Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Tuesday, July 8, 2008, and this is your first early morning digital briefing.

In an open letter to investors Carl Icahn says he’s been in talks with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on a regular basis. Steve assures him that Redmond is still interested in a deal with Yahoo, either for its search business or possibly even an outright purchase. It seems that Ballmer just isn’t interested in negotiating with the existing board, given its propensity to “mismanage” such deals. Microsoft followed up with its own short missive, confirming Mr. Icahn’s take on the matter. Yahoo, in turn, responded by calling both Mr. Icahn and Mr. Ballmer to come on down and make an offer, suggesting this latest charade was just another empty promise. Investors took the exchange as a sign of new hope, driving up Yahoo’s battered share price by more than 8%.


The BBC has proposed a new pre-ordering function to its popular online iPlayer video service, reports Digital Spy. Users will be allowed to pre-order single episodes or full series up to 7 days before they air on linear TV, but DRM protections would render the video unviewable until after the actual broadcast. The move is an attempt to ease traffic constraints on ISPs caused by excessive peak-time downloading.
E.W. Scripps is expanding the mobile news offerings of 9 Scripps TV stations with new subscription-based mobile apps and TV channels developed with Capitol Broadcasting’s News Over Wireless. As part of the new partnership, News Over Wireless will provide an improved mobile web interface that cross-promotes the premium applications, which include video clips, news stories, weather radars and traffic cameras.
MOJO HD and USA Today are partnering on a new two-week content initiative profiling 10 Olympic Athletes with dreams of striking gold in Beijing. A Shot At Glory, premiering on MOJO on July 28 at 9 p, will include a series of print articles from July 28-August 8 in USA Today that will tie-in with each day’s episode.
Telemundo Communications Group
and GMC are partnering up for a new digital GMC Sierra road trip with Yahoo! Telemundo. The multi-screen, multiplatform, branded entertainment project will center on an original digital series, Gol de Media Cancha (The Longshot), launching this August. The 12-episode reality series follows 8 aspiring soccer players as they struggle to make the cut during pro soccer Miami FC’s team tryouts. The best player of the bunch will earn a pro contract with Miami FC.
Michael Hoff Productions
launched a new web-based series for InvestigationDiscovery.com called Alcatraz Escapes, profiling some of the most famous attempted escapes from “The Rock.” The site, the web address for the network formerly known as The Discovery Times Channel, has some pretty cool interactive games you might want to check out while you’re at it.


Revision3 expanded its YouTube presence to include its entire catalog of web shows on the Revision3 director’s channel page including full-length episodes of shows like Diggnation, Tekzilla and weekly best-of-the-web compilation The Digg Reel. The latter just went through its best of online videos for the first half of 2008, beginning with the spooky Google Maps, part I of “The Googling,” which received over 9500 Diggs. (Part II, Google Sky, came out a couple weeks back from producers The Vacationeers.) 
How-To video aggregator VideoJug is working to help spread the word for Kiva with some video tutorials on how to use the site. Kiva is one of a wave of new micro-lending websites that gives users the opportunity to invest directly in third world entrepreneurs.
Call for votes: Baseball fans can help determine who lands the final roster spots for the AL and NL in the MLB All-Star Game. Go to mlb.com or text “vote” to 36197 then enter the letter and number of who you’d like to see make the team. The five candidates for the final roster spot on the 2008 American League All-Star Team are: Jermaine Dye (Mobile Vote A1) of the White Sox; Jason Giambi (A2) of the Yankees; Jose Guillen (A3) of the Royals; Evan Longoria (A4) of the Rays; and Brian Roberts (A5) of the O’s. On the National League side we have Pat Burrell (N1) of the Phillies; Corey Hart (N2) of the Brewers; Carlos Lee (N3) of the Astros; Aaron Rowand (N4) of the Giants; and David Wright (N5) of the Mets. Balloting closes on July 10.


Multi-pronged interactive sponsorships were the order of the day at the Upfronts this year. Look for Lucky Chance, a new crime-themed “microseries” on TNT and TNT.tv beginning July 22 from Full Circle Entertainment and Espionage. The summer long sponsorship from Dodge and AT&T will be promoted on Google and Yahoo and play out in 20 2-minute episodes to be shown on air, on TNT’s Drama Vision broadband channel and across TNT’s VOD service. The DEA drama will drive users to a microsite offering interactive games, a sweepstakes and previously-aired minisodes.
Media services agency Horizon Media and partner Engage In-Game Advertising signed a deal to bring Wii console game integration for Geico. The brand will be featured in THQ Inc.’s upcoming Wii release, Big Beach Sports.
Marketing Shout Out: Nielsen Online is hosting a webinar on Wednesday to preview EVP/Digital Strategic Services Pete Blackshaw’s new book about marketing in the era of consumer generated media. Click here to register.


