Sony Movie Channel Recognized for its Website Digital Enhancements

Super proud of one of my client’s getting recognized by Cynopsis: Digital as being the website of the day! Go Sony Movie Channel!

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Here was the press release to go along with it.

SONY MOVIE CHANNEL CELEBRATES THE EARLY FILMS OF JACK NICHOLSON FRIDAY NIGHTS IN FEBRUARY WITH AN INTERACTIVE PHOTO BOOK AND A ‘SCRIPT TO SCREEN EXPERIENCE’ FACEBOOK APP

App and Tablet-Friendly Digital Book Launch January 30

NicholsonBookScreenshot

CULVER CITY, Calif., January 29, 2013 – Throughout the month of February, Sony Movie Channel (SMC) is featuring the early films of the Oscar® Award-winning actor Jack Nicholson, as part of its Friday Features franchise. Friday Features showcases blockbuster favorites, uncut and uncensored, starting at 10:00 PM E | 7:00 PM P every Friday night. The Nicholson salute features eight of his films from 1969 to 1975, including CHINATOWN and A SAFE PLACE, which hasn’t been broadcast in over a decade.

SMC is enhancing the experience of these priceless Nicholson gems by providing an interactive digital photo book of production stills and trivia from some of his early films, including CHINATOWN, DRIVE, HE SAID, EASY RIDER, THE FORTUNE, THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS, THE LAST DETAIL, THE PASSENGER, THE TWO JAKES, FIVE EASY PIECES and A SAFE PLACE. The tablet-friendly photo album will be available on Sony Movie Channel’s website from Jan. 30 to Feb. 28 at sonymoviechannel.com/jack.

The Channel is also providing another bonus — a “Script to Screen Experience” Facebook application. The app is launching in conjunction with EASY RIDER and FIVE EASY PIECES, which kick off the Nicholson tribute on February 1. Users can visit Sony Movie Channel’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/SonyMovieChannel) starting Jan. 30 and “Like” it to view scenes pulled from the actual script alongside the corresponding clip from the movie. This interactive comparison includes two scenes from each movie, and will be available through the end of February. 

The complete Friday Features schedule for February includes: (All Times are Eastern)

  • ·       February 1 –

EASY RIDER (1969, dir. by Dennis Hopper – 10:00 PM & 1:25 AM) – EASY RIDER chronicles the search for freedom by two motorcycle-riding drifters who meet up with an alcoholic lawyer in a southern jail. Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson star.

FIVE EASY PIECES (1970, dir. by Bob Rafelson – 11:40 PM & 3:05 AM) – This film is about a restless musician who learns you can never go home again when he visits his family for the first time in three years. Jack Nicholson, Karen Black and Susan Anspach star.

  • ·       February 8 –

DRIVE HE SAID (1971, dir. by Jack Nicholson – 8:30 PM & 1:30 AM) – Nicholson’s directorial debut is about basketball, draft dodging and sleeping with professors’ wives. The longhaired star of an Ohio College Team, can’t decide if he wants to turn pro or join his radical roommate, in bringing about a revolution. In the meantime, he’s content to carry on an affair with a faculty wife. Karen Black, William Tepper, Bruce Dern, Henry Jaglom and Cindy Williams star.

THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS (1972, dir. by Bob Rafelson- 10:00 PM & 3:10 AM) - Jason Staebler is a dreamer who asks his brother, a radio personality from Philadelphia to help him build a paradise on a Pacific Island – yet another of his get-rich-quick schemes. But luck is against them both and the game ends badly – real life reduced to radio drama. Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn and Scatman Crothers star.

A SAFE PLACE (1971, dir. by Henry Jaglom – 11:50 PM & 5:00 AM) - When a woman finds the loneliness and isolation of the present too difficult, she slips into the comfort of her memories. Gwen Welles, Dov Lawrence, Orson Welles, Tuesday Weld, Jack Nicholson and Philip Proctor star.

 ·       February 15 –

CHINATOWN (1974, dir. by Roman Polanski – 7:45 PM & 12:00 AM) - In 1937, a Los Angeles private detective takes on a simple case and burrows into it until it leads to murder and public scandal. Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Jack Nicholson and Perry Lopez star.

