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Adweek : Television


It Might Surprise You That Transparent Star Amy Landecker Is in These TV Ads

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:07:16 +0000

Specs Name Amy Landecker Age 47 Claim to fame Stars as Sarah Pfefferman in Amazon Prime's Transparent Base Los Angeles Twitter @AmyLandecker Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning?  Amy Landecker: The very first thing I'm doing is [opening] my New York Times app. And then the second thing I'm doing is going to Politico. Before I even go to the bathroom. It's become almost an addiction during the election cycle. Sometimes even in the middle of the night, I'm checking my newsfeed. It's not good. [Laughs] Is there anyone you're following closely on social media? I'm really into Lena Dunham and Lenny and the pro-Hillary voices out there. I'm also reading The Washington Post and very happy to work for a man [WaPo and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos] who I feel has been instrumental in unearthing some things that might change the way this whole thing goes. Your father is a famous Chicago talk radio and oldies DJ. Did you ever want to go into radio? Absolutely. In fact I went to the University of Wisconsin to major in communications and journalism and thought I was going to be a broadcaster. But I got sidetracked into the acting department basically because I had a crush on my TA, and my whole life sort of changed. I did end up making my living for most of my acting career as a voiceover [artist], which I felt was an offshoot of broadcasting, and it has always been something that I've adored. How did you end up doing audio dialogue replacement (ADR) for Julia Roberts? Julia Roberts was the voice of AOL—I think it was the late '90s or early 2000s—and she was pregnant with her twins so she went into voiceover for a little while. People kept congratulating me, including my own father, on my campaign [because it sounded like me]. And I found out it was Julia Roberts, so I told my agent if you ever get a casting for a voice double for her, I clearly sound like her because even my own father thought that was me. Well, now she can do ADR for you on Transparent. Yeah. I would like Julia to do my ADR. [Laughs] I think it would be great for her to do the sound effects during scenes with Pony where I'm getting flogged against a tree. [Laughs] "Julia, I can't make it. Can you step in please?!" You've also done some ads. I was the voice of Cymbalta for almost 10 years, which is an anti-depressant. I was a Chicago girl with Leo Burnett and J. Walter Thompson doing Hallmark for a while and did a lot of McDonald's ads. I'm currently the "good cow" in the Lactaid commercials. I'm the voice of Linzess, which is the constipation medication. I do Pam cooking spray. That's how I've survived this long. If I had to rely on on-camera, I would have quit this a long time ago. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="406" scrolling="no" src="" width="650"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="406" scrolling="no" src="" width="650"> What TV shows do you watch? I'm a big Voice junkie I have to say. Bad reality shows still work for me in terms of like relaxing and unwinding and just kind of shutting off. But I mean I am so typical classic lefty—Rachel Maddow every night, Lawrence O'Donnell every night, Chris Matthews. And my [Chicago] Cubs. … I'm very excited. Shifting to Transparent, what was your favorite scene this season? Definitely when I go to the synagogue to meet the board and [my character] Sarah just goes on this rambling talk where she ends up doing the sounds of dinosaurs representing millennials. And it's this very classic Transparent experience where [Transparent creator] Jill [Soloway] is off camera—and also this happened during the wedding in Season 2—where she's just like calling things out to me. And my second favorite would be not about me but watching Judith Light in the season finale, which I won't give away. One of the greate[...]

Media Files:

Netflix Releases Much-Anticipated Gilmore Girls Revival Trailer

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:33:21 +0000


With one month until the premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, it's time to commence freaking out.

Netflix released a brand new trailer today, full of unseen footage from the new series, which will air Nov. 25 with four 90-minute episodes.

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The characters must deal with the passing of Richard Gilmore, the patriarch of the family, and Rory and Lorelai's seemingly stagnating careers and relationships, respectively.

Previously, the platform promoted the show with pop-up diners/cafes, which featured a Snapchat element that was immensely popular with fans.

As the Gilmore Girls (and Netflix) Twitter accounts also uploaded the trailer, fans were rocked to their emotional cores, as was to be expected:

Nielsen Will Measure TV Viewing in Places Like Bars, Hotels, Gyms and the Office

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 17:13:04 +0000

Nielsen is taking a big step today to close one of its biggest TV ratings measurement gaps: its inability to accurately account for out-of-home viewing in public places like sports bars, gyms and hotels. In April, the company is launching a new national television out-of-home measurement service using its portable people meter, or PPM, technology and panelists. Clients who subscribe to Nielsen's new service will receive ratings estimates (including C3 and C7) that combine in-home viewing—which is based on the company's national TV ratings panel—with this out-of-home viewing using its PPM panels. Nielsen said the service—which will provide ratings for live through live-plus-7 days of viewing—will launch in April, and contain data going back to January 2017. Shortly after launch, it will add data that stretches back to September. The new offering will launch as a stand-alone service, but Nielsen plans to eventually add the out-of-home data to its national ratings. The PPM device, which panelists carry with them, will allow Nielsen to measure television viewing in places like restaurants, bars, airports and waiting rooms. Nielsen will rely on data from more than 75,000 PPM panelists located in 44 local markets, which the company can use to project out-of-home viewing in more than half of the U.S. population. "Measuring where consumers watch content, regardless of platform and location, is at the core of Nielsen Total Audience, and this includes out-of-home viewing," said Sara Erichson, evp, client solutions and audience insights for Nielsen. "While consumers have always watched TV outside the home, that viewing has not been measured. This new measurement enables both buyers and sellers to understand the incremental reach of advertising messages." The measurement will be a boon to news and sports networks like CNN and ESPN, which have a large out-of-home audience that has never been properly measured, so it's no surprise both companies are on board with Nielsen's new service. "We know that ESPN is viewed virtually anywhere there is a screen–from sports bars to gyms, hotels and the workplace," said Artie Bulgrin, svp of global research and analytics for ESPN, in a statement. "While C3, C7 and beyond are useful to measuring catch-up viewing in the home, this new service gives us the ability to capture out-of-home viewing precisely as it happens, and helps us double down on the power and delivery of live sports, while transacting on new, valuable audience segments for advertisers."  Added Howard Shimmel, chief research officer at Turner, "For brands like CNN and Turner Sports with huge and valuable out-of-home audiences, we need to be able to measure consumption regardless of the platform, screen or location. In collaboration with Nielsen, we were first to market using PPM technology for custom out-of-home solutions for CNN. Nielsen's new National TV Out-of-Home Measurement Service will help us drive these capabilities forward." Nielsen has been announcing several ratings overhauls as the company works to complete its total audience measurement rollout by March. It will finally stop using paper TV diaries, which are relied upon in 140 local markets, in 2018, and last month launched its digital content ratings metric. [...]

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Chris McCarthy, President of VH1 and Logo, Will Now Also Head Up MTV

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:05:05 +0000


Hours after Sean Atkins announced his departure as president of MTV, Viacom has named his replacement: Chris McCarthy, who already serves as president of two other Viacom networks, VH1 and Logo.

McCarthy will continue his oversight of VH1 and Logo, and will report to Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group.

"Chris has infused every brand he's led with creativity, strategic clarity and distinctive talent—driving results that defy this extraordinarily competitive landscape," said Herzog in a statement. "MTV is an iconic brand full of opportunity, and Chris has demonstrated the vision and ability to grow its expansive reach and powerful cultural impact."

McCarthy was named GM of MTV2 in 2010, and added Logo in 2014. He was named GM of VH1 in July 2015, and was promoted to president of VH1 and Logo last June.

He replaces Atkins, who announced in a staff memo this morning that he was leaving, and would be staying on as an advisor through January. "This was in no way an easy decision for me," said Atkins. "You will all be in very good hands as I move on, I assure you." Sources said McCarthy's promotion had been in the works well before Atkins' memo.

Atkins' MTV reign was brief: He was hired in September 2015 to run MTV, MTV2 and mtvU. He helped revitalize the once-dominant MTV News brand, and put together an ambitious upfront slate, including the return of Unplugged and Cribs, to return the network's focus to music and reverse its ratings slide.

But the ratings turnaround never came; McCarthy, meanwhile, had worked ratings magic at VH1, which saw its biggest year-over-year ratings growth in almost 15 years. He revived America's Next Top Model (which started at VH1 before heading to UPN, which later became The CW) and the Hip Hop Honors franchise.

"I'm humbled by the opportunity to lead MTV, the place where I grew up and learned from some of the most gifted, creative and genuine leaders," said McCarthy in a statement. "The power of the MTV brand is its ability to let go of everything it knows and reinvent for the next generation of youth, and I'm excited to push the boundaries of what it can be in this transformative time."

