Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

 

Cynopsis: Year in Review: “2007”

1/1/08

Greetings! It’s Tuesday, January 1, 2008, and before we begin the New Year, here’s a look back at 2007 … Happy New Year!

The year began as the last couple of years – more television shows becoming available in full online, on your cellphone, anywhere but on the original network airwaves. And by year’s end, many networks began pulling back on the availability of their content, choosing to enhance their own platforms rather than those of mobile services and mp3 download services.

The year ended with WGA on strike with no end in sight; TLC, BBC, AOL, MSNBC, NBC News and Oxygen all cut jobs; HD nets are being launched left and right; Stephen Colbert runs for President; green-ness abounds; how many shows can Mark Burnett productions come up with in one year?; Carson Daly returns despite the WGA strike; January’s TCA tour is cancelled; theatre stagehands go on strike, but then return; and Ellen gets in a messy dog fight.

And what can we to look forward to in 2008? Leno, Conan, Kimmel, Stewart, Colbert, Feresten and Letterman and Ferguson (the latter two with writers), more OJ, Kardashians, Blog Cabins, more green, more Rachael Ray, Ellen, Martha, Cristina, Dr. Phil, Weeds, Jury Duty, Big Love, Top Model, Gene Simmons, The Riches, Judge Alex, Snapped and a slew of others. Who won’t we see in ’08? Emeril Live in primetime.

And a special thanks to all our ad supporters during our 10th Anniversary year 2007 – CableU, Jury Duty, Hallmark Channel, GSN, WBDCD, NATPE ’08.

It’s been quite a year … take a look:

THE NETWORKS:

  • Court TV pulled itself off the DISH Network satellite service due to an issue over rates.
  • News Corp. plans to proceed with the launch of a new business news channel … wait for it … it launched October 15
  • Discovery Channel launched an 11-part series called Planet Earth in hi-def – in a word, stunning.
  • NBC Universal launched horror cable channel called Chiller, designed to play across all platforms, including linear, HD, VOD and broadband
  • The premiere episode of The Sopranos on A&E drew 4.27 million total viewers
  • Today show expanded by an hour and in the wake, Passions is cancelled, moved to DirecTV
  • FSN and MyNetworkTV have reached a TV/new media programming alliance with the International Fight League
  • i becomes ION Television
  • Cartoon Network caused a lot of commotion in Boston when a series of lit up electronic devices were discovered – later Turner Broadcasting pays significant fines; the entire snafu resulted in the resignation of EVP/GM Jim Samples … Samples later resurfaces as Pres/HGTV
  • MyNetwork TV pares down on its telenovela schedule
  • Grey’s Anatomy creators are looking to spin off one of the show’s characters into a second drama project  – Private Practice
  • Rainbow Media expanded its free VOD content and services under the Skool franchise by introducing Lifeskool
  • As Moonves promised, CBS finalized comprehensive retransmission consent pacts with nine individual cable operators
  • National Spanish-language television network V-me launched in 28 million homes, and 60%+ of US Hispanic households
  • Court TV become truTV as of… today!
  • hi-def cable channel INHD changed its name to MOJO
  • News Corp. and NBC Universal announced a partnership for the digital age, planning a new jointly-run entertainment portal -as yet unnamed – that will aggregate the biggest collection of TV content on the web and create “the largest advertising platform on earth.”
  • Tragedy strikes Virginia Tech – NBC under scrutiny for airing video provided by the shooter
  • Black Family Channel (BFC), based in Atlanta, negotiates with Gospel Music Channel (GMC) to yield its 16 million subscribers, effective April 30
  • Starz Entertainment launched three new hi-def channels: East Coast feeds of Starz Comedy, Starz Edge, and Starz Kids & Family
  • ABC picked up drama series LOST for 48 more episodes
  • 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected the FCC’s ruling that Fox’s airing of “fleeting expletives” uttered by Nicole Richie and Cher during the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards, equated to indecency
  • 40,000 pounds of peanuts persuaded CBS to renew the drama series Jericho with seven new episodes for a 2007-08 midseason run
  • Users crashed the HBO website on Sunday night trying to leave their two bits about the climax series-ender, or as many would say, anti-climax of The Sopranos
  • The first big deal of the upfront season, totaling somewhere between $800 million and $1 billion, was completed between NBC Universal and the media buying conglomerate Group M that consists of Mindshare, mediaedge:cia and Mediacom. One facet of the deal that had everyone talking was the basis of the currency – live plus three-days of commercial ratings data rather than program ratings
  • Price is Right folks look at Rosie as possible replacement for Bob Barker, eventually passing on her and going with Drew Carey
  • Starcom USA jumps right into the kid’s cable TV ad sales upfront market by signing an agreement with Nickelodeon that valued at upwards of $100 million
  • NBC’s big Live Earth concert aired 7/7/07, shown around the world in 8 cities on all 7 continents, as well as back home on many of the NBC owned networks – Bravo, CNBC, Sundance, Telemundo, mun2 and Universal HD
  • NBC officially rehired The Apprentice for a seventh season
  • Discovery celebrated it’s 20th Shark Week
  • Leo DiCaprio joins Discovery’s Planet Green with a new series about the rebuilding of a Kansas town into a green model of the future
  • Rosie gets a change of scenery, Whoopi gets a new View, as does Sherri Shepherd
  • Nickelodeon’s Noggin and its primetime-only counterpart The N, split and become two stand-along 24 hour networks
  • “There she is” on TLC as the Miss America Organization completed a multi-year pact with the network
  • High School Musical 2 premiered on Disney Channel on Friday night and drew in a record breaking audience of 17.2 million viewers
  • Bionic Woman returned to primetime; as will Knight Rider and American Gladiators
  • USA’s miniseries The Starter Wife will go to series
  • MGM launched its first wholly-owned channel in the U.S. as MGM HD debuts this fall on DIRECTV
  • EchoStar’s DISH Network will be the first provider to offer the 24-hour natural wellness lifestyle channel Veria TV
  • The CW called it quits for Kids’ WB at the end of the 2007-8 season, but not for kids Saturday morning programming. The CW signed a five-year deal with 4Kids Entertainment to oversee programming
  • Regis will host Password for CBS
  • MSNBC chats with Rosie about a primetime slot … but plans dissolve quickly
  • Quarterlife launches on broadband and in 2008 will migrate to NBC
  • Discovery Times Channel will take on a new name as of January 27, 2008 and become Investigation Discovery (ID)
  • Tennis Channel launches hi-def channel on DirecTV 12/31/07

