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Avoiding the Obvious? March 23, 2005

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I don’t know why the Washington Post is trying to put a positive spin on the Gap’s firing of Sarah Jessica Parker on her 40th birthday, and replacing her with a 17 year-old pop “star.” I suppose it’s counter-programming versus the more obvious slam.

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Lo, How the “Mighty”…. March 22, 2005

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Nice to see that former Internet fraud profiteer entrepreneur Jason Pontin, ex of Red Herring, is practicing some real journalism.

Payback’s a Beeyatch March 22, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Frank Rich’s obsession over swearing seems have affected fellow Timesperson Virginia Heffernen, who goes on for 1100 words on the etiology of the term “bitch” on television. Note to bastions of liberal media: If you’re concerned about Decency Police hit squads, you might want to lay low on this kind of thing.

Nielsen Nonsense? March 21, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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More foolishness from the fantasy world of teevee measurement. Yeah, maybe the Internet isn’t as easily measurable as it once was, as folks purge their cookies (Jupiter analysis here, or here for you freeloaders; Eric goes on and on). But at least the industry doesn’t extrapolate from an N of 100 college students.

I didn’t study the Nielsen methodology, so maybe I’m missing somethng. If I am, I expect I’ll hear about it. But, based on what my stats folks tell me, I’ve always worked on the basis that 300 survey respondents from a weighted panel is a reasonable rule of thumb to analyze a given demographic.

One wonders why the Journal even reports on this. From the company that can’t even measure local TV on a regular basis in a 40-year-old marketplace.

The study looked at 100 students 18 to 23 years old whose families are included in the larger Nielsen sample. While that is a relatively tiny number, Nielsen is expert at extrapolating data from small samples; its national ratings are pulled from just 7,100 homes. The pool of students lived in dorms and off-campus apartments, with one sorority in the mix.

Diller Courting Jeeves March 21, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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I hope Barry reads Gary:

Diller talked about the strength of the Jeeves brand. Brands are built upon Relevance and Differentiation. If I ran that brand, I would start to focus on the Differentiation, and specifically use the difference in determining relevance. If they can set the choice up as being them versus all three others…they have a chance of telling a compelling story.

Regular readers know Diller’s probably my favorite media exec. Well, after Rupert Murdoch, anyway. One of the things Niki and I completely agree on.

Hollywood, Heaven, and Hell March 20, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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The Times’ coverage of NBC’s upcoming apocalyptic miniseries Revelations is a near-classic in terms of collecting Hollywood howlers.

“In tumultuous times like those we live in, apocalyptic buzz is always on the rise – as is spirituality,” said Kevin Reilly, the president of NBC Entertainment, who greenlighted the series.

Lili Zanuck, who directed three episodes of “Revelations,” recalled that in pitching the project, Mr. Polone argued that “there’s a whole audience out there with these interests that we don’t really address in Hollywood.” Ms. Zanuck added, “In our community, we do sometimes forget the whole rest of the country.”

“I don’t think most people in the entertainment world understand that this is a big deal,” she said.

“Everybody wants to make sure no rock has been left unturned,” said (actor and Revelations star) Bill Pullman. “They’re looking at everything – the credibility of every character, each choice.” Scripts are reviewed by a theological consultant, as will be all marketing efforts…

Still, the series creators admit that while biblically inspired, their story does takes plenty of liberties. “We’re telling a fictional story,” (writer David, author and scripter of The Omen and scripter of the 1971 Willy Wonka) Seltzer said. “It’s not a religious tale.”…

“I come from a pretty small town in western New York State,” he explained. “One day I was out dealing with this guy who had some old tractors for sale, and he said to me, ‘Well, I don’t pay much attention to Hollywood, but that movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’ did some important work.’ I’m suddenly thinking: ‘Wow. We’re going to be part of that. People will either say we didn’t help their cause or we kind of did. We’re going to become part of the discussion about what everybody’s agendas are.’ “

I know I’ll be watching.

Excuses, Excuses March 20, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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BTW, my last posting is a week behind the times because I didn’t go to South by Southwest, and because, though I bet on the Oscars and sort of watch the Grammies and read a lot of print coverage about the Pulitzers – if precious few of the articles themselves – I confess: I can’t keep up.

I probably read too much mainstream media. The Washington Post, of all things, informed me of the Bloggies.

A Sign of Where Blogs Fit in the Grand Scheme of Things March 20, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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The fact that Dooce won the Bloggie as best American blog about captures it. From Dooce’s self-description:

This website chronicles my life from a time when I was single and making a lot of money as a web designer in Los Angeles, to when I was dating my husband, to when I lost my job and lived life as an unemployed drunk, to when I married my husband and moved to Utah, to when I became pregnant, to when I threw up during the pregnancy, to when I became unbearably swollen during the pregnancy, to the birth, to the aftermath, to the postpartum depression I currently suffer. I talk a lot about poop, boobs, my dog, and my daughter.

The eclectic catch-all Boingboing justifiably recieved the nod for best overall.

PSP Take-Out March 17, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Sony’s TV campaign for its PSP handheld game system-cum-multimedia player is set to the tune of “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, according to the Journal. (The Journal calls the song “rollicking.” Yeah, baby.)

I haven’t seen the spots yet, but I hope Sony’s hip enough to exploit the fact that the song’s a pretty clever pun – a really clever pun for mainstream pop – on being “taken out” by a sniper as well as a hot date. (The video‘s more obvious.) That seems particularly apt for the handheld cousin of the Playstation.

More likely, Sony’s just aping Electronic Arts’ good taste in game soundtracks.

Sumner Says: The Heck with Synergy… March 16, 2005

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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…let’s expose that shareholder value. Who needs heft and reach and multiple audiences?

Mel Karmazin used to say that, in a world of fragmented reach, only the combination of Viacom’s cable nets and CBS could deliver deliver simultaneous, broad reach. Oh, wait, Sumner Redstone has said that too.

And only a media company exec could call this a “logical and orderly succession process!” Can’t pick a winner? Split the company in two!