Tuesday, December 13th, 2005



Cynopsis: Kids!



Good morning. It’s Tuesday, December 13, 2005, and this is your first early morning Kids! briefing.

Caving to the pressure from the FCC and a gaggle of US Senators, two of the biggest US cable operators Comcast and Time Warner, and similarly some of the smaller operators such as Advance/Newhouse, Charter, and Insight, have introduced plans for so-called family-friendly cable subscription tiers, which could be available as early as the beginning of 2007.  Kyle McSlarrow, President/NCTA unveiled these plans in front of the Senate Commerce Commission in Washington.  McSlarrow, and no doubt the cable operators, hope that by voluntarily creating and offering family cable tier packages to consumers that omit content which some may find objectionable, there will be no need to enact legislation to achieve the same end.  A major factor in forcing the cable industry toward offering family tiers, is FCC Chairman Kevin Martin who responded to the announcement by saying he is pleased some cable companies have responded to the consumer demand. There was no discussion of what channels/content would or wouldn’t be included or pricing options.


ABC Australia is looking for new preschool TV series concept proposals.  ABC Australia will fund the project which will be developed under its Children’s Special TV Project effort.  In addition to being appropriate for Kids 2-4, the concepts should be accessible to international audiences.  Proposals/treatments must be received by ABC no later than February 28, 2006.  The first project under the Children’s Special TV Project to get a green light from ABC Australia is Five Minutes More (65 x 5), a puppet-based series.  Five Minutes More is a co-production between Snow River Media (UK) and Buster Dandy Productions (Australia), and is slated to begin production at the top of 2006.

Walt Disney Television International (WDTI) launched a pay-TV channel in the Philippines. Targeting preschoolers in Asia, the Playhouse Disney Channel feed in the region will be WDTI’s second 24-hour network in the Asia region.  Asian Cable Communications is distributing Playhouse Disney. 


This week marks the launch of Sesame Street Games, a new subscription interactive games service from Cablevision Systems Corp. and Sesame Workshop.  Sesame Street games features the Sesame Street Muppets and gang, and is available to iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable customers throughout the NY metropolitan area for a monthly fee of $4.95. The Sesame Street Games package includes unlimited access to age appropriate games designed to educate and entertain Kids 2-5, which can be reached via a TV remote control.  The package will feature three new Sesame Street themed games each month.  At launch available gamers include:

  • Leaf Collage, which features Elmo making leaf collages and using counting and color identification skills.
  • Thanks for the Letters, helps Kids 2-5 learn food names and the letters they begin with Zoe’s help.
  • Tickle Elmo, pretty much self explanatory.

More information about the Sesame Street Games package on iO, can be found at www.io.tv.


Earthworks Entertainment, producer/marketer/distributor of kid’s/family entertainment, and Sony Plaza Company Ltd., Sony’s Japan-based retail sales division, have entered into a licensing and merchandising agreement making Sony Plaza the Master Licensor for the Suzy’s Zoo property in the Japanese market.  Additionally Sony Plaza will market Suzy Zoo via mass retailers and making the products available at the 100+ Sony Plaza Stores throughout Japan.

SkyZone Entertainment, Inc., a wireless publisher, has acquired publishing rights to the massively-multiplayer-online-role-playing-game Ragnarok from South Korean game publisher Gravity Co., Ltd.  SkyZone intends to bring the popular game franchise to mobile phones in North America.  This is the first game in North America that connects online players of a MMORPG game to their accounts via mobile phones.  Based on the manga Ragnarok, from author Myung-Jin Lee, in the game players build their characters’ wealth and skills playing as wizards, knights, hunters or any of a variety of other characters.  SkyZone plans to release two versions of the game based on the Magician and the Merchant characters, with roll-out beginning on major North American carriers in early 2006, the game and manga are for teens.  The game is already available and popular in countries including China, Japan, Brazil, and South Korea.  The mobile version of the game also supports standalone games for users that don’t subscribe to the online game.