THE LAST DETAIL (1973, dir. by Hal Ashby – 10:00 PM & 2:20 AM)Jack Nicholson stars as a Navy Chaser who decides to show his callow young prisoner (Randy Quaid) one last good time before delivering him to the brig. Screenplay by Robert Towne (Chinatown). Nicholson, Otis Young, Quaid, Clifton James and Carol Kane star.

  • ·       February 22 –

THE PASSENGER (1975, dir. by Michelangelo Antonioni – 7:45 PM & 11:30 PM) – A burned-out journalist assumes the identity of a dead man and embarks on a dangerous charade, including meetings with gun runners and an affair with a mysterious young woman. Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry and Steven Berkoff star.

THE FORTUNE (1975, dir. by Mike Nichols – 10:00 PM & 1:45 AM) – This hilarious comedy is about a pair of con artists who try to swindle a woman out of her family fortune. The two scoundrels mount several inept attempts to murder her but ultimately discover that the real treasure is not the money but the girl. Warren Beatty, Scatman Crothers, Stockard Channing and Jack Nicholson star.

In honor of the Academy Awards®, SMC is devoting its entire programming schedule on Sunday, February 24 to the male actor with the most Oscar® acting nominations ever – Jack Nicholson. The network plans to repeat the entire schedule of movies above and add in THE TWO JAKES for this marathon treat. For specific times, please visit SMC’s website at sonymoviechannel.com/schedule.

In addition to Friday Features, SMC is profiling Academy Award®-recognized films throughout the month as well as movies that celebrate Black History Month. This and more is available from SMC in February, including giving football-averse viewers plenty of other options on February 3.

 About Sony Movie Channel

Sony Movie Channel is the first U.S. multi-platform television network from Sony Pictures Television created specifically for the Hollywood movie fan. Offering uncut and theatrical releases in stunning high definition, Sony Movie Channel showcases titles from Sony Pictures’ vast library including award-winning features, cult favorites, family comedies and gripping dramas. Programming is selected from more than 3,500 Sony Pictures films, which collectively have received 184 Academy Awards® including 12 for Best Picture. Sony Movie Channel is available on DISH Network, DIRECTV and AT&T U-Verse TV on linear as well as on authenticated VOD and online platforms. For more information, visit SonyMovieChannel.com, Facebook and/or Twitter @SonyMovieCh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PR and Social Media are Powerful Together

Actioned Packed Day at Blogworld Expo 2010

I truly witnessed something new in PR at the Blogworld conference.  It happened at yesterday’s keynote Blogworld Expo session featuring moderator Brian Solis and Content Producer Mark Burnett, the guy behind such hits as THE APPRENTICE and SURVIVOR.

Mark Burnett Productions is producing a new documentary series for Discovery’s TLC channel focusing on Alaska as seen through the eyes of Sarah Palin called SARAH PALIN’S ALASKA.  With that being said, I don’t which came first – Burnett accepting to speak at Blogworld or TLC pitching Burnett to speak.  I’m guessing Burnett agreed to speak and TLC found out about it and then took that opportunity to promote the new series at the conference.

Whatever the case, I thought it was brilliant.  Excellent work from a cable network’s PR department. Hats off to the executives who engineered this event.  It was a spot on tie-in and worked well within the session.

Burnett Stole The Show with Exclusive Footage

Burnett talked about his entire body of work and career and then at the end brought up this new series.  Moderator Solis told us that we were going to be given an exclusive. I’m used to this sort of thing since I am in the TV business, but the others thought it was a real cool moment.

The exclusive was seeing the first video from the series.  Since Blogworld is streaming its keynotes, they do not want attendees to stream live – for that reason and because it slows down the wi-fi.  So it arranged for @stevegarfield to post the first video of the show on his YouTube channel.  We were asked to all tweet it.

Here was the tweet – RT @stevegarfield: Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC from Mark Burnett http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7xnvXMHxGE #bwe10

My fascination with this story wasn’t the exclusive video, but was the statements Burnett said afterward. He said he didn’t know if he would be able to provide the exclusive for as you know, TV use vs. Internet broadcasts are entirely two different beasts with different rights issues. When he said that I immediately knew that he has been having a legal nightmare for weeks trying to promote the series on YouTube.  For you see, the music rights became the issue.  It’s extremely difficult to buy the global rights to commercial music.  And likewise, I’m sure TLC really wanted to break the video on their air. So I bet there were many lively debates inside TLC.

