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Good Thing We’re All Grownups Here February 28, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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    The CBS lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court yesterday, accuses Sirius, Mr. Stern and his agent, Don Buchwald, of breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment and misappropriation of the CBS Corp. unit’s broadcast time. The suit alleges that Mr. Stern behaved inappropriately by promoting Sirius on CBS’s airwaves and failing to notify CBS he was negotiating with Sirius. It also alleges he improperly kept CBS property — recordings of his radio show. (Read CBS’s statement.)

    CBS has been considering a lawsuit for months, but the company took action yesterday after Mr. Stern called a hastily arranged news conference in New York to attack CBS and its chief executive, Leslie Moonves. The radio personality called Mr. Moonves “a stooge” and “a fraud,” mocked his appearance by accusing him of overusing using the wrinkle-reducer Botox, and called the lawsuit a “personal vendetta.”

Hollywood…well, the New York version…don’t you just love it? Too bad CBS Radio was a little too greedy to fire Stern’s butt before he pumped up his value — and his option accelerators — on CBS’ airtime. Now that would have been funny.

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Apple’s “Big” News? February 28, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Let’s just say we’re not raising any forecasts this time. Colleague Michael Gartenberg points out why it’s more important than it looks. But then, he watches TV shows saved on his DVR piped thru the airwaves to his cell phone.

Farewell, Jeeves February 27, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m sure this is the real reason for Jeeves’ departure:

    Getting rid of Jeeves has the added advantage of freeing the site from restrictions on the adult content it can transmit, which were part of the copyright agreement with the estate of P.G. Wodehouse, the British author who wrote numerous books featuring the resourceful valet.

“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” February 26, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Damn. Another one of my favorites. Nerd that I am, I liked Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak — at the time, it was the top-rated made for TV movie ever, the series was, uh, less successful. But everybody loved him as “the Old Man” in A Christmas Story. “Frah-geel-eh.”

Dow Jones Re-Org February 23, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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This is the right thing to do. Is it enough to “save” Dow Jones? (As if the Wall Street Journal needed saving…) Or is that the task of The Washington Post Co. or The New York Times Co.? Or, even, Rupert Murdoch???

    The company is reorganizing around its three markets consumer media, enterprise media and community media. It had been organized around its three methods of distributing information print, online and community newspapers.

It’s still the mantra: One brand, one audience, all media.

Not My Network TV, Anyway February 22, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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My first reaction was the obvious one: A broadcast network…of American telenovelas…on 10 stations?? That’s, uh, different. (This — MY Network TV, that is — is to fill the 10 Fox owned-and-operated stations jilted by the WB-UPN merger.) But then I read:

    “What we’re trying to do is create a network of stations and run them in a way that feels like a true alternative for the 21st century consumer,” (News Corp. prez Peter) Chernin said. “The whole feel of My Network TV will be different than anything else that’s on broadcast television today.”

    Instead of offering a complicated checkerboard of programming with different shows every night, My Network TV will show the same programs every night, offering a menu of sex-saturated, soapy dramas. Each will run every weekday night for 13 weeks, with shows recapping the week’s events airing on Saturdays.

There will be reality shows about supermodels and romance with celebrities. Hmm, this actually is sorta different. Lowbrow strip TV in primetime. For women? Or some heinous Fox notion of women? Worse yet, low-income women? Gawd forbid it’s ironic, and really aimed at 18-24s. But wait, indeed, MySpace was mentioned during the press conference, and there’s no other possible reason for a non-demand network to use My in its brand. Oh no.

But yeah, it really is different. Might be fun. Way more fun than a CNBC competitor carried on only 10 stations. That’s what many were expecting Fox News head Roger Ailes, who also chairs the station group, to do.

All the Leaves are Brown… February 22, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m in el Lay to attend and keynote a music conference. Attention, East Coast and Silicon Valley readers, it’s still weird out here. True to form cliche, there was a Live, High-Speed Chase that Ended in Gunfire on the news. There are ads on the radio for…for…plastic surgery procedures.

Of course, there are subway ads for Dr. Z’s skin-bleaching sessions in NYC. (Haven’t figured out which is more offensive.) And the people are all madly gorgeous out here. Maybe the two factors are related.

And the radio is much, much better. You might have heard that ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones is a DJ. He’s a very good one, even in a mellow mood, mixing new and old tunes gracefully. He also improvised an acoustic song about sausages that quoted every song on the Pistols’ album. (If I’m naive, and he’s done this before, well, it sure sounded like he improvised it.) And another one on MySpace. (Jonesy is going to remove all the friends’ links from his page where he’s not in the Top Eight on their friends’ links.)

Trust me, it was good radio. And MySpace couldn’t get better mainstream-but-still-cool publicity.

Smells Like Incubator Spirit February 22, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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In the continuing theme of “Is It 1998 All Over Again?”, Publicis’ Rishad Tobaccowala talks with the Journal about Publicis’ new media consulting arm that also invests in start-ups. Here we are now, entertain us:

    We are not giving them money; we are giving them thinking and intellectual capital in return for the stakes. We serve as guides and translators and editors for the start-ups because we are helping their products be ad friendly and we are helping shape their sales pitches to the marketers.

Oddly, the interviewer doesn’t ask how the new unit, Denuo, gets paid. Does Denuo charge by project? go on retainer? get a cut of media buys?

Good bit on algorithms vs emotion:

    Google is an ally because they can increase accountability and remove inefficiencies. They can form the system and help targeting. I don’t believe they are a threat because I do not believe Google will run the world. While math will grow more important, I believe there are lots of human and emotional connections that can never be captured in an algorithm.

Media Role-Changing During Olympics February 21, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Word of mouth guru Pete Blackshaw is wise on some real convergence. During an Olympics that isn’t live in prime time, there are some pretty interesting role-changes going on between online and TV. Not to mention marketers. And then the audience gets involved….

Prepare to Be Boarded February 21, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Time Inc.’s online parody site, Office Pirates launches tomorrow. I can’t wait. According to the NY Post, that saw a preview:

    One short video shows employees hiding as a co-worker enters a room for a surprise party. When the co-worker enters, they all jump out and yell, “You’re fired!”

    Then the boss, after a short speech, gives the fired employee three seconds to leave as his former co-workers chase him out of the building.

    “I think one of the themes underlying almost every office party I’ve been to is ‘I hate you,’ ” (Editor Mark, ex-Maxim) Golin said.

Um, maybe I can wait.