Daily Marauder



In the midst of a competitive May Sweep, President Obama’s third press conference drew the least amount of total viewers Wednesday night at 8p. The live event on ten networks posted an 18.8 HH rating and was viewed by 28.8 million people in the US, cites Nielsen. President Obama’s first press conference on February 9 tallied 49.5 million viewers on eight networks and the second one on March 24 drew in 40.4 million viewers via 11 networks. Networks carrying Wednesday’s press conference include ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC and mun2. (Cynopsis 5/1)


Senator John McCain will get more television face time as he hosts a six-pack of classic war films during the Memorial Day movie marathon, War Heroes on AMC. The movies begin May 25 at 8a and during the marathon Sen. McCain will speak about his personal combat experiences and the significance of Memorial Day. Movies in the lineup include Midway (1976), Patton (1970), The Longest Day (1962), Hamburger Hill (1987), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and Battle of the Bulge (1965). (Cynopsis 5/1)

Ah yes, McCain is finally back on air.  It’s like the party gang is almost back together again.  Maybe Palin will make a cameo during The Longest Day?


Show business is booming business in Connecticut, as another television series moves its production operations to the state. NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution announced it renewed the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal for a second season which is sold in more than 85% of the US for next fall. To keep costs down, Endemol USA and production partner NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution will begin shooting the new season of Deal or No Deal this summer at the Sonalysts Studio in Waterford. Host Howie Mandel will also make the move to Connecticut from Culver Studios in Culver City. (Cynopsis 5/1)

NFL Network will stay put on the Comcast cable systems for now as both the NFL and Comcast are discussing a new carriage deal. Both the NFL and Comcast are awaiting the outcome of a hearing involving the NFL’s carriage complaint against Comcast. (Cynopsis 5/1)

Hasbro and Discovery are joining forces to take on Disney, Viacom‘s Nickelodeon and Time Warner’s Cartoon Network in the lucrative children’s television market. The toymaker will inject $300 million for a 50% stake of a new cable TV and online venture with Discovery. (Iwantmedia 5/1, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/03771304-35b3-11de-a997-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1 4/30)

E! Entertainment and Forbes magazine have announced a collaborative programming deal that will run through 2010 and result in eight hour-long celebrity specials and two half-hour celebrity lifestyle pilots. The specials will include content derived from Forbes’ editorial material, and the business magazine’s editors and writers will be featured on camera. TVWeek.com (4/30)

Continuing to buck dour economic trends, Comcast added 837,195 revenue-generating units in the first quarter, including 328,613 broadband subscribers and 298,433 digital-phone customers. Overall, the country’s largest cable firm reported revenue was up 5.3%, to $8.84 billion, and net income rose 5.4%, to $778 million. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (5/1) , The New York Times/The Associated Press (4/30)

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Digital-music retailers such as Amazon MP3 are selling full albums — even popular downloads — for as little as 99 cents. “It is the schoolyard crack-dealer approach,” a metrics expert said. “We will essentially give it away in order to get you to try it because we think you’re going to get hooked, and we think you’re going to come back.” The Boston Globe (3/18)

Some new releases, including ”No Line on the Horizon” by U2 (above), are being priced for a limited time on Amazon MP3 for $3.99. (CBS, Jeffrey R. Staab via Associated Press)


The Counting Crows have ended their eighteen-year label relationship with Geffen Records (now part of Universal Music Group), lead singer Adam Duritz says on the band’s website.  Duritz says the band will go it alone, saying “the internet opens a world of limitless possibility, where the only boundaries are the boundaries of your own imagination.” (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/18/counting-crows-goes-label-free/ 3/18)


Prince is launching a fan subscription service called Lotusflow3r. For $77 a year, subscribers will get exclusive music, video, lyrics, artwork and photos of the musician himself. The site also might offer streaming live performances of Prince — complete with song requests. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSTRE52H00K20090318 3/17)


More Americans bought digital music last year while the number purchasing CDs declined sharply, says market researcher NPD Group. In addition, nearly half of U.S. teens listen to music on social networks such as MySpace, the study says, up from 37% in 2007. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090317/tc_afp/entertainmentusmusicinternetnpd 3/17)

After being ridiculed by Democrats on the campaign trail for his lack of digital savvy, John McCain participated in a “ Twitterview” yesterday conducted by ABC News This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, a first for the hill. The 72-year old Senator has been relying on the microblogging platform to bend his more than 200,000 followers’ ears this month about the excesses of the recently-passed $410 billion federal spending bill. (Cynopsis 3/18)


