Wednesday, June 17th, 2009


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Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Wednesday, June 17, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

MySpace, which was surpassed by Facebook for the first last month in terms of U.S. audience according to ComScore, announced that it is laying off nearly 30% of its 1000-person workforce in an effort to “return to start-up culture.” MySpace CE Owen Van Natta described the company’s staffing levels as “bloated,” complaining that they hindering efficiency and innovation. MySpace has lost about 5% of its users during the past year finishing May with 70.26 million U.S. users, while ComScore has doubled its audience from a year ago to 70.28 million U.S. users, per comScore.


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Microsoft launched a new interactive reality web series produced with Reveille and its ad agency JWT. It’s Everybody’s Business with Jack & Suzy Welsh is being presented as a novel way to promote the company’s enterprise software solutions (not to mention its Silverlight video platform.) Former GE chairman Jack Welsh and his wife pay house calls to businesses like Hertz to give advice and constructive criticism. (It’s kind of like Mr. T’s Pity the Fool for business managers.) Along with weekly video podcasts, the site provides access to case studies, technology solutions, white papers, and social media commentary on universal business issues.
MTV Networks’ Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group announced that its digital sites climbed to #1 in comScore’s Kids category with 11.6 million unique visitors. Nickelodeon says it will also hold a leading position in the Parents category when it is moved there from June. The network’s sites including and attracted 7.7 million total unique visitors in May with an average 88.8 minutes per visitor.
MTV Network’s premiered a new season of the House Arrest with Andy Dick. (Andy’s pals are forced to do the interviews at Andy’s home because he’s been busted for drug charges.) The show will be distributed to multiple platforms including web destinations iTunes, AOL, Dailymotion, xBox Live; the “Atom TV” series on Comedy Central and mobile phone partners including Verizon and AT&T.
The New York Times Co.’s search-related web publisher announced it will expand its content offerings with postings from guest celebrity authors. Some of the first contributors include Faith Hill, Marlee Matlin, Wolfgang Puck and Nate Robinson.
Outdoor Channel launched a new affiliate website with a video player than allows affiliates to view programming, marketing elements and campaign details in multiple formats.


Microblogging site Twitter delayed scheduled maintenance and a planned upgrade to avoid pulling the plug while Iranians use the service to coordinate protests against the controversial national election. In a blog post Twitter founder Biz Stone explained that a network upgrade had been planned for Tues morning Iran time but that hosting partners at NTT America convinced them to hold off. The move recognizes the emergence of Twitter, Facebook and other social networking services as crucial tools in the democratic process as citizens rely on these platforms to spread news and voice opinions about important events.
CBS’ tech portal CNET launched a new live video streaming destination CNET Live that adds the ability to stream many of its popular podcasts in virtual real time including Buzz Out Loud, the 404, MP3 Insider, The Real Deal, Dialed In, Gadgettes and Digital City.
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow is trying to help improve the pallets of Diggnation hosts Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, who until now have only drank beer. She appears in the latest episode of the Revision3 web show as mixologist.
ThinkDigitalTV launched as a UK-based social networking, news and jobs site for professionals in the digital broadcasting space.


YouTube began testing a new video ad feature providing viewers the option a modicum of control over the pre-,mid-, and post-roll ads they watch. Users will now be offered the choice between watching a “promoted video” before watching the video they want to see or viewing up to four in-stream ads placed in commercial breaks throughout that video.
and Real Networks’ Rhapsody are partnering to promote Rob Thomas’ upcoming Album “Cradlesong” as part of’s “The Leak” advance listen program. The entire album will be available for streaming free of charge two weeks before its June 30 release on and on Rhapsody will also feature two exclusive tracks on the service from the release date. The partnership includes a VHI TV spot and a Rhapsody-sponsored Twitter contest.


Clearwire launched its High speed WiMax “Clear” wireless internet service in Atlanta yesterday, the third market launch for the product this year. Clear offers wireless internet access to almost 3 million users in Atlanta with download speeds of 4-6 Mbps for $40/month or $10/day. Purchase or lease of a USB modem is required.
IMAX signed a deal with China’s Huayi Bros. Media Corp. to release Aftershock in 25-30 IMAX theaters in China this summer, the first of 3 homegrown pictures slated for release in the format this year.


