Queen, always stunning and well put together … from the front. Once she walks by you see she has attached the most atrocious ratty hair piece to the back of her head, dangling from just a couple of ill-placed bobby pins and forever in danger of falling off. To make matters worse, she has brown hair, and the hair piece is blond, bless her heart. You can’t help but wonder, has she never noticed the two don’t match? And wouldn’t she just be better off if it did fall off? Or maybe she’s allergic to small dogs and this is her … no, that can’t be it. And lastly there is the morning dove who must have a nest nearby and I hear every morning. Generally I like the sound of morning doves, and as their name suggests, they only “sing” early in the morning. This particularly bird however, is of the 24/7 variety. Remember the Seinfeld episode when Elaine wanted to kill the bird out her window. Bingo!

MIPCOM 2011 – Cannes France:

October 3rd – CYN‘s MIPCOM 2011 – First Impressions:  Cannes is no longer “new” to me, having been here several times.  I know where my apartment is, I know where the Palais, Majestic, Carlton and The Grand are.  And having been to MIPCOM Junior a couple of times, I’m familiar with the Martinez.  I’ve even be here enough times to have favorite restaurants and neighborhoods.  And yet, like most cities, the more things stay the same in Cannes, the more they change.  One of my favorite waiters at Cafe Romma has moved to La Bohemia.  My favorite wine shop has changed hands.  And the ugly vinyl tablecloth on the patio table at my apartment has been traded in for a brand new ugly vinyl tablecloth.  And the biggest change of all?  The dogs are getting bigger.  The tiny teacup purse dogs have grown.  They’re now standing on their own four feet, on leashes, or sitting nicely by the owners chair at every cafe and restaurant.  Mind you, they aren’t full sized German Shephards yet (tho I did see more than a couple Golden Retrievers), but rather all around 15-25 pounds.  It’s not that I dislike the teacup dogs, but glad to see the larger versions are growing on the French.  And the other thing that changes every fall are the shop windows with the new fall fashions. Ruffles are out, pleats, lace and fur are in.  The new black is Earth tones — browns, rustic reds, blacks, and a healthy dose of oranges.  Big wide brown leather belts – 2″-4″ wide – worn outside the chunky sweater, or over the sleek long sweater, which in turn is over the even sleekier skinny (oil sold separately) slacks.  I like the earth tones, and I do like orange and the wide belts, but the skinnier than skinny slacks, I’m not so sure that’s a great look for everyone.  I’m just sayin’.  And I’m sorry to tell you Ladies, the Louis Vuitton window on the Croissette is sporting Peter Pan collars.  I hope that one doesn’t catch on.

October 4th – CYN‘s MIPCOM 2011 – Murphy’s Law:  Jet lag is a funny thing. No, not “LOL” funny, just odd funny.  My first night here, I slept 12 hours and boy was I happy!  Woke up Sunday morning ready to jump into MIPCOM.  And then Jet Lag met Murphy’s Law and Sunday night I didn’t sleep a wink.  Seriously, not even 5 minutes.  What the heck?  And for absolutely no good reason — I was in bed at a reasonable hour, around 11, turned off all the lights, and lay there until 545AM Monday morning.  No dreaming, no snoring, no drooling.  Just checking the clock every hour or so and trying to turn off my brain.  No go. As the dawn was breaking, I got up, did some work, got ready to head to my first press conference of the day.  While there, it’s now 9am, I’m checking my blackberry to make sure the editions are going out without a problem (9am in Cannes is 3am back home, I say this because the math always challenges me!).  And …. 9:05 ….. and 9:10 ….. and 9:20 …. nothing.  Someone told me they received their edition of Cynopsis, so now I suspected it was me.  And yes, as it turns out, after running back to the apartment after the press conference, come to find out our blackberry server is down.  That means no more emails on my handy dandy device until the service is working again.  It’s now 21-1/2 hour hours later as I’m writing this and preparing to send out Cynopsis and still no server.  As much as this made for a trying day (and promises for more fun again today!) at least it was my own private little s.n.a.f.u.  Nobody had to know I was sleep and blackberry-challenged (well they do now!).  Unlike a distributor friend of mine who showed up at the Palaise this morning, bright eyed and ready to do some business, only to look down and find he had on two different shoes.  Now that’s the recipe for a long day, bless his heart.  And by the way, if you really need to get me today, email me at cynezine @aol.com.