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AT&T and Time Warner's CEOs Explain the Benefits of Their $85 Billion Merger

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:17:58 +0000

After a whirlwind weekend in which AT&T announced its $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner, the companies' two CEO sat down to explain what it all means. In the megamerger, the telecommunications powerhouse will buy Time Warner for $107.50 per share, or about $85 billion, half in stock, half in cash. The new behemoth will combine Time Warner's hefty film and TV properties (including Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS and CNN) and AT&T's robust broadband (U-Verse), wireless (AT&T) and satellite (DirecTV) offerings. AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning to talk about the deal, which stems from a lunch they had together two months ago. "We meet regularly and we were talking about what's happening in media," including SVOD [subscription video on demand] and the increase in mobile consumption of video, said Bewkes. "We realized that if we had ourselves together, that we could create more innovations for consumers." The deal came together quickly because "once you get conviction, and you agree on what the deal should look like, you move. And that's what we did," said Stephenson. One of the biggest advantages of the merger will be more effectively targeted advertising. "There's going to be basically more effective advertising, so it won't be as disruptive. You'll have more efficiency there. And that means that more of the cost of all the great programming that's on TV can be borne by advertising and it can be advertising that's useful to you, rather than something you're not interested in," said Bewkes. "Last year, more than half of the growth of advertising in the United States went to two companies, Google and Facebook. We need to increase competition for advertising across television, internet companies," Bewkes continued. "When you do that, what you end up with is more of the burden being born by advertising companies, less of it being borne by consumer." The deal is all about speed. "The world of distribution and content is converging, and we need to move fast," said Stephenson. AT&T wants to curate content differently for mobile environments, and give consumers the ability to make clips of content and share it quickly via social media. As a result of the merger, "we're going to be pushing really, really hard to innovate and iterate much faster," said Stephenson. He expects the demand in this mobile environment to drive demand for his company to invest in 5G, which will deliver 1 GB speeds in mobile technology. "We could have a viable nationwide competitor to … Comcast," he added. Because of the added competition, "If I'm an advertiser, I love this. If I'm a content creator, I love this," said Stephenson. The companies anticipate that it will take a year for the merger to win the necessary regulatory approval. "The nature of this deal is unique from anything we've done before in that it's a vertical integration," said Stephenson, noting that most of the deals that haven't survived regulatory scrutiny have been horizontal mergers. "This has none of that. There are no competitors being taken out of the marketplace." Six years ago, said Stephenson, the biggest regulatory issues surrounding the Comcast/NBCUniversal merger were the government's efforts to preserve net neutrality and protect over the top players. Now, net neutrality is "done," he said. "On OTT, I somehow think Netflix is going to make it. … Amazon just might make it too." Stephenson said the reports that indicate AT&T would restrict access to Time Warner content to outside companies are "nonsensical," given that AT&T is buying Time Warner specifically because of its broad content[...]

Media Files:

AT&T Has Reached a Deal to Acquire Time Warner. Now What?

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:34:33 +0000

After a report just two days ago that AT&T and Time Warner had engaged in "informal" talks about a possible merger, the two companies have reached a deal in which the telecommunications powerhouse will buy Time Warner for $107.50 per share, or about $85 billion, half in stock, half in cash. The deal was officially announced tonight in a video message from Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.  "The driving force," said Bewkes, "is not cost savings it's growth opportunity." The new behemoth will combine Time Warner's hefty film and TV properties (including Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS and CNN) and AT&T's robust broadband (U-Verse), wireless (AT&T) and satellite (DirecTV) offerings. AT&T has a market capitalization of around $230 billion, while Time Warner is valued at $70 billion. It's the biggest media merger since Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2013. After AT&T's unsuccessful attempt to acquire T-Mobile in 2011, the company shifted its focus to video, acquiring DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion. As TV viewing habits have rapidly shifted in recent years, owning content is becoming even more important than distributing it, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson had been looking to add more original content. The Time Warner deal offers a variety of intriguing possibilities to entice cord cutters, cord shavers and cord nevers. Bewkes acknowledged as much tonight, saying it was a driving force behind a deal.  "This combination is going to put us in an even stronger position to go where our audiences are going," he said. "Joining forces with AT&T gets us, and them, there faster and better than either of us could do on our own." Assuming the deal withstands regulatory scrutiny, many questions surround the new company that comes out of the surprise megamerger. Here are three of the biggest: How will the combined content portfolio be organized? While Time Warner has the bulk of the film and TV properties, the new company will have to decide what to do about AT&T's Audience Network, which is available to DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers but offers many shows—like mixed-martial-arts drama Kingdom—that would seem right at home on the rebranded, grittier TNT. Its various sports deals will also require attention. Turner has long-term rights to March Madness, NBA and MLB games, and had early talks with the NFL about this season's Thursday Night Football package, which was ultimately split between CBS and NBC. But the combined company also has DirecTV's lucrative NFL Sunday Ticket package. AT&T will have to determine whether those sports deals are more valuable separately—NFL Sunday Ticket is a major contributor to DirecTV's subscriber base—or together, where they power a sports network offering that could go head-to-head with ESPN. AT&T might want to look at how Comcast successfully merged its own networks (E!, Golf Channel and what was then called Versus) into NBCUniversal's portfolio. No matter how things shake out, Peter Chernin, who previously ran Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Filmed Entertainment, could take on a major role overseeing the combined companies' content operations, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In 2014, Chernin Group formed a joint venture with AT&T called Otter Media to create and acquire media and digital brands. Will the company want dueling streaming skinny bundles? The interest in over-the-top—or OTT—services has intensified as companies look to entice the 20 million U.S. households without a pay TV subscription. The new company will find itself with competing streaming services offering skinny bundles of network and cable channels, both of which are expected to launch within in the next several months. Time Warner bought a 10[...]