MTV new-media executive David Gale told the crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that the network has deals with MSN, Fancast, AOL, Joost and Imeem to distribute programming and video clips online. According to this report, the network also is in talks with online sites such as MySpace.com about possible collaborations. TVWeek.com (3/17)

Chappelle Show veteran Charlie Murphy (Eddie’s brother) will star in a new series on Sony’s Crackle.com portal beginning Friday March 20, one of four shows debuting on the site this week.  Crackle shows are also distributed on YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, AOL, Sling Media, Veoh, VCast, Sprint TV and direct to broadband-enabled Bravia TVs. (Cynopsis 3/18)

CBS’ TV.com is making several content deals, bringing its video library to more than 2,000 hours of content. The new content deals with NCAA and Starz Media are in addition to existing agreements with companies including MGM Studios, PBS, Showtime and Sony Pictures Television. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/tvcom_signs_content_deals_with.php 3/17)

News Corp.’s MySpace is set for some big changes, according to Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield. Unit parent Fox Interactive Media is seeing costs increase as revenues shrink. The company will have “little choice” but to make significant job cuts. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2009/03/17/myspace-pali-sees-big-rev-drop-expects-layoffs/ 3/17)

WPP and Google are teaming up to fund a three-year research program on how advertising in traditional and digital media work together to influence consumer choices. Digital “is young and hasn’t had the same amount of rigorous study applied to it” as print and TV advertising. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123733535930164021.html 3/18)

Comcast’s plan to make cable programming available online to subscribers, an initiative that will be called On-Demand Online, will reinforce cable TV’s economic model because it will require viewers to pay for top-quality content, according to Karin Gilford, Comcast Interactive Media’s senior vice president of Fancast and online entertainment. “We want to bring a lot of content that is not online right now, while still preserving the economic model for the industry,” she said. Multichannel News (3/17)

AOL is moving aggressively toward becoming a producer of traditional news, hiring journalists and launching content sites, such as the forthcoming Politics Daily. The company says it aims to create “blue chip editorial brands rising out of the ashes” of newspapers and magazines. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.thewrap.com/article/1921 3/16)

The Diffusion Group has announced new statistics showing that 76% would categorize a widget toolbar on a primary TV set as “valuable.” Yahoo!, Intel and Verizon Communications are among the companies making inroads in the TV-widget space. The New York Times/GigaOM (3/17)

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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart earned its second highest total viewer count of the year on Thursday with 2.3 million viewers (the largest viewer audience was on Inauguration Day with 2.6 million).  Why the big audience?  Stewart’s guest was CNBC host Jim Cramer.  The interview is also available on TheDailyshow.com site, which is reporting its highest traffic numbers in 2009. (Cynopsis 3/16)


Thomas Clarke, TheStreet.com’s CEO for the past decade, is leaving, effective immediately. The financial-media firm’s board is searching for a new CEO. Clarke’s abrupt exit comes amid co-founder Jim Cramer’s ongoing fracas with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090313/FREE/903139975 3/13)

“Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon is interviewing bloggers and showcasing gadgets in a digital embrace that may help draw hip, plugged-in consumers who don’t watch much television. Fallon has already interviewed Digg co-creator Kevin Rose and Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cotown-fallon16-2009mar16,0,5467182.story 3/16)

Not only are the Digg guys stars on Jimmy Fallon’s show, after witnessing the all out rock star madness at the SXSW Diggnation party, they’re surely becoming a formidable brand.  Perhaps the first credible online video series brand?  I’m sure the Gary Vaynerchuk fans will have something to say about that comment.


“60 Minutes,” at age 30, is back in a big way. Thanks to a renewed focus on hard news, along with some exclusive interviews, the audience is up to 15 million per episode. “Our success is a direct reflection of America’s hunger for news,” says executive producer Jeff Fager. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.newsweek.com/id/189288 3/14)


ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos and Arizona senator John McCain will come together online for a “Twitterview” to be conducted on Tuesday. The public will be able to read the real-time 15-minute exchange by signing up at the microblogging site. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090313/ap_en_tv/na_us_twitter_stephanopoulos_mccain 3/13)

Reporting from the Twitter capital (Austin, TX), Twitter is reaching epic proportions while struggling to monetize itself.  Perhaps SXSW is the best place to see the advantages of a Twitterverse as my estimates are that at least 70% of the attendees are using it.  That said, as twitter reaches epic scale, how do we sort through the mass communication stream?


