no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 21, 2012 09:19 AM
In 1985, Elmo pushed aside Grover, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and even Ernie and Bert to make his way to the front of the pack on Sesame Street. And he’s been leading the way ever since, pulling in viewers for the show and big bucks for anybody who finds a way to sell an Elmo-related product.
But now the man who brought Elmo to life, Kevin Clash, will no longer be pulling the puppet onto his arm, thanks to allegations that Clash had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old and possibly other young men. This came on top of allegations from another young man that have since been recanted. Whether it is true or not, damage has been done to the Elmo brand and Sesame wanted to control that as quickly as possible. Clash resigned from the show Tuesday and in what Children’s Television Workshop called “a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Elmo products, of course, have been a big staple of holiday wish lists for children for close to 30 years now and this season is no different. This year’s include the $39.99 LOL Elmo, which is a direct descendant of the Tickle Me Elmo doll that set sales records years ago, and Let’s Rock! Elmo, which sings and comes with a drum set and microphone. Hasbro, which is the main toy licensee for Sesame Street, put out a statement Tuesday that expressed confidence that Elmo will still be an important part of the show for years to come, the New York Times reports.
“People are making the separation that this is about Kevin Clash, this is not about Elmo,” said Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of Time to Play magazine, according to the Times. “The more people make the separation, the less effect on sales.” Silver says Sesame Street-related toys bring in about $75 million annually and Elmo accounts for 50 to 75 percent of that.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2012 05:05 PM
You know things are bad when the BBC is covering itself under the banner, "Crisis at the BBC." The British Broadcasting Corp. has fallen from its venerable pedestal, with its latest embarrassment triggering the resignation of senior executives, who are taking the fall for the corporation's newsgathering operation failing to maintain the ethical and journalistic standards at the heart of its brand promise.
BBC director-general George Entwistle resigned on Saturday, after only 55 days in the role, holding himself responsible for "unacceptable journalistic standards" on the BBC's flagship current-affairs program, Newsnight, after it failed to verify an accusation it aired against Lord McAlpine, a former Conservative Party treasurer, of child sex abuse in Wales. The BBC's director of news, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, have also stepped down.
No wonder Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, is calling the network a "ghastly mess."Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2012 03:19 PM
Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who not only performs as Elmo on Sesame Street but created the character's persona and inimitable voice, is taking a leave of absence in the wake of allegations he had a relationship with a 16-year-old boy. The accuser, now 23, says the relationship happened seven years ago when Clash was 45; Clash maintains that their relationship was consensual and occurred when his accuser was the legal age of consent.
UPDATE: Clash's accuser today recanted, as reported by the New York Times, which ran this quote from Clash: "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further." The rest of our original post:
Clash issued a statement on Monday that was cited by CNN: "I am a gay man. I have never been ashamed of this or tried to hide it, but felt it was a personal and private matter. I had a relationship with the accuser. It was between two consenting adults and I am deeply saddened that he is trying to characterize it as something other than what it was. I am taking a break from Sesame Workshop to deal with this false and defamatory allegation."
The unidentified accuser is being represented by a legal firm retained by one of the victims in former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky's criminal trial. The accusation is an unfortunate turn of events, one that Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop) no doubt hopes won't tarnish its standing as one of the world's leading creators of children's entertainment, and a brand that relies on the trust of parents, educators and legislators, as the recent U.S. presidential election's roping-in of Big Bird by Mitt Romney as the symbol of PBS makes clear.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 9, 2012 10:12 AM
In an interesting spin on product placement, the Target x Neiman Marcus Holiday24 cllection is being promoted on Sunday night's episode of Revenge on ABC (Twitter hashtag: #GiftofRevenge). The episode is arranged in five vignettes, Target notes, adding that, "The episode will air with limited commercial breaks, as fans will be treated to a show-within-a-show complete with its own plot full of twists and turns."
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 2, 2012 11:57 AM
It was a bad week for Martha Stewart, and we don't mean the damaged-by-Sandy trees at her Bedford, NY farm.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia laid off 65 to 70 employees and announced it's restructuring its media portfolio. It's reducing the frequency by half of its Everyday Food magazine (from 10 to 5 editions, and moving from print to digital). MSLO also plans to sell its Whole Living title or fold the content into its flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine, moves that could save the company between $33 and $35 million a year.
Reports of clashes between Martha Stewart, founder and non-executive chairman and Lisa Gersh, president and CEO, are escalating, as the latest restructuring shrinks the brand’s print footprint in hopes that digital deals with partners like Hulu and AOL as well as television deals like PBS show, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, will prove lucrative for the flailing company.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 1, 2012 11:47 AM
The Huffington Post Media Group and OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) have launched HuffPost OWN, a vertical focused on motivation, inspiration and fulfillment.
Selections will include this year’s crowd- and brand-pleaser, Oprah’s Favorite Things, a franchise that was a gift-tastic Super Bowl for Oprah's fans when she had her daytime talk show. The tradition returns with a holiday gift guide featured in the December issue of O magazine, along with Favorite Things trivia, a video montage of the best Favorite Things moments from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and an inside look at Oprah’s celebrity gifts short list.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 26, 2012 04:47 PM
Al Gore’s embattled, progressive cable news channel, Current TV, is on the block. Spinning it in a positive light, CEO Joel Hyatt confirmed the rumors to the New York Post, commenting, “Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company. This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence, we thought it might be useful to engage expertise to help us evaluate our strategic options.”
Co-owned by former Vice President Gore, Hyatt (who made his money with Hyatt Legal Services) and several private backers with similar left-leaning political views, Current is available to about 60 million homes, and receives about 12 cents per subscriber from pay-TV operators carrying it, around $82 million last year, according to SNL Kagan, with ad revenue in 2011 estimated at $16.9 million. But that's still not enough to make the media brand an attractive enough standalone play for its owners.
The channel launched in August 2005 as a youth-centric, user-generated service, fueled by Gore’s personal crusade against global warming. Positioned as a bid to "democratize" the media business, putting more power in the hands of viewers to produce and distribute their own content (and then user-generated ads, called V-CAMs, short for "viewer-created ad messages"), the ill-fated service has gone through programming and personnel upheavals since the moment it went live.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 18, 2012 01:27 PM
Univision is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new brand identity as the “Hispanic Heartbeat of America.”
“The launch of our new brand logo kicks-off a new era at Univision that speaks to who we are as a company and that we are a direct reflection of the Hispanic community we serve – multidimensional, dynamic, modern and bold,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO, Univision Communications, Inc.
The new logo, which adds dimension and warm, evokes the human heart. It's a fitting evolution for a broadcaster with humble beginnings as a single television station in San Antonio, Texas, back in 1962.Continue reading...