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Presidential Debates Set Ratings Records in 2016, but Does the Format Need to Change?

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 15:03:13 +0000

The results are in, and 2016 delivered the most viewers of any presidential debate cycle in U.S. TV history. Wednesday's third and final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump brought in 71.6 million viewers, making it the third-most-watched debate ever, behind only Clinton-Trump I (84 million) and Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan on Oct. 28, 1980 (80.6 million). The three Clinton-Trump debates and the Tim Kaine-Mike Pence vice presidential debate delivered a total of 259 million viewers, per data from Nielsen Media Research. The 1992 debate cycle held the previous record, with 250 million viewers watching the three George H. W. Bush-Bill Clinton-Ross Perot debates, and the Dan Quayle-Al Gore-James Stockdale vice presidential debate.  "These presidential and vice-presidential debates were appointment television, and advertisers took advantage of the huge audiences that tuned in to watch them live," Fox News vp of eastern sales Dominick Rossi told Adweek. "Many of the movie companies promoted their latest releases. Much like the Super Bowl, multiple clients launched new campaigns during these debates." Rossi also noted that advertiser feedback for Fox News has been positive. "Clients were thankful that their spots were positioned so close to the start and end of the debates, thus reaching the largest audiences possible," he said. "And the praise keeps pouring in for Chris Wallace for how well he moderated the final debate, which is the source of great pride for everyone in the company." More people watched the final Clinton-Trump debate on Fox News Channel than on any other network.  Interest in cable news is as high as it's ever been, and that trend showed up in debate viewership. A total of 91.7 million viewers watched the four debates across CNN, Fox News and MSNBC in 2016. That's a 10.5 percent rise from the networks' 2012 total of 83 million and a 3 percent increase over 2008 (89 million). Why the improvement? "Cable news wasn't quite as partisan eight or 12 years ago as it is now, and each network is bringing an opinionated, devoted audience to these debates," said Al Tompkins, senior faculty for broadcast and online at Poynter. "I think that's why you have seen ratings for cable through the roof." But how was Clinton-Trump 2016 able to attract so many viewers considering all the other programming options out there? "One of the major ingredients here is uncertainty and unpredictability," Tompkins said. "In previous elections, you think you probably know where the race is and what the people are going to do. That's not the case here, and that makes for compelling TV." While ratings have been great, some think The Commission on Presidential Debates should make some changes to the format for 2020. "They need to do away with the town-hall format," said Tompkins. "Journalists like Chris Wallace can sit there and ask hard-hitting questions that matter, as opposed to asking, 'What do you admire in the other person?' That's an interesting sound bite, but not very illuminating." Like many, Tompkins also supports doing away with a live audiences in debate halls. But there also are positives to the current debate format. "They give insight into a person's character, a tiny peak into whether or not a person can hold it together when things aren't going well," Tompkins said. "Regardless of how rehearsed they might be, debates have historically given us a glimpse into someone when the heat is on, and I think that's important." Whether or not debate format changes are made in 2020 remains to be seen. Even though we may never see two more polarizing and recognizable candidates again, interest and viewership of televised debates will almost certainly conti[...]

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Randi Zuckerberg Hopes to Battle Inequality in Silicon Valley With Her New Kids Show