SYNDICATION:

  • Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! have been renewed through the 2011-2012 season
  • Acapulco H.E.A.T. returns to syndication with new distribution agreement with Atlas Worldwide Synd & Dist
  • Program Partners comes to NATPE market with Let’s Play Crosswords, from Merv Griffin and the William Morris Agency – cash only. After NBC O&O station deal for top 3 markets, terms change to cash + barter
  • Warner Bros. introduces TMZ – based on the online site
  • Bob Vila’s show for CBS Television Distribution shut down production
  • Tyra Banks show moves to NYC for 2007-08 season
  • NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution – Howie Mandel agrees to host the daytime syndicated version of Deal or No Deal
  • The Florida judge who presided over the Anna Nicole Smith case may have a berth in daytime syndication thanks to CBS Television Distribution
  • Unsolved Mysteries is getting completely revamped and will be brought back out into syndication by HBO Television Distribution
  • “Happy Birthday to Live with Regis and Kelly”!
  • Bonnie Hunt, Tom Green coming to syndication … and Donald Trump?
  • American Chopper, Deadliest Catch, Pimp My Ride, Cribs, Deal or No Deal wtih Howie, Boston Legal, Storm Stories all coming to syndication
  • Warner Bros. returns to NATPE exhibition floor (coincidentally, first year sans Robertson) – Sony and CBS choose to pass on the event entirely (Sony goes to CES instead)
  • Tribune Entertainment closed its syndication distribution unit, though it will continue with its ad sales services

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS:

  • The New York Times Company agrees to sell its nine station group to Oak Hill Capital Partners for a total of $575 million
  • Initial bids were submitted for Tribune Co. properties from the Chandler family, already Tribune’s largest shareholders, and the The Carlyle Group. Later, News Corp. joined the Tribune bidding process, teaming with Tribune Co. shareholder, the Chandler family. Then Sam Zell bids to purchase the entire Tribune kit and caboodle for $8 billion, followed by another suitor – Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle … at the end of the day it was Sam Zell and his $34/share deal
  • CBS Corporation sold seven of its owned television stations to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. for $185 million.
  • Sirius and XM, merged in a $13 billion deal
  • Discovery Communications bought the 25% ownership stake in Discovery held by Cox Communications in exchange for $1.275 billion in cash
  • Comcast agreed to purchase Patriot Media & Communications for $483 million in cash
  • News Corp. shareholders voted in favor to trade the company’s ownership in DirecTV Group Inc. with Liberty Media Corp. in exchange for $550 million in cash and Liberty’s approximate $11 billion share in News Corp.
  • CP Media, LLC completed its transaction to buy seven TV stations owned by Pegasus Broadcast Television for $48.5 million
  • Google won the bidding war for internet ad-serving company DoubleClick, agreeing to pay private equity firm Hellman & Freidman $3.1 billion – almost double what Google paid for YouTube last year
  • Clear Channel Communications sold its 56 television stations and affiliated web sites to Rhode Island-based Providence Equity Partners Inc. to the tune of $1.2 billion
  • Dow Jones & Co. was suddenly put into play with an unsolicited $5 billion buyout bid from News Corp
  • Cablevision Systems Corp. accepted the Dolan family offer to buy back shares in Cablevision for $36.26 per share
  • Cox Communications, Inc. and Discovery Communications have completed the exchange of Cox’s 25% stake in Discovery for Travel Media, Inc., the entity that owns Travel Channel and TravelChannel.com. Travel Media retains approximately $1.3 billion in cash.
  • CBS Corporation bought the five-year old online company TicketReserve headquartered in Chicago
  • Red Zone Capital Fund acquired Dick Clark Productions for $175 million
  • Peace Arch Entertainment Group Inc. bought out California-based DVD distributor Trinity Home Entertainment, LLC for $10 million
  • Banks Broadcasting sold its television station KSCW/Wichita to Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schurz Communications, Inc.
  • In the end, money talked. News Corp. earned the votes needed to win control of Dow Jones & Co. after a key Bancroft trust changed its mind and decided to accept the company’s $60/share offer
  • Fisher Communications acquired the Westwind Communications stations in Bakersfield, CA, KBAK, the CBS affiliate; and KBFX, the Fox station in the market. Reported price tag – $55 million. Fisher owns 19 other stations, all located in the northwest United States.
  • ION Media Networks sold independent TV station WPXO-LP/New York to Caribevision Station Group, LLC for $10 million
  • The nameless NBC/News Corp. joint online video venture received a $100 million dollar investment from Providence Equity Partners
  • The Nielsen Company purchased San Francisco-based Telephia, Inc., a company that provides syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media industries
  • Hearst says it intends to bid nearly $600 million to buy the remaining stock of Hearst-Argyle Television
  • NBC Universal agreed to purchase Sparrowhawk Holdings and its worldwide cache of pay TV channels from Providence Equity Partners, 3i and management shareholders
  • Charleston, SC-based Apex Broadcasting, Inc. sold the independent affiliate KJEF-CA/Jennings, LA to Dallas-based GAP Broadcasting, LLC
  • Belo separated its TV station group from its newspaper assets, forming two separate entities – Belo Corp. included the TV stations and its two cable news networks; and A.H. Belo included the newspapers
  • World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) completed a financing deal with private equity firm InterMedia Partners, making them a major stakeholder in the network
  • E.W. Scripps announced it would become two publicly traded companies
  • Raycom Media, Inc. acquired Lincoln Financial Group’s television operations and Lincoln Financial Sports
  • Gaylord Entertainment Co. bought Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio for $252.5 million
  • MTV Networks sold Tempo, the 24-hour pan-Caribbean cable television network, to a group of investors led by Frederick A. Morton, Jr., who founded the network while employed at MTV Networks