For the organizationally challenged superhero in your life this holiday season, you might consider the Batman Utility Belt Replica from DC Direct.  At $350 the benefits of the BUB (as I like to call it) is that is life-sized, lined in genuine leather, only 5lbs and has a special pouch to hold a Batarang, which is sadly not included, as well as 9 spring-activated capsules and among other pluses the belt comes with its own display case.  Drawbacks, if they must be considered,  is this a limited edition product – there are only 750 of them and the belt comes in one-size only (about 44” long), but then again it is designed for display and not meant to be worn.  Ah, one last minor detail, you have to offer your superhero an IOU as the BUB won’t be available until February 22, 2006.

In Washington DC tomorrow the Kaiser Family Foundation will release its new report, A Teacher in the Living Room? Educational Media for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers and will host a roundtable discussion on issues related to such products designed for young children and marketed to their parents.  Topics expected to be covered include: electronic educational media market size for products for younger kids; educational claims made in product advertising/marketing; research conducted to measure benefits; potential benefits/concerns about media use by younger children; and guidelines provided to parents to maximize educational benefits of products.  Kaiser’s Vicky Rideout, VP/Program for the Study of Entertainment Media & Health will present the new findings and moderate the discussion.  Roundtable participants include: Gary Knell, President/CEO, Sesame Workshop; Marcia Grimsley, Sr. Producer/Brainy Baby; Julia Fitzgerald, VP/Marketing, V.Smile; Anne Cunningham, Ph.D., member of LeapFrog Education Advisory Board and an Asso. Prof./Berkeley; Sandra Calvert, Director/Children’s Digital Media Center/Prof. Georgetown University; Warren Buckleitner, Editor/Children’s Technology Review; Dimitri Christakis, MD, Pediatrician/Children’s Hospital, Seattle and Prof. University of Washington, he was also a lead researcher on the Kaiser report.

Housekeeping note:  ‘Tis the season … for any number of things … cooking meals for lots of people, closing up business books before year’s end, or getting ready for the new year by adding new spam filters to your email system.  If the latter is something that you plan, or your IT Dept plans, then to make sure you continue to receive Cynopsis every day into the new year, be sure to add Cynopsis to your white list address list (the address list from which email is never considered to be spam), or ask your IT folks to add to their list.  The email address that needs to be added is [email protected], and as always holler if you have any problem.


Amy Banse has been appointed President/Comcast Interactive Media, Comcast’s newly created division.  Banse will report to COO Steve Burke.  Comcast has also named Samuel Schwartz as EVP/Strategy & Development of the new division.  Prior to being named President/CIM, Banse was Comcast’s EVP/Content Development, including oversight of the development and launch of PBS Kids Sprout, G4, and TV One.  Most recently Schwartz was President/Comcast Interactive Capital and he will continue to advise on and approve CIC investments.

Bill Buckley has been named CMO/Bakers Man and its family of companies, including Bakers Man Productions, Bakers Man Technology Group, Bakers Man Entertainment Group, TrueLight Entertainment and Image Quest Studios.  In his new role, Buckley will develop and oversee the marketing, sales and media relations efforts for Bakers Man.  Previously, Buckley was head of a consulting company he formed, Buckley Consulting, where he provided contract and project services to various companies, including Bakers Man.

Walt Disney Television EMEA and Asia Pacific has announced an exec reorganization to take effect as of January 1.

  • Robert Gilby was named as VP/MD for Disney Channel UK, Disney Channel Scandinavia and the Middle East. He is currently working as VP/network development and strategic marketing at Turner Entertainment Networks Asia in Hong Kong.  
  • Geoff Ellis, presently VP/MD of Disney Channel, Scandinavia and the Middle East, has been upped to SVP/Business Development and Distribution. He will be responsible for key Disney Channel distribution deals, new technology business growth and further expansion into other countries.
  • Melissa Dixon has been pulled in as VP/Business Operations and Finance, based in Hong Kong. She is currently VP/finance, EMEA
  • Simon Bailey was named as VP/Business Operations and Finance for Walt Disney TV, EMEA.  He was formerly VP/deputy managing director of Disney Channel UK.
  • Casper Bjorner has been brought in as Executive Director/Marketing for the U.K., Scandinavia and the Middle East. He is currently marketing director for Disney Channel, Scandinavia. Nick Fuggle was named as Finance Director. Both report to Robert Gilby.