America‘s Next Top Model held auditions in New York City this past weekend, and before the day was over three people were arrested for inciting a riot and disorderly conduct and six others were injured.  At some point chaos broke out involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel, reports the AP, though what exactly happened to create the free-for-all remains unclear.  Once it was all over, the street outside the hotel was strewn with clothing, sleeping bags, beach chairs and shoes, all left by several potential auditioners who had been waiting on line, many overnight.  This particular round of auditions were for shorter women, under 5’7″, the standard height minimum for previous ANTM auditions, and other auditions are schedule in several other cities across the US in the upcoming weeks. (Cynopsis 3/16).

TV Guide Network‘s season premiere of Idol Tonight delivered 325,000 households last Wednesday, marking a 26% increase over last season’s premiere.  Idol Tonight airs ever Wednesday at 8p with hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. (Cynopsis 3/16)


In consideration of the economy and wanting to remain relevant to its viewers, Today‘s Matt Lauer will take his annual Where in the World trip starting May 1st, but Lauer will remain in the United States, visiting a variety of affordable vacation sites. (Cynopsis 3/16)


Beginning today, Sci Fi Channel will be no more — it will become Syfy. The rebranding, which does not change the pronunciation of the channel, will be accompanied by the tag line “Imagine Greater” and will be rolled out for advertisers and agencies at NBC Universal’s upfront presentations. The New York Times (3/15)


Most traditional media professionals don’t understood digital media, says outgoing AOL chief Randy Falco. “Having spent two years at AOL, I would love to be able to go back to that industry knowing what I know. There are a lot of misconceptions about digital media.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=102085 3/13)

Last week’s News Corp. executive shakeup came as a shock to television industry insiders. The ouster of Fox Entertainment chief Peter Liguori is “shocking.” One network exec says that the jockeying for power is already intense. “The place resembles Iraq after the fall of Saddam.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/who_won_and_lost_in_the_news_c.php 3/15)

Discovery Channel and a few other cable networks are buying shows exclusively in high definition, even though many unscripted shows are still being produced in standard format and the economy is putting the pinch on other networks. One advantage for cable networks buying HD is they run their programs repeatedly, according to this article. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Verizon is preparing an update to its FiOS-based widgets platform to enable third party developers to create applications for the platform, according to a post on Verizon’s PolicyBlog. Designers are testing new apps providing integrations with popular sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. (Cynopsis 3/16)

Time Warner, which owns cable networks such as TNT, TBS and HBO, will get more than $9 billion from its spinoff of Time Warner Cable. And that, according to Chief Financial Officer John Martin, will allow the company to consider well-researched M&A bids: “We’re going to be opportunistic and evaluate whether there are any acquisition possibilities, but we’ll be extremely disciplined in whatever we might do in that area,” he said. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Hispanic Cable TV (+9.6%) and Cable TV (+7.8%) were the only two media to show ad growth in 2008 according to Nielsen. Cable was the highest CPM-based revenue-generating medium with $26.6 billion in sales. Internet advertising, not including paid search, text only, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, in-stream (“pre-rolls”) players, messenger apps, partnership advertising, email campaigns or house advertising activity, dropped by 6.4% in 2008. (Cynopsis 3/16)

U.S. Ad Spending -% Change 2008 vs. 2007
Media Category                                      Jan-Dec ’08 vs. Jan-Dec ’07 % Change
Hispanic Cable TV                                           9.6%
Cable TV                                                        7.8%
Spot TV Top 100                                            -0.3%
Syndication TV                                               -0.8%
National Sunday Supplement                           -1.9%
Hispanic Broadcast TV                                     -2.4%
Network Radio                                                -3.3%
Broadcast Network TV                                      -3.5%
Local Magazine                                                -3.7%
Spot Radio                                                      -4.0%
Spot TV 101-210                                             -4.6%
Outdoor                                                         -5.0%
FSI Coupon                                                    -5.2%
Internet*                                                       -6.4%
National Magazine                                          -7.6%
National Newspaper                                        -9.6%
Business to Business                                       -9.7%
Local Newspaper                                           -10.2%
Local Sunday Supplements                             -11.0%
TOTAL                                                            -2.6%
Source: The Nielsen Company

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November 15, 2008, 12:09 AM
Filed under: BROADCAST/CABLE | Tags: , , , , , , ,


Bravo’s “Top Chef” is cooking with gas now: The debut Wednesday night of its fifth season drew the largest premiere audience in the show’s history. According to the network, the show attracted 2.7 million viewers, a 19% increase over last year and the biggest cable audience for its time slot. Broadcasting & Cable (11/13)