October 5th – CYN‘s MIPCOM 2011 – Importing and Exporting:  US television content providers have been very successful at exporting our series around the world.  They arrive in a new country, and are played either in English, English with subtitles, or they’re dubbed.  Well done.  We’ve also exported entire networks – the most recent including A+E Networks’ HISTORY launching in India on October 9th (with the rest of the A+E Networks to follow), Sundance Channel Global launching in Malaysia, Food Network Asia going to Indonesia.  What we haven’t been nearly as successful at is importing shows from other countries.   Yes, in the last five or so years we’ve gotten much better at importing formats, but not shows (of course, there are exceptions with a few children shows, series from the UK running on PBS, and anything from Sweden especially if it includes a girl and a tattoo). This has been a topic of discussion this week at MIPCOM and the musings why this seems to be the case, are varied.  Will internationally produced programs be irrelevant to American audiences?  Are we “internationally resistant”?  Do we think they’ll all be historic costume pieces? Are we just snobs? Is there a concern if we import too much internationally produced programming, we will disenfranchise the US based producers of content?  None of those sounds like a reasonable answer to the question.  So what is the answer?   And here’s another interesting development.  Zephyr Media Group out of Chicago and headed up by Dan Zephyr, is launching a new network in the US — all-internationally produced English language programming in June, called Vibrant TV.  Targeting a general audience with drama, comedy, sports, films, docs, children’s shows, etc., Vibrant TV will launch in 15-22 million homes (cable/satellite/IPTV/mobile).  If we really are “internationally resistant”, can a network like Vibrant be vibrant in the US? And if Vibrant is a success, will that open the gate for international content? All interesting questions.

October 5th – CYN‘s MIPCOM 2011 – Life LessonsToday I learned two life lessons, and as any lesson, these are not easily accepted and always humbling.  Here you have it — I had a 1030a appt with a publicist I had never met, and wasn’t sure who her client was.  I didn’t have an email contact for her, or a phone, only a time and her name.  No location.  As the time drew closer and closer, no word from her and I made the rookie error to think perhaps this meeting had been cancelled.  So I’m at the apartment working, getting ready for the day, when an email from her arrives at 1032 saying, this is where I and my client are, and can’t wait to see you.  Omg!  I’m not dressed to see anyone, dripping wet hair from the shower.  I tell her I’ll be there in 20 minutes, and fly out the door.  I arrive in about 18 minutes, obviously very late.  And I’m never late.  No really, never ever late!  I rather expected and no doubt deserved an earful from the client and publicist, and a meeting that would last maybe five minutes.  Instead I was greeted with such grace from the client who never made a mention of my extreme tardiness.  I attempted to apologize, but he would hear nothing of it, he just delighted I was able to make it. And then he gave me a beautifully wrapped gift — not a DVD, a hat, or a t-shirt, but a proper, bonafide, non-TV-related gift.  We sat and talked for the next half hour and without a doubt he was the nicest man I’ve met with this whole market.  I won’t tell you his name – it may embarrass him.  And I won’t tell you the gift – it’s not relevant, except to say he described it as the “perfect bland of England and France, all in one box.”  And the lessons?  #1 – Don’t be too quick to discount a scheduled event and it’s importance to others;  and #2 – Graciousness – even to someone who has so obviously inconvenienced you – is the epitome of good decent behavior and something I can certainly adopt. 

CYN‘s MIPCOM 2011 – Heart and SoulAnother MIPCOM come and gone; and by the time you receive this, I’ll be in the air headed home. Late yesterday afternoon, as I enjoyed a final espresso at a sidewalk cafe this last day of the market, I was reminded of some of the things you see here, that for me are the heart and soul of Cannes:

The women in their 4″ high stilettos who walk like they were born in them
The French men who know it doesn’t matter what they do, as long as they say it with an accent and a smile
The children all dressed like high end autumnal country catalog babies
The motorcyclists who will run you down in a New York minute, no matter if you’re on the street or the sidewalk
The couple at the beach cafe who after just 2 min of earnest discussion, she stood, said something in French, and tossed her drink in his face before storming away
The waiters who can simultaneously clean your table, take your order, and avoid eye contact with absolutely everyone
The older couples who I imagine have been married now for decades and decades, and still hold hands walking down the street
The little boy skipping down a busy side street unaware the 12′ bamboo fishing pole with line and bobber are beheading people right and left
The well-dressed man who took advantage of an open fire hydrant to wash his feet
And last but never least, the aged French woman who went to such pains to look just right when she headed out this morning, forgetting to give the same attention to her rear view.
Au revoir Cannes, see you in the Spring!
P.S.  The Louis Vuitton store showcasing the Peter Pan collar for women, covered their shop windows last Tuesday, the same morning I made mention of it here.  Probably a subscriber.

EXECUTIVE MOVES: NEW TOPPERS ONLY (too many to include everyone!)