Answer to yesterday’s trivia question:
  Who was the girl in the red Ferrari driving Clark Wilhelm Griswold, Jr. crazy?  CHRISTIE BRINKLEY  Kudos to:  Andrew Brown-Global Star Software/NY; Kenny Mikey-Page Turner Adventures Inc/W. Palm Beach FL; Stuart Gold-Fuse/NY; Heather Floore-KTVD/Denver; Gina Dierks-Pappas Telecasting Companies/Omaha; Greg Munro-Comcast Spotlight/Denver; Julie Syers-Briggs & Caldwell/Houston; Julia Bricklin-C-A Inc/Studio City CA; Josh Fisher-MYP/Taffy/LA; Corrina Miller-RPA/Santa Monica; Justin Meadows-Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group/Burbank
Today’s Trivia Question Today: When this “little” elf wreaks havoc in his community in the North Pole, he is sent from to the U.S. to seek his true identity.  What film was this? (click here with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone with your answer. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Later —

Gwen Billings for Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis Kids!
12/13/05 –
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All outgoing e-mails are scanned and sent out virus free.Copyright Cynthia Turner 2005
Copyright Cynthia Turner 2005

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR AFFILIATE MARKETING/ OLN- Stamford, CT – Develop/execute affiliate and LAS promos for anchor pgming.7 + yrs affiliate mktg exp at cable network req’d. See www.olntv.com Resume/salary: [email protected] (12/20)

JOB OPENING:  ISO enthusiastic, motivated, and detailed-oriented candidate for ASSISTANT POSITION at top Beverly Hills entertainment pr firm in the corp. dept. Two-years PR exp req. Please email resumes to [email protected]  (12/20)

JOB OPENING: CORP COMM MGR/NY: BA in PR/Comm. pref’d w/5 yrs prof. exp. Dev. presentations. Strong org, oral/written skills. Knwlg of pitch proc & Cable/Media a +  Prof. in MS PP, Excel & Access. Res: [email protected] (12/17)

JOB OPENING: SR SALES ANALYST/NYC: Accountable for ESPN/ABC Sports Advertising Sales Rate cards for various ESPN/ABC Sports networks. Learn more & apply online: http://jobsearch.espncareersearch.com/getjob.asp?JobID=36331236 ESPN (12/16)

JOB OPENING: FILM & VIDEO PHOTOGRAPHER/NBC UNIVERSAL: Exp w/Arri, Panasonic & Sony Cam. 1-4 yrs TV/film advtg & promo exp.  www.nbc.com/jobs keyword #451493  (12/16)

JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST/ BA & 1-3 years research exp in syndication/distribution. Int’l. exp a plus. www.nbc.com/jobs keyword job # 448942 (12/16)

JOB OPENING: NBC Universal:  VP, MEDIA & ADVERTISING SALES – domestically syndicated properties. Must have BA w/6+ years media sales exp. in Central Region. Apply online: www.nbc.com/jobs Keyword #450824. (12/16)

JOB OPENING: USA Network: SENIOR WRITER/ PRODUCER  Big ideas, smart execution. Write, edit & produce on air promos. Must have 5-7 yrs promo exp at a TV network. Apply online: www.nbc.com/jobs Keyword # 451347.(12/16)

JOB OPENING: WRITER PRODUCER, ON-AIR PROMO, OLN, NYC-Write/produce compelling promos that support network brand. Nat’l cable/TV exper, prior sports promo exper and short-form promo exper a must.  See www.olntv.com Resume/Salary: [email protected] (12/16)

