Friday, July 31, 2009

Wow.. the IT guys in Birmingham are GOOD!!

Less than four hours after pulling the plug in their old offices, the guys and gals at OneDomain have their email and CRM servers up!

Should you need to reach me this weekend, my OneDomain email is working.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Friday, July 31.. Moving Day in Birmingham!

My hard-working co-workers in Alabama are getting a significant upgrade in their offices this weekend, as they move to a larger, more modern building a few miles away. As all but my Raycom stations are accessed through ODI's Bomgar service, it will be down for portions of the weekend beginning Friday. Of course, you can still reach me in the office here in Las Vegas.. I'm not moving, but have just completed a major upgrade in my computing power, plus purchasing civilized furniture replacing (ahem) a card table and a plastic rolling cart.

Do you know how much heat an overclocked PC with 6 video cards gives off? Whew. And it's 103.6 degrees outside my window right now.

New Year's Eve Announced; "Jeep" Jettisoned

Carson Daly will provide the last hour of prime on Dec 31 from NYC, then follow up with an hour from 11:30p-12:30a in all time zones.

There seems to be more conflict between NBC and some of the Sports Specials producers; latest indication is the name "Jeep" has been stripped from the Adventure Sports series. There are also some interesting stories about NBC's dealings with off-road and womens golf programming sources involving time period purchases and billings. I'll pull them up in the next few days.. this might help explain why NBC doesn't do much to promote the NBC Sports Specials, either on-air or with marketing tools for local stations.

Finally, there are some minor changes to winter sports in December. Clients are being updated today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friday Night Lights Theatrical Airs Sunday, Sept 6th

A 90 minute Dateline will lead into the 2004 movie, the original Texas high school football source for NBC's own Friday Night Lights series.

There's no NFL that night, with the last of the pre-season games airing August 30th and the first Sunday Football Night In America on September 13th.

RDRx NBC clients will see this entered today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ben Silverman Out; Gaspin In

The King of Reality is free to go back to his creative endeavors.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - July 27, 2009 - Jeff Gaspin has been named Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, effective immediately. This move expands his role to now include oversight of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in addition to all of his current duties. This new structure will consolidate all of the company's television entertainment assets, both broadcast and cable, English and Spanish, under one roof and will better allow the company to leverage its content across all of those properties.
Gaspin already has management responsibility for the company's portfolio of entertainment cable networks, including USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, Universal HD, Sleuth, and Chiller, as well as its interests in the A&E and History networks. In addition, Gaspin oversees the company's television distribution, including linear, digital and wireless, off-net syndication and first-run efforts, as well as the Telemundo broadcast network and its owned stations.
Ben Silverman, who has been Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, has announced that he is returning to his entrepreneurial roots to form a new venture. He will remain in his current role for several weeks to assist in the launch of NBC's fall schedule. Marc Graboff, who has also been Co-Chairman, will continue as Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, reporting to Gaspin.
These announcements were made today by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal, to whom Gaspin reports.
Said Zucker: "Jeff Gaspin is an extraordinary media professional who has had an incredible record of success in his 25 years in the business. He's a strong creative executive who also has the business acumen necessary to succeed in today's media environment. This new structure helps us align all of our television entertainment assets under one veteran executive at a time when continued innovation is essential."
Zucker added: “Ben Silverman has many exciting things he wants to accomplish and we applaud him as he sets off on his new endeavors. Ben brought us tremendous new thinking in this changing media age, and we're grateful for that. Now, we look forward to working with him in his new venture."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Whew.. No changes announced on Friday

I tease NBC NYC about issuing major programming change notifications late on Fridays.. after all, they give me something to do during the weekend.

However, for those stations without someone as, um, devoted as I am, the timing of such announcements means the instant AEs walk in the door on Monday, their MediaOffice inventory and estimates are already wrong.

If you are curious about our services for NBC TV stations, take a look at the profile here for links to OneDomain.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"The Wanted" Moves Time Period on Mon, July 27th

NBC is shifting The Wanted an hour earlier, with Dateline following as lead-in to local news.. guess the lead-in on Monday wasn't what they hoped.

Also, they've added another new L&O:CI on Monday, August 31st before the season finale.

I'm starting client updates now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Eastern/Central Wed AGT Encore Bumped By Obama

[07.20.09 - 04:39 PM]
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES ( -- ABC, CBS and NBC have all signed on to carry President Obama's latest news conference this Wednesday at 8:00/7:00c.