  • Aaron Meyerson takes on the new position of President/Programming and Development at CBS Television Distribution
  • Harvey Goldhersz appointed to CEO of MediaCom North America and is replacing Doug Checkeris who resigned his position to pursue other interests
  • Tony Vinciquerra, Chairman/CEO of Fox Networks Group told staffers yesterday he would be leaving the company as of February 11, 2011. David Haslingden, presently CEO, Fox International Channels will become President/COO of Fox Networks Group
  • Eileen O’Neill takes on a newly-minted and expanded role with Discovery Communications as Group President, Discovery and TLC Networks
  • RJ Palmer advanced Pete Regan to manage the agency as COO
  • Mark Stern appointed President/Original Programming with Syfy where he will also be the co-head of original content for Universal Cable Productions with creative supervision of Syfy Films.
  • Dan Joerres named to President/GM of WBAL-TV, the NBC affiliate serving Baltimore and owned by Hearst Television
  • Omnicom Media Group tapped Adam Ivers as President/CEO for its Toronto-based Highway Entertainment,
  • Univision Communications Inc. hired former Chairman/CEO of AOL and President/COO of NBC Universal Television Group, Randy Falco as EVP/COO
  • Engine Entertainment CEO Chris Philip to President of Electus/Engine Distribution following Electus acquisition of Engine Entertainment. Further, Chris Moreton, the present COO of Engine Entertainment will become EVP of Electus/Engine Distribution
  • Laszlo Barno is departing from Canadian-based Entertainment One (eOne) as President of Entertainment One Television effective February 1
  • Angela Bromstad, President/Primetime Entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios announced to staffers she is leaving her post
  • MGM’s President Jim Packer is making a move to Lionsgate as President/Worldwide Television Distribution and Digital
  • TLC Networks promoted Amy Winter as GM/EVP of TLC and Edward Sabin as Group COO of Discovery and TLC Networks
  • Steve Gigliotti elevated to President/National Advertising Sales and Marketing for Scripps Networks Interactive.
  • Ivan Bargueiras named GM/Discovery Networks US Hispanic Group by Discovery Latin America/US Hispanic
  • Brett Bouttier appointed GM of TMZ
  • Lisa Torres appointed to the newly-created role as President/Multicultural Unit with ZenithOptimedia, The ROI Agency
  • Mind Candy, the social online games developer named Darran Garnham as Head/Global Licensing in charge of the offline expansion of the Moshi Monsters brand.
  • Sean McManus, President/CBS News and Sports since 2005 elevated to Chairman/CBS SportsJeff Fager upped to the newly-minted position of Chairman/CBS News and David Rhodes, previously the executive in charge of US Television operations for Bloomberg was tapped as President/CBS News
  • Turner Entertainment Networks (TEN) upped Jeff Gregor as EVP/CMO for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and to assume the GM title and duties for TCM
  • John Bryan bumped to President/Domestic Television Distribution with MGM up from EVP/MGM Domestic Television
  • Northern Alliance named Henrik Biskjaer as Head/Acquisitions, joining from Nordisk Film TV, a unit of Banijay Entertainment
  • Israel Diaz appointed to EVP/CCO of Young & Rubicam’s office in Toronto
  • Randall Rothenberg returns to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the role as President/CEO
  • Pete Regan elevated to COO of RJ Palmer
  • Roberto Llamas hired by Univision Communications Inc. as EVP/Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Young & Rubicam named Joe Kayser to the new position as CCO of Y&R West; John Berg, Pres of Y&R/West is leaving.
  • Eddie Brown elevated to President/GM of CW affiliate WBNX-TV in Cleveland
  • Coleen Kuehn hired by MediaVest USA as President/Strategy and Planning based in New York
  • Julio Marenghi promoted from Tribune Broadcasting to EVP/GM for WGN America
  • Michael J. Hayes named President/GM of WTAE-TV Pittsburgh
  • NBCUniversal added Nicholas Lehman in the new role as President/Digital for the company’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media unit (E&DN/IM)
  • Peter Smith, President with NBC Universal International is departing the company at the end of March
  • David E. Brenner named CEO with television production and distribution company, Shankly Productions based in West Hollywood
  • NPR Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President/CEO Vivian Schiller … in early June NBC News tapped former President/CEO of NPR, Vivian Schiller to become Chief Digital Officer
  • Telemundo Communications Group tapped Patricio Wills to take on the full-time position as President of Producciones RTI, the company’s joint venture in Columbia producing Spanish-language telenovelas and series
  • Janet Rolle joins CNN Worldwide as EVP/CMO and she will report directly to Jim Walton, President, CNN Worldwide
  • Joe Uva, President/CEO resigned his position, giving notice to the Board of Directors at Univision Communications Inc.
