Brill’s Content, Inside.com hook up
Last week’s rumors came true with the announcement today that Brill Media Holdings and Powerful Media are merging. In exchange for a stake in Brill Media, Brill gets the assets of Powerful Media, chiefly Inside.com and the Web site’s magazine spinoff, which will be merged with Brill’s Content into a monthly magazine titled Inside Content.
The newly merged company will supply “a variety of additional editorial services” to Media Central, the Primedia Unit that has a 49 percent stake in, but no funding obligations to, Brill Media Holdings.
The announcement also noted that Inside.com’s “paid subscription model will now be pursued much more aggressively” with most of the material “available only to password-enabled subscribers” of Media Central’s publications.
Steven Brill continues as managing general partner and CEO of Brill Media Holdings.
Final Four ratings rise, XFL declines: Preliminary national ratings for CBS’s coverage of the NCAA Final Four on Saturday showed a 10.4 rating/21 share average, up 9 percent from last year.
Running against the NCAA Final Four coverage on CBS Saturday, NBC’s XFL game hit a season low with a 1.7 rating/3 share in the metered markets, 19 percent lower than on the two previous Saturdays.
Turrell to do talking for Turner: Brad Turell today was named executive vice president for communications at Turner Broadcasting System, where he will be both company spokesman and strategist. Mr. Turell, who will relocate to Turner headquarters in Atlanta, will report to Turner Broadcasting System Chairman and CEO Jamie Kellner, his boss during the founding days of both Fox Broadcasting and The WB. Mr. Kellner now runs the expanded division that includes The WB and all ad-supported networks of AOL Time Warner.
“The combination of Turner Broadcasting with The WB gives Jamie the canvas to design the new model for the No. 1 vertically integrated television and Internet company of the modern media era,” Mr. Turell said. “If I can assist him in doing that, then this opportunity will top even that of the start-ups of Fox and The WB … only a lot more humid.”
The successor to Mr. Turell is expected to be named soon.
Lowry senior VP at UPN: United Paramount Network has named veteran public relations executive Joanna Lowry senior vice president of corporate communications. Ms. Lowry, who will report to UPN CEO Dean Valentine, will oversee business communications and public relations strategies out of the network’s Los Angeles headquarters, effective April 9.
Ms. Lowry comes over from LMNO Productions, a Los Angeles-based TV production company, where she was vice president of marketing and new business development.
MusicNet platform planned: AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann AG, EMI Group and RealNetworks announced they will jointly create a platform for online music subscription services. MusicNet will combine an extensive collection of downloadable and streamed music using digital distribution technology devised by RealNetworks.
Under the agreement, the four companies will each own a minority stake in the new, autonomously run MusicNet, and the partners’ music subsidiaries will each separately license their music to the network on a nonexclusive basis.
‘Tikiville’ pushed back: Although NBC had previously listed the comedy “Tikiville” as a fall 2001 pilot prospect, the network has pushed back development to midseason.