NEW MEDIA BUSINESS DECISIONS:

  • MyTVPal.com launched a new VOD service for TV
  • The N launched The N Mobile on Sprint
  • U-Verse cut a carriage deal with the YES Network
  • Next New Networks launches micro TV networks on the web
  • Samsung Electronics Co. claims to have the solution for video on the go: insert chipsets into cellphones so they pick up local TV stations
  • CBS Research unveiled new data indicating as viewers become more connected to digital media, they also increase their engagement in primetime television programming
  • FremantleMedia streamed the full episodes online at AmericanIdol.com
  • Disney-ABC Television Group now made available episodes of Ugly Betty on the iTunes Store
  • NBC, CBS, Fox and MTV sign up to provide full length programs to Verizon Wireless
  • Procter & Gamble launches two social networking websites
  • ComedyCentral.com launches 11 new series online
  • Apple introduces the iPhone – due out in stores end of June
  • Paramount Pictures made its classic movie library available on iTunes
  • QuickPlayer for BlackBerry provides streaming audiocasts to BlackBerrys, including Cynopsis!
  • Sundance Channel offers content on YouTube
  • The L Word launched on SecondLife.com
  • Starz Entertainment and Starz Media, supplying content for Vongo
  • January 29, 2007: “Launching a website these days is rarely news. What does make news is when a cable network says it will drop out of the cable linear business, in favor of a broadband business. Cable network LIME launched its own broadband channel where it features a variety of original content, phasing out its linear channel.”
  • Cynopsis launches audio podcast on Quickplay Media – downloadable on your blackberry
  • Viacom Inc. drew a line in the sand and ordered Google’s YouTube to remove more than 100,000 unauthorized video clips
  • CBS’ daytime drama Guiding Light produced thirty original webisodes
  • YouTube signed a deal with Digital Music Group to deliver more than 4000 hours of classic TV content to the viral video site
  • CBS Corporation formed a new cross-platform division, CBS RIOT, which encompasses its radio, internet, outdoor and television sales operations
  • SOAPnet ordered 13 one-hour episodes of its first exclusive, serialized drama called General Hospital: Night Shift
  • The Weather Channel launched broadband-video site Epic.weather.com focused on the convergence of extreme sports and weather
  • Viacom made a deal to provide content on Joost
  • Fox reached agreement with its affiliate body for the local station websites to carry streaming video and downloads of select Fox primetime shows
  • Next New Networks headed by CEO Herb Scannell, plans to debut 101 micro-networks during the next five years
  • Bravo acquires televisionwithoutpity.com
  • VH1 launched the user-generated, interactive comedy series Acceptable.TV
  • Fox Interactive Media launched MySpace News
  • Cynopsis launches new edition – Cynopsis Digital wtih contributing editor Wayne Karrfalt
  • NBC Universal did not renew its digital download deal with iTunes
  • ABC News launched Good Morning America Now, with anchor Chris Cuomo on its broadband channel
  • ABC Entertainment and Warner Bros. TV struck a new kind of digital deal that gives ABC.com the rights to stream four WB-produced shows airing on ABC for up to four weeks after they air.
  • ABC signed a revenue-sharing deal with AOL to offer the alphabet’s full length shows
  • NBC U purchased Oxygen, available in more than 74 million homes, for $925 million (that’s net of financial assets – the actual purchase price is approximately $875 million), and as might you suspect results in numerous jobs lost

