Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Wednesday, January 28, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

Yahoo managed to beat Wall Street’s (albeit pessimistic) estimates reporting a net loss of $303 million on net revenues of $1.37 billion, partly due to a goodwill impairment charge of $488 million and restructuring charges of $108 million. New CEO Carol Bartz tried to dispel rumors that the company might outsource its search business to Microsoft during the company’s conference call, noting that Yahoo’s search share has stabilized and that she “didn’t come here to sell the company.”


Paramount, MGM and Viacom released some details about their new HD multiplatform movie service at NATPE yesterday, including a name for the venture. “Epix,” which will launch as a broadband service in May and a linear cable channel/VOD service during Q4, will offer online viewers major studio releases such as Oscar darling The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in advance of their usual pay TV window, some 9 months after they are released in theaters. Studio 3 Networks, the joint venture’s operating name, will also feature a wide selection of library titles (including all 17 Bond movies,) as well as new original television series and live event programming. Epix promises new interactivity for its on demand and online customers, including access to directors’ script notes, outtakes, auditions and other DVD-like extras.
NBC is attempting to lure younger viewers to Heroes by building a presence on teen-focused virtual site will extend its popular Heroes’ Evolutions offshoot offering fans the ability to interact with a new avatar Hero through a variety of in-game activities. Habbos participating in a weeklong quest will discover their own “special powers” and will be recruited as new heroes.
ION Television will launch its newly rebranded “Positively Entertaining” network in HD beginning Feb. 16, 2009. ION HD will initially roll out to 20 markets within ION’s 55-market footprint – including top DMA’s New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – with additional launches scheduled for later this year. The first phase of the rollout will reach over 46 million households.
ESPN announced the launch of ESPN360 Chile on VTR-owned GO!, the country’s largest provider of broadband internet access, the service’s third launch in Latin America following Mexico (launched in ’07) and Brazil (’08).


The open source Mozilla Foundation, creators of the Firefox web browser, is doing its best to insure that open standards also develop for video on the web. The project is giving away a $100,000 grant, to be administered by the Wikimedia Foundation, to help coordinate improvements to the development of Ogg Theora and related open video technologies.
Much has been written about the challenges Saturday Night Live’s faces to effectively satirize Barack Obama going forward, given his unprecedented popularity and even temper. (SNL’s Fred Armisen – who just got engaged to Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, congrats Fred! – has received lukewarm reviews at best thus far.) Yet comedy site Funny or Die‘s Jordan Peele has done a terrific job of working within these confines to create an utterly convincing Obama. He riffs here on some of the practical issues the President had to deal with so far, like taking possession of the oval office and ramping up his views on YouTube.
Call for Votes: The Environmental Defense Action Fund has narrowed the field of its $10,000 Climate Activist Choice Award to Five Finalists. The contest includes a separate $1,000 award to the filmmaker who receives the most online votes. Voting Ends Feb. 2. The current leading vote getter Devon Gundry poses the question, what if you charge your friends for couch surfing?


Mobile ad specialist AdMob launched its first advertising unit for Android applications, enabling developers to monetize their applications on the Google platform. The first developers to leverage the new unit in their applications include AccuWeather, Jirbo, and TapJoy.
South Norwalk, Conn.-based InflectionPointMedia launched a new B2B ad network targeting small and medium-sized businesses. The network, participants of which include American City Business Journals’ network of 60 web sites, uses search data to identify and pre-qualify potential buyers. The company is led by Founder and CEO Chris Hulse, former VP/Strategic Sales and Business Development at
Facebook began retesting an ad format it pulled from its site a couple of months ago: ad-driven polls that compile the resulting votes of users and their friends. will begin running SuperBowl themed polls on the platform asking which team users think will win as a precursor to a 60-second TV spot.



