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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...

media brands

NowThis News: Not Your Father's CNN or Mother's Huffington Post

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 11, 2012 12:27 PM

NowThis News is hoping to put the likes of CNN, ABC News, the Washington Post and Huffington Post on notice with a new model of how to report and distribute the news — one, not coincidentally, staffed by a team of newshounds who came from those old school media outlets and who are eager to reinvent their business.

Formerly known as Planet Daily, NowThis News (don't call it NTN) describes its mission as a post-TV, post-newspaper and post-website newsgathering operation, "A brand new video network built from scratch for people who get their news on mobile devices and through social streams."

The startup has emerged from stealth mode with a Tumblr, a Facebook page and Twitter feed — not to mention details on its executive team helmed by former CNN executive Eason Jordan as GM, Ed O'Keefe from ABC News as editor-in-chief and Washington Post vet Katharine Zaleski as managing editor.

“We’re creating NowThis News to meet straight on the inevitable and rapid changes happening in news consumption: digital, mobile, social and video," Kenneth Lerer, Partner of Lerer Ventures, co-founder of NowThis News along with business artner Eric Hippeau, said in a statement.

“It makes no sense for me, at all, to produce what’s already on TV,” said Lerer to AllThingsD. “We’re going to produce short video pieces that will hopefully be very viral and very social, one at a time.” Jordan added, “There’s an abundance of talk. We intend to report the news.”Continue reading...

media brands

CNN Global President Stepping Aside for Fresh Vision

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 27, 2012 03:03 PM

Jim Walton graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981 and took an entry-level job at CNN, the network Ted Turner had founded only a year before. Now, after many titles and many changes, Walton will be going out on top, even as the CNN brand struggles to maintain audience and relevance day to day.

The Time Warner-owned media giant announced Friday that Walton will be stepping down as president of CNN Worldwide at year’s end.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 10 years – innovative programming, the development of great talent in front of and behind the cameras, expansion in digital and mobile, significant investment and expansion in international coverage, financial success and, most importantly, great and trusted journalism,” Walton wrote in a note to the staff.

Of course there are also plenty of things he probably won’t miss about the job.Continue reading...

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