Stickers a TLC Rep handed out to the audience

Nevertheless, it happened and it was marvelous. Kudos to Burnett and TLC for taking the risk on this endeavor. It’s wonderful that a cable network understood the power of social media and the power of a roomful of bloggers.

Now that’s what I call great PR. Let’s hope more exclusives come to the web.

AlwaysOn OnHollywood Day 2 Update

As the second day of the Always On & ETC OnHollywood conference draws to an end – on this day I gathered a few great nuggets of interesting info as the event took a peek into the future.

Some of the take-aways included:

  • The Economy is Coming Back-The conference featured several Los Angeles based equity investors with available money to support business opportunities.  There is VC money not just in Orange County, but also in Hollywood! That’s good news for all.  Apparently, the Silicon Valley is the best hotbed for engineering talent, but LA has a diverse workforce to pull from. LA is a great place for starting up companies in gaming, Internet, analog and content.  Not a great place for enterprise. Another tip is stay local for your investments.
  • Mine! Mine! Mine! - Yeah, it still appears that large content corporations want to keep their product on their own portals and are not willing to give it to distribution partners outside their walled gates.  They call this managing their exclusives.  I am not a fan of this practice, but corporately I understand it.
  • Smarter is Better - Yesterday I learned that all life will be done on our mobile phones, but today I heard about Smart TVs that include a hard drive and include widgets and apps.  Not only will our TVs get more robust, but I love that web content producers are cutting deals directly with smart TV hardware companies to provide their content.  This new approach bypasses the service provider.  What an amazing shift and change.
  • No More Flops - As someone who worked in the online gaming space for a number of years, I was blown away to hear that online gambling will soon become legal in this country.  I never thought the day would exist and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I mean I know there are ways that people have gone around these laws and have gambled online…but, opening it up means that more people will be able to lose whatever money they have. I believe that when this happens there will be another surge in popularity of online poker.

    Do you think it will be good idea to legalize online gambling?

  • It’s Not About the Money - I was excited hearing that web broadcast is a hard business and that if you’re in it for that reason, then that’s not the right reason. We can’t assume that the traditional broadcast model should be applied to new media. It’s apples to oranges.  They are radically different.  We are in the pioneer stages and it’s a wild, but adventurous frontier open to all.
  • Social Role Model - I’ve been meeting superstars in new media on a regular basis, but I haven’t met a female yet whom I thought was a definite rock star.  Justine Bateman blew me away today. She possesses the same philosophies as I do and had me captivated and in awe with this answer. She told a person in the audience that just because you aren’t getting traction pitching cable development executives, doesn’t mean that you should pitch online distributors as a default. She said you should pitch online if you live online. I so agree. I always say you shouldn’t hire a social media/pr consultant unless they practice social media themselves.
  • Branded Entertainment - Well, there’s no way it’s going away on broadcast nor web. Drats.  The motivation is too great to not employ these techniques online as well. In web, they see it as brand extension. It’s about efficiency, reach and deliverables. It is just in the infancy and it has tremendous growth.
  • Kangaroo TV – Steve Ross, owner of the NFL Miami Dolphins apparently gives a interactive hand held device to some of his season ticket holders that allows them to see different camera angles to the game as well as watch the other NFL games going on at the same time.  What a game changer. Brilliant idea Mr. Ross.
  • In-Home – You will start hearing this phrase more and more (In Home) entertainment. What this means is that is that this phrase means content provided to you at home via another service other than your cable company.  Also, keep an eye out for web content to be on their VOD channels as well. How cool will that be!
  • The Open Media Revolution is Over: Are We Better Off? Session (L-R) Jonathan Aronson, Tony Perkins, David Wertheimer

    Tony Perkins – I want to send a giant thank you to Tony Perkins, Founder and Editor of AlwaysOn, and his entire team for organizing this conference as well as the others.  He webcasts each one and for those of us who are not able to travel or pay for these cutting edge and topical conferences – this is a priceless gift.  I know I am smarter because of these conferences and more knowledgeable about areas I would have never been exposed.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the opportunity.

2010 TCA Awards Winners – A Night of Celebrating Honorable TV

This is a sponsored post–The Television Critics Association is one of my clients.  My pledge to you is that I will always disclose every affiliation on my Who I Am page.