  • Previous FCC Chairman Michael Powell appointed President of NCTA, replacing President Kyle McSlarrow who is departing in April to join Comcast in Washington
  • USA Network appointed Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber as Co-Presidents of the network to jointly manage strategic goals and operations for all platforms for USA
  • Bloomberg L.P. appointed Paul Bascobert, President of Bloomberg Businessweek as Head/Business Operations
  • Jose Valle becomes President/Univision Radio with Univision Communications Inc.
  • Madison Square Garden tapped Alex Diaz as SVP/GM for the Arena
  • Red Arrow Entertainment Group snagged Simon Maxwell as Head/Drama and Comedy
  • Scott Horne upped to VP/GM with Bright House Networks, Birmingham
  • NBCUniversal International reorganized its management structure now that the Comcast majority ownership went into effect on January 29. All appoints are effective immediately:
    • Jeff Shell is President, NBCUniversal International based in London.
    • Under the Television unit, Kevin MacLellan named as President/International Television, reporting to Jeff Shell to manage production, distribution and channels.
    • Reporting to Kevin MacLellan is Belinda Menendez as President/NBCUniversal TV Distribution and Universal Networks International as well as Michael Edelstein as President/International Television Production.
    • Under the International Film category, the Studio will keep leadership positions intact with Jeff Shell working in tandem with David Kosse, President/International, Universal Pictures and Eddie Cunningham, President UPIE.
    • NBCUniversal International Corporate division named Rowan Conn to the new position as CFO, reporting to Jeff Shell and Lynn Calpeter. Rowan will supervise the financial efforts for all International businesses.
  • James Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, was elevated to Deputy COO for the company and will additionally serve as Chairman/CEO of News Corp.’s international operations
  • ionoco, an international broadcast technology company establishes an American unit called ionoco Inc. and is opening an office in Los Angeles. Managing Director, Simon Ingram promoted to President of ionoco Inc
  • Don Williams appointed GM of Bright House Networks Indiana
  • Peter Bale added as VP/GM of CNN International Digital to head the editorial and commercial activities of CNN Digital outside the US
  • Valari Dobson Staab joins as President/NBC Local Media group
  • John Wallace upped to President/NBCUniversal Media Works
  • Elmer Baldwin becomes President/CEO of Internet Broadcasting
  • Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a division of Viacom Inc. appointed Michael D. Armstrong as SVP/GM of BET International and Paramount Pictures Channel
  • Stephen K. Friedman elevated to President of MTV as announced by Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music & Logo Group
  • Blue Ant Media Inc. is acquiring a controlling interest in GlassBOX Television Inc. As a result of this transaction, GlassBOX Television’s executive management team will be restructured with Michael MacMillan taking on the new position of Executive Chairman participating in GlassBOX Television’s strategic growth for its digital and broadcast assets. In addition, Raja Khanna is named CEO and Jeffrey Elliott will be appointed to the new role as President/Chief Strategy Officer. Furthermore, Jay Switzer, the present Chair of GlassBOX Television’s Board of Directors will leave his role.
  • The Topps Company added Doug Kruep as VP/GM, US Sports and Entertainment
  • John Montgomery, COO with GroupM Interaction appointed as Chairman of the recently-established Privacy Committee with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s)
  • Don Browne, President of NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Communications Group said he will retire from the company June 3
  • Interpublic Group announced Matt Freeman joins McCann Erickson in the new role as Vice-Chair, Global Chief Innovation Officer
  • David Brown upped to EVP/GM with Meredith Integrated Marketing
  • Tribune Broadcasting tapped Larry Delia as VP/GM of its television stations WXIN-TV and WTTV-TV in Indianapolis
  • NBCUniversal elevated Salil Mehta to the newly-minted role of COO/CFO of NBCUniversal’s Entertainment and Digital Networks and Integrated Media unit (E&DN/IM)
  • Andy Samberg named as the first-ever Chief Shark Officer (CSO) for Discovery Channel’s 24th annual summer Shark Week programming event
  • John R. Soapes appointed President/GM at WYFF-TV, the NBC affiliate in Greenville-Spartanburg-Ashville, SC owned by Hearst Television
  • Douglas Holloway becomes President/Multi Channel Distribution for ION Media Networks
  • EVP/GM CJ Olivares of FUEL TV exits the network to pursue other opportunities related to action sports
  • Maryanne Culpepper replaces Michael Rosenfeld as President of National Geographic Television
  • Paula Trafford named Head/Popular Factual and Features with KEO films
  • Young Broadcasting, LLC tapped Board member Tony Cassara as CEO following a recent restructuring of the company’s senior management staff. Deborah McDermott continues as President of Young Broadcasting, LLC with all ten stations reporting to her. Furthermore, Tom Sullivan was elected Board Chair, replacing former CEO Vincent Young.