JOB OPENING: ON-AIR SCHEDULER, OLN,Stamford, CT- Schedule all on-air and internet promos and handle contractual obligations. 1-2 yrs prior exp req’d.See www.olntv.com Resume/Salary: [email protected] (12/15)

JOB OPENING: DIR ON-AIR PROMO/OLN/NY:Mng on-air promo prod concept/completion, while maintaining ntwrk brand positioning. Prof short-form promo exper w/ major nat’ l sports prgrmg a must. www.olntv.com Resume/Salary: [email protected] (12/15)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR RESEARCH, OLN-Stamford  Provide research support to all depts.  7+ yrs exp nat’l cable/broadcast tv & sports exp req’d. More info: www.olntv.com Resume/Salary: [email protected] EOE/AA/Drug (12/15)

JOB OPENING: SR. EDITOR, INTERACTIVE/ NY: 5 yrs editorial + 3 yrs online exp. Supervise site updates. Oversee website & editorial projects. Basic Web tech & light HTML reqd. www.universalstudios.com/jobs keyword job # 439380  (12/15)

JOB OPENING: EXEC ASST to SVP/GALAVISION-NYC: Permanent part-time/25 hrs wk,flex hrs OK. Must be organized, detail oriented. Strong excel + PP required. Apply: [email protected] Subj: EXEC ASST (12/15)

JOB OPENING: PUBLIC RELATIONS & MRKTNG MGR/Univision/NYC: Seeks person w/ 3/5 yrs exp in media/entertainment/broadcasting company. Send resumes to [email protected] (12/14)

JOB OPENING: DIR/CONSUMER RESEARCH/TW CABLE/Stamford CT:Will play key role in creation of leverageable consumer insights designed to positively impact strategic changes & significant bus. decisions. [email protected]  (12/14)

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC MGR: LBM/LIME TV/NY: Dev & implement sched strategies for promo’s, infomercials & DR ads. Create daily logs, using BMS. Interact w/ on-air, program’g & ad sales depts. Traffic exp req’d. [email protected] (12/14)

JOB OPENING: ONLINE AD SALES COORDINATOR/Court TV, NY. For info go to: http://www.courttv.com/about/careers/  (12/14)

WINTER INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here.  They are 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].

WINTER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: PLUM TV, Hamptons, NY needs local INTERNS to assist with running TV station. GREAT opportunity to learn all aspects of TV business. Send Resume to: [email protected] (12/17)

WINTER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLYKPI, busy NYC doc prod house seeks INTERNS . Assist all aspects: Dev to delivery of pgms. Fun, fast paced environment. Current Juniors/seniors encouraged. Credit only. Stipend for meals/travel. Resume: [email protected]  (12/14)


SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH ANALYST/LA  Exp media analyst (5+yrs) seeks job in TV; local station or natl net, TV-related OK too. Solid exp w/most media research tools. Will consider all ent jobs. Contact [email protected]   (12/20)

SITUATION WANTED: EIC/LINE PRODUCER– 25 year TV professional YEAR END SALE! Book now – get 10% off standard rates through 06/30/06. Additional 5% off payments in ’05! Hurry before my time runs out! Email: [email protected] (12/20)

SITUATION WANTED: POST HOUSE PRODUCTION COORDINATOR /NYC based USC Grad: Professional exp in all aspects of film and TV looking to move into producing.  Intelligent, passionate, leaves no stone unturned. Email: [email protected] (12/16)

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING COORDINATOR. Ambitious & outgoing with 1.5 yrs exp in Retail Mrktng & Event-Planning, 1 yr exp in cosmetics sales. bi-lingual Spanish/English, eager to work hard in challenging position! [email protected] (12/14)

SITUATION WANTED: Award Winning Network EXECUTIVE PRODUCER seeking position at prod co.or network.Expert in Prgrmng, Dev.& Management. Recently received an MBA.Very pro-active. Willing to relocate. Contact [email protected]  (12/30)

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