 

THE SUBLIME TO THE RIDICULOUS, AND ALL IN BETWEEN

  • Mr. Blackwell’s 47th Worst dressed list: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears tied at #1 and were referred to as “two peas in an overexposed pod” Camilla Parker-Bowles – “The Duchess of Dowdy” Lindsay Lohan – “adorable to deplorable” Christina Aguilera – “all crass and no class” Mariah Carey – “Mariah the fashion pariah” Paula Abdul – “fallen fashion idol” Sharon Stone – “over the hill Cruella DeVille” Tori Spelling – “down and out in Beverly Hills” Sandra Oh – “layered lunacy from head to toe” Meryl Streep – “beast of a wardrobe” Victor Jung, a former treasurer at NBC Universal, arrested on fraud charges for allegedly setting up a false company – NBCU Media Productions LLC – in 2005 as a front to steal more than $800,000 from the company
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter back in the dog house with the Mexican authority as a federal court in Guadalajara paved the way for Duane “Dog” Chapman to be extradited back to Mexico; he later gets off but has other troubles
  • Geico Caveman becomes a series for ABC
  • Maytag has a new Repairman … Clay Jackson
  • Don Imus made a serious error on the air recently when he used a racial slur to describe the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, and is ultimately suspended from MSNBC and CBS Radio … wait for it, he returned in December!
  • Criss Angel executes a Times Square stunt – encased in a 4′ square cube 40′ in the air as promotion for the new season of his show on A&E
  • Rob Lowe got a birdie at the Principal Charity Classic Pro-Am at the Glen Oaks Country Club in Des Moines. Only problem, it was a real birdie. True story! In his approach shot on the 4th hole, in mid-flight his ball hit a goldfinch. “That’s unbelievable. Who comes here and kills the state bird? Only me.”
  • 3.2 million tune in to Larry King on CNN to hear what post-prison Paris Hilton had to say
  • In this corner, we have Barry Bonds. In that corner we have Bob Costas. Bonds refers to Costas as a “little midget man who knows (nothing) about baseball.” And in response, Costas says: “As anyone can plainly see, I’m 5-6 1/2 and a strapping 150, and unlike some people, I came by all of it naturally.” America’s pastime.
  • Rosie referred to American Idol as being “sexist and weight-ist” referring to Frenchie Davis being booted off Season #2
  • About 80 north of New York City is a little farm for sale, a little over 100 acres, includes a barn, a small 2000 sq. ft house, and a larger farmhouse. Asking price: $8 million. Oh yeah, this little farm is also the site of the 1969 Woodstock concert
  • Duane “Dog” Chapman’s reality television series, Dog the Bounty Hunter was pulled until further notice from A&E Network’s schedule two days after Dog repeatedly used a racial slur during a private phone conversation