  • Mark Pedowitz joins the The CW Network as President as Dawn Ostroff, President/Entertainment soon departs
  • FUEL TV, part of FOX Sports Media Group named George Greenberg as President/GM
  • Allan Kass is now GM/VP of Viamedia in Los Angeles
  • Michael Finn joins BrightLine as President in charge of the company’s market and business development
  • Young Broadcasting, LLC tagged Kenneth M. Freedman as GM of KWQC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Davenport, IA
  • Starz, LLC elevated Dana Booton the newly-established position as GM/Head of Production for Film Roman
  • BBC Worldwide named Jacek Koskowski as GM CEE with BBC Worldwide Channels
  • Longtime CEO of MTV Networks, Judy McGrath announced she is resigning her position
  • Relativity Media established a Television Sales and Digital Distribution division, managed by David Spiegelman, President, Domestic Television and Digital Distribution
  • The Board of Directors at Tribune Company named Eddy Hartenstein as President/CEO
  • Reveille, LLC added Eden Gaha as President to supervise the studio’s unscripted, creative, development as well as digital and brand integration units
  • Former Levi Strauss & Co. VP/Global Brand Marketing executive, Doug Sweeny named President of Young & Rubicam West
  • Independent creative agency, Imagination Group elevated Eduardo A. Braniff as CEO for Imagination the Americas
  • Will Misselbrook joins BBH New York as Head/Interactive Production
  • Johnathan Rodgers, President at TV One announced he is retiring July 31, 2011
  • Weigel Broadcasting Co. relayed executive leadership changes including the promotion of Neal F. Sabin to President/Content and Networks up from EVP
  • Dean DeBiase appointed Chairman/CEO of Entertainment Promotions, a company specializing in helping brands, businesses and institutions target consumers via discounts and promotions delivered through print, online and mobile platforms
  • NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol announced yesterday he is resigning from the network. Ebersol has been involved in television sports for four decades with the last 22 years at NBC Sports. Mark Lazarus, President of NBC Sports Cable Group will take over as Chairman of the NBC Sports Group.
  • Hero pilot and author Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, III tapped by CBS News to become its Aviation and Safety Expert
  • James Burstall, CEO of Leopard Films takes on the role as CEO of Argonon and Stuart Mullin was named Argonon’s CFO
  • Univision Communications Inc. promoted Kevin Cuddihy as President/Univision Television Group (UTG), up from EVP/Advertising Sales for UTG
  • TV One tapped Wonya Lucas as President/CEO beginning August 8
  • William Burton elevated to President/GM of KGO-TV, the ABC O&O in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market
  • Nils Larsen named CEO for the broadcasting division at Tribune Company, succeeding in this position following the departure of Jerry Kersting
  • NBCUniversal promoted Beth Roberts as COO, Universal Cable Productions and EVP/Business Affairs, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios
  • Claudia Strauss joins Grey New York’s Alliance, the company’s lifestyle and entertainment marketing agency, as CEO
  • Cox Media Group elevated Tom Raponi to VP/GM of KTVU and KICU in the Bay Area
  • Roma Khanna becomes President/Television Group and Digital with MGM joining from NBCUniversal where she had been President/Universal Networks International and Digital Initiatives
  • Brillstein Entertainment Partners appointed JoAnn Alfano as President/Television.
  • Vlad Wolynetz tapped as President/Production with Cineflix Studios, the scripted unit of global production/distribution company Cineflix
  • RHI Entertainment tapped Andrew P. Hines as EVP/CFO where he will provide oversight on all financial management and accounting functions
  • Shine Group expands the roles of Shine Australia and New Zealand joint CEOs Carl and Mark Fennessy by offering them the positions of CEO Shine USA and President, Shine Network respectively
  • Wayne Godsey, President/GM of KMBC-TV (ABC) and KCWE-TV (CW), the Hearst Television Inc.-owned stations in Kansas City announced his retirement later this year
  • Andrew Morse, most recently serving as Executive Producer/Innovation and Integration for ABC News Digital takes on a new position as Head of Bloomberg Television in the US
  • David Williams, President/CEO of Tribune Media Services is exiting the company
  • Newly-established Merlin Media recognized the addition of John Gehron as Chairman/Advisory Board
  • Univision Communications Inc. added Carlos San Jose as VP/GM at Univision Television Group’s Chicago station
  • Robert Furlong appointed as VP/GM of WPMT-TV, the station owned by Tribune Broadcasting in Harrisburg
  • Millennium Films tagged Mark Gill as President
  • Univision Communications Inc. named current EVP/COO Randy Falco as the company’s new President/CEO
  • MGM elevated Chris Ottinger to President/International Television Distribution and Acquisitions
  • Nickelodeon Australia tapped Ben Richardson as its new VP/GM
  • Turner Broadcasting named Anthony Lukom as VP/GM, UK and Ireland
  • E! Entertainment appointed Suzanne Kolb as President where she will report to Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios.
