Ad Week Notes: Cuban Taps Rodman for Series

Oct 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

HDNet co-founder and President Mark Cuban is launching a new makeover series starring former NBA player Dennis Rodman.

Mr. Cuban announced the project during an appearance at Advertising Week 2006, a series of events last week for the advertising and media industries held in New York. Further details about the project are not yet known.

Mr. Cuban added that his newsmagazine starring former CBS anchor Dan Rather will debut Oct. 24. The weekly “Dan Rather Reports” program will be supplemented by 64 stringers from around the world.-JAMES HIBBERD

NBCU’s Wright Addresses Digital Future

Special to TelevisionWeek

NBC Universal Chairman and CEO Bob Wright hopes that within 12 months his company books $400 million to $500 million in digital advertising, has a number of integrated broadcast and digital program ventures and is offering movies in many countries via digital delivery.

Mr. Wright, interviewed by TelevisionWeek Publisher and Editorial Director Chuck Ross as part of Advertising Week events in New York, said NBC Universal is trying to “sort out the real consumer application” of all the digital opportunities bearing down on the television industry.

NBC Universal’s multiple television operations reflect the variety of businesses Mr. Wright must guide into a digital future.

NBC Universal’s recent acquisition of iVillage, an Internet site targeting women, was in part based on the overlap between the site’s users and “Today” show viewers, Mr. Wright said. He said the company has high expectations for a “full-tilt experiment” it is launching to integrate iVillage content into a TV show for NBC-owned and -operated stations.

Audience enthusiasm to participate in shows such as NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” has generated some 50 million unique callers since spring from fans eager to express their opinions, Mr. Wright said.

NBCU’s USA Network hasn’t generated as much audience involvement, and the network hasn’t yet figured out why, he said.-ELIZABETH JENSEN