etc …

  • Tiki Barber debated what he’ll do in his post-NY Giants days, eventually ending up on Today
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force makes it to the big screen in March, distributed by First Look Pictures
  • MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states over dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group re: retransmission fees; Sinclair handed out antennas to all homes within a 30-mile radius
  • Sinclair is in the midst of similar negotiations with Comcast and said it may pull its 30 stations of that cable system
  • New corporate names and entities in 2007 included:
    • Touchstone Television, Disney-ABC Television Group’s in-house production company become ABC Television Studio
    • Buena Vista Games unit is now known as Disney Interactive Studios
    • Bravo established Bravo Media, a new worldwide multimedia content company that provides organic extensions based on the network’s linear programs
    • Media agency Carat USA and Carat Fusion, specializing in digital marketing, merged into one company simply called Carat. Leading the newly integrated company, based in New York, are Sarah Fay as CEO and Scott Sorokin as President
    • GSD&M became GSD&M Idea City
    • Mediaedge:cia merged its MEC Sponsorship, Leverage Group and Sponsorcom units and staff of each into one specialty division called MEC Access
    • Radar Entertainment opened a new division, Radar Distribution, and hired Ernest Cartwright and Mark Robbins as co-Presidents of that division
  • Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun formed a new multimedia production company, BermanBraun; later NBC Universal Television signed a three-year, first-look development pact with the production company
  • Viacom laid off 250 people across the board at MTV Networks, approximately 6% of the Viacom division’s 4500+ workforce
  • ABC World News with Charles Gibson moves ahead of NBC Nightly News for the week of February 5 … tho NBC wins the sweep
  • And the Oscars go to: Best Picture: The Departed; Best Director: Martin Scorsese for The Departed … finally!; Best Actor: Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland; Best Actress: Helen Mirren in The Queen.
  • And the Razzies go to: Worst Pictures: Basic Instinct 2; Worst Director: M. Night Shyamalan for Lady in the Water; Worst Actor: Marlon and Shawn Wayans in Little Man; Worst Actress: Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2;
  • And the Emmy goes to … Outstanding Drama Series: The Sopranos (HBO); Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama: James Spader as Alan Shore in Boston Legal (ABC); Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama: Sally Field as Nora Walker in Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
  • Star Jones Reynolds returned to TV and Court TV
  • DirecTV made a seven-year $700 million dollar rights deal with Major League Baseball which gave the satellite operator carriage rights to the MLB Extra Innings out-of-market subscription game package
  • Comcast and Sinclair reached a retransmission agreement in a nick of time on Friday, just a day before its current deal expired
  • AOL had its first upfront … called a First Look
  • Regis steps back for bit as he undergoes triple heart bypass … he returns in late April with renewed energy
  • Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube and Google seeking more than $1 billion in damages. Viacom cited “massive intentional copyright infringement of Viacom’s entertainment properties”
  • FCC Chairman Kevin Martin submitted a new 30% limit cap that would prohibit a cable operator from serving more than 30% of pay television subscribers
  • Carol Burnett filed a $2 million lawsuit against the 20th Century Fox’s series Family Guy, claiming copyright infringement
  • Major League Baseball balked at the latest offer from cable MSO joint venture In Demand for rights to the out-of-market Extra Innings package of games
  • Starz Entertainment sued Buena Vista Television for copyright infringement and breach of contract after Disney began selling movies online licensed exclusively to Starz
  • Cablevision Systems Corp. succumbed to losing its legal fight against many Hollywood studios and television networks on the right to offer a network-based digital video recorder service to its subscribers – Cablevision later appeals
  • Major League Baseball signed an eleventh inning deal keeping its out-of-market Extra Innings package of games on cable for the next seven years
  • Alec Baldwin requested to be let out of his contract with NBC’s 30 Rock following some very public private phone messages; NBC declines
  • A New York Supreme Court ruled Comcast can relegate the NFL Network to its sports tier, rather than offer it on a basic channel plan – NFL will appeal
  • NFL lifted its ban on local stations sideline cameras during games
  • The NFL issued a new set of rules that severely restricts media sites usage of video shot from NFL press conferences, interviews or practices
  • Isaiah Washington, aka Dr. Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy, didn’t return in the new fall season
  • NBC Universal changed the name of its former NBC Universal Television Studio to Universal Media Studios
  • Mandy Patinkin asked and was granted, out of his Criminal Minds contract – replaced by Joe Mantegna
  • From the land of koalas and kangaroos, MTV debuted The Real World: Sydney
  • Disney said it first, and then Hallmark Channel followed – no more smoking in any of its original films
  • The Simpsons Movie from Fox debuted with for a three-day estimated total of $71.9 million
  • GLAAD releases its Network Responsibility Index – ABC is “good”; Fox is “failing”
  • Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America returned to the morning show today, following successful breast cancer surgery
  • Vin di Bona got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • CableU, the online service that provides competitive analysis of cable network performance and trends, added overviews of 90 cable networks to the site
  • U.S. filmmaker Bradley Cox’s latest documentary didn’t make him popular in Cambodia, but not in a good way. The Plastic Killers ( http://plastic-killers.blip.tv/) spotlights a Cambodian murder case strong with political tie-ins in which two innocent men received life sentences for murdering popular union leader, Chea Vichea. The government deemed the film illegal and banned it in Cambodia
  • LIN TV goes to battle with MetroCast Cablevision in Connecticut over retransmission fees for three broadcast stations – WTNH/New Haven, WCTX New Haven and Providence-based WPRI
  • NCTA returns to New Orleans this year when the confab reconvenes May 18-20
  • Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan against former employer CBS alleging the network used him as a “scapegoat” concerning the discredited 2004 story about President Bush’s National Guard service
  • The Cynopsis Foundation is borne and its first annual gala event at Chelsea Piers in NYC supporting EarthEcho International and Kids in Need
  • FCC Chairman Martin relaxed his stand on the cross-ownership rules
  • FCC chairman Kevin Martin had to indefinitely postpone the commission’s monthly public meeting because he couldn’t convince a majority of his colleagues that cable had reached at least 70% household penetration
  • Comcast filed a breach of contract suit against the NFL Network
  • The FCC voted along party lines to relax media cross-ownership rules in place for more than 30 years.
  • Highest grossing film in 2007 – Spider-Man 3 at $336.5 million since its launch on May 4. Remaining top 10 of 2007 include (in rank order) Shrek the Third, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; The Bourne Ultimatum; 300; Ratatouille; I Am Legend; and The Simpsons Movie.
  • Nielsen Media Research was full of surprises in 2007:
    • it began providing its client base with commercial-minute ratings
    • VNU changed its name to The Nielsen Company
    • Nielsen Analytics released a new study: Whatever, Whenever, Wherever: How Broadband is Redefining the Economics of Television
    • It now includes the viewing habits of college students living away from home in its National People Meter
    • Nielsen introduced a new web-based software tool Place*Values, which allows clients to measure past and new product placement opportunities
    • Nielsen estimates the total number of television households in the U.S. (including Alaska and Hawaii) moved up to 112.8 million by January 1, 2008
    • It now produces all national Hispanic ratings through its National People Meter panel, the same panel used to generate ratings for non-Hispanic networks
    • Nielsen began a new web-based commercial tracking service called KeepingTrac which allows clients to know if their commercial aired the previous day as planned and give clients the opportunity to modify schedules in real-time
    • It issued a timetable to launch electronic Local People Meters (LPMs) to 38 more markets by 2011, making the total number of markets using LPMs at 56
    • Nielsen has a new rule — if a network airs a show more than once (be it on broadcast or cable or a combination of both), and all of the commercials in both broadcasts are identical, then the network can combine the rating of both airings into one single rating attributed to the first broadcast. Furthermore, the second airing will not show up as a stand alone broadcast in the weekly ratings report. This rule is quickly pulled back by Nielsen to be further defined, but not before NBC’s Heroes was able to take advantage of it with the season premiere episode. Later, Nielsen says it will report separate ratings for both the original broadcast and the repeat.
    • And lastly, Nielsen will now measure programming available through HBO’s subscription video on demand services

