media brands

But Will It Be a Hit? Recording Industry Bible Billboard Rolls Out a New Look

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 25, 2013 04:53 PM

Print publications have been cutting back in various ways in recent years, including employing smaller staffs and printing on smaller paper sizes. Now the 119-year-old Billboard is unveiling a total redesign that involves its own chopping down.

In the redesign, which debuts Saturday, the brand’s iconic capital “B” loses a bit of ink and be lowercased. Business Insider points out it follows a recent design trend that's seen brands like Arby’s, Weight Watchers, Lifetime and the brand formerly known as as J.C. Penney’s, jcp

The longstanding colors inside Billboard’s lettering will disappear on the print publication to give it a more grownup feel, but remain mostly the same on the brand’s website (though the blue in the “a” is lighter and now the “b” will get a touch of green). Each letter will also be much thicker.Continue reading...

media brands

Financial Times Moves to Adapt as London Media Confront a Digital Future

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 22, 2013 04:04 PM

The editor of The Financial Times has announced big changes at the paper, reflecting how digital is continuing to transform even the most venerable and longstanding European-based news media titles.

An email by editor Lionel Barber to his staff announced that the news organization would cut 35 jobs, relegate print second to digital and hire 10 digital journalists as “old titles” like the FT continue to be “routinely disrupted by new entrants such as Google, LinkedIn and Twitter.” 

The strategy signals a “big cultural shift for the FT that is only likely to be achieved with further structural change,” Barber’s email continued. Journalists need to become “content editors rather than page editors," he said. "We must rethink how we publish our content, when and in what form, whether conventional news, blogs, video or social media.”Continue reading...

media brands

Food Network, Turning 20, Refreshes Brand With New Look and Attitude

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 21, 2013 11:18 AM

Food Network welcomed the New Year with a new look, heralding its two decades of making a 24/7 food TV programmer a powerhouse brand (it turns 20 on Nov. 23rd). An updated logo and graphics package hit the air January 6th as part of a multiplatform roll-out, the first identity update since 1997. 

Working with Hollywood-based agency Troika, the refresh focuses on ‘Characters and Stories’ in promos that take the Scripps-owned cable network's programming beyond the food and around the table, as seen in on-air promos such as the one, above, for "Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell" or Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri's new reality series.

“Food Network has grown and we wanted to freshen-up our look and energy to better reflect our evolution into a broader, multi-platform entertainment brand,” said Susie Fogelson, SVP, Marketing and Brand Strategy, Food Network and Cooking Channel in a press release by parent Scripps Networks Interactive.

The refresh includes a “Smart” bug system to promote shows, activate social media conversations, navigate audiences across platforms, and drive business to Food Network’s other ventures, such as Food Network Magazine.Continue reading...

media brands

From The Wall Street Journal, a Glossy For Those Who Have It All (Or Want To)

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 15, 2013 05:40 PM

The one percent is alive, well and being targeted by The Wall Street Journal with a new magazine insert: WSJ Money, a spin-off of WSJ Magazine, which calls itself "the world's largest luxury magazine."

"It's for people who are voyeuristically interested in the high end, and are at the high end," Mike Miller, a Journal senior deputy managing editor overseeing the magazine, told Adweek

Scheduled to debut March 9 and publish quarterly, the glossy will focus on personal finance and be distributed in the Journal's weekend edition in the U.S., which has a current circulation of 2.3 million. The edit/ad plan is to publish 50 pages per issue: 30 for editorial and 20 for ads.

The announcement follows the recent launches of Bloomberg Pursuits and Dujour, which joined Departures and ForbesLife in the category.Continue reading...

media brands

VH1 Gets #Plussed With New On-Air Look and Logo

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 8, 2013 05:42 PM

When VH1 got started way back in 1985, the cable TV network followed right in the footsteps of its sibling MTV, although focused its efforts at an older demo. While MTV (short for Music Television) scored big with tunes for adolescents and young adults (Men at Work, anyone?), VH1 (an acronym for Video Hits One) was going for the slightly older crowd, playing music videos featuring the likes of Elton John, Donna Summer, and Rod Stewart.

The thirst for an endless stream of music videos on both Viacom-owned channels came to a halt only a few years into their collective existence and shows with varying levels of quality were cranked out. VH1 scored hits with the annotated Pop-Up Video series, the gossipy tell-all bio series Behind the Music, and the artist-centric VH1 Storytellers. The music in both brands has consistently been drowned out since then with a slew of other programming, inspiring the perennial plea by boomers to bring back the music to MTV and VH1 (season three of IFC's Portlandia kicked off with a plotline to take back MTV from tween with its original VJs and news anchor, Kurt Loder.)

VH1, for one, has decided to indicate that shift with a change in its logo (or as the company likes to call it, "tagmark"). 

As announced at the TCA TV Critics Association press tour, VH1 is kicking off the new year by adding a plus sign to the end of its logo, to reflect the changes in the digital world — meshing together the network’s music, pop culture and nostalgia content together — in tandem with adopting a black-and-white look and feel to its visual identity and on-air promos. It's promoting the new look with, naturally, a #plussed hashtag on Twitter.Continue reading...

media brands

Current in Hand, Can Al Jazeera Overcome "Terrorist Network" Misconception?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 3, 2013 02:55 PM

It’s the kind of headline you can’t make up, but the New York Times got the scoop on Current TV's sale: “Al Jazeera Seeks a U.S. Voice Where Gore Failed.”