FOX will once again be the only major network not to carry the event, instead opting to stick with its two-hour edition of "So You Think You Can Dance." FOX also chose not to air Obama's previous news conference on April 29.

As for the other networks, CBS agreed this morning to turn over the hour of its lineup, which was already devoted to repeat programming.

ABC and NBC subsequently signed on after the White House shifted the planned hour-long broadcast from 9:00/8:00c to 8:00/7:00c.

To accommodate said coverage, the Alphabet will slide "Wipeout" and "I Survived a Japanese Game Show" back an hour to 9:00/8:00c and 10:00/9:00c, respectively. "Over a Barrel: The Truth about Oil," originally set for 10:00/9:00c, will instead air on Friday, July 24 at 10:00/9:00c as a special edition of "20/20."

The Peacock then will simply drop its 8:00/7:00c encore of "America's Got Talent."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ratings Info about AGT and Conan From NBC

•AMERICA'S GOT TALENT generated the #1 results of the night in 18-49 and total viewers, out-delivering "So You Think You Can Dance" head-to-head and in full-duration averages. AMERICA'S GOT TALENT also outscored "Wipeout" and all other primetime programs on the broadcast networks last night. From its first half-hour to its second, AMERICA'S GOT TALENT increased by 15 percent in 18-49 rating and by 12 percent or more than 1.3 million persons in total viewers.

•The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien has delivered a decisive win for the week of July 6-10 in late-night's key demographic of adults 18-49, beating CBS's LATE SHOW on five of five nights. Conan also more than doubled Letterman in the younger half of the key demo, adults 18-34. For the week, Conan delivered bigger audiences than LATE SHOW in adults, men and women 18-34; adults, men and women 18-49; and adults and men 25-54. The median age of Conan’s audience last week was 46.7, more than 10 years younger than Letterman’s 57.3.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NHL on NBC Extended through 2011

July 15, 2009

NEW YORK - July 15, 2009 - The National Hockey League and NBC Sports today announced an extension through the 2010-11 season of their successful revenue-sharing partnership -- one that has achieved viewership milestones, programming and production innovations, awards and critical acclaim. The joint announcement was made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports.

"The NHL/NBC partnership has been terrific. Our association has led to such technical innovations as the 'Inside the Glass' reporting and to such programming advancements as the extremely popular Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final was broadcast television's most-watched hockey game in 36 years, which makes clear the NHL and NBC are building an audience, are building momentum and are perfectly positioned to continue growing the game."

Schanzer said: "We're thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with the NHL and build on all the positive momentum on and off the ice. Together, we have attained viewership milestones not seen in more than three decades. And the Winter Classic, in just two years, has become one of the highlights of the sports calendar. We strongly believe this is a league that is poised for continued growth."

RECORD VIEWERSHIP: NBC Sports has achieved a number of ratings milestones including broadcasting the most-watched regular season game in 34 years (2009 Winter Classic) and the most-viewed NHL game overall in 36 years (Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final).

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTION: NBC Sports and the NHL have introduced many innovations to help grow the game, including the "Inside the Glass" analyst position, which has revolutionized the way hockey is covered and of which USA Today said "is as close to the action as TV gets."

AWARDS: NBC Sports received a Sports Emmy Award for its promotion of the 2009 Winter Classic and the inaugural event garnered a Sports Business Journal Sport Business Award as Event of the Year.

ACCOLADES: NBC's NHL production has received critical acclaim, earning praise for innovations such as "Inside the Glass," a reporter position between the teams' benches first introduced by NBC hockey producer Sam Flood. The Toronto Star called "Inside the Glass" invaluable. said of NBC's hockey coverage, "the NHL has never looked or sounded better in its free, on-the-air history." The Hockey News called "Inside the Glass," "the biggest innovation to hit televised hockey in recent years." " Hockey has found a network that will let the sport be the sport," said the San Jose Mercury News.

NBC Sports' 2010 NHL coverage begins on New Year's Day with the third annual NHL Winter Classic.

NBC Sports will also continue to broadcast games throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs and up to five Stanley Cup Final games.

NHL & NBC: The successful partnership, which was announced in May 2004, launched in January 2006 and previously extended in 2007 and 2008, has been highlighted by innovations, awards and ratings milestones. NBC Sports' NHL coverage is produced by Sam Flood, the originator of the Inside the Glass position. Emmy award nominee "Doc" Emrick, Eddie Olczyk (analyst), Pierre McGuire (Inside the Glass analyst) and Mike Milbury comprise NBC's NHL broadcast team.