EXECUTIVE MOVES: NEW TOPPERS ONLY (too many exec moves to include all of you!)

  • Herb Scannell to CEO at Next New Networks
  • Robert M. Bakish upped to President, MTV Networks International
  • Current TV named Joshua Katz as President/Marketing
  • Games Media Properties named James Green as CEO
  • Gail Berman ankles President/Paramount Pictures post
  • Michael Wolf, President/COO, MTV Networks and Nicole Browning, President/Affiliate Sales and Marketing, step down
  • Marion Edwards to President/International Television – Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution
  • Greg Meidel named President, MyNetworkTV
  • Rainbow Media Holdings named Jennifer Caserta as EVP/GM of fuse
  • Randy Freer appointed President, Fox Regional Cable Sports Networks
  • Bob Thompson named President, Fox National Cable Sports Networks
  • BET Networks named Scott Mills as President /Digital Media Group
  • Starz Media promoted Kent Rice to President/COO, Starz Media
  • Madison Square Garden named Scott Richman to the new position of SVP/GM, MSG Interactive
  • Scripps Networks promoted Doug Hurst to SVP/GM of Non-linear Distribution
  • Kevin MacLellan tapped as President of the new unit, Comcast Entertainment Group, International
  • William S. Weil named COO of National Geographic Entertainment Group
  • Major changes at Discovery Networks with the intro of David Zaslav – Billy Campbell resigned as President of Discovery Networks US; formed five network brand groups: Discovery Channel and Science Channel headed by Jane Root, President/GM (Jane resigned at year’s end – Discovery later named John Ford as Pres/GM of Discovery); TLC President/GM position eventually goes to Angela Shapiro-Mathes; Discovery Travel Media led by Pat Younge, President/GM; Animal Planet Media and Discovery Kids Media are now under one umbrella under Marjorie Kaplan following her promotion to President/GM (the position of GM, Animal Planet is being eliminated and Maureen Smith left the company); and Discovery Health Media Enterprises with oversight by Len Tacconi, President; Clark Bunting been named President of the new Discovery Studios
  • Jeff Zucker appointed President/CEO of NBC Universal
  • Viral video website Metacafe named Erick Hachenburg as CEO
  • World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. appointed current CFO Michael Sileck as COO
  • BBC Worldwide Americas named Garth Ancier as President, U.S. Operations
  • Marc Goldstein upped to North American CEO at GroupM
  • Sarah Tomassi Lindman been upped to SVP/GM of The N
  • The L.A. Studios, Inc. added Aric Ackerman as CEO
  • Dunia Shive named President/COO of Belo Corp
  • Kevin Reilly reups with multiyear deal as President of NBC Entertainment … and then leaves right after the upfront presentations … Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff jump in
  • Mary Murano been elevated to President/Distribution at Oxygen
  • CBS Outdoor International has elevated Clive Punter to CEO
  • Dan Fawcett has returned to Fox to serve as President/Digital Media for Fox Entertainment Group
  • Tom Karsch, EVP/GM of Turner Classic Movies
  • Sergei Kuharsky joins the Food Network as GM
  • Discovery Communications has assigned Bruce Campbell to the post of President/Digital Media, Emerging Networks and Business Development
  • Miguel Penella has been advanced to CEO for the global media company Acorn Media Group
  • Scripps Networks has tapped Deanna Brown to be President/Interactive Group
  • Mediaedge:cia has selected Lee Doyle as CEO/North America and Rino Scanzoni as Chairman/North America
  • Lindsay Gardner, President/Affiliate Sales and Marketing at Fox Cable Networks resigned his position at the end of April
  • David Haslingden has been named CEO of National Geographic Channel US
  • Dan Mason has been appointed President/CEO of CBS Radio
  • Stephen (Steve) Cohen has been made President of Hometeam.com, Inc.
  • Jason Cesare joins Cynopsis Media as Sales Account Executive
  • Vince Manze has been moved into the new position of President/NBC Program Planning, Scheduling and Strategy with NBC Universal
  • Golf Channel has appointed Page H. Thompson as President
  • Hunter Nickell has been appointed President of SPEED
  • Eric Sherman named President at fuse
  • Ken DuBow became President/Worldwide Distribution at PorchLight Entertainment
  • Current TV tapped Liz Janneman as President/Ad Sales
  • Betty Cohen, President/CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services submitted her resignation after just two years at the post … Andrea Wong later steps up
  • Michael D. Wortsman, President & COO of Univision Television Group, left
  • Emiliano Calemzuk as President/Fox Television Studios
  • GEM Group has named Deborah Grossman and Jennifer Kauf as Co-Presidents
  • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. appointed Stuart Snyder as EVP/COO of Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media, and the new head of cable networks Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim
  • Fox Reality has moved David Lyle to President
  • On May 9, Time Warner confirmed Chris Albrecht was out as Chairman/CEO at HBO … a month later HBO has a new CEO – Bill Nelson. As for Albrecht – he later landed as Partner at Forstmann Little & Co.
  • Patricia Wyatt, President of HIT Entertainment’s North American division announced her departure
  • MGM recruited Gary Marenzi as Co-President/Worldwide Television
  • President Emiliano Calemzuk let go three top department heads at Fox Television Studios – Holly Jacobs, EVP/Alternative Development; Regina DeMartino, EVP/Global Marketing; and Chris Ottinger, EVP/Fox TV Studios International and Fox World
  • Joining the Cynopsis: Kids sales staff is Jennifer Franko as Sales Account Executive
  • Tim Brooks, EVP/Research at Lifetime Networks retired at year’s end
  • Exiting his position as President/Warner Bros. Animation is Sander Schwartz
  • Katherine Pope named President/NBC Universal TV Studio
  • Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy promoted to District Attorney, filling the office recently vacated by DA Arthur Branch (Fred Thompson, now US Presidential hopeful)
  • Lisa Judson named President, Warner Bros. Animation
  • Michael Duda promoted to Partner/Chief Corporate Strategy Officer with the marketing communications agency Deutsch Inc.
  • Halle Anne Root was born, making me a grandma!
  • Alex Fragen named President/Domestic Television Distribution for Summit Entertainment
  • Laurie Younger, President, Disney-ABC Worldwide Television
  • Ben Pyne named President/Global Distribution, Disney-ABC Worldwide Television and Disney Media Networks
  • Jay Ireland to President/CEO of GE Asset Management
  • Wenda Harris Millard tapped by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as President/Media
