personal brands

Al Gore Recruits Keith Olbermann for Current TV

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 8, 2011 01:00 PM

The rumors are true. Al Gore's Current TV has hired former MNSBC host Keith Olbermann to host a nightly news program.

The recently ousted broadcaster called it "the most exciting venture in my career."Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: AmEx, GSK, Oprah and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on January 24, 2011 05:30 PM

Brands to Watch

American Express fourth quarter profit leaps 49%.

GlaxoSmithKline pulls Levitra advertising to "improve image."

Google and Mozilla launch privacy features.

GroundReport founder Rachel Sterne named NYC's first chief digital officer.

MSNBC's relationship with Keith Olbermann was tense for years, reports the NYT.

Oprah Winfrey reveals on-air she has a half-sister.

Papa John's stunt offers free pizzas if Super Bowl goes into overtime.

brand news

Brands to Watch: Comcast, Diesel, Virgin America and more

Posted by Caroline Smith on November 15, 2010 05:30 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple, poised for record-breaking sales quarter, ignites guessing game ahead of iTunes-related announcement.

AstraZeneca reportedly looks to unload unit for $2 billion.

BP attracts investment from T. Boone Pickens.

Comcast plans iPad app as top digital executive, Amy Banse, is tapped to head up Comcast/NBC Universal investment fund in Silicon Valley and top lobbyist David Cohen pushes for "self-regulation" of the Internet.

Diesel's racy ad shoot shocks law school library.

Digg's former CEO Jay Adelson lands at SimpleGeo.

EMC buys data storage rival Isilon for $2.4 billion.

Facebook, now the #3 Web company, is integrated into Microsoft Office.

FedEx, PG&E and Nissan seek U.S. government subsidies for electric vehicles.Continue reading...

Olbermann’s Baaaackk on MSNBC! – And Unbowed

Posted by Dale Buss on November 10, 2010 01:30 PM

If Keith Olbermann were one of those National Football League players he used to cover for ESPN, and he had just been fined by the commissioner for a helmet-to-helmet hit, he’d probably be an unapologetic linebacker with a nickname like The Decapitator.

Olbermann survived the TV-news equivalent of a two-game suspension when MSNBC put him back on the air last night after a few days without pay for violating the network’s policy banning political contributions without a doctor’s note (er, prior permission of the honchos). Olbermann’s offense? $7,200 in pre-election political contributions, undisclosed to the brass – one of them coming immediately after airing an interview with the candidate.

But rather than apologize to the MSNBC chieftains after the brief if pointed unpaid leave, Olbermann resurfaced – surprise – with a big chip on his shoulder.Continue reading...

media brands

CNN Continues to Boil as Brown Leaves

Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 19, 2010 11:24 AM

Maybe it's time for straight news on cable to throw in the towel. In an increasingly noisy environment, cable television has become a place for loud, opinionated voices rather than reasoned, objective reporting. Think of it as talk radio with video.

As we've reported, that trend leaves CNN uncomfortably in the middle, leaning neither toward MSNBC's left nor Fox News Channel's right on the US media spectrum. The result is a squeeze play that has seen CNN losing viewers—and talent, with high-profile departures indicating a venerable TV brand in danger of losing its identity and audience.

Last November, acerbic anchor Lou Dobbs left the network, followed by veteran global correspondent Christiane Amanpour's departure in March (although she doesn't pop up on ABC News until August).

Now anchor Campbell Brown is out, of her own accord, and she has made it very clear why: "she was unable to compete with the opinion-mongers that dominate cable news in prime time," reports the New York Times.

Campbell feels she doesn't have the heart for the posturing and vitriol that's dominating cable news these days—or as the above clip during the Haiti earthquake aftermath shows, perhaps it's a case of having too much heart.Continue reading...

divide and conquer

Obama's War With Fox News Channel Highlights Cable's 80-20 Rule

Posted by Peter Feld on October 26, 2009 02:15 PM

Liberals and conservatives agree: the Obama Administration's recent campaign to delegitimize Fox News Channel as a news source is a huge boost to the Fox News Channel brand.

Fox's success shows the rewards for cable news networks of building engagement among a dedicated base of diehards, following the vaunted "80-20 rule" that says that 80% of a channel's ratings come from 20% of its audience. Keeping the core audience tuned in for repetitive programming that confirms their beliefs turns out to be the recipe for success. That it has transformed US politics is a mere side-effect. (The 80-20 rule probably caused Bill Clinton's impeachment in 1998, when FNC rode the Lewinsky scandal to ratings glory.)

The latest controversy began in early October, when White House media advisor Anita Dunn rounded the talk shows to argue that Fox -- which has been attacking Obama all year -- "often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party."Continue reading...

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