Listener Silenced; Weekend Road Trip Cancelled

L&O repeats replace Listener in Thursday prime starting 7/30, while Dateline fills in for Road Trip encores Sundays ASAP.

Add a couple of two hour Merlins and a repeat of the SNL Presidential Bash from last November.. you'll find them in MediaOffice inventory now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Parenthood On Sick Leave... Mercy Starts September

Start of production on NBC Universal’s new series “Parenthood” has been postponed for eight weeks due to medical evaluation that valued cast member Maura Tierney is undergoing. The top priority for NBC, Universal Media Studios and Imagine Television is the well-being of Ms. Tierney. We are unable to release further details and ask that you respect her privacy at this time.

Due to these circumstances, NBC's new drama series “Mercy” will premiere in the fall. Details on changes to NBC's fall premiere dates will be forthcoming.

7/13 Nightly News Gets U of Phoenix Sponsorship

Attention Stations: On 7/13/09, NBC Nightly News is scheduled to be broadcast with single sponsorship (University of Phoenix) and limited commercial interruption. The promo swap position that is normally in position 3 within Nightly News will now follow the news tag and precede the terminal NI swap position (the two promo swaps will run back to back). Due to this special limited interruption sponsorship of NBC Nightly News by the University of Phoenix, stations are requested not to schedule any local commercials of direct competitors during the station break.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Zucker says "We have seen a bottom"

Zucker Says Marketplace Has Reached Bottom

NBCU Chief says local station business showing signs of improvement

By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/9/2009

NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker said Thursday that while the overall marketplace is still challenged, he thinks it may have bottomed out.

“It’s still quite uncertain and we don’t really see the full recovery we are all hoping for,” he said. “It’s still tough out there, but I think we have seen a bottom.”

Zucker added that while the overall marketplace remains very challenged, he is seeing some improvement in the station business.

“Our local television stations seem to be improving,” Zucker told CNBC’s Erin Burnett in an interview conducted in Sun Valley, Idaho, though he did not offer any specifics.

Zucker also predicted no major deals in the media space through the end of the year.

“I think this is a year about getting your house in order. I think we’ll see nothing in the media space for the rest of the year.”

Zucker also acknowledged with the upfront marketplace normally done by July 4, this year’s delayed dealings show the conversations with buyers, “are much more difficult this year.”

“I think the key word is flexibility. Both sides want flexibility and we’ll just have to see who gives,” he said.

He added that while NBC U is making money on the web, the revenues [for the media business] are “not where we expected to be today.”

No Olympic Zone Program in Feb 2010

Unlike previous Olympics, NBC will not be providing the hybrid network/local daily half hour format. Those clients who had requested inventory and estimates for this program will find it removed today, but at most clients, I didn't include it in expected programming, so it doesn't have to be removed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Road Trip Detoured To Monday Nights: AGT Encore Fills Pothole

America's Got Talent repeats start Tuesday, July 14th @ 8/7p
Great American Road Trip slides to Monday 8/7p starting July 13th

September encore and weekend changes are also part of this announcement.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tuesday Days Of Our Lives Jacked

NBC News will provide live coverage of the Michael Jackson Memorial on Tues July 7th beginning at 1p ET-live to all time zones, duration and operating conditions will be issued Monday, July 6th.

No Days of Our Lives anywhere.

And Still More Jackson Preemptions

Tuesday night's L&O:SVU is now toast, as we spend yet another hour on Michael Jackson, this time, a Dateline coverage of the "memorial service."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New York Times Talks Tonight Demos

July 6, 2009

‘Tonight Show’ Audience a Decade Younger

One of the big questions facing Conan O’Brien was this: How can he succeed with the older “Tonight Show” viewers? The answer: by making them younger.

In Mr. O’Brien’s first month as host, the median age of “Tonight Show” viewers has fallen by a decade — to 45 from 55, a startling shift in such a short time. This audience composition means advertisers can now address almost exclusively young viewers on “Tonight,” and NBC is already contemplating a shift in how it sells the show.

In network television, where audiences tend to age up consistently, this is an eye-popping development. But the shift is not all good news for NBC. One way Mr. O’Brien has lowered the age is by losing many older viewers.

“The Late Show With David Letterman” has already posted one week in which it drew more viewers than Mr. O’Brien, who reached the smallest audience in “Tonight” show history, just 3.3 million viewers, about two million fewer than Jay Leno’s average as host.