THE TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES

2010 TCA AWARDS WINNERS

Fox’s “Glee” Takes Home Multiple Honors as “Program of the Year,” “Outstanding New Program” and “Individual Achievement in Comedy” for winning actress Jane Lynch

“Modern Family,” “The Pacific,” “The Good Wife,” “Life,” “Breaking Bad” and “Lost” are honored along with “M*A*S*H” and James Garner

BEVERLY HILLS (Saturday, July 31, 2010) – Members of the Television Critics Association (TCA) recognized the top programs and actors representing the 2009-2010 TV season tonight at its 26th Annual TCA Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Dax Shepard, star of NBC’s “Parenthood,” introduced the ceremony that bestowed 11 awards in categories reflecting comedy, drama, miniseries, news and youth programming at its annual event in conjunction with the TCA’s summer press tour.

The biggest winner of the night was Fox’s musical ensemble comedy “Glee” which was the only series to win multiple awards from the 200-plus professional TV critics association, garnering the top honor “Program of the Year,” as well as “Outstanding New Program,” and “Individual Achievement in Comedy,” with lead actress Jane Lynch’s victory.

ABC’s “Modern Family” was voted “Outstanding Achievement in Comedy,” and ABC’s “Lost” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” tied as the victors in the category of “Outstanding Achievement in Drama.”

Nick Jr.’s children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba” won its second consecutive TCA Award as “Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming,” and Discovery Channel’s “Life” series took the top honors as “Outstanding Achievement in News & Information.”

Julianna Margulies, star of CBS’s “The Good Wife,” received the award for “Individual Achievement in Drama,” and HBO’s World War II miniseries epic “The Pacific” garnered “Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials.”

In addition to recognizing the year’s finest programming, the TCA bestowed a Heritage Award trophy to CBS’ former series “M*A*S*H” for the cultural and social impact that program has had on society.

The organization also presented actor James Garner with a Career Achievement Award for the influence his work has had on the small screen.

2010 TCA Award recipients are as follows:

  • PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: “Glee” (FOX)
  • OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: “Glee” (FOX)
  • INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Jane Lynch, “Glee” (FOX)
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: “Modern Family” (ABC)
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: TIE – “Lost” (ABC) and “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
  • INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION: “Life” (Discovery)
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING: “Yo Gabba Gabba” (NICK JR.)
  • OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES & SPECIALS: “The Pacific” (HBO)
  • HERITAGE AWARD: “M*A*S*H*” (CBS)
  • CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: James Garner

ABOUT THE TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION

The Television Critics Association represents more than 200 journalists writing about television for print and online outlets in the United States and Canada. For 26 years the TCA has honored outstanding achievement in television and enduring contributions to the medium’s heritage through the TCA Awards.  Membership in the Television Critics Association is open to full-time TV writers at newspapers, magazines, trade publications, news wire services, news syndicates, and text-based Internet news organizations. For additional information on the TCA, please visit www.tvcritics.org.

-TCA-

SUMMER TCA PRESS TOUR BEGINS

The Critics are Really a Fine Bunch

If your newspaper and/or favorite entertainment online news portal all of a sudden starts to have gobs of information about the upcoming TV season, there’s a reason why.  Over 200 television critics, reporters and journalists are transcending upon the Beverly Hilton for a couple of weeks to hear the latest news about broadcast and cable television from the horses mouth-the networks themselves.  Yep, not every network participates, but most do…and if they are a part of the program, then they will be touting their new casts or story angles in front of the TV’s media in mass.

I love it when the TCA is in town. It just energizes me watching these scribes undercover unknown facts about never-before seen shows. They can make any celebrity or producer or studio head squirm in their seats when answers are not forthcoming during the interview process.

The TCA comes together twice a year…for the summer and winter — and last January’s tour was action-packed with the Jay Leno/Conan situation and Simon stepping down from “American Idol.”

What will this Summer’s Tour bring?  I’m sure there will be plenty talk about what NBC’s plans are…how they are going to fill the 10PM hour. I bet there will be talk about online streaming and maybe 3-D TV viewing. The iPad may also enter into the conversation too.

We’ll know shortly as a good bunch of them start reporting today as they visit the sets of some well-known shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Parenthood.”

May the Tour begin…and it’s none to soon.

This TV junkie is excited that the Tour is in town.

Off to the Beverly Hilton tonight to start welcoming the troops.