U.S. president-elect Barack Obama has agreed to give his first post-election interview to “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft. The interview includes future first lady Michelle Obama and is to take place on Friday in Chicago. The interview is scheduled to air Sunday. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/13/60minutes/main4599840.shtml 11/13)


Midway through the November 2008 sweeps, three U.S. broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — are sharing leadership. While CBS ranks as the most-watched, all three networks are down year-to-year. The biggest loser is Fox, which ranks fourth in three of the four surveyed categories. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/national-broadcast/e3ic9c6a9c4030ca00ae7f93ea22f3855cc 11/13)


Media shares, already battered by months of shrinking consumer confidence, are at multi-year lows and prime for an investor buying spree. The bottom looks imminent, according to one analyst. Media stocks “are very, very cheap. These are very significant buying opportunities.” (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUSN1152810320081114 11/14)

Rivals NBC and Fox have unveiled a local television news-sharing plan that promises to reduce the number of reporters, trucks and helicopters assigned to cover major events — and could grow into a nationwide effort to slash one of the biggest costs for most TV stations. (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2008-11-13-fox-nbc-local-tv-news_N.htm 11/13)

The FCC said it would do everything possible to keep secret per-subscriber rate information it is seeking from cable providers as part of the commission’s inquiry into moving certain channels from analog to digital tiers. NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow, however, expressed concern that the information could be leaked inadvertently or otherwise, therefore exposing the fees providers pay programmers. Broadcasting & Cable (11/13)

Time Warner Cable has announced a $2 billion public debt offering to help finance a special dividend to be paid just before the company separates from its parent, Time Warner. If the separation is not completed, the company will use the proceeds for “general corporate purposes.” (Iwantmedia 11/14, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081113/time_warner_cable_debt_offering.html 11/13)

Cablevision announced Thursday that it had started offering Bollywood programming on its iO video-on-demand platform. The cable provider plans to present about 25 South Asian films each month, both new releases and classics, on Bollywood Hits On Demand, the company’s first international VOD programming option. Multichannel News (11/13)

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Above are scenes from Times Square, NYC last night as Barack Obama thanked the crowd gathered at Grant Park in Chicago for their support as he defeated John McCain to be elected the next president of the United States.  Last night, over 133 million of us voted.  No matter where you were last night or what side you leaned to, I’m more than sure that the passion exhibited on both sides was palpable.  In Times Square, cabs continuously beeped their horns, crowds screamed, couples kissed mid-street, and a revolutionary spirit hung in the air.


This morning, I made my way to Ad Tech, a conference for digital marketers and technology professionals.  In other words, if you speak geek, this conference is for you.  The morning sessions were devoted to the 44th president otherwise known as the Ad Age Marketer of the Year.


Shelly Lazarus, Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy, described credited Obama’s win to his “digitalness”.  From the start of this political season, technology has played quite the role, allowing politicians access to an open platform for communicating with the American people.


Here are a few digital milestones from this campaign.


Hillary announces her presidential bid via a piece of online video on her web site.  Pant suit supporters everywhere rejoice.


Obama announces VP running mate Joe Biden via text message to supporters’ cell phones.  Long live the age of perfect teeth.

Will.i.am goes Hologram.  I’m still creeped out by this effect but intrigued that the networks went for it.

Digital Gold: Campaigning Intelligently

Throughout this campaign, Obama sought out every possible digital touch point to communicate, engage, and gather feedback from the American public.  No longer was there a man behind a curtain.  Both in McCain and Obama’s case, access and communication was unprecedented.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the tactics used by Obama’s team to get the word out.


Destination Site






Social Networking Site


In Game Advertising




Ubiquitous Donate Button


You can find me moonlighting on e-mails, web sites, applications, etc.

Ushering in a New Era of Politics

Last night, before Obama took the stage at Grant Park to speak to the crowd, he sent me and the rest of his supporters an e-mail thanking all of us for our support.  At the end of his message, he claimed that he would “be in touch soon about what comes next.”  Obama is about to usher in a whole new world of politics, one in which the American people are truly consulted via online and mobile touch points allowing for a level of engagement in our government previously unimaginable.  Democracy becomes something quite different when the common man feels empowered to engage.  I’m excited to embark on this new era of political discourse.

Of course, I expect the passion in our government to wane over the next couple of months but given these new methods of engagement I don’t expect the age of indifference to continue.  Finally, a president who understands technology.  I raise my iPhone to you sir.

