Three years ago, the Christian Science Monitor “began a jump-in-the-deep-end version of digital transformation,” describes the Poynter Organization. The daily newspaper went to a weekly print edition, maintaining daily news online. If that sounds like a surrender, guess again: The Monitor garners about 42 million page views a month and 8 to 10 million unique visitors, which is five times what it was before the transformation. Plus, ad revenue and content sales have grown more than 50% for the fiscal year closing April 30, “The best we’ve done financially since 1963,” writes editor John Yemma.
What the Monitor did which, for example, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have not, is to largely surrender its print edition—a gamble, but a strategy that has worked arguably as well as the NYT and WSJ strategies. And it placed more of an emphasis upon online advertising.
The challenge for the Monitor is somewhat like that of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: It is funded largely by endowments (The First Church of Christ, Scientist for the Monitor, government and corporate endowments for CPB). But endowments expand and contract, and have not held the Monitor above water any more than they hold up public broadcasting, else there would be no semiannual “pledge drives” on public television. “You might see the systematic decrease of our longstanding subsidy as similar to the erosion of print ad revenue at a locally based newspaper,” wrote Yemma.
And like newspapers, the Monitor is going digital, treading water until the digital strategy pays off. The Monitor has an operating budget of $18.6 million, and is down $4.5 million for this fiscal year, and budgeted for $3.3 million next: but it counts on the digital transformation to turn it around by 2017. (“Trading print dollars for digital dimes,” as Digiday describes the dilemma.) And those dimes are coming from high-end brands like Infiniti and Nokia.
Quit Crying Over Print
Digiday summed up the challenge by digital to print media: “$40 billion evaporated with little likelihood of return [but] rather than waste more time pointing fingers, publishers need to get on with figuring out what’s next.” For years, the news industry depended upon classified ads which Google, Facebook and Craigslist now own. “This market dynamic continues to move so quickly that its last owner, Yahoo, has already faltered into a lesser tier.”
The solution for publishers is, simply, to carve a niche and own the distribution. “A marketplace where buyers have multiple channels to reach the same audience only leads to a race to the bottom.”
The Monitor is somewhat like the Huffington Post—it is the demographic that differs. Both have a distinct audience, Scientologists (among others) for the Monitor, a younger-and-progressive skewing demo for HuffPo. Both endeavor to provide high-end first-hand content: Both have global and U.S. correspondents monitoring world events, the campaign trail, the Supreme Court, tech, science, and the environment. And the Monitor wins the occasional scoop: CSM on April 9 covered the reversal of immigration from Mexico, hitting the presses a week before a Pew report confirmed the trend. But HuffPo was a digital-only product that never had to throw off the shackles of a print edition and make the transition to digital.
Both Monitor and HuffPo skew to an educated late 30s-early 40s wage-earning demographic—a sweet-spot for digital reading. That’s what works for them: They meet the readers.
Similarly, Penton Media’s Technology Media Group in February announced that, in response to audience and marketer demand, it would transform all of its brands to all-digital beginning this month. “We conducted research amongst our audience and advertisers and found that they were really looking for an enhanced digital experience and were becoming less reliant on print magazines,” said Peg Miller, Penton technology market leader. Miller noted that the Penton audience is largely one of IT professionals and developers working in a digital environment. Penton had double-digit gains in digital edition subscriptions FY 2011-2012, and “We’re finding that our audience prefers to learn about technology through multiple channels – whether it be printed words, videos, audio, screencasts and in-person events.” Penton Technology Media Group brands include Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Pro, DevPro, System iNetwork and The VAR Guy, among other titles.
Penton is hardly stepping raiding Monitor or HuffPo’s readerships: but the lesson is the same. Successful publishers meet the readers where they are and with a unique value proposition. And that in turn means value for advertisers.
truTV delivers some edgy stuff, like “1,000 Ways to Die” (who knew one could be decapitated by an exploding tire? Or eviscerated by one’s own killer robot?). The network promises to be even “Bigger, bolder, broader” in the 2012-2013 season, placing a strong emphasis on comedic and action-packed “actuality” programming designed to appeal to its young adult and young-male-skewing audience.
Projects in the works include a unique new game show set on an airplane, which is being developed by Howie Mandel and his production company, Alevy Productions. truTV has also ordered a pilot starring NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and developed by Fishbowl Worldwide Media, with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” creator/executive producer Vin Di Bona and Tosh.0 co-creator Mike Gibbons among the executive producers.
“truTV has firmly established itself as a leader in TV’s fastest-growing genre, delivering on the promise of outrageous, fun television with truTV’s unique spin,” said Marc Juris, executive vice president and chief operating officer of truTV. “We’re also programming with an eye towards creating content that works across multiple screens and establishing ourselves as a truly multi-platform brand.”