Best,
Cindy

Truthful Resignations

There’s been several things that have caught my eye this week, but for some reason I’ve been too distracted to find time to write a post about them! I plan to cover the TV Upfronts, but I’m still noodling a few thoughts about them and then there’s been so many privacy issues to keep abreast on with today’s grievance against Google and all the Facebook ruckus.  With so many online security compromises popping up lately, there must be some truth to all this – and that is making me a bit nervous about what I’m sharing online and with whom.  So my first tip of the day is to be sure to go back and double check all your privacy settings on things like YouTube, Skype, Facebook, MySpace and others.  It never hurts to check to makes sure the right folks are accessing your profiles.

But…I did want to comment today on a few things.

A GRACEFUL AND HONEST EXIT

Brown Used Her Own Words Powerfully in Her Exit

In the field of PR, exits/terminations/lay-offs are always tricky matters that are often highly emotional.  With that, the corp. comm executive is mandated to keep matters as professional as possible and make sure the respective company always comes out smelling like a rose.  As a result, the exiting employee 99 percent of the time follows the strategy of the corp. comm department and often uses its words and phrases.

Early last week, CNN anchor Campbell Brown did a classy move that I wanted to note.  She used her own words to describe her latest transition. Her transparency did not hurt her nor the company in the least and I wanted to applaud her for being pro-active and admitting the truth publicly.  Here’s how she put it in an LA Times article May 18.

To be clear:  this is my decision, and one that I have been thinking about for some time. As for why, I could have said, that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do). Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others’ spin, so I can’t imagine trying to stomach my own. The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.

Bravo Campbell Brown! A beautiful exit that no one could argue that became a classy professional move. I wish you well and may your exit statment serve as an example for others.

And speaking of exits, this also caught my attention.

A CHANGE AGENT WHOSE AN ARTIST

In Monday, May 17′s Wall Street Journal I noticed that Kodak’s Marketing Chief Jeffrey Hayzlett is resigning after four years with the Company.  Since I have several marketing colleagues out of work at the moment, the article intrigued me.  But it was its content that got my interest.  I like this Hayzlett guy-he is one current marketer who is imagining new ways to conduct business, a true change agent – so much so – he even knew when it was the best time for him to move on.

What a healthy and smart guy – here’s why.

A True Listener and Change Artist

The article says that under his short watch, Kodak created the roles of Chief Listener and Chief Blogger and launched a social media team.  And that’s not all, he was behind Kodak’s latest advancement in their camera’s “share” capabilities, meaning allowing users to post photos immediately to Facebook for example from the device.  This Chief Marketer truly gets how important it is to understand the consumer by listening to them and that it takes a skilled individual to work full time as a company blogger.  Can we clone him?

Also, listen to his exiting quote….just like Brown, his truth is as refreshing.  He took himself out of the game.
“My role was to come in and act as a change agent and to get things moving. Now it’s time for someone who’s got a different type of skill to come in,” he said.

He also had reason to leave. He just released a business book, “The Mirror Test,” which he said in the article was a major reason for the departure.  “The book is taking off a lot faster than anyone expected,” Mr. Hayzlett said. “It’s a massive, time-consuming activity.”

If the book is anything like what he displayed through his actions at Kodak, then it’s a must read.

In summary, with these two honest examples of resignations, I hope they are signaling a trend toward transparency!

Exiting Stage Left,

Cindy

Solutions

Final Thoughts on A Great Conference

This will be my final post as a credentialed press member of the NCTA’s “The Cable Show.”  As the exhibits close and the out-of-town executives fly away, The Cable Show will have a lasting effect on all attendees and the even the City of Los Angeles.  Downtown LA was the perfect venue for a conference of this large scale and it performed brilliantly from the food served to a variety of space for events and parking.  It was all good; in fact great.  This convention was indeed important to the city and with that, the Mayor even stopped by.  Of course, more important that the venue choice, was the staff that tirelessly worked on this conference for over a year to make sure every “i” was dotted and “t” crossed.  It ran like clockwork – congrats NCTA staff!

The Exhibit Floor was the Place to Be!

The exhibit floor offered attendees a plethora of choice in information, tchotchkes and celebrities. You name it – and it was here. Cloud TV, video streaming, national networks and even 3-D TV.  The CSPAN digital bus was parked on the floor; Indians and their teepees were present at RFD-TV; Larry Flint posed for autographs in the Hustler TV booth and the Kardashians graced the conference thanks to E!