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Tomorrow we vote.  But before that, let’s take a look back on the online video which defined the campaign.  Here’s the Daily Marauder top 5 favorites.  I did try to keep this list non partisan but unfortunately, I would have to lie to do it.  Keep this in mind while watching.

One more thing and it’s just a small request.  Don’t vote Republican or Democrat.  Vote for the person who supports the issues you hold dear.  Vote on y’all.

#1: Yes We Can

Watched by over 11 million people, this video features an all star cast and a song written by will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas who was inspired by Barack Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech.  I teared up the first time and now, the 6th as well.

#2: Sarah Palin Rap

My favorite SNL moment from this season didn’t actually include Tina Fey.  It was a lovely little rap ditty about Sarah Palin from the comic genius stylings of Amy Poehler.

#3: Tina Fey Debuts Sarah Palin

Tina Fey debuts her Sarah Palin impression with a speech alongside Hillary Clinton.  Classic.

#4: Wassup 2008

Over eight years have rolled by and I almost forgot about the Wassup boys.  Here they weigh in on the campaign and over 3 million people tune in to watch.

#5: Dear Mr. Obama

You may not agree with him.  I surely don’t.  But this video from an Iraqi soldier expressing his support for McCain has been viewed over 12 million times.

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Barack Obama‘s paid political half-hour on Wednesday from 8-830p collectively drew in 33.5 million viewers. The special aired on seven networks: CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. NBC had the most total viewers at 9.78 million, followed by CBS at 8.6 million, FOX at 7.14 million, then MSNBC at 3.54 million, Univision at 3.47 million, with BET at 714,000 and TV One at 307,000. Also, the 30-minute special posted an overall HH rating of 21.7 in the top 56 local markets, according to MediaBuyerPlanner. (Cynopsis 10/31)

A Wednesday night appearance by Sen. Barack Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” attracted 3.6 million viewers, beating the show’s previous high of 2.9 million people who tuned in Oct. 8 to see Jon Stewart interview Michelle Obama. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , Broadcasting & Cable (10/30

John McCain is said to be planning to make a guest appearance on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the last live episode before the election. A rep for the show won’t confirm or deny the visit. A McCain source says: “It’s really his last chance to appeal to younger voters.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27460429 10/31)

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), sent a letter yesterday to the heads of seven networks, asking them to not name the new president-elect next Tuesday until all voting polls have closed at 10p ET for the benefit of West Coast voters, reports Variety. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Wednesday’s Game 5 of the World Series on FOX ended up being the final game with the Phillies winning the coveted trophy. The game averaged a 6.2 A18-49 rating and 19.8 million total viewers from 8:40-1010p, according to Variety. The World Series postgame show from 10-1030p drew in a 3.6 A18-49 rating and 10.5 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/31)

With nearly 260 episodes in the can, Fox has decided this will be the last season for King of the Hill.  There are 13 episodes still to go before the “finale.”  “Finale”? Why the quotes?  Because this show has had its finale before … only to be resurrected.  So it remains to be seen if it will stay cancelled this time. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Courteney Cox and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence are working together on a new 30m comedy for ABC called Cougar Town. ABC has okayed a single-camera pilot produced by ABC Studios. Cox will executive produce with Lawrence and star as a 40-year old mom who is newly single and based on the title is presumably on the hunt for younger men. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Hip-hop star/actor/writer Ice Cube has a one-hour untitled action comedy under development for NBC, per Variety. Cube will write the buddy cop comedy and executive produce with his production partner Matt Alvarez. (Cynopsis 10/31)

NBC Universal’s Bravo is picking up a new U.S. fashion design creative competition series called “The Fashion Show,” in which the winner is chosen by viewers. Bravo’s previous fashion-designer show “Project Runway” is in the midst of a struggle as it plans a move to Lifetime. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/10/30/Bravo_picks_up_new_Fashion_Show/UPI-33301225416834 10/30)

NBC is developing another novel handing a script commitment to Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton for a 60m drama, reports THR. Universal Media Studios will produce about a female protagonist whose story line is decided by readers at the end of each chapter. The book begins with the female character deciding on college or travel after graduating from high school leading to 150 potential endings. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said that the current global economic turmoil may force the company to alter its plans to spin off Liberty Entertainment, which includes, among other assets, premium cable network Starz Entertainment. Greg Maffei, chief executive officer of Liberty Media, said it was “imaginable” that the unit would not be spun off at all. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (10/31) , The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , OneTRAK (10/30)

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