Oct 8, 2015
9:12 am

U.S. Man Who Was Hailed as a Hero for Role in Stopping Terrorist Attack on French Train Is Stabbed Multiple Times in Sacramento (USA Today)

A California man who helped stop a terrorist attack in France in August was the victim of a stabbing early today in downtown Sacramento, Calif., USA Today reports.

Spencer Stone, 23, from the Northern California town of Carmichael, was reportedly in stable condition at a local hospital after receiving multiple stab wounds.

Stone is part of a group of Americans credited with stopping a terrorist attack on a French train. The Americans have been hailed as heroes for their role in the incident, in which a Moroccan man, Ayoub El-Khazzani, 25, was arrested.

“ABC10 in Sacramento reports that Stone was the victim in an assault near 21st and K streets in downtown Sacramento around 12:45 a.m. and that police were looking for a suspect,” USA Today reports. “ABC News has learned Stone may have been protecting a friend at the time of the stabbing.”

Stone was hospitalized in August following the incident in France, in which he and two other Americans tackled and subdued El-Khazzani, who was reportedly armed with a Kalashnikov and an automatic Luger, on a train bound for Paris.

“The three Americans, hailed as heroes, said they acted out of instinct and were ready to fight to the death to stop the attack,” the publication reports. “They were awarded the French Legion of Honor and met last month in the Oval Office with President Obama.”

Oct 8, 2015
8:44 am

Oh, for the Halcyon Days: We Should Not Let the Deceptions of Recent Volkswagen Management Obscure the Brilliance of the Original VW Bug, Which Inspired a Sea Change in the World of Advertising. It’s the Fun (and Educational) Must-Read Story of the Day (TVWeek, Ad Age)

By Chuck Ross —

How bad is it these days for Volkswagen? Ad Age reported recently that “VW-owned Audi continued to run its regular TV ads that include its ‘Truth In Engineering’ tagline. On VW’s Facebook page, one commenter twisted that slogan to say ‘Engineering the Truth.’”

That’s what you get for screwing around with 11 million diesel engine cars so they pollute like crazy.

Who knows how long before VW will once again be thought of in a positive light by consumers.

But whatever the future holds for VW, let us not forget that the original VW Beetle was truly a brilliantly engineered car that changed the face of advertising. Indeed, when I was working at Ad Age back in 1999, and we were putting together a special issue about the last 100 years in advertising, the work done by Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) for VW was named the top ad campaign of the century.

The VW Beetle was, compared with most American automobiles, the anti-car. And DDB’s advertising for it was almost anti-advertising, in that it humorously played up all the features of the Beetle, most of which were 180 degrees from what U.S. advertising was touting about U.S. cars.

For example, American cars, generally changed their look every year or every few years. Beetles looked the same year in and year out. They were small cars, powered by small rear-mounted engines. They were cheap to run and cheap to fix.

As Ad Age’s indispensable “Encyclopedia of Advertising” notes, “In the 1960s, the Volkswagen Beetle became the best-selling imported car in America, and its advertising became the most influential in the industry. For all the praise the campaign has received, however, it should be noted that the product offered DDB a creative luxury; it was not the sort of ‘parity’ product agencies typically struggle to separate from the competition. The VW was a unique product that virtually forced its uniqueness upon the advertising.”

Fortunately for all of us, DDB was up to the task. That was primarily due to three men: the B in DDB, and it’s creative director, Bill Bernbach; the primary art director on the account, Helmut Krone; and copywriter Julian Koenig. They created print ads that were vividly memorable.

Several years ago Buzzfeed posted 50 Beetle print ads that were their favorites. They are wonderful, and you’ll have a great time looking at them here. But before you click over, here’s my favorite Beetle ad, from my own collection of ads. It was done by DDB in 1962 for a local Los Angeles VW dealership. The art director and designer of the ad was Stan Jones. The picture was taken by Bernard Gardner, and the copywriter was either Janet Boden or Dan Dixon.




Oct 8, 2015
8:09 am

Channel Announces Layoffs, Cancels Programs (Miami Herald)

A multiplatform TV channel that is a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Univision has laid off 30 full-time employees and is revamping its television lineup. The Miami Herald reports that the moves are taking place at the Florida-based cable and satellite channel Fusion.

The moves follow up on a shift in Fusion’s programming priorities that was unveiled about a month ago.

“In a memo sent to staff on Sept. 10, Fusion CEO Isaac Lee announced ‘we have recently spent time examining our TV operations and programming strategy’ and settled on three priorities for 2016: the presidential election, investigative specials and topical comedy,” the paper reports. “In the works are 12 new enterprise projects and an eight-hour miniseries about the global black market, tentatively titled ‘Traffic.'”

