Perrier wants to tell you where to go out tonight

November 14, 2011

By James Ledbetter
The views expressed are his own.

Last year on a drizzly Seattle morning I visited the corporate headquarters of Starbucks to talk about social media. At the time, Starbucks had about 2 million of what were then called “fans” on its Facebook page. That audience was both large and engaged enough, a company representative said, that Starbucks had recently been approached by another firm that wanted to advertise specifically on the Starbucks Facebook page. Starbucks declined the offer, but only after serious consideration. “We had to decide if we really wanted to be on that side of the publishing business,” the representative told me.

Confused about media and ad technologies? There’s a Lab for that.

November 14, 2011

Between the bazillion ad technology companies all claiming to revolutionize online advertising and an explosion of devices and services that promise to deliver  movies straight from the Internet to the TV, it’s  a full time job keeping tabs on what can do what.

Are kids wringing out SpongeBob?

November 10, 2011

Back in September, right before the quarter ended, Viacom trimmed  its advertising revenue outlook to high single digit growth from double digit growth. One of only a few media conglomerates to take that step–News Corp, Time Warner, and CBS were much more upbeat–the move prompted some concern among media watchers that advertisers were beginning to slash their budgets on macro-economic concerns.

Washington Post: the latest example of print ad plunge

November 4, 2011

Just when you think things can’t possibly get any worse for newspapers, it somehow manages to get even bleaker. Today’s example is provided by the Washington Post Co and its flagship paper (and the online site Slate). The company reported third quarter earnings including results from its newspaper division today.

At CBS Sports, the good times are rolling

November 4, 2011

Many of us are looking forward to Saturday night’s prime-time match-up between Louisiana State and Alabama, the top two teams in college football. For a few hours, we get to set aside the craziness of conference realignment, forget about our own dismal teams (Boston College, this means you) and watch a good old-fashioned brawl between two storied programs.

How to generate media value: Fire your CEO

October 28, 2011

Some outfit called General Sentiment has set about the task of evaluating the media value of top global brands and then ranking those companies accordingly. Some brands made their way up the list because they ousted their head honcho.

MTV lays off staff; Viacom chief cuts outlook

September 23, 2011

Philippe Dauman Viacom CEO (R) with rapper/mogul Sean Combs

As Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman was managing investors expectations speaking downtown at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference, back at  its midtown Times Square HQ, staffers at flagship unit MTV Networks were fretting as pink slips were being handed out. There was widespread concern internally, according to a source. (AdWeek reported it last night).

Advertising weak? Quit worrying so much already

September 22, 2011

Viacom Inc’s not sweating it, Time Warner Inc. isn’t all that concerned. Why, CBS Corp and Discovery Communications Inc. are cool as cucumbers. Disney certainly sounds confident, as does Scripps Networks Interactive.

File under acceptance: CBS knows it must pay up for the NFL

September 14, 2011

This time of year, it seems everybody loves football. The players, the fans, and, of course, the TV executives. And what’s not to like about football if you’re running a TV network, provided you have a deal with the NFL? Check it out, a total of 107 million viewers tuned into games between Thursday and Sunday on CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC.

WSJ pushes further into video with free app

September 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has launched a new video application “WSJ Live” that pulls from the content from its stable of live programming.