Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Thursday, January 15, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

Following up on the many PC-to-TV integrations unveiled by Netflix, Blockbuster announced a new partnership with Sonic Solutions to enable Blockbuster online renters to port videos to a multitude of media players and portable devices such as PCs, mobile handsets, broadband-connected televisions and Blu-ray disc players. Sonic, the maker of Roxio MP3 players that recently acquired CinemaNow, should help streamline the backend work needed to reach a broad footprint of devices that, in turn, will be promoted and sold through Blockbuster’s 7,500 retail outlets. The next step, of course, will be to convince studios to license more of their titles for digital distribution. Netflix currently offers about 12,000 titles while offers about 10,000 – compared to over 90,000 hard copy DVDs.

~ MULTIPLATFORM CONTENT NEWS ~ added its first daytime programs – General Hospital and The View – to its full episode video player, offering the five most recent shows of each at any given time. Episodes of The View will be available from 1 pm PT the day they premiere while episodes of GH will go up at 2 am PT the day after they air. Users will also be able to access episodes of GH through recently-redesigned (SOAPnet now streams a variety of soaps online through its Soapnetic service, which like ESPN360, is only available if your ISP strikes a direct carriage deal with Disney.)
Cartoon Network officially launched its first browser-based massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) – FusionFall – after an extended beta phase that drew more than 2.5 million users. The game, co developed with Grigon Entertainment, allows players to create their own avatars to battle alongside friends and more than 50 characters from Cartoon Network Shows, including Ben 10 Alien Force, Dexter’s Laboratory and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. There is a free area on the site but the full version costs $5.95/month, with a family plan available for $9.95/month.
National Geographic announced new partnerships with and to create the GenGreenLife portal, offering news, lifestyle tips, e-commerce options and information on green businesses in your local area.


YouTube took another big step toward appeasing its major media partners. The site has begun to mute videos and mash-ups that add unauthorized, copyright-protected songs. The video plays but the audio track is completely disabled, with the following message explaining the silence: “Notice: This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by all copyright holders. The audio has been disabled.” The company explains that uploaders of such videos have the option to use its AudioSwap tool to replace the track from a library of pre-cleared music. “Our content management tools have revolutionized the ways in which users and content owners are distributing, marketing and making money from video online. As we continue to build out this system, we are working to find the right balance between encouraging creativity and free expression and respecting the rights of copyright holders and the law,” YouTube explains in its blog.


Brandon Burgess Robert DeBitetto Tony DiSanto Tom Forman
Alex Graham Chris GrantBill Hilary Jordan Hoffner Brian Seth Hurst
Mark ItkinMarc JurisJon Kamen Michael Kassan Jason Klarman
Lisa Kudrow Stephen Lambert Jane Lipsitz Curt Marvis Jonathan Murray
Nadav Palti Jonathan Prince Holly PyeDiane Robina
Eric Schotz Morgan Spurlock Paul Telegdy
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The Screen Actors Guild decided to push ahead with plans to authorize a strike vote after a moderate faction failed to push through a proposal during a marathon meeting on Monday and Tuesday that would have ousted National Executive Director Doug Allen and taken a strike off the table. No mailing date has been set for the previously approved TV/Theatrical strike authorization referendum.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs sent a letter to employees explaining that his health issues are more “complex” that he initially thought and that his medical leave will now likely extend until the end of June. Tim Cook will step in to oversee day-to-day operations in his absence.
Canadian telecommunications equipment giant Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to hold off creditors while it finds “sound financial footing once and for all,” in the words of CEO Mike Zafirovski. Nortel, which still holds a sizeable market share in several broadband hardware markets, owes creditors an estimated $3.8 billion.
The legal wrangling between Tivo and EchoStar over Dish Network’s DVR software patent infringement continued yesterday as EchoStar released a statement saying it welcomed the U.S. Patent Office’s decision to reexamine the case. The dispute revolves around Tivo’s Time Warp feature that allows viewers to record one show while watching another. Tivo, which won a ruling on the matter last year, released its own statement claiming it is confident the office will again rule in its favor.