Lee warned of the coming layoffs in the email, writing: “Ultimately these changes mean we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our colleagues.”

The Herald reports that Fusion has canceled “Come Here and Say That,” a pop culture program hosted by Alicia Menendez. Menendez will reportedly stay on at the network, covering the election and immigration issues.

Also canceled is the weekday sports show “Soccer Gods,” hosted by Simon Carr and Nando Vila, which will continue as a podcast and online program. Still undecided is the fate of “The Cannabusiness Report with Ryan Nerz,” which recently wrapped up its second season.

come here and say that-fusion-alicia menendez

Oct 8, 2015
7:44 am

Veteran TV Anchor Steps Down at Major-Market Station (Adweek)

A veteran news anchor gave a surprising reason for resigning after a 33-year run at Philadelphia station KYW-TV — but maybe less surprising than it would have been prior to House Speaker John Boehner’s recent Pope-inspired resignation.

Adweek reports that longtime anchor Pat Ciarrocchi also credited the Pope when she told colleagues she was exiting her post at the CBS O&O in the nation’s No. 4 TV market.

Ciarrocchi reportedly wrote in a message to KYW staffers: “On September 27th, just before 8PM, Pope Francis and Shepherd One were wheels up bound for the next chapter in his Papacy. As I watched in that moment, I felt my wheels lift up too… bound for the next chapter in a career that has had me anchored here for more than 33 years.”

Ciarrocchi announced that the noon show on Oct. 15 would be her last. She also wrote: “I so want to do more with my life. And I need freedom to do that. The Francis visit has empowered me with the strength to forge a path that is certain to use my voice. I believe it includes new business and community opportunities.”


Oct 8, 2015
7:31 am

Former Twitter CEO Has a New Gig: Adviser on a TV Show (BloombergBusiness)

“The former chief executive officer of the beleaguered social network Twitter has a new job that some might view as a promotion — contributor to the writers room on HBO’s hit show ‘Silicon Valley,’” reports BloombergBusiness.

The story adds, “In an interview on Bloomberg TV, show creator Mike Judge said the writers use [former Twitter CEO Dick] Costolo as a sounding board to ensure that story lines are plausible. ‘He’s a funny guy,’ Judge said in the interview, taped at a Vanity Fair conference in San Francisco. ‘It’s just great to be able to be spinning stories, coming up with ideas, and just go, “Hey, Dick, would this ever happen?”’”

Interestingly, Costolo also used to be a stand-up comic, the article says.

To learn more about this item please click on the link, above, which will take you to the original BloombergBusiness piece.


Oct 8, 2015
7:17 am

ESPN Breaks Ground, Brings a Woman Into the Broadcast Booth for Last Night’s AL Wild Card Game — So How Did the Fans React? (Washington Post)

A woman broke one of the longstanding gender barriers in sports during last night’s American League Wild Card Game, in which the Houston Astros eliminated the New York Yankees, 3-0.

The game, carried by ESPN, included color commentary by Jessica Mendoza, 34, a veteran reporter who has been with ESPN since 2007 and is a two-time Olympic medalist in softball. The Washington Post reports that Mendoza became the first woman to provide color commentary during a major league playoff telecast.

“Women have made inroads in every aspect of sports journalism over the past 40 years, becoming reporters, columnists, studio hosts and sideline reporters,” The Post notes. “But they have remained almost invisible in one sub-realm: broadcast commentary. Opinions and analysis in sports broadcasting have remained the nearly exclusive preserve of men.”

Mendoza broke another barrier when she did analysis back in August on a Cardinals-Diamondbacks game, becoming the first woman to do analysis on a national broadcast, the report notes. But Tuesday’s single-game elimination showdown was “her biggest stage yet,” the Post adds.

“Some of the reaction to Mendoza on social media was, perhaps predictably, cruel,” the story reports. “Along with the usual raw misogyny, several men questioned whether anyone who hadn’t played the game could analyze it (apparently they’ve never heard of legendary baseball announcers Vin Scully, Jack Buck or Red Barber). One tweeter bared what may be the male sports fan’s psyche: ‘Why do I turn on baseball and hear a woman’s voice in the broadcast booth?!? We watch sports to get away from women.’”

But Mendoza also received an outpouring of support. “Among her 200 postgame texts were congratulatory messages from ESPN colleague Mike Tirico and CNN sports anchor Rachel Nichols,” The Post reports.