As far as goofy giveaways, the conference is now becoming knows for bags.  Bags were the #1 giveaway item hands down.  Epix had the best – a gigantic over the shoulder vinyl number and then there were the others:  Nat Geo Wild’s burlap number and a patented leather beauty from AETN.  Alcohol and smoothies were continually flowing and star sitings were common all day long.  Ion Television had the best items in my opinion – each day they mixed up their gifts from watches to pedometers to jump ropes. The choices made you stop by once each day. Well done.

Today’s content centered about broadband with NCTA’s President and CEO Kyle McSlarrow interviewing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The early morning exchange was cordial and eye opening in the aspect that these two forces still have a great amount of work to do in making America more broadband literate.   A word that kept being used today was “adoption.”  This adoption is not about orphans, but used when referring to people who need to subscribe to broadband. For America is lagging behind other countries in this area and the more people who subscribe to the service, the better is it for all as that is the way that the percentage of users will increase.

FCC Holds Press Conference at The Cable Show

On a PR note, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski held a special press conference later in the day in which the same was basically reiterated.  But, I found it interesting to observe his media rep, Jen Howard. She stood by his side, stoically, for fifteen minutes. She also announced that there wouldn’t be any follow up questions, I have never seen that practice before – but she didn’t stick to that.

But, basically I did notice something that the FCC Chair kept saying…and I liked it.  He said over and over that we need to “understand problems and try and find solutions. “ Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we were all in the solutions business!!!

In addition to that nugget, he further stated that he wants to keep the Internet an open source and make sure that it’s safe for use.  He’s all for consumers and allowing them to get information when they want it on the Internet. He also said he and his staff are holding workshops over the net-I’ll have to check that out.

The second session I attended looked at social and traditional media and the panel reflected that with the heads of Showtime, Tivo, Cablevision, William Morris and Twitter waxing eloquent about the subject. The ipad was banted about freely as a game-changer as was the idea that premium content will always be at a premium (pardon the pun.)

When twitter was thrown into the conversation – that’s when it got interesting.  Ari Emanuel from William Morris said that its his job is to make sure he get the most for his clients, including the power that their social connections bring. For instance, Twitter King Ashton Kutcher (nearing 5 million followers) twitter account brings power to products if he endorses something.

NBC Universal Gave Attendees a Night to Remember

Before closing, I would be remiss if I did not mention the stellar party thrown in our behalf last night by NBC Universal. They opened up Universal Studios for a private party for convention attendees that include a concert by Maroon 5; catering by Wolfgang Puck and free arcade play.  It was the closest thing to nirvana. I was finally able to ride “The Simpsons Ride” too. I didn’t win a stuff animal last night, but many did. I didn’t hear of one person who didn’t have a marvelous and memorable time. That gesture sure spoke volumes about the need for LA to host this convention at least once every ten years.

With that and my 900 twitter followers, I am signing off from my duty reporting on THE CABLE SHOW.  A giant thank you for all who made this possible and graciously accepted me into their ranks. I now have to go on a major diet for I ate up a storm these last four days. The food like the conference was filling, fruitful and fabulous!

Cindy

Job Search TV Network – The Time Has Come

Okay, here’s my million dollar TV idea and you are free to steal it if you have the power to make it happen. I don’t that’s why I’m making my plea to you.

With over 15 million people unemployed, I think the time has come for a Job Search TV Channel or Job Search on VOD. Heck, I’ll take just fours hours of programming a week if that’s what is possible at the start.  I whispered this idea to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and a few others yesterday and they all loved it too.  But, I think it’s high time we help those in desperate need of employment with information that makes them more valuable to the market.

Why?

I’ll tell you why.  As person in transition, I have had the good fortune of being in a outplacement service for six months. At this outplacement service I have learned so much that I would have never thought to do or try in job search.  In addition to this service, I’m also enrolled in government job search programs and have attended some local workshops held at various churches and synagogues.  Yes, even synagogues.