Spending on technology goodies declined by 8.1% during the 5 weeks leading up to the holidays at brick and mortar retailers, according to The NPD Group. Online sales helped to make up for some of the decline but overall CE sales were off by more than $500 million. Technology sales totaled $7.5 billion from Nov. 23 – Dec. 27, 2008. Four out of the five holiday weeks experienced declines, the deepest being Christmas week where retail sales dropped a painful 24%. LCD TV’s proved to be one bright spot, growing by 24% in terms of units and by 12% in terms of dollars.
Google padded its lead in search dramatically in 2008 growing by 33.5% to achieve nearly 63% of all U.S. searches, according to Nielsen Online‘s MegaView data. MSN/Windows Live was the big loser, declining by 15% to capture less than 10% of the market for December. If the Yahoo and MSN were to combine search services they would have 26.6% of the market.
Top 10 Search Providers for December 2008, Ranked by Searches (U.S.)
Provider                        Searches (000)  YOY Growth  Share of Searches
All Search                       8,623,705           19.6%           100.0%
Google Search                 5,421,943           33.5%            62.9%
Yahoo! Search                 1,448,140           13.7%            16.8%
MSN/Windows Live             841,457          -15.5%              9.8%
AOL Search                        357,025             5.1%              4.1% Search                  169,116             6.0%              2.0%
My Web Search                     62,415          -11.6%             0.7%
Comcast Search                    50,385           45.1%              0.6%
NexTag Search                     29,219             0.7%              0.3%
AT&T Worldnet Search          27,176             8.0%              0.3%
BizRate Search                     23,593            37.1%             0.3%
Source: Nielsen Online, MegaView Search


Not there’s anything wrong with the Safari browser on the iPhone, but it’s always nice to have options. Apple has quietly begun to approve 3rd party web browsing apps for the platform and a quick search on the AppShopper blog has turned up 4:

  • Edge Browser (free) allows you to see a web page on the full screen without any address or navigation bars
  • Incognito ($1.99) allows you to browse without leaving behind a search history
  • Web Mate (.99) queue’s up links you click on to allow you to go back and view them one by one
  • Shaking Web ($1.99) is designed to help you navigate the web on a shaky bus or train



Ed Carroll
has been promoted to COO of Cablevision’s Rainbow Entertainment Services. He will continue oversee Rainbow’s national entertainment services and report to Josh Sapan, President and CEO of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.
CBS Interactive has tapped Simon Whitcombe as VP of the Games group for the company’s Games, Music and Sports division. Simon will oversee the CBS Interactive Games brands, which include GameSpot,, and and report to Steve Snyder, GM of the division. His most recent post was SVP/Publishing Director of the Games, Music and Future Plus Groups at Future US.
G4 has tapped Billy Berghammer to serve as Director of Gaming Editorial for, leading the network’s multiplatform gaming strategy and overseeing gaming content for all of G4’s nonlinear platforms, including, G4 on Demand, G4 Podcasts, G4 Mobile, as well as the network’s Wii and PS3 browser-based content platforms. He reports to Joshua Krane, SVP/Interactive and New Media, G4.
Microblogging start-up Twitter hired Kevin Thau as Director of Mobile Business Development, a newly created position. Although his title specifies “mobile,” Kevin will oversee Biz Dev across the entire company as he is the first such hire for the Twitter.
Former EVP and Managing Director of MySpace David Fischer has joined online movie service Jaman as Managing Director of the company’s new UK and international operations. He will be based in London and report to CEO Gaurav Dhillon.
Mediaedge:cia’s MEC Interaction has upped Adam Shlachter to Digital Practice Lead for MEC Interaction in New York. He will continue to report to Carrie Frolich and Patrick Carmel, Managing Directors, MEC Interaction, North America.
WNBC in New York added 6 new members to its multiplatform Content Center which combines traditional newsroom with new media newsgathering operations:

  • Meredith McGinn, Senior Manager, joins from WNYW Fox 5 in New York where she was the Assistant News Director
  • Michael Horowicz, Content Desk Manager, worked most recently as an Executive Producer developing programming for NBC, MSNBC, KNBC, Bravo and others
  • Jennifer Blanco, DayPart Manager-Mornings, was most recently a Producer at CNN in New York for Anderson Cooper 360 and various special projects
  • Ilyas Kirmani, DayPart Manager-Days, joins NBC4 from NBC-owned WTVJ in Miami where he was Assistant News Director
  • Ozzie Martinez, DayPart Manager-Nights, most recently served as Executive Producer for WFOR/CBS’ late newscasts in Miami
  • Vernard Gantt, Field Operations Manager, was previously a Technical Operations Manager for NBC News, MSNBC and NBC network in New York



Movie download site announced it is spreading its wings to international shores yesterday, opening up a new London-based office and debuting a UK site offering more than 1,000 British titles available for rental in British Sterling. The move, which includes lining up local sponsors and partnerships, is a natural next step according to Jaman founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon, as the site’s strong catalogue of international titles have already attracted a loyal following in several foreign territories. The company seems to be doing everything right so far – designing an easy to navigate interface, steadily adding quality indie titles to its a la carte catalog and following the PC-to-TV trend by completing integrations with Tivo and AppleTV. Yet what has moved the needle most for the start-up is its social networking efforts, says Dhillon. Jaman was quick to add a Facebook Connect option and has rolled out a couple of fun embeddable widgets that have helped spread the word about the service. Check out the Subtitler tool: drag and drop action clips from foreign movies (Bollywood, Hong Kong action, etc.) then add your own wacky subtitles to the mix.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
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Mark Bohn- 203-583-1224 / mark@cynopsis. com
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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

JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns. 6+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. College degree required. (1/23)

JOB OPENING: NAT’L SALES MGR/KSBI-TV/DT the new THUNDER TV. Proven success in 3-5 yrs exp w/ reg’l/nat’l accts alongside nat’l rep. firm (MMT). Knwlg Nielsen ratings & effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res: [email protected] (1/23)

JOB OPENING: MARKETING COORD/iN DEMAND Networks/NYC: Support on-air, online and off-channel marketing plans. BA/BS Marketing/Advertising & 1+ yrs experience. Outgoing/creative/proactive. Apply: [email protected] (1/22)

JOB OPENING: DIR MKT/RLTV/MD: Dev/execute affil mkt & media plans, set ROI and benchmarks, helps set creative & brand direction, dev cross-plat partnerships & mkt alliances, 7 + yrs exp w/strong bus skills. Resume: [email protected] (1/21)

JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER/AETN/NY: Create TV & digital sales proposals, develop integrated ideas/build presentations. Min 2 years exp in sales or buying. Knowledge of Powerpoint & media math. Apply: (1/17)

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

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

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

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

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MI APOGEO INC./NY: a social network, magazine & Latino Wiki is searching for Spring and Summer interns. Flex sched & virtual work arrangement possible. Int in U.S. Hispanic culture pref’d. Contact: [email protected] (1/23)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Spring Intern – non-fict. Prod. co. in Greenwich, CT. Support Assistant & prod. office. Prior prod/edit exp. a plus. *College Credit Only.* Contact: [email protected] with resume and cover letter (1/22)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: ONLINE MKTG & COMM INTERNS for NYC based Hispanic cable network: Must show interest in social networking/viral marketing. Spanish Fluency preferred. Contact [email protected] (1/22)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: LEAD DOG MARKETING GROUP/NY: a full-service event management and promotions agency is searching for Spring and Summer interns. Flexible schedule and transportation reimbursement. Contact: [email protected] (1/21)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: Oxygen/Bravo/DIGITAL RSRCH INTERN: Maintain ongoing analysis of digital properties, admin tasks, reports, presentations. Excel, PP & fast learner desired. 2-3 days, Reply: [email protected] w/ res/cover (1/17)