Rentrak and iTV/VOD vendor Concurrent announced a new partnership to bring cross-platform measurement services to cable operators measuring television, mobile devices and the internet. Concurrent will collect and correlate multi-dimensional data across multiple services and validate the integrity and timing of the data at the source level. Rentrak will ingest the consolidated data in real time, and apply measurement, analytics and reporting services across operators for networks and advertisers.
Google continued its dominance in terms of search and unique audience according to Nielsen‘s newly retooled May NetView metrics. Google search grew by 28.2% y/y to capture a 63.2% market share in May as 137.9 million users visited Google sites. AOL led web brands in terms of time spent per user, averaging 3 hours 37 minutes per user.
Top 10 Parent Companies/Divisions ­ May 2009
Parent                Unique Audience   Time Per Person 
                              (000)              (hh:mm:ss)    
Google                    137,915           1:52:04     
Microsoft                  126,851           2:23:30     
Yahoo!                     120,440           3:13:57     
AOL LLC                    85,148            3:37:50     
News Corp. Online     79,657            1:10:25     
Facebook                  75,444            3:12:13     
InterActiveCorp         65,478             0:19:00     
eBay                         64,209            1:33:34     
Amazon                     58,706            0:23:57     
Wikimedia Foundation 57,234            0:20:11     
Source: Nielsen NetView
Top 10 Web Brands – May 2009
Brand                Unique Audience   Time Per Person 
                                (000)              (hh:mm:ss)    
Google                     131,257            1:17:04     
Yahoo!                      118,949           3:14:28     
MSN/Windows Live     101,496           2:20:14     
Microsoft                     98,227           0:39:55     
AOL Media Network      85,148           3:37:50     
YouTube                      80,823           0:54:48     
Facebook                     75,444           3:12:13     
Fox Interactive Media    66,194           1:13:55     
Wikipedia                     57,144           0:20:04     
Apple                           55,716           1:14:24     
Source: Nielsen NetView


The new iPhone 3.0 operating system launches tomorrow, with a bunch of new features including cut, coy and paste; an upgraded Safari web browser and the ability to use the keyboard in individual Apple apps like Mail and Messages. You have to buy the new iPhone to take advantage of the phone’s new video capabilities, but existing iPhone users can look forward to more advanced podcasting features including 30-second replay, replay speed modulation and the ability to stream HTTP audio in the background while running another app. (This means you can check your email and surf the web while listening to the ball game – not true Palm Pre multitasking but a step in the right direction.)
One of the more anticipated new apps, for Twitter addicts anyway, is the brand new TweetDeck for the iPhone, which was scheduled to be released last night for free on the App Store. Like Seesmic, TweetDeck is a client application that allows users to share photos and web links, manage multiple conversations and create groups of friends to help compartmentalize your Tweets.
Both TweetDeck and Seesmic have also just released new desktop versions. New Tweetdeck features include support of multiple accounts (something Seesmic has offered for a while) and synchronization of accounts on multiple computers. The new Seesmic 0.3 version streamlines messaging and Facebook integration, includes support for personal accounts and integrates several imaging services including Pikchur, Po Posterous, TwitPic, Twitgoo & yfro.


Gannett Co. announced that Chairman, President and CEO Craig Dubow will be on a temporary medical leave of absence following back surgery. Gracia C. Martore, EVP and CFO, will serve as the Company’s principal executive officer until he returns.
Diane Petzke would join the NYC Media Group as the Director of Production, effective immediately. Diane will oversee all aspects of production, ranging from program development to delivery.