It's Time for Job Search TV Programming

I am impressed that all these outfits are teaching the same fundamentals like:

  • The importance of networking – Since only 3 percent of all jobs are landed online; the rest come from who you know-that’s why LinkedIn is so important.
  • 30-second Elevator speech – If it critical that every person in transition be able to verbally recite who they are and what they are looking for. That way others can see how they can assist.
  • Target Companies - Having a game plan of what companies you would like to work for is a critical step. Without knowing the types of firms you are interested in, it’s harder for others to connect you with others.
  • Trends – It is essential to stay ahead of the curb by knowing what industries are hot for new employees. For instance, healthcare is growing, but mostly in the wellness area.  Knowing the key growth areas is necessary, especially if you are planning on investing in re-training.
  • Finances – Knowing how to stretch your money and keep your house while on EDD are just some of the concerns that the jobless face.  This area alone will drive viewership in droves. Who doesn’t need to tighten belts in this tough economy.
  • Healing - It is common to experience depression and grief when going through a job loss.  Trying to navigate through that wilderness is part of the process toward healing and re-gaining confidence to re-enter the job market.

These are just a few of the subjects that the network could present.  The Job Search TV Network could also delve deeper into providing tips for those unemployed with military backgrounds and those just entering the workforce.

Would the Network be successful? With that many people unemployed in the U.S., I believe the ratings for each show could easily hover around 6 to 7 million if not more.  Also, the network is perfectly primed for sponsors. Companies like Monster, CareerBuilder, The Ladders, immediately come to mind.  And that’s not including financial services and insurance companies, etc.

High ratings, guaranteed advertisers and being the first on the scene are definite pluses with this new enterprise, however, they don’t hold a candle to the goodwill the company will receive for doing so.  Not only will the press jump on board and provide first-rate coverage, but the Government and The White House will also point toward your efforts.

So if you are a major communications corporation or a struggling independent cable network that needs attention, think about this subject.  It’s a win win for all and will help get America back on its feet.

President Obama Will Applaud Job Search Programming

Today, at THE CABLE SHOW executives who can make this happen are here – I just wish my blog had a loud enough voice to truly get some traction on this core subject. Brian Roberts, Jeff Bewkes, Peter Chernin, Les Moonves, Jeff Zucker, Matt Blank, Glenn Britt, Philip Kent, Tony Vinciquerra, David Zaslav -I’d love to talk to you about this subject!

I’d love to hear you thoughts about this type of programming. Would you watch?

Cindy

The Cable Show – Day 1 – A Demanding Bunch, um Brunch

The NCTA “The Cable Show” started today and first up was the HRTS/NCTA brunch featuring a conversation with Comcast (soon to be owner of NBC Universal) President and CEO Brian Roberts. The event was being moderated by Peter Chernin, a former boss at Fox who’s early beginnings were in the field of publicity. So I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Chernin’s.  And at the press table, I had the honor of sitting next to CableFax’s Michael Grebb and Jeanne Wolf. I couldn’t ask for better company.

Poised for the Future

Roberts took the floor sans Chernin at the beginning to showcase his On-Demand wares. He announced that Comcast will now offer a bazillion of choices with his On-Demand service called Xfinity. They are enlarging their film archives immensely and he showed us how you can navigate and drill down to find what the consumer wants.  You can search by actor’s name, genre, film festival and even donate to a cause by choosing a certain piece of content.

I also was excited to see that he mentioned that he is working with the ipad to showcase content. It was nice to hear him recognize that it’s a relevant content distribution point.

He understands good management is not micro-management

He understands good management is not micro-management

Chernin threw out a heavy piece of artillery at the start. He asked what his disappointments have been. Roberts thought he was a bit slow on the dime in the content area.  He wished he had made investments 20 years ago in cable companies like Turner or Discovery.

Roberts thinks that cable has been under-valued in its contributions to the industry.  In addition for being known for sending a monthly bill, cable has made advancements in content. Who wouldn’t agree to that some of TV’s most memorable shows have come from cable companies.

It was a great that Roberts pointed out that one of its shining examples at his company is Frank Eliason, who heads up ComcastCares.  Frank is a rock star in social media and all those involved in the field, know that he is a trend setter who cares for his customers. It was great to hear Roberts’ recognize his contributions.

I have been around Mr. Roberts before at conferences, but I forgot how much I like him and his demeanor.  I like how relaxed he is as a media mogul.  He could be the neighbor next door. He’s not rushed, pretentious nor reek of the Hollywood power stench – even though he is a leader in entertainment.  Maybe it’s because he runs a family company and his dad is still an ever presence.  But, what I could gather from his comments, simply  is:

-He understands that his success comes in taking care of customers.  He is striving to make new devices easier to use for consumers which I say is brilliant. We’ ve got enough to figure out on own and any help that others give us is welcome.  Smart thinking.