The TV and filmed entertainment business is in for a precipitous downturn over the next couple of years as digital distribution, audience fragmentation and widespread file sharing continue to eat into studios’ profit margins, according to an alarming report from Lehman Brothers analyst Anthony DiClemente. Waiting in the wings to benefit are distributors such as Apple’s iTunes and Google’s YouTube, the current behemoths of paid and ad supported online video. He underscored his Sky is Falling mantra with a series of downgrades on Disney, CBS, News Corp., Time Warner and Viacom.
NBC hopes to demonstrate the might of its cross-platform Olympics coverage with a new Total Audience Measurement Index (TAMi), combining data from Nielsen Media Research, Omniture and Rentrak. TAMi will identify total viewers, unique users and time spent on individual sections of nbcolympics.com to measure viewers’ total exposure to the games each day. NBC has already negotiated most of its ad deals based on tradition Nielsen ratings numbers, according to The WSJ, but the new findings could be incorporated into ad negotiations for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, B.Ç.


The NBA and Turner Broadcasting hired Bryan Perez to takeover the reigns of their newly formed joint venture NBA Digital as SVP and GM, a newly created position. Bryan, most recently CEO of Live Nation’s Global Digital division, will manage day-to-day operations of NBA TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBADLeague.com, NBA League Pass, as well as the league’s broadband and wireless businesses. He will be based in Atlanta and report directly to David Levy, President of Turner Sports and Adam Silver, Deputy Commissioner and COO of the NBA.
Jamilia Hunter returned to NBC as SVP/Programming and Development, Alternative and Digital Media for NBC Entertainment after heading up comedy development for Fox. (Jamilia served as VP/Alternative Programming for NBC before she left to join Bravo in 2005.) She will head up alternative programming and web series development, reporting to executives at both NBC Entertainment and NBC Digital Entertainment.
CBS News upped Brian Kennedy to Director of Digital Newsgathering from his current position of Coordinating Producer for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Brian will oversee the network’s digital initiatives and newsgathering efforts as well as manage its relationship with the newly acquired CNET.
Adapt.tv named former BlueLithium executive Dakota Sullivan to the newly created position of VP/Marketing and Product. Dakota will oversee global marketing and product strategies, reporting to Amir Ashkenazi, CEO of Adap.tv.


One thing both established media players and pure web companies will agree on is that the online community lacks understanding of accepted standards and practices for clipping, mashing up and reusing content on the web. D.C.-based American University’s Center for Social Media unveiled a very readable Code of Best Practices yesterday to guide users on what’s OK and what’s not OK when playing around with video online. Legal and academic experts go over some basic principles every aspiring creator should know, including what constitutes as commenting on or critiquing copyrighted material; how copyrighted stuff can be used as an example; what happens when protected material is captured accidently; and how protected works can be copied or reposted for purposes of discourse. This remix of classic movie and web clips gives some nice visual examples of what constitutes as parody, commentary and other acceptable fair uses.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: MANAGER, LISTINGS EDITOR/ABC Burbank: BA/BS, 3yrs Publicity listings, traffic, strong attention to detail, Word, Excel, apply at www.disneycareers.com (req 169058) (7/15)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/Scripps/Knox TN in support of interactive 4 all Scripps sites. to apply: www.scrippsnetworks.com (7/15)

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JOB OPENING: MGR, MKTG/PROMOTIONS/ABC Daytime/SOAPnet/LA: Manage consumer mktg initiatives; conceive promotions/pitch, manage events; multi-platform thinker; BA/BS, 3+ yrs exp. Apply www.disneycareers.com Req #168002 (7/12)

JOB OPENING: MGR, PRICING & PLANNING/G4, Comcast Ntwrks/NY: 4+ yrs exp, Resp for managing sales processes, stewardship, rev analysis and overseeing inventory, DealMaker exp a plus. EEO/AA/Drug Free Apply www.comcast.com 69371BR (7/12)

JOB OPENING: PUBLICIST/MANAGER/GSN SM:Energetic & creative a must with digital media design exp for our fast-paced, high-pressured ent publicity department. Email resume and salary requirements to [email protected] (7/12)

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JOB OPENING: MGR., AD SALES PARTNERSHIPS/LIFETIME NY: Develop integrated proposals for advertisers interested in partnering with Lifetime across our various properties/ Apply at: h ttp://www.lifetimetv.com/about/jobs.html (7/11)

JOB OPENING: DIR. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/LIFETIME NY: Source, structure & implement deals to grow Lifetime traffic and digital business. Min. 8 yrs of business development exp. Apply at: http://www.lifetimetv.com/about/jobs.html (7/11)

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JOB OPENING: ASSOC RESEARCHER/WGBH/Boston: Assisting in Gathering and analyzing research. BA in Communications, Business or Marketing. www.wgbh.org/careers Job Req # 4362 (7/10)

JOB OPENING: SALES/REPRESENTATION/EDITIONAL EFFECTS (EENYC)/ NYC: Production/Post-Production co. seeks representation/sales person. Company offers editorial, design, audio and production. Start ASAP. Resumes to: [email protected] (7/9)

JOB OPENING: SR MOTION DESIGNER-MUSIC CHOICE-NY: Exp’d animator needed to develop high-energy motion graphics (After Effects, Maya) for original shows. BA/BS 3+ yrs prjct mgmt exp post-production environment. [email protected] (7/9)

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JOB OPENING: PRODUCTION MGR-DIGITAL MEDIA/Sesame Workshop/NYC: Handle all proj budgets/financials, assist w/ prod plan’g & mng prod trafficking issues. 3+ yrs web content prod exp req’d. [email protected] (7/9)

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