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

SITUATION WANTED: ADMIN OR ASST POSITION WANTED/NYC: 3+ yrs admin exp at well-known companies in exec assistance, licensing, prod development, marketing, with specialization in children’s TV. Creative & professional. [email protected] (1/23)

SITUATION WANTED: DP/VIDEOGRAPHER (NY/NJ) 20+ yrs experience. HD (DVCPRO100), Beta, Mini-DV. Contact: [email protected] (1/23)

SITUATION WANTED: SR. H.R. PRO/NYC:19+ yrs exp seeking short/long-term/perm oppty in media field. Bkgrd incl: Employee Relations, O.D., Recruitment, Training. Call Ray Palen at (631)732-2926 or via email at: [email protected] (1/23)

SITUATION WANTED: Top-tier agency ACCOUNT MANAGER/SUPERVISOR seeks full-time employment in LA area. If your agency needs a professional w/ multi-platform technology, entertainment or interactive experience, e-mail [email protected] (1/22)

SITUATION WANTED: SR. MARKETING/BRAND/PRODUCT MANAGER with home video, TV, animation and indie film experience is seeking a dynamic opportunity with a Los Angeles area studio or agency. E-Mail: [email protected] for a resume (1/22)

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER/EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Deadline activist to the rescue. FREE COPY @ COPY @ contact: [email protected] (1/22)

SITUATION WANTED: MEDIA/CABLE/INTERNET ATTORNEY: Broad in-house experience in content production& distribution, operations, affiliate & ad sales. Available for project/consultant/full-time. Contact [email protected] (1/22)

SITUATION WANTED:TONY NOM. B’WAY PROD/THEATRE CONSULT/ACQUIS. & DEV./NYC: 30+ yrs exp. in theatre. Superb theatre/film/TV contacts seeks FT or Consulting Position w/Studio/Prod Co. looking for properties. Contact: [email protected] (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED: CONSULTING PRODUCER/EDITOR w/ 18+ yrs exp. Seeks TV & new media projects. Credits: PBS (Buster, Fetch!, ZOOM, NOVA), History, CBS, NPR, BBC. CV, reels, contact info @: (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING & COMM. CONSULTANT: 17 yrs in ad copywriting, media planning/buying, collateral, promotions, and public relations. Access to affordable graphic designer for complete ad services. [email protected]   (1/21)                  

SITUATION WANTED: SR. CASTING PROD/DEPT HD Always Delivers! Netwrk shows/perfor/game have database 5K acts/Kid/Dance/Cirq/ Singers/Animal/Crazy & Top acts Celebbker Top indus. contacts/Talk bckgnd can book anything! [email protected] (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODCR-WRTR;TALENT-CASTNG EXEC/BOOKR/LA + track record ENT.PR/PROMO/MKTG/ADV. Great work ethic & references (see, Jane Shayne)eager for next challenge! FT/Project. Contact: [email protected] (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED:NY based PM associate seeking F/T or freelance production or PM position. Experience in coordinating production shoots and tracking show costs at cable TV network. Contact: [email protected] (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED: EP BUDGETING & SCHEDULING LA: Reasonable rates, short turn around. Knowledge of REBATES & INCENTIVE PROGRAMS including: NM, MI, IA and UT. Contact: [email protected] for samples & rates (1/21)

SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/ANIMATOR/EDITOR/LA: Meg Barbour – seeks work in top design studio. 5+ years experience as producer, motion graphic designer, editor, project manager, web 2.0 consultant. [email protected] (1/17)

SITUATION WANTED: OUTSOURCED MKTG-Emails to Events:Affil & ad sales mktg expert;cross-platform promotion pro. 12 yrs Sr staff mktr, 7 yrs consulting exp. Concept to implementation. Project or long term. Email: [email protected] (1/17)

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

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

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

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

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