Since 2006, Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has been struggling to convince Americans its English-language 24/7 news channel is legitimate, not a mouthpiece for Middle Eastern propaganda (or worse), and their acquisition of Al Gore’s ill-fated, left-leaning and user-generated Current TV, just bought them 40 million homes. Never mind that it has picked up a raft of awards including a Columbia Journalism Award, a DuPont award, and a George Polk award.

Financed by the government of Qatar, Al Jazeera, once despised for broadcasting videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers, Current will be rebranded Al Jazeera America at a cost of about $500 million (including a $100 million payout for Gore, who owned a 20% stake in the media property). The burning question, with Americans focused on domestic issues and the economy, will U.S. viewers watch Al Jazeera's take on global news and current affairs?Continue reading...

media brands

Mas Branding: Spanish-Language TV Networks Sharpen Focus

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 4, 2012 10:03 AM

As the US audience for Spanish-language television continues to grow, the competition is heating up as evidenced by Univision’s rebranding of its second-largest network, TeleFutura, a shot across the bow at rival Telemundo.

Its new name is UniMás and the content and marketing skew are towards the younger male Latino. Univision Communications Inc. is the leading media company serving Hispanic America and new deals with Caracol Televisión, RTI Colombia, and Televisa strengthen its position as the fastest growing broadcast network in the US, irrespective of language. 

“UniMás will offer the new generation of Hispanic Millennial trendsetters – the Más Generation – options for bolder content,” stated César Conde, president, Univision Networks. "We will deliver more of the best available Spanish-language programming, more series, more sports, and more movies that speak to what our audience is looking for.” 

The revamped network debuts on Jan. 7, 2013 with a slate including dramatic thrillers, “Made in Cartagena” and “Quien Eres Tu” (Who are You), a boxing-themed drama called “Cloroformo,” and a project based on the novel “Diablo Guardian” by Xavier Velasco to be adapted by Gustavo Bolivar, author of the hit series “El Capo” and “Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso.” 

Increased sports programming includes games from the Mexican National Team, Liga MX, CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013, FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and World Cup 2014 and continue popular fare such as “Solo Boxeo” and “Contacto Deportivo.” 

“We have been focused on making TeleFutura the undisputed No. 2 Spanish-language network in the U.S. behind Univision,” said Conde to the New York Times. “This new brand positioning is going to really identify and connect UniMás with the main mother ship brand of Univision.” 

UniMás is an example of sweeping changes in Spanish-language television in the quest for more viewers and ad dollars. “The Hispanic market is not the old stereotype of the past at all. It’s incredibly young and tech savvy,” said Karl Heiselman, CEO, Wolff Olins, the agency that recently redesigned Univision’s logo as a 3D version of the multi-colored tulip and added “The Hispanic Heartbeat of America” as a new tagline.

Telemundo has also announced rebranding, replacing its blue “T” logo with a bright-red version in a campaign featured this month on parent NBCUniversal networks including A&E, Bravo, CNBC, Lifetime and MTV, where the Spanish word “te,” informal for “you,” is replaced with phrases like “Te sorprende” and “Te informa” (It surprises you. It informs you). 

“It is the year of the brands in the Hispanic space,” said Jacqueline Hernández, COO Telemundo in the Times. “When you’re doing a brand refresh, your goal is to keep, maintain and attract.” 

On the news front, CNN en Espanol, the Spanish-language news network pay TV leader for the past 15 years in Latin America and the United States, is launching CNN Latino, a syndicated programming block tailored for the U.S. Hispanic broadcast stations covering news, lifestyle, documentary, talk and debate.

"The U.S. market is so diverse and so large that there is room for two distinctive content options," stated Cynthia Hudson-Fernandez, SVP and GM of CNN en Espanol and Hispanic strategy for CNN/US.

CNN Latino will launch in Los Angeles late January 2013, with a branded programming block of eight hours as well as a dedicated section on the worldwide Spanish-language site, cnnespanol.com.

"There is a real demand for relevant, dynamic, quality programming and CNN Latino is a unique product designed specifically for the growing U.S. Hispanic audience, representing the dual reality of U.S. Latinos today who are multi-generational and proud to be bilingual,” added Hudson-Fernandez.

media brands

Why the Venerable Financial Times Newspaper Brand is on the Block

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2012 10:51 AM

Last week, educational and consumer (via Penguin) publishing giant Pearson and Bertelsmann combined their book publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin, exponentially increasing their reach and scale in light of prodigious growth from e-books and digital retailers. Now comes word that Pearson's The Financial Times newspaper brand is in play and could be sold for as much as £1bn in a "trophy hunt" by potential buyers following John Fallon’s appointment as head of parent Pearson’s education division, replacing CEO Marjorie Scardino, one of the UK's highest-profile female corporate leaders, who is poised to step down in January after 16 years at the helm.

While Fallon affirmed Pearson’s commitment to the FT, saying it is a "highly valued and very valuable part of Pearson" to the Guardian, analysts predict the £1bn may be hard to forgo. Fallon is said to have no “emotional commitment" to the FT Group, which also own a 50% stake in the Economist and analysts at Deutsche Bank see his ascension as accelerating Pearson's digital transformation, including the "value tied up in non-core assets such as FT."Continue reading...

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