News Briefs

Nov 3, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Count Paramount among the syndicators attending the National Association of Television Program Executives conference from a higher point of view. Sources said the distributor will take suites at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas this January in lieu of appearing on the convention floor. Paramount would join Warner Bros. and Buena Vista in maintaining its NATPE presence away from the hustle of the market floor for the third consecutive year. Recently, Paramount’s sister Viacom company, King World, announced it would join NBC, Sony, Universal and Carsey-Werner-Mandabach in shifting its presence to the Sands Convention Center. Twentieth and Tribune remain undecided on where they will hold shop.
Universal’s McCabe Gets New Duties
Universal Domestic Television has assigned an executive to oversee program partnerships and integrated marketing campaigns with major advertisers. J.R. McCabe, named senior VP, sales and program partnerships, also will be responsible for expanding UDT’s sales of original programming to cable and other outlets. Mr. McCabe has been senior VP, Northeast sales, since January 2002. He will continue to oversee syndication program sales for UDT’s New York and Chicago sales offices. “Through the program partnerships he creates, J.R. will provide new and creative ways to integrate sponsors’ brands into our shows,” said Arthur Hasson, executive VP, sales and new business, in a statement. “J.R. will be responsible for increasing sales of original product to new program platforms outside of UDT’s traditional station base.”
Johnson & Johnson Shopping for Scatter
Johnson & Johnson was in the ad market last week, buying fourth-quarter scatter time as well as making its regular calendar-year upfront buys. J&J is among a number of major advertisers that buy their ad time on a calendar-year basis rather than on a TV-season basis in May during the larger upfront. J&J’s fourth-quarter plans call for buying $15 million to $20 million of ad time in news, early morning and older-skewing cable for a brand that skews 35-plus, according to network salespeople. J&J does not appear to be buying extra network prime time at this time.
Fuse Ignites Ad Campaign
Fuse, Cablevision Systems’ digital music channel, is launching a new $2 million ad campaign starting Monday, Nov. 3. Print ads feature such offbeat spokespeople as Hair Club for Men founder Cy Sperling, former telepsychic Miss Cleo, former televangelist Tammy Faye Messner and nudie TV show hostess Robin Byrd. On Nov. 17 TV ads will begin to air in seven markets and on satellite TV. Those ads parody public service announcements, warning teens about the dangers of music videos. “We have looked at what teens’ response has been to all the marketing that’s around them,” said Mark Juris, president of Fuse. “They look at it with a measure of sarcasm and irony.” The campaign will also have online and street components.
Time Warner to Intro Digital Sports Tier
Time Warner Cable announced it will introduce a digital sports tier for digital customers in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Mount Vernon and mid-Hudson Counties, N.Y., and Bergen and Hudson Counties, N.J. For $3.95 monthly, customers can view NBA TV, Tennis Channel, three Fox Sports digital networks and Fuel, beginning Nov. 19.
Get Ready for H.Y.P.E. TV
A new premium cable network called H.Y.P.E. TV (as in “Hot Young People’s Entertainment Television”) is planned for launch in 2004. The programming slate will include uncensored music videos, movies, fashion, public affairs and original programming reflecting the hip-hop lifestyle. Key figures include founder Peter Griffith, CEO of hip-hop consumer portal site Hookt.com, and President Tracy Lawrence, a former executive for MTV Networks and Fox Family Channel. H.Y.P.E. TV is in negotiations to secure financial and carriage distribution deals.