  • Mediaedge:cia hired Mark Sanders to be the new CFO, North America
  • Lynn Picard, EVP/GM of Lifetime and President of Lifetime Entertainment Ad Sales, resigned
  • Jason Kilar to CEO for the new online video site that is a joint effort between News Corp. and NBC Universal
  • Steve Burns joined National Geographic Channel as EVP/Content
  • Kevin Reilly found himself in the position of President/Entertainment again – this time at News Corp’s FOX Broadcasting Company
  • Michael H. Klein upped to President of LFP, Inc.
  • Judy Girard retired from HGTV at the end of 2007 – Jim Samples steps in
  • NBC Universal appointed John Wallace, effective immediately, as President of the NBC Owned-and-Operated Television Stations
  • Angela Bromstad made President/ International Television Production with NBC Universal International
  • John Eck upgraded to President of NBC TV Network and Media Works
  • Jeff Gaspin elevated to President/COO for Universal Television Group
  • GSN named David Goldhill as President/CEO
  • Katherine Foster appointed GM of WUVF-WLZE/Ft. Myers-Naples
  • Veoh Networks named former Yahoo! SVP Steve Mitgang as CEO
  • Daily Motion appointed Mark Zaleski as Executive Chairman
  • Napster tapped Christopher Allen to serve as its COO
  • FOX promoted Mike Darnell to President/Alternative Entertainment
  • New Line Cinema added Chris Carlisle as President/Domestic Theatrical Marketing
  • Chase Carey re-upped with DirecTV for an additional three years, taking him thru 2010
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned WABM-WTTO/Birmingham, AL added J.C. Lowe as VP/GM
  • The Harlem Globetrotters appointed Kurt Schneider as CEO
  • Rod Perth resigned as President of ReelzChannel Television
  • CJ Olivares advanced to GM at FUEL TV
  • Jim Romanovich named President/Associated Television International
  • Barry W. Ilovitch advanced to President/Production with Entertainment Studios, Inc.
  • ReelTime.com appointed Beverly Zaslow to President/COO, ReelTime Rentals, Inc.
  • Dave Bisceglia joined Katz Media Group Inc. as VP/GM for the American and National Divisions of Millennium Sales & Marketing’s Chicago office
  • Tony Snow stepped down as White House Press Secretary as of September 14th
  • Univision Communications Inc. added David Lawenda to the new position of President/Advertising Sales
  • John Ford rejoined Discovery Communications as President/GM of Military Channel and Discovery Times Channel
  • Comedy Central advanced EVP/GM Michele Ganeless to President
  • Discovery Networks International recruited former MTV EVP Sahar Elhabashi as COO
  • Jack Romanos, President/CEO of Simon & Schuster, Inc. retired – Carolyn K. Reidy stepped in
  • Peace Arch Entertainment Group Inc. named Jeffrey Sagansky as Co-Chairman of the Board
  • Acorn Media Group appointed Thomas Sidar as President/Acorn Direct
  • The Nielsen Company recruited Bruce Dennler as President/Nielsen Entertainment
  • NBC Universal Sales and Marketing has restructured and as a result Marianne Gambelli has been upped to President, NBC Network Ad Sales,
  • Steve Bartels advanced to President/COO with Island Def Jam Music Group
  • Nick Orfanopoulos ankles NATPE – joins CES
  • Amy Baer was named President for CBS Films
  • John Cuddihy moved up to President/Managing Director of Lightworks Program Distribution (LPD)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment named Michael Lake as President/WWE Films
  • Dea Perez promoted to acting GM, Discovery Kids Media
  • Spike TV appointed Kevin Kay to the position of President
  • The Knot, Inc. hired Janet Scardino as President/CMO
  • Mitch Praver hired at NPR as EVP/COO
  • Cable Center’s Board of Directors named Michael Willner, Vice Chairman/CEO of Insight Communications as its new Chairman and Bob Miron, CEO of Advanced/Newhouse Communications, Inc. as Vice Chairman
  • Steven Yee, former Reuters Media SVP/Heal of Global Marketing named President of Scientific American
  • Equity Media Holdings Corporation selected Bill Maples to the position of GM for the company’s Little Rock, Arkansas stations: KWBF/MyNetwork TV affiliate, KKYK/RTN affiliate and KLRA/Univision affiliate
  • Rebecca S. Campbell, to President/GM of WABC/New York
  • Heading Global Media as President is Tim Kelly, President/CEO of National Geographic Ventures
  • Syndication One Radio Network, a joint relationship between Radio One and REACH Media named Gary Bernstein as President/Programming
  • Equity Media Holdings Corporation appointed Jim MacDonald as GM for its stations in Amarillo: KEYU the Univision affiliate and KAMT the TeleFutura affiliate
  • Jonathan Block-Verk is the new President for the non-profit Promax/BDA
  • Don Parsons joined CaribeVision as President/Sales
  • Kent Haehl returned to Channel One Network and Channel One News, owned and operated by Alloy Media + Marketing Company, as CEO
  • Tom Ascheim, who had been with Nickelodeon for the last 17 years and most recently as GM, left to become CEO of Newsweek magazine
  • Deborah Blackwell, GM at SOAPnet, announced she will leave the company in early 2008
  • Telescope named Jason George as Chairman
  • David Beal as President/National Geographic Entertainment.
  • Richard Parsons, Chairman/CEO at Time Warner will retire as CEO of the company effective today, January 1; Jeff Bewkes current President/COO moves up
  • Bernie Prazenica advanced to President/GM of WPVI/Philadelphia
  • Lion Television named Tony Tackaberry as CEO of Lion Inc
  • Jana Cosgrove progressed to the position of President for CBS Radio Sales
  • Entertainment Studios Inc. upped Andrew Temple to President/Domestic Television Distribution
  • Kieran G. Clarke added EVP/GM of Meredith Video Solutions
  • Lauren Corrao moved up to President/Original Programming and Development with Comedy Central
  • Greg Farrar advanced to President/Nielsen Business Media with The Nielsen Company
  • Entertainment Media Works (EMW) appointed Steven Rosenberg as CEO
  • Patrick Gates was elevated to President/GM, Discovery Commerce at Discovery Communications
  • Animation Collective has identified a new COO in Doug MacLennan
  • President/Publisher of Variety, Charlie Koones will depart the Reed Business Entertainment Group March 1
  • Jonathan Spaet joined Time Warner Cable Media Sales New York City as VP/GM
  • The Nielsen Company appointed Mitch Barns as President/Nielsen Greater China
  • Marc Juris advanced to EVP/GM at Court TV
  • Granite Broadcasting Corporation hired Craig Coane as President/GM for the independent television station, KBWB/San Francisco
  • MindShare Entertainment announced David Lang would be its new President
  • ABC Owned Television Stations Group elevated John H. Idler to President/GM of WTVD/Raleigh-Durham
  • Telemundo named Manuel Martinez to the position of VP/GM of WSCV/Miami and Jose Valle as VP/GM of KVEA/Los Angeles.