  • Bob Walker elevated to EVP/GM of Networks and Content with The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC)
  • Oprah Winfrey is expanding her Chairman role with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to become the permanent CEO and CCO beginning this fall. Harpo Studios’ Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, presently serving as Presidents will become Presidents of OWN
  • Jennifer Salke appointed President of NBC Entertainment
  • Jodi Kahn advances to the newly-created role as President of iVillage, the digital brand aiming at women
  • Jesus Perezagua elevated to President of Fox International Channels (FIC) Europe and Africa
  • RHI Entertainment’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Gabriel de Alba revealed appointments for a new interim management team. The Office of the CEO will be helmed by Mike Corrigan, David Salzman and Stewart Till who all have been former members of the Board of Directors
  • Bryce Townsend takes on the new role as CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships
  • Dave Ehlers advances to President of Optimedia US, a division of ZenithOptimedia Worldwide and part of Publicis Groupe SA
  • Phil Cowdell appointed Chairman of Mindshare North America, a new position within the GroupM media services agency
  • McCann Worldgroup announced Bill Kolb will become CEO of MRM
  • New York-based Gotham promoted CMO Nick Johnson and Managing Director Lyle Tick as Co-Presidents
  • Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current TV is departing the network and Joel Hyatt, Co-Founder will replace Mark
  • Elliott Gordon, the former Director/Digital Media and Product Management for the NFL, tagged by Universal Sports Network as VP/GM of Digital Media
  • Atlas Media Corp promoted Jeanne McHale Waite to EVP/GM
  • Nicholas Walters advances to VP/GM of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) & CIS (RCIS)
  • AMC Networks Inc. revealed its senior management team following the company’s recent spin-off from Cablevision Systems Corporation on June 30:
    • Josh Sapan serves as President/CEO.  He has been with the company for nearly 25 years, joining the former Rainbow Media Holdings in 1987 as President of AMC and Bravo.
    • Ed Carroll is COO and was named to this position in January 2009 when the company was Rainbow Media Holdings.
    • Sean Sullivan is CFO and he joined the company from HiT Entertainment in 2010.
  • David Lyle, former president of Fox LOOK, joined National Geographic Channels US as CEO
  • FremantleMedia tapped Monica Galer to become President of FremantleMedia France
  • Current TV named journalist/news executive David Bohrman as President
  • E! Entertainment Television elevated Cyndi McClellan to President/Network Strategy and E! News
  • Golf Channel tapped Jay Madara as CFO to be in charge of the overall financial oversight and direction for the network which is part of the NBC Sports Group
  • Beginning September 6, Sarah Smith takes over as President/GM of KMBC-TV and KCWE-TV, the ABC and CW affiliates respectively owned by Hearst Television, Inc. in the Kansas City market
  • Philippe Maigret was named CEO of Endemol Studios, reporting to David Goldberg, Chairman of Endemol North America
  • Jose Cancela appointed President/GM of Telemundo’s KVEA/Los Angeles
  • Roy Matalon tapped as President/International Sales and Distribution at Los Angeles- based Nu Image, Inc.
  • Kantar Media promoted George Carens as President/Kantar Media Intelligence North America and Steve Davis as President/Kantar Media SRDS.  Furthermore, the company appointed David Hamric as GM/Marx
  • Rick Carpenter was added at Los Angeles-based independent advertising agency Quigley-Simpson in the newly-minted position as President
  • MediaWhiz, a unit of the newly established SolutionSet MediaWhiz Partnership, tapped Ed Kats as President, based in New York.