(The next week Mr. O’Brien bounced back and edged past Mr. Letterman in total viewers, 3.7 million to 3.5 million. It was an unusual week as the death of Michael Jackson elevated a third competitor, “Nightline” on ABC, to most-watched status with 3.9 million viewers for its half-hour.)

The numbers in late night have been tossed around with unusual aggression as NBC and CBS jockey for the spin’s high ground. If cash follows youth, as it often does in television, NBC may not care much.

“Conan’s performance is, honestly, extraordinary,” said Alan Wurtzel, the president for research at NBC, adding that the show had overwhelming strength in the youngest demographic, viewers 18 to 34. “These kinds of transitions are hard, especially with an iconic program like the ‘Tonight Show.’ ”

For its part, CBS argues that NBC’s claims about demographic superiority are strained, pointing to several weeks of declines for Mr. O’Brien in many audience groups. “Conan’s strength is almost entirely in men between 18 and 34,” said David F. Poltrack, the president for research at CBS. “We’re gaining in other categories.” Mr. Letterman, for example, is up more than 50 percent among viewers over 50.

On the sidelines, advertising executives are taking a skeptical approach. Generally they concede that dominance in younger viewers remains a big advantage, while also questioning whether “Tonight,” always the “big tent” in late night, risks becoming too much a niche show, as Mr. O’Brien seemingly thins the herd of older viewers.

“The idea of buying network TV was to get those big boxcar ratings,” said Steven J. Farella, the president of the media buying agency TargetCast TCM. “They don’t usually get boxcar numbers anymore, but we don’t need minivan numbers.”

The argument in marketing offices is likely to continue. “We really don’t know anything yet,” said Shari Anne Brill, the senior vice president and programming director for Carat USA. She said the preseason ad sales period, known as the upfront, had not yet taken place; and, she said, there is the unresolved question of how Mr. Leno will fare when he moves into the weeknight 10 p.m. period for NBC.

“He could potentially eat some of Mr. O’Brien’s young,” she said.

John Rash, senior vice president of the Campbell-Mithun agency, said, “All audiences have value, but the 18-to-49 audience has more value. You will make higher profits if you win with that audience.” He added, “You can still say you’re the No. 1 show if you are more profitable.”

That is exactly what NBC is doing. After one week the network sent out a hyperventilating press release declaring Mr. O’Brien the “new king of late night.”

Mr. Poltrack scoffed that the claim was preposterously premature, pointing to falloffs in succeeding weeks among groups like women 18 to 49. In his first week, Mr. O’Brien was up in that group from Mr. Leno’s performance by 32 percent; by the third week, he was down 28 percent.

Mr. Poltrack said the gap had especially narrowed among viewers 35 to 54. “I think eventually we will win that category,” he said.

One NBC executive, who asked not to be identified when citing what is usually confidential information, said the show had been selling about 65 percent of the commercials during “Tonight” on its 18-to-49 rating, and 23 percent on viewers 25 to 54, and only 12 percent on the youngest category, viewers 18 to 34.

But Mr. O’Brien has been so overpowering in that last group that NBC can still be expected to shift more money toward that demographic — and to try to charge advertisers a premium for it, the executive said.

That may meet with resistance. Several ad agency executives said that young men could be reached more readily than in the past on Web sites and cable channels like Comedy Central and Spike, so networks deserve less of a premium for attracting them.

Some of that is probably negotiating talk. But Mr. Farella said he would worry about making “Tonight” look like a cable show.

“I don’t think that’s O.K.,” he said. “The goal of a broadcaster is still to be exactly that.”

Mr. Rash said the changes in the “Tonight” audience were to be expected. “Jay Leno was younger than Johnny Carson, but he was from the same modern comedian construct, whereas Conan O’Brien is perfectly postmodern in his approach,” he said. “That may be alienating to older viewers. But he has to play to his strengths. Television and politics are the same: it’s a mistake to ignore your base.”

Mr. Wurtzel argued that Mr. O’Brien had no intention of turning “Tonight” into a niche show.

“I think we’re going to see growth,” he said. “The show has to calibrate. Conan is reshaping the profile of the show’s audience. It’s going according to plan.”

Both he and Mr. Poltrack offered one consistent analysis using exactly the same words: “Let’s see where we are in September.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wanted Starts in 3 Weeks on Monday Night

And NBC has just moved around a bunch of sports specials. Changes on client servers begin now.