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:33:20 +0000

"I've spent a decade in Silicon Valley," said Randi Zuckerberg. "Innovation is everywhere. It's supposed to be the center of forward thinking. [So] why can I count the number of women executives on one hand? Or people of color?" At Thursday's premiere event for Zuckerberg's new television show Dot, based on her children's book of the same name, she discussed everything from inequality in the industry to the right way for kids to use new technology. Press were invited to bring their children to the event. As a result, there were milkshakes dripping and mini burgers in hand as Zuckerberg streamed an episode of the show. Attendees could also don wigs for a GIF photobooth, or pose for a snap on the pink carpet. Coloring books, and tablets loaded with coloring book technology, were also provided for the kids to play with. Dot, in the book and now as a TV character, is a tech-savvy young girl. She taps and types, shares and swipes, and carries her tablet everywhere. She's the perfect way to help parents teach their kids about the technology surrounding them today. "Dot and her group of friends don't look like your typical cast of characters," Zuckerberg said. "I wanted them to reflect all levels of diversity."  "I loved working in Silicon Valley, but at the same time I hated the fact that there were no women in the room," she said. "We need to start challenging people on the notion of what an entrepreneur in America looks like, and it needs to happen early on." Kids today are starting to use technology earlier and earlier in life. And that, Zuckerberg thinks, can create some fear or anxiety for parents. "No matter what their level of expertise in their job, every parent is an amateur at parenting when they first start," said Zuckerberg. "Especially with this very digital group." Dot will air at 11 a.m. ET Saturdays on Sprout, a network just for children which launched in 2005 and is now owned by NBCUniversal. Zuckerberg considers it another type of startup. "It felt like we came together at a really critical moment for both of us," she said. "I needed Sprout as much as they needed me. I knew they'd give this program the love it deserved." Zuckerberg wants her sons, Asher and Simi, who are both under six years old, to grow up in a "different world" than what she experienced in Silicon Valley. "Dot is about finding a balance in a high-tech world through the waters of modern childhood," said Zuckerberg. "Dot is inquisitive," said Amy Friedman, Sprout's head of development. "We want to give kids the tools and role models that will help them show up in the world." Sprout's motto, after all, is 'Free to grow.' "When parents see the Dot logo or book or show, I want them to know that it's safe and appropriate," said Zuckerberg. "I'd love to see a Dot iPad, designed specifically for kids, one day. I want parents to know how technology can add to your household. It doesn't have to detract." [...]

Media Files:

Donald Trump's Lack of Ad Spending Is Leaving a Hole In Local Media's Pocket

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:55:43 +0000

The presidential debates provided plenty of free airtime.Gif: Dianna McDougall; Sources: CNN, Shutterstock The presidential election has been momentous and memorable: the first woman nominee of a major party, a businessman/reality show candidate, leaked emails, bigly, Ken Bone and Billy Bush. But local media will remember the 2016 race for what it didn't provide: significant ad revenue. Media forecasting firm Magna originally projected this year's political ad spend to be 15 percent above 2012, which would have set a new record. But current forecasts put the ad buy in line with the 2012 campaign. "[Donald Trump] is not nearly spending what Mitt Romney or John McCain's campaigns did eight years ago," said Mark Fratrik, svp and chief economist for BIA Kelsey. "That disappointed the outlooks of local media companies." Local TV ad sales were underwhelming despite a 10 percent increase this year. "Good, but it fell below our anticipations," added Vincent Letang, evp of global market intelligence for Magna. Around $2.8 billion was booked in local political TV ad sales this year, up 3 percent from 2012 dollars. It's particularly not impressive because a total of $20 billion was spent on local TV ads overall, excluding political ads. "When Trump was a candidate in the primaries, he spent very little," said Letang. "We thought once he got the nomination and gained more access to GOP fundraising, he'd spend closer to what Romney did during his general election [of 2012]. That didn't happen." But it's not just Trump's underwhelming spend that surprises analysts. "We all thought Virginia would continue to be a battleground state for the campaigns. But it just isn't. [Hillary] Clinton has been spending more in Arizona, which comes as a surprise," Letang said. Close Senate and governor races have helped fill the political ad gap created by the presidential campaigns. For example: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence created an empty seat when he joined Trump on the Republican ticket for president. Fratrik similarly noted the close senatorial and gubernatorial races in Florida, traditionally a battleground state as well. "The presidential race is only about a third of the total political spending in an election cycle," said Letang. "The bulk of spending is on congressional, gubernatorial and local ballots." The presidential campaigns also took some of that TV money and moved it to digital which offers a "low cost" option for marketers, according to Fratrik. According to the forecast report from Magna released in earlier this month, "digital advertising sales will equal TV ad dollars for the first time, with both generating $68 billion, a market share of 38.5 percent." Earlier this year, an IAB report found that digital media matches TV as a source of information about candidates. In fact, more than a third of registered voters claimed that digital sources would be their "most important method of getting candidate information." Engaged U.S. voters, the IAB report also stated, find digital media and TV as essentially equal in importance as primary sources of information about presidential candidates and political issues.  "Overall, it's still a strong year for political ads," said Fratrik. "Since campaigns are saving money by using digital marketing, there's plenty of money left for over-the-air television ads and local cable." "One could argue you'd spend an enormous amount of money to reach a small amount of people [through local TV ads], but they can make or break an election, especially in swing states," said Letang. [...]