  • Canada’s Shaftesbury announced it formed Shaftesbury U.S. concentrating on development for the US market. Beginning this Thursday, Tom Mazza and Maggie Murphy will jointly supervise the new division as Co-Heads
  • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO) hired Geoffrey A. Darby as GM for MSLO’s Television segment
  • Nan-Kirsten Forte, formerly an EVP of WebMD Health Corp. was appointed CEO of the Travel Ad Network (TAN)
  • GroupM added John Kristick as Global CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships (ESP), the company’s entertainment and sports consultancy division
  • JUMA Entertainment welcomes Peter J. DeVita in the newly-minted role as COO
  • Motion picture studio Gaumont, based in Europe, is expanding into global television production and distribution by launching Gaumont International Television (GIT) based in Los Angeles.  Katie O’Connell and Richard Frankie will head the new LA office as CEO and COO respectively
  • Multimedia studio Electus, an operating business of IAC and founded by Ben Silverman is adding Chris Grant as CEO
  • New York-based marketing agency, Campfire elevated Jason Sutterfield to the newly-minted role as COO up from Head/Production
  • Brian Gleason was added at Stephen David Entertainment as CFO to head the company’s financial strategy
  • Mark Rachesky was tapped as Co-Chairman of the Board at Lionsgate.  Mark owns 37% of the company and he will share the title of Co-Chairman with CEO Jon Feltheimer
  • Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales arm of Comcast Cable tagged Tim Corken as GM in the state of Oregon
  • The nearly twenty-year veteran of the Walt Disney Company, Dene B. Stratton was tapped by MGM as CFO
  • Starting in October, Emilio Romano will be the new President of Telemundo announced NBCUniversal
  • Iliad Entertainment tapped Veronique Bernard as President
  • Univision Communications Inc. announced Kevin Conroy was upped to the newly-created role as President, UIM and Enterprise Development
  • Johannes Jensen was named CEO of Zodiak Nordic by Zodiak Media Group
  • On October 2nd, Andy Rooney, 92, will present his 1,097th A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney segment on 60 Minutes.  It will also be his last.  Yes, Rooney is retiring after 62 years with CBS.
  • Lee Doyle, CEO North America with MEC announced his departure from the agency after 12 years
  • Gary E. Knell, the President/CEO of Sesame Workshop was named President/CEO of NPR, as announced by NPR’s Board of Directors
  • Kenetta Bailey takes on the new position as EVP/CMO at TV One
  • Gas Station TV (GSTV) is establishing a local sales division giving small business owners a chance to geo-target their advertising at a hyper-local level.  In so doing, GSTV appointed Gene Sanderfield as the new division’s VP/GM
  • Christopher Averill was hired by SolutionSet MediaWhiz Partnership as CFO to be part of the agency’s executive leadership team
  • Twin Cities Public Television tapped digital and magazine editor Donna Sapolin as VP/Editorial Director and GM of Next Avenue, a new public media effort designed to serve and engage Americans 50+
  • CEO Bob Iger will be staying with the Walt Disney Co. through June 2016 as part of the company’s succession planning process.  Iger’s title will be further enhanced next March when he also becomes Chairman following the retirement of present Chairman John E. Pepper.  Further, Disney has started planning for Iger’s replacement, establishing the timeframe as March 31, 2015 when a new CEO will be announced
  • Christopher Cassel launched his own production company, Castle Pictures, Inc. in New York and will serve as President/Creative Director
  • Conde Nast has named Dawn Ostroff effective immediately to the newly-created role as President/Conde Nast Entertainment
  • Sean Perry was elected as the new President of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) by its Board of Directors
  • Venevision, the Venezuelan-based television channel and production company of the Cisneros Group of Companies welcomes back Jonathan Blum as VP/GM
  • Media agency MEC announced Marla Kaplowitz will become CEO for MEC North America
  • Steven Soldinger takes on a new role as VP/GM at WWSB-TV, the ABC affiliate covering Florida’s Suncoast and owned by Southern Broadcast Corporation of Sarasota, a subsidiary of Calkins Media, Inc.
  • Marketing company Media Ventures Group tapped William Apfelbaum as Chairman
  • NBC Owned Television Stations is adding Christine Dorfler as CFO
  • Brad Collar was tapped as SVP/GM, Global Digital Media eXchange with Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
  • Judy Kenny was tapped as President/Sales and Marketing at Zoom Media and Marketing, a US-based digital media company
  • Frances Manfredi received a promotion to President of NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution
  • Brooklyn-based creative agency Big Spaceship added Alasdair Lloyd-Jones as Partner/COO
  • Discovery Networks International (DNI) elevated Doug Baker who has served as CFO to the role as EVP/CFO.  DNI further appointed John Honeycutt to EVP/COO
  • David Wertheimer was named to the newly-created role as President/Digital with Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX)
  • Boisfeuillet (Bo) Jones Jr. was appointed President/CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, producer of the PBS NEWSHOUR
  • Cheil Canada, part of Cheil North American Holdings added Matthew Cammaert as President
  • NBCUniversal has appointed Linda Yaccarino as President/Cable Entertainment and Digital Advertising Sales
  • MGM tapped Steve Stark as President/Television Production to supervise all facets of television and content development as well as production for network, cable and digital platforms
  • Melissa Miller Ormond officially becomes President/MSG Entertainment as announced by Hank Ratner, President/CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company
  • Mark Rodman takes on the new position of VP/GM of KSAZ-TV FOX 10 in Phoenix
  • Howard T. Owens was tapped to become President of the National Geographic Channels US to follow Steve Schiffman
  • Peter Liguori, COO at Discovery Communications will be exiting the company at the end of this year
  • AMC Networks Inc. appointed Bruce Tuchman as President, AMC/Sundance Channel Global the company’s international unit
  • Stephen Espinoza takes on the new role as EVP/GM for Showtime Sports and Event Programming as announced by Showtime Networks Inc.
  • Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company has joined the Board of Apple
  • Premier Retail Networks, Inc. (PRN) appointed Ahmad Ouri as President where he will oversee all company activities and lead PRN in the areas of development and strategic growth
  • Bruce Rosenblum was elected Chairman/CEO by the Board of Governors for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
  • Sarah Kramer was promoted to President/Client Services at MediaVest USA
  • Ariel Roblin was named President/GM of KETV, the ABC affiliate in Omaha owned by Hearst Television Inc.
  • Glenn Katz was named CEO of Spacenet Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd
  • Spanish-language TV network, Vme announced President/CEO Carmen DiRienzo will depart from her position on December 31, 2011
  • Vuguru, founded by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company tagged Scott Nocas as Head/Distribution and Marketing
  • Cedric Foster advances to VP/GM of Spike Digital Entertainment
  • NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment named Steve Dolcemaschio as President of its reality studio, currently called Comcast Entertainment Studios
  • Brian Frons, President/Daytime for Disney/ABC Television Group is exiting the company when his contract expires at the end of January
  • WJLA and NewsChannel 8, the ABC affiliate and the 24-hour cable news operation in the Washington, D.C. area elevated Bill Lord to VP/GM to have oversight of the daily operations of both stations
  • Relocating from Seattle to New York, Keith Mackay will take on the new role as President/Strategy at Optimedia
  • Raul Rodriguez will become VP/GM of Univision, San Francisco as announced by Univision Communications
  • Effective January 1, Manuel Abud moves up to President/Telemundo Station Group with Telemundo Media where he will report to Emilio Romano, President, Telemundo Media.  Manuel will replace Ronald Gordon who was named Chairman at ZGS Communications which owns and operates the largest group of independent stations affiliated with the Telemundo network. 
  • Scripps Networks Interactive tapped Jim Samples as President/International
  • Marc Juris to become EVP/COO at truTV, continuing to have oversight of the network’s strategic planning, original programming, marketing and advertising
  • Cablevision Systems Corp. said its COO Tom Rutledge is resigning from the company effective later this month
  • As of February 1, Ricky J. Joseph will become President/GM of WAND-TV in Decatur, Illinois

IN MEMORIAM:

Pete Postlethwaite … Aron Abrams … Anne Francis … Peter Yates … Ryan Charles Brennan … John Dye … David Nelson … Max B. Miller … Jack LaLanne … Jane Russell … Howard Lucraft … Betty Garrett … Jackie Cooper … Warren Christopher … Jon Petrovich … Kenneth Mars … Len Lesser … Nancy A. Carr … John Ayres Armstrong, Jr. … Pasquale “Pat” Servodidio … Sidney Lumet … Michael Gough … Elizabeth Taylor … Randy Savage … Hal Kanter … Marvin M. Grieve … Mia Amber Davis … Sol Saks … Larry Fraiberg … Madelyn Pugh Davis … Jeff Gralnick … Michael Sarrazin … Jack Kevorkian … Mark Haines … Amy Winehouse … Jeff Conaway … Betty Ford … Arthur Laurents … Farley Granger … Clarice Taylor … James Arness … Ryan Dunn … Alan Sues … Bubba Smith … Peter Falk … Nick Charles … Joe Frazier … Harold “Hal” Golden … Cliff Robertson … Sherwood Schwartz … Don Kirshner … Geraldine Ferraro … Frances Bay … Susan Panisch … Charles Napier … Frank Potenza … Michael Showers … Andy Whitfield … Sue Mengers … Mary Fickett … Charlie Callas … Marisol Oller … Steve Jobs … Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. … Robert C. Pierpoint … Daniel B. Burke … Robert Brennan Jr. … Gilbert Cates … Andy Rooney … Harry Morgan … John Sadler

Happy New Year!

Later — Cyn
01.01.12

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