She also received good reviews. The report quotes Yahoo baseball blogger Mike Oz writing: “Jessica Mendoza is good at her job. … She’s insightful and interesting and offers a different perspective. If you don’t want to hear different voices and different opinions while watching sports, then why not just watch black-and-white VHS tapes from the good ol’ days?”


Oct 8, 2015
7:11 am

Jay Leno Explains How His Feud With Jimmy Kimmel Got Started — Then There’s Also That Letterman Thing … (E! Online, TV Insider, Mediaite)

Jay Leno has been wagging his formidable chin this week, and one subject that keeps coming up is his famous feud with former late-night rival Jimmy Kimmel. E! Online reports that Leno laid out some of the particulars of the ongoing beef during a number of media encounters.

According to Jay, it’s Kimmel who has the problem with Leno, not the other way around.

The story notes that Leno said during an appearance Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show that Kimmel “comes from radio … where you find an enemy and then you make up a phony battle. I never had any problems with the guy, but he chose to go after me. And that’s fine, welcome to show business.”

But that doesn’t mean Jay is at a loss for something negative to say about Kimmel. In an interview with TV Insider back in August the subject came up of Kimmel’s low ratings. Jay attributed it to Kimmel’s shortage of what Leno believes is one of the most important ingredients in a late-night host: kindness.

Leno told TV Insider: “The show makes you arrogant. I think that’s Jimmy Kimmel’s problem. I think he’s a talented guy, I think he’s funny. But he has a mean streak, and it comes across. He does this thing where he takes Halloween candy from kids and the kids cry. What am I missing here? It is funny I guess, but it’s mean-based. I think that’s why he’s not higher in the ratings.”

Mediaite notes that Leno and Kimmel had a pivotal encounter back in 2010, when, as the report puts it, “Leno was poised to steal the ‘Tonight Show’ back from Conan O’Brien.”

Mediaite reports: “Kimmel famously did his entire monologue as Leno, making joke after joke at the host’s expense. Then, during an appearance on Leno’s short-lived primetime show, Kimmel relentlessly went after him for his treatment of O’Brien.”

Mediaite also notes that Leno mentioned his even more famous feud with Letterman this week, reiterating that “he only refused to appear on one of David Letterman’s final shows because Letterman declined an invite to do a bit on his last ‘Tonight Show.'”

jimmy kimmel live-logo

Oct 8, 2015
7:09 am

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Unveils Nominees for 2016 Induction — Here’s the List (rollingstone.com)

The nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 have been revealed, with Janet Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths and Yes all on the list.

Here’s the full list, in alphabetical order:

  • The Cars
  • Cheap Trick
  • Chic
  • Chicago
  • Deep Purple
  • Janet Jackson
  • The J.B.’s
  • Chaka Khan
  • Los Lobos
  • Steve Miller
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • N.W.A.
  • The Smiths
  • The Spinners
  • Yes

Fan voting is again a part of the process, with rollingstone.com providing a web page where fans can pick their five favorites.

rock and roll hall of fame-logo

Oct 8, 2015
7:07 am

Rupert Murdoch, in a Flurry of Tweets, First Says Obama Is Not a ‘Real Black President’ and Then Apologizes for Saying It (TVWeek)

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old media mogul, is no stranger to controversy, and he was in the midst of one he self-created yesterday on Twitter.

Murdoch’s first tweet, yesterday afternoon, read, “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.”

Ben Carson, a doctor, is running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Murdoch followed that up with this tweet yesterday, “Read New York magazine for minority community disappointment with POTUS.”

After a firestorm of negativity to his tweets, Murdoch tweeted this morning, “Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.”

Oct 8, 2015
7:01 am

Sitcom Described as ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Meets ‘American Sniper’ Under Development (Deadline)

Todd Holland, the Emmy-winning director (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Malcolm in the Middle”),“has set up a single-camera half-hour comedy [called] ‘The Homefront’ at ABC,” writes our friend Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com. She notes that the project is from ABC Studios.

The story reports: “Written by Colleen McGuinness (‘30 Rock’), ‘The Homefront’ is described as ‘”Everybody Loves Raymond” meets “American Sniper.”’ Loosely based on the life of McGuinness, whose father is a retired Green Beret, it centers on a retired Green Beret who comes back to the U.S. and moves near his grown daughter and grandkids, only to find that it’s easier to face death every day than to live in the suburbs.”

To read more about this item we urge you to click on the link, above, which will take you to Andreeva’s original article.

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