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Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

NBC Agency, Premier Retail Nets Team to Promote HDTV

The NBC Agency has partnered with Premier Retail Networks to create a second national campaign promoting high-definition television, following last year’s effort designed to educate consumers on the benefits of HD.

The new campaign starts next month with the first round of spots to debut in stores that carry PRN programming. PRN provides in-store networks for the major electronics retailers. The promo spots feature NBC stars Kelsey Grammer, John Larroquette and Christine Baranski talking about the benefits of digital audio and surround sound, how to set up a home system and other features of HD.

The NBC Agency services the advertising and promotional needs of all NBC-owned entities.

PRN’s Nielsen numbers for the spots that launched last August were up 40 percent, according to PRN. In addition, 94 percent of shoppers who saw the custom programming find the in-store network the most important information source when deciding whether to purchase an HDTV, PRN said.

Fox News Launches ‘You Decide 2004’ Online: FoxNews.com introduced a new section of its Web site dedicated to covering the 2004 campaign at www.foxnews.com/youdecide2004. “You Decide 2004” launched last week but will be put to the test today with the Iowa Caucus. The new section will include regular reports from Fox News Channel’s chief political correspondent Carl Cameron, campaign news, interactive election guides, daily streaming video clips and slide shows with audio. The election guide includes details on all of the national races and will allow users to cross-reference candidates according to different issues.

VT2 Prepares for Super Bowl Post-Production: Production facility VT2 in Houston began preparations for its role in the post-production needs of CBS’s coverage of the Super Bowl Feb. 1. The facility is less than a mile from Houston’s Reliant Park and will allow CBS Sports to produce pregame and postgame shows, features, bumpers and related graphics. VT2 has been wiring the facility during the past few weeks, and CBS will begin to send engineers there this week with editors to follow next week, said Vic Tamborella, CEO and president of VT2. He added that VT2 offers audio, sound design, nonlinear video editing and high-end graphics. MTV will also utilize the 75-foot by 75-foot sound stage for its halftime rehearsals.

Fox Addresses Indecency, Weak Sweeps Performance: A joint search for ways to exploit local digital spectrum, a weak November sweeps, frequent prime-time lineup changes and the return of TV indecency as a political issue in Washington were the key topics at gatherings of Fox Broadcasting affiliates and network executives on the eve of the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Las Vegas.

News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said the network’s poor performance in the November sweeps was something for which he accepts the blame in remarks made Saturday during a general affiliates convention, also attended by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and son Lachlan, the News Corp. deputy COO responsible for the owned-stations group and Twentieth Television.

At what was described as an amicable (if long) meeting the day before with the Fox affiliates advisory board, Fox representatives pledged to curb the frequent last-minute scheduling changes made to buck up prime-time performance.

“We’re working hand in hand rather well,” said Ron Crowder, who was promoted to chief operating officer of Communications Corp. of America last week and who succeeded Prime Cities Broadcasting executive John Tupper as the chairman of the affiliates board.

A committee dedicated to exploring digital-spectrum partnership possibilities held its first meeting shortly after the board-network meeting at which it was formed. On the committee: Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, LIN Television President Gary Chapman, Fox Networks Group President Tony Vinciquerra and Fox Network Distribution President Robert Quicksilver.

Mr. Vinciquerra, who last year added standards and practices to the departments that report to him, promised the affiliates that Fox will make clear to producers and stars of live programs that profanity is unacceptable.

“If talent is going to keep trying to impress their friends [by cursing], it is going to be the end of live programming,” Mr. Vinciquerra said.