~ WEBSITE OF THE DAY ~ took its next big step in a major makeover that began with its parent company’s purchase of CNET last year for $1.8 billion, launching a complete redesign aimed at attracting a more diverse lot of users. The cluttered left hand navigation scheme has been replaced with a cleaner, more visual layout, with photos and videos taking center stage. “Video is more seamlessly woven into the experience of the site, distributed into story pages, blog entries and show-specific pages,” said Mark Larkin, VP/Operations for, one of the executives who came over from the CNET acquisition. The site is increasing its production of video podcasts and distributing them using newly-enhanced tools to help bring in younger users who would rather view the news rather than read it. New developments include the expansion of Bob Schieffer’s Washington Unplugged vlog from a weekly to a daily podcast and the planned launch of Mo Rocca’s The Tomorrow Show in August, which will feature interviews and audience interactions with scientists, authors, bloggers, futurists. These are positive steps but CBS may want to reexamine the personalities it places in front of the (webvideo) camera. has climbed to the top of Nielsen’s Current Events/Global News rankings (averaging 3.3 million users/month) by striking a balance between being the old guard and the new breed of newscaster. The fact that Katie Couric’s engaging video podcasts are one of the few things that have moved the needle for in recent months should drive this point home.
Correction: Rentrak reported that there was a total of 3.8 billion (not million) VOD orders last year, but you’ve probably assumed that already.


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 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

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JOB OPENING: CNS-PROJ COORD/Comcast/NY: Supp Sales & Traffic sys by identifying, resrchng/resolving tech/bus issues. Help w/Quality Assurance, app train’g/implementation. Apply:|166 EOE (6/24)

JOB OPENING: LICENSING COORDINATOR/MTV Networks/NYC: 2+yrs oversee Nickelodeon accessories product dev/ensure development is within contractual rights. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/23)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE RESEARCHER – AUDIENCE RESEARCH/Latitude/BOS: Join innovative research team – design/program/analyze/report audience rsrch, 5+ yrs research exp & 4 yr degree. See: Apply: [email protected] (6/20)

JOB OPENING: SR ONLINE ADVRTSNG ANALYST/ Interactive Media Group/NY: Exp. Forecast/mng online inv./ ad hoc reporting/comm of inventory landscape. , Req ID# 188518 or [email protected]  (6/20)

JOB OPENING: SVP, MARKETING/Sundance Channel/NYC: 10+yrs cable network exp. developing brand mktng. for consumers, affiliates, sponsors, prog. etc. Strng strat. neg. & mgmt skills. Apply [email protected] (6/19)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, INTEGRATED MARKETING/Nickelodeon/NYC: 2+yrs mrktg/sales exp. in mrkting/ad agency in Ent/Media, Fast paced/Strng multitasking skills, Stng Project/Time Mgmt skills EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (6/19)

JOB OPENING: SR MGR, MEDIA RELS/Radio Disney/LA: Press liaison for radio netwk; kids/tweens progrmng; pitch/ secure coverage in print/brdcst outlets; top writing skills; 5+ yrs publicity exp. Apply Req #198584 (6/18)

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] .

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SUMMER/FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: AD SALES, MKTG & BUS./FINANCE INTERNS/V-me (Nat’l Spanish-language ntwrk): Send letters of interest/res: [email protected] . bi-lingual candidates w/a working knwldg of Spanish pref’d. More info about V-me (6/24)

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SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email: [email protected] (6/22)

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE SCRIPT DOCTOR with 16 yrs as Broadcast Exec/Network Story Editor can consult/edit/polish your TV or film pitch/bible/screenplay. Credits include DeGrassi, DaVinci & Dragon Boys. [email protected] (6/20)

SITUATION WANTED: COUNSEL/STDS & PRACTICES/DEV (NY/LA: IP atty w/ 15 yrs in Events, B’way, TV (CBS, MTV, Nick, Golf) looking to fuse legal knowledge w/ love of entertainment. Open to all opportunities. Email [email protected] (6/20)

SITUATION WANTED: PROD/WRITER/DIR: Network/cable exp. reality, doc, talk, dvlpmnt. Two Golden Trailer nom’s for theat./web trailers. Solid storyteller (from 2 mins to 122 mins) field thru post, concept to delivery. [email protected] (6/19)

SITUATION WANTED: CREATIVE SCRIPT DOCTOR with 16 yrs as Broadcast Exec/Network Story Editor can consult/edit/polish your TV or film pitch/bible/screenplay. Credits include DeGrassi, DaVinci & Dragon Boys. [email protected] (6/19)

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

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