IN MEMORIUM:

Yvonne DeCarlo … Ron Carey … Bob Carroll Jr. … Sidney Sheldon … Anna Nicole Smith … Veronika Lineberry … Richard Jeni … Elliot Peikoff … Calvert DeForest, aka Larry “Bud” Melman … Art Stolnitz … Michael David Fox … Edward Mallory … Roscoe Lee Browne … Leavitt Joseph “Lev” Pope … Kitty Carlisle Hart … Jack Valenti … Harvey Reinstein … Milton Grant … Tom Poston … Dabbs Greer … Jimmy Hall … Charles Nelson Reilly … Chris Benoit … Charles Lane … Joel Siegel … Kelly Polk … William Patrick Meyl … Tammy Faye … Pete Wilson … Don Herbert aka “Mr. Wizard” … Tom Snyder … Merv Griffin … Mark Offitzer … Luciano Pavarotti … Jane Wyman … Saul I. Fruchthendler … Alice Ghostley … Jim Robbins … Joey Bishop … Deborah Kerr … Robert Goulet … Evel Knievel … Don Ho … Art Buchwald … Marcel Marceau … Dick Wilson aka Mr. Whipple … Jennifer Davidson … Roger King … Fred Dressler … Stu Nahan

Did I forget anything or anyone? Of course I did, tho not intentionally.  Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year!

Later — Cyn
1.1.08

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