celebrity brandcasting

Jimmy Fallon Brand Rises With Tonight Show Takeover Confirmed by NBC

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 3, 2013 03:32 PM

NBC today confirmed that Jimmy Fallon is taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno in 2014, ending months of rumors in a deal that was (according to Variety) brokered by Comcast exec and NBCUniversal president Steve Burke.

Leno will retire following a 22-year run, while Fallon's reign will begin, Variety hears, following the Sochi, Russia, Winter Olympics coverage on NBC and its sister TV networks.

A hint that a deal had been struck came earlier this week with the release of a video between the two late-night comics, which Leno and Fallon tweeted and NBC promoted online.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Blackberry, Twitter, Chevron and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 28, 2013 09:22 AM

In the News

BlackBerry reports surprise profit after cutting expenses.

Twitter ad revenue projected to approach $1 billion next year as report says it agreed to allow censorship in Russia.

Chevron cuts executive compensation after string of accidents.

Belgium looks to EU for copyright protection of Belgian chocolate brand.

Best Western opens luxury hotel in Haiti, the first U.S. brand to break ground there. 

CBS could make TV Guide Network an "ESPN of celebrity gossip."

Comcast scores court victory in Philadelphia.

New Dentyne Ice campaign gets its message across with icy alphabet.

EADS gets backing of makeover plan by shareholders.Continue reading...

ad watch

Comcast Shoots Down Gun Ads Across Networks

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2013 03:24 PM

Comcast Corp., the proud new owners of NBCUniversal for a whopping price tag of $16.7 billion, brings in more than $55 billion in revenue annually, but most of those dollars that came from gun advertising will now disappear. 

As American politicians and cultural warriors wrestle with what to do about the ubiquity of gun violence, Comcast—the largest cable provider in the country—has announced that it won’t be taking ads for guns on any of its television, cable, Internet, radio and voice services across the country anymore, OutdoorLife.com reports. The change is reflective of a similar policy that had been in place at NBCUniversal, which prohibited advertisements for weapons or fireworks. 

The change has led for some to predict the loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the weapons industry, according to Outdoor Life. 

Tom Wright, who owns the Williams Gun Sight Michigan, was aggravated by the news but told the local ABC affiliate that it wasn’t going to put a stop to his business. "We've been in this community for many years and we have enjoyed promoting our products in this community and will continue to do that with Comcast or without them."

Of course, that means finding other channels that will take his ads. Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable provider, won’t take ads for semiautomatic weapons but does still accept gun ads, according to MSN. Fox and ESPN also won’t accept advertisements for guns, AdWeek reports. Continue reading...

media brands

Comcast, Bullish on Future of Video, Buys Remaining Stake In NBCU From GE

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2013 03:03 PM

Comcast has given NBC Universal a “$16.7 billion vote of confidence” by acquiring General Electric’s 49 percent stake in the entertainment company in a deal that was finalized on Tuesday.

“We always thought it was a strong possibility that we’d some day own 100 percent,” said Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO in a telephone interview with The New York Times. “It’s been a very smooth couple of years, and the content continues to get more valuable with new revenue streams.” 

Roberts, touting the value of the deal to shareholders, added in an interview with CNBC, "There's a sense of enthusiasm and confidence on the future of NBC Universal," and told the Hollywood Reporter that he's bullish on turning around NBCU's flagship NBC channel.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: American Airlines, Comcast, Yahoo, Adidas and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 13, 2013 08:43 AM

In the News

American Airlines and US Airways finalize merger details.

Comcast buys balance of GE's stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion.

Yahoo CEO Mayer looks to focus mobile, expresses disappointment in Microsoft search deal.

Adidas will reveal Boost running innovation at New York event.

Apple CEO Cook feels brand's stores are too small; a Google payday might help.

Barclays CEO pressured to get moving on revamp.

BBC Worldwide appoints global editorial director.

Blockbuster UK closes 164 more stores.

Dior sees former designer John Galliano re-offend Jewish community.

Facebook eyes books, movies and TV content as Zuckerberg's full philanthropy revealed.

Ford assures dealers on Lincoln MKZ supplies.Continue reading...

media brands

Hearst's Esquire Expanding Beyond the Magazine to Become a TV Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2013 05:47 PM

The Esquire Network says it's ready for prime time.

The new network, announced today, aims to “capture the essence of the magazine,” David Carey, president of Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines, told The New York Times. "This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work."

The male audience is an ever-sweet spot for brands, as evidenced by offerings that vary from Spike TV to Discovery's Velocity Channel. The Esquire Network will replace the Comcast-created G4 video gaming channel (which gave Esquire fave Olivia Munn her start as co-host on Attack of the Show) on April 22, and be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

The rebranded network is a strategic partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines. NBCUniversal cable executive Bonnie Hammer positioned it as "an upscale Bravo for men." She added, "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."Continue reading...

media brands

Liberty Global to Acquire Virgin Media, Creating World's Leading Broadband Firm

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 6, 2013 06:49 PM

In a deal that looks to dramatically change the complexion of the media business, U.S.-based Liberty Global will buy the U.K.'s Virgin Media to create a broadband company that will supplant Comcast as the world's biggest cable operator.

The $23 billion deal, if approved, will give Liberty Global a strong foothold in the UK. In an intriguing twist, it will also pit Liberty Global's John Malone against his former partner, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who operates British Sky Broadcasting (widely known as "BSkyB"). BSkyB has been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult time or Murdoch.

"This deal is good news for the company, its customers and our people," commented another media titan: Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded the Virgin empire. "Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media are in a great position to shake up the industry and bring the full power of digital technology to UK consumers."

The largest media acquisition of its kind since 2007 "will make the U.K. the ring for a straight slug fest between two global pay-TV heavyweights, John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, as they battle for UK fixed broadband, fixed voice and pay-TV subscribers," according to Adrian Drury, principal analyst at the global consulting firm Ovum.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

CES 2013 Watch: It's a Web, Web, Web, Web TV World

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 8, 2013 11:16 AM

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that's now underway in Las Vegas is not only the world's biggest trade show, but a snapshot of how the fast-moving world of technology innovation is impacting sectors. Witness automotive, such as Ford's just-announced mobile partnerships to enhance the brand's in-car connectivity platform as part of a bigger CES push by car manufacturers this year.

CES is also a soapbox for competitors to one-up one another as they spit out product announcements and flaunt new alliances. This year, the rivalry is particularly fierce in the web TV/digital streaming arena.

"As new Internet TV players look to invade the living room, some cable and satellite operators are stepping up their embrace of Web technology to jazz up aging interfaces and head off subscriber defections, the Wall Street Journal reports from the show.

CES attendees include DirecTV and Dish Network on the satellite side, Verizon (FiOS) and AT&T (U-verse) touting Telco TV, and U.S. multi-system operators including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications are at CES to recast themselves as web TV purveyors and shake off the dreaded "cable operator" moniker. No wonder the U.S. National Cable & Telecommunications Association is reportedly considering dropping "cable" and rebranding to the U.S. Internet and Television Association (but, oddly, keeping the NCTA acronym).

AT&T's U-verse platform is introducing "Screen Pack," a $5 per month addition to existing subscriptions which enables customers to stream some 1,500 on-demand movies. AT&T plans to add more content in the future in an effort to thwart the flood of video streaming competitors in the space.Continue reading...

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