Q&A & “Coffee With” Dana Walden & Gary Newman
Twentieth Century Fox Television Co-Chairmen

Wednesday, 8:00 – 9:00 am

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It turns out SAG National Executive Director Doug Allen decided to take his medicine and step down gracefully after the SAG board called for his ouster yesterday. The board’s “written assent” also dissolves the Negotiating Committee and replaces it with a 10-member task force, expected to clear the way for the guild to solidify any remaining divisions and reach a contract resolution with the producers.
has been granted a broad patent around the iPhone touch screen and its graphical “multi-touch” user interface, giving weight to comments made by the company’s COO last week when he said Apple “would not stand for having our IP ripped off.” Cook didn’t refer to any competitors in particular but the upcoming Palm Pre has is expected to have a “gesture area” to enable intuitive multi-touch navigation. 
Verizon added a record 303,000 new FiOS TV subscribers during Q4, bringing its total subscriber base to 1.9 million. Verizon also added 282,000 FiOS Internet subs, up from 244,000 a year ago, and closed on its acquisition of Alltel, giving it a market-leading 80 million wireless customers.
National Public Media announced that PBS will join National Public Radio (NPR) and WGBH, a PBS and NPR member station in Boston, MA, as a key stakeholder.  As part of the agreement, Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO, will be seated on the Executive Board of Directors along with Vivian Schiller, NPR President and CEO and NPM Board Chair, and Jonathan Abbott, WGBH President and CEO, and PBS will purchase a 10% equity share in NPM. 

Content distribution management (CDM) provider Signiant announces a new agreement today with Discovery Communications to handle media management and file transfer work flow worldwide for the company.


Despite a horrible decline in the industry’s core business, traffic to the nation’s top 10 newspaper sites posted a year-on-year increase of 16% in December, according to Nielsen Online. Top destination posted a 6% gain increasing traffic to 18.2 million visitors. The New York Daily News site increases its audience by an impressive 99%.
Top 10 Newspaper Web Sites for December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work)
Site                                 Dec-07 UA (000)   Dec-08 UA (000)   Percent Change
Top 10 Online Newspapers         34,602             40,093                      16                          17,177             18,187                       6                        9,939             11,420                      15                  8,478               9,470                      12
LA Times                                 4,607               7,963                      73
Wall Street Journal Online           5,409              7,235                       34
Daily News Online Edition            2,956               5,883                       99
Chicago Tribune                        3,891               5,235                       35
New York Post                          2,851               4,557                       60                              4,364               4,086                       -6 Chronicle          2,785               3,503                       26
Source: Nielsen Online
Top 10 Parent Companies/Divisions for December 2008 (U.S., Home and Work)
Parent         Unique Audience (000)   Time Per Person (hh:mm:ss)
Google                 133,854                     2:00:12
Microsoft              125,826                     2:24:00
Yahoo!                 117,821                     3:11:49
AOL LLC                86,080                      3:41:02
News Corp. Online  78,081                      1:29:19
eBay                     68,272                      1:38:32
Amazon                 67,362                      0:36:39
InterActiveCorp      63,493                      0:19:08
Apple                     56,881                     1:25:49
Facebook                55,217                     2:07:58
Source: Nielsen Online


The wait for the new Kindle may be much shorter than initially expected. Amazon is hosting a press event on Feb. 9 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, apparently to unveil the second generation eBook reader. Amazon’s first Kindle been sold out since before the holidays but the Amazon site has revised the suggested wait time for one from 11-13 weeks to 4-6 weeks.
Apple released its iPhone 2.2.1 OS update, a minor fix intended to improve the stability of Safari and Mail. To update your iPhone simply plug it in to your computer and click on “Check for Updates.”
Photo and video sharing service Phanfare released an upgrade to its Phanfare Photon iPhone app, enabling users to wirelessly synchronize all of their photos and videos between an iPhone or iPod Touch and Phanfare’s servers. The new version includes bulk uploading, photo and video slideshows with music, image stabilization, photo editing, and offline access.