-He also is not going to micro-manage NBC Universal. He’s not going to shove their ways down the new company’s throat.  He knows that each channel has its own distinct brand he’ll leave it at that.

-He knows the company has to transform and will and so he has to be constantly changing and he’s open to it.  A company that creates is what he is excited about.

-NBC News is going to be the cornerstone to the company. He is excited about acquiring it and needs to protect it. NBC News he said will help define Comcast.

Chernin did a nice job moderating the conversation. As a former top executive at News Corp., Chernin knew first-hand some of the struggles Roberts and gang will encounter and tried his best to tip his hat to a few – like angering politicians or consumers with a subject of newscast.

It was the perfect way to kick off the convention – and I’m so glad that Roberts agreed. For is there anything bigger than this acquistion at the moment in cable?

On to the next event.

Cindy

Cable Show Eve-Thoughts as Hundreds of Cable Execs Overtake LA

Notes and a variety of thoughts from yours truly on the eve of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s (NCTA) “The Cable Show” Convention as it begins in Los Angeles tomorrow through Friday.

*The Cable Executives Are Coming! If you’re noticing more signage about cable TV shows this week around town – don’t fear that your rates will soon be rising…For it’s all being purposely done by those “said” networks to show off their wares before their competitors who are in town for the national convention – The Cable Show starts tomorrow. If each network was like a peacock – it’s their way of showing off their feathers to impress others.

A Public Affairs Program to Help Fight Against Hunger - The Sportsman Channel

*Year Round Attention – There are some cool things happening in conjunction with the NCTA.  For instance, The Sportsman Channel is busing a load full of cable conventioneers to the Union Rescue Mission tomorrow afternoon to feed the homeless through a special event called Hunt. Fish. Feed.  I was hoping to attend, but I had a conflict in my schedule.  Then tomorrow night a group of cable executives are organizing a fund-raising event in honor of Will Flannery, a wonderful cable executive and family man who passed away suddenly last year at the age of 38.  They are raising money to help his family – its an incredible gesture and I applaud those who are behind it – this is how cable makes a difference.

*Money Men - Well cable has “Mad Men” and it also has “Money Men.”  Kudos to LA Times Reporter Meg James for her story today based on the results of a Los Angeles Times survey that listed compensation packages doled out to C-level media and entertainment executives. The figures these heads of entertainment corporations received was eye-opening and it also was perfectly timed to make an impact as the cable convention begins this week in LA. A majority of the men making these incredible salaries will be here in town, earning their money.

I have included a chart that the LA TIMES featured with the story for you to see for yourself the obscene sums of money these men, not women, earned last year.

If I get a chance I’d like to ask Meg James, a fantastic TV business reporter, if she could follow up this story with another article on this subject for I am curious about two things – (1) How much money did these suits devote to charity last year? And (2) how many people were laid off from their respective corporations last year?

I mean, not to point fingers at Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media – but he brought home $87 million last year. What in the world can you do with $87 million!!!! My hope is that he is using it to re-invest it back into America by either – giving it back to his company so they can keep employees, handling some back to our U.S. Government so it can cancel a small portion of its national debt, donating some to those less fortunate like earthquake survivors in Haiti or Mexico or doing something other than buying more homes or cars. That is my wish for all of them and to be fair-I know most of these men are generous with their contributions.  My favorite wish would  be that would give it all back to their companies to keep employees on their jobs!!!!!!!!!!! They can make a huge difference in the world and I hope that they follow in Bill Gates’ footsteps in this area – his Foundation with is wife Melinda is amazing. What huge opportunities these “money men” have and so many worthy causes to choose from. I wish I had that dilemma, don’t you?  What would you do with $87 mill?

Chart: Compensation for media executives

So that’s it for today…I’ve got to pack up all my stuff and get ready for the convention tomorrow. I’ll be getting my credentials in the afternoon and start reporting as soon as I can.  I’ve got a lot of people to say hi to first though at the NCTA – I am so looking forward to seeing all my colleagues again and learning about the future of cable.

Stay tuned.

All My Best,

Cindy

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