Buyers getting inside scoop

Apr 1, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Be the first media buyer on your block to know how ABC’s 2002-03 development is taking shape.
In a move that does for programming development what dedicated cable channels did for news viewers-reduce the waiting time for the news to kick in-ABC has launched a Web site, ABCStagePass.com, on which the advertising community can get the latest casting news and other progress on programming being readied for next season by new ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne.
The Web site, for which registration but no fee is required, launched a week ago as a faithful rendering of the presentations made that week to advertisers. Visitors can click on Ms. Lyne’s main selling points (family-style shows, “a reach for more stability and clarity,” “a commitment to supporting talent”) and resume, as well as listings of the talent, producers and studio origins of all shows in development. The site also includes video clips for some of those projects.
The Web site will be updated as clips from pilots become available and as on- or off-air adjustments are made.
A streaming-style ticker across the top of the page promises “Future Opportunities for You to Weigh In” and “Much More!” for visitors. Said Dan Longest, ABC’s senior VP of integrated marketing and promotion: “We’d love to hear from them.”
A list of ABC Television Network sales executives and their phone numbers is also included on the site.
It’s the most extreme form of development data delivery being practiced by any of the networks, which tend to disseminate printed material that is often outdated by the time the ink dries. The plan is to keep the site up and running well past May to accommodate the creative tinkering that continues through the summer.
Hosted by ABC.com, the site was hatched by Mr. Longest and Mike Benson, senior VP of advertising and marketing at ABC.
Mr. Longest would not discuss the cost of catering to the advertising community at this level except to say, “Cost wasn’t a big concern, although we are managing this very efficiently.”