Ron Suter
has been upped to EVP/GM, Canada, NBC Universal Television Distribution and EVP/Universal Studios Canada the company announced yesterday. Ron will be based in Toronto and continue to oversee all Canadian television operations for NBC Universal Television Distribution as well as represent Universal Studios in all media for English and French Canada.
Apple hired former IBM engineer Mark Papermaster to serve as SVP of Devices Hardware Engineering, who will begin on April 24 and reporting to Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he returns from his medical leave in late June. Mark will lead Apple’s iPod and iPhone hardware engineering teams.


Like Funny or Die’s Barack Obama (see above,) longtime TV producer Bill Bracken has discovered web audiences’ endless fascination with cuddly, silly or stupid pet tricks. was launched on Sept. 2007 on a shoestring budget as way to make use out of animal-themed clips in the library of Brad Lachman Productions, which has been producing shows and specials on linear TV for 25 years. (Bill says he got the idea for the site when he stumbled upon a clip of Einstein The Talking Parrot someone had posted from one his shows on YouTube that had garnered over 1 million views.) It follows your basic video sharing template, with some simple interactive and social networking features thrown in for good measure. With no publicity and little marketing efforts, the site managed to serve over 2 million videos during the past two months, including views via PetTube channels on YouTube, Metacafe and MySpaceTV. PetTube has yet to generate much revenue, according to Mr. Bracken, but it has proved to be an effective tool to market the company’s core product – licensed TV clips. Yet with a little web 2.0 ingenuity, PetTube could prove to be a valuable brand in its own right. Find sponsors for those videos and syndicate them out to anyone and everyone who wants to add a little cuteness to their site. Local TV station sites have experienced some of their highest video view numbers  to date from pet themed clips.

Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
Chuck Bolkcom – 646-468-6180 / [email protected]
Mark Bohn- 203-583-1224 /
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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Cynopsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here   .

JOB OPENING: VP, OPS/DISCOVERY/MIAMI: Oversee Broadcast & Network Ops for Lat Amer/US Hisp Nets. 10+ yrs tv/cable ops exp, incl. mgmt/strategy/budget/technology. To apply, visit  (req8643) (2/4)

JOB OPENING: VOD COORDINATOR/FEARnet/LA: Schedule movies. Responsible for creating and maintaining monthly Video On Demand program planners. Horror knowledge req. Apply to [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: REGIONAL/LOCAL SALES/Arena Media 35Networks/NY/CHI: Sell local advrtsng & sponsorships on our digital ntwrk in sports & ent arenas.2-5 yrs exp TV/new media sales req, pref in sports. Contact: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING: DIR INT’L CLIENT SVS/LA: Cord. delivery of all live event channel prgrmng incl. supporting ITL clients WW. Resp. for setting up satellite feeds & del. of prgrmng content. Lead Cust svc team. Apply: [email protected] (2/4)

JOB OPENING:  CNS-COORD, PRICING & PLAN’G/FL/Comcast: Coord intrnl sales process, track commercial inv. Work w/Dir. Pricing/Plan’g to support Ad Sales Plan’g Grp. Req 1 yr exp. Apply: EOE (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/GSN, Santa Monica: 2 yrs + exp in Digital Space with strong digital agency contacts. Send resume + cover to [email protected]  (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  Dir, Mktg Solutions/G4: Develop brand integrations, added-value solutions, sponsorships for on-air / non-linear platforms; Strong ideation, PPT development, project mgmt skills a must. Apply: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  PROD COORD/Cable Company/NY: Provide admin support to Prog Execs/Mng invoice tracking & payment/Mng non-staff hire process/Assist w/ off-site prod needs for this major NY-based cable co.Resumes to: [email protected] (2/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR/AD SALES MKTG/HGTV/NY:  Manage projects such as sweepstakes/write sponsorship proposals & hospitality events w/in deadlines. Full details, & select req 46 (1/31)

JOB OPENING: TEMP CREATIVE MANAGER/ION/NY: Lead NY based team in creating on air/ adv campaigns for ION TV. Oversee design/writers/production. 5 yrs exp in TV brdcst promotion/cr. service depts. [email protected] (1/30)

JOB OPENING: NEW BIZ ACCT EXEC/American Latino Synd/NY: Sell nat’l ads for 2 Synd TV shows & New Scripted Series, 2-5 yrs sales exp req. Fast growth opp in an entrepreneurial envir. Min. travel req. Info: (1/30)

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:  Bowery Presents Media is looking for a DIGITAL SAVVY INTERN to help with production, marketing, & business development. Must have knowledge of the music business & social networks. Email: [email protected] (1/31)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY Central MA Tech-savvy intern wanted. Duties: research, copy edit, update website, & admin tasks. Work from home with occasional meetings at mutually convenient place. To apply, see info at (1/31)

SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: Scribble mats is looking for TWO CREATIVE INTERNS. Must be proficient in Illustrator and Photoshop and/or Flash, web experience is a plus. Contact Arlene at [email protected] to apply. (1/30)

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: A fast-paced boutique ent PR firm/NY: Seeks smart, hard-working & reliable self starter. Starts Jan thru spring semester &, possibly, beyond. Jr/Sr only. Resume/cover letter: [email protected] (1/29)

SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: LICENSING INTERNS/Licensing Link, Ltd/NYC: Asst President as needed in daily licensing duties. Highly orgnzd & reliable; Must have skills in MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint. Contact: [email protected] (1/29)

SPRING INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY:  INTERN/ HGTV & DIY/UNPAID/COURSE CREDIT REQ/NY: Working with Ad Sales MKTG team on projects such as sweepstakes and sponsorships. Full details, & select req 213 (1/29)

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: Experienced HRIS ANALYST (LA based) seeking projects related to data conversions, upgrades, implementations. Exc time mngmnt, organization & analytical skills. PeopleSoft background. Contact [email protected] (2/4)

SITUATION WANTED:  Award winning On-Air / Off-Air CREATIVE DIRECTOR. 20 years network / cable experience. Innovative promotion, design, branding and strategy. Hard working, detail oriented, motivated, avail today. [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRINT/INTERACTIVE PROJECT MANAGER in LA. Diligent, efficient, & detail oriented. See Open to FTE, Contract, short/long term gigs. Can work remotely as well. Contact [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. I am experienced, hard-working, no drama, detail oriented, and ready to start immediately.  Please contact me at [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED: Recent Harvard grad and FREELANCE WRITER will do pretty much anything involving words and writing them. Currently writing for a Gawker blog. Hard worker, strong writer, great bargain. (NYC) [email protected] (1/31)

SITUATION WANTED:  ADMIN/EXEC ASST (NYC): 22 years experience with top firm supporting VPs and assisting President. Microsoft Office skills. Worked under deadline. Multi-tasker/quick learner. [email protected] (1/31)

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] (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: Well networked Sr. RECRUITER (LA base) w/10 yrs exp in online media & entertainment. (Yahoo! Disney, etc) Open to FTE, Contract, short term or long term gigs. Can work remotely as well. Contact [email protected] (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: Professional SINGER & EXPERIENCED VOCAL TEACHER seeks voice students for expanding private studio in Nassau County, NY. All experience levels & musical styles welcome. For more info email: [email protected] (1/30)

SITUATION WANTED: SPONSORSHIP MARKETING/NY: Experience in evaluating and negotiating sponsorships and promotions. All media types- broadcast, outdoor, print, digital, mobile, hospitality, etc. Contact: [email protected] (1/29)

SITUATION WANTED:LIFESTYLE SEGMENT PRODUCER/DESIGNER: Produce /design lifestyle segments for NBC, ABC, Disney, E!, Martha Stewart Living, and Turner Classic Movies.SAG Member [email protected]  / (1/29)

SITUATION WANTED:POWER COPYWRITERS– headed up by former broadcast network player,specializing in tv promos & taglines. Credits from Fortune 500 entertainment companies. [email protected] (1/29)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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