Since its re-brand in 2008, truTV has been on a tear when it comes to ratings growth and competitive position. After scoring its best year ever with key demos in 2011, truTV just charted its best quarter ever in Q1 2012. truTV has also planted itself among basic cable’s Top 10 networks with men 18-49:
With a median age of 41, truTV claims the youngest primetime audience of such direct non-fiction competitors as Discovery, History and A&E.
truTV’s dedication to “actuality programming” has paid off with shows that deliver ratings success every night of the week. Six of truTV’s primetime series rank in the top 10 for their time period with key adult and male demos. In addition, nine truTV series average more than 1 million viewers, while several truTV shows – including “Hardcore Pawn,” “Lizard Lick Towing” and “Impractical Jokers” ranked among basic cable’s Top 50 unscripted series for the first quarter.
For this year’s Upfront, rather than putting on a splashy press event in New York, truTV hit the road to conduct in-person meetings with small groups of key clients. “Given the rapidly changing media environment, we decided the big budget upfront presentation does not provide the opportunity to sit down and develop unique solutions for our clients,” Juris said. “This year we don’t want to pitch. We want to partner.”
“truTV has experienced record-breaking growth and a desirable young adult audience, catching the eye of over 30 new advertisers this year,” said Joe Hogan, executive vice president, Young Adults Ad Sales, Turner Broadcasting. “We have enjoyed sharing this success story with clients the last several weeks, and look forward to attracting more marketers to the network this Upfront through customized multi-screen opportunities.”
Looking ahead, truTV is working in the development arena to craft additional on-target series for the network’s audience. truTV is specifically focusing on the comedic reality genre, with an eye toward shows that tap into the network’s recent success with the acquired hit Wipeout.
Here’s a rundown of what truTV has coming down the pike:
Killer Karaoke – New series premiering later this year
Unlike anything else on TV, popular comedian and "Jackass" star Steve-O hosts this outrageous singing contest that challenges contestants to break out in song in the midst of extreme, hilarious and sometimes skin-crawling physical challenges. The hits just keep on coming as contestants try to carry a tune under fire. Killer Karaoke comes to truTV from Zodiak USA, producer of the network’s popular Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.
Guinness World Records Gone Wild – New series premiering later this year
A new series that challenges everyday people to push themselves to do astonishing things for their place in history. Among the records the show will set out to break are the most panes of glass run through in one minute, fastest time to jump over three oncoming cars and the highest dive into 12 inches of water. Guinness World Records Gone Wild is produced for truTV by High Noon Entertainment (“Cake Boss,” “Tough Love”).
Container Wars – Cast-contingent series
This auction show is unlike any other auction show on television, because this one takes place in a commercial shipping port. The cast will compete against each other to buy the contents of huge shipping containers that have come from all around the world. They have no idea what’s inside the containers until the doors are opened. They then have only have a few minutes to assess what’s visible and decide whether to bid. The winner of each container then checks the contents in greater detail and decides on the amount of profit or loss they are likely to make. “Container Wars” comes to truTV from T Group Productions.
Hardcore Pawn: Fort Bragg – New series premiering in July
Guns Plus is a truly unique pawn store that is a favorite of the thousands of soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg, as well as their proud families, friends and supporters. Located next to the legendary military base, Guns Plus is staffed by military veterans, including ex-Marines and Special Ops soldiers, who have an amazing first-hand knowledge of the rare and collectible weapons that come through their doors on a daily basis. For this series, viewers will be taken behind the scenes for very different look at the pawn business, focusing almost entirely on weapons and military equipment. Hardcore Pawn: Fort Bragg comes to truTV from Zodiak USA, producer of the network’s popular “Hardcore Pawn” and “Lizard Lick Towing.”
Upload with Shaquille O’Neal (working title)
truTV has ordered a pilot of this new series from the producers of “Tosh.0” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Basketball superstar and TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal and friends will round up the week’s online video clips, as well as create their own viral videos and comment on and parody current pop culture stories. This pilot comes to truTV from Fishbowl Worldwide Media founded by entertainment industry veterans Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh, with the creative team led by Susan Levison. Di Bona, Gersh, Levison and Beth Greenwald serve as executive producers, along with “Tosh.0’s” Mike Gibbons.
Jeff & Curtis Lose Weight (working title)
This new series takes the weight-loss concept and puts a truTV unique spin on it. Comedy duo Jeff Sloniker and Curtis Rainsberry are struggling to maintain their diets and workout regime as they battle the bulge…and each other. Guided by their trainer, they will try extreme diets, attend absurd exercise classes and generally humiliate themselves physically in public for the sake of losing a pound or two. At the end of each episode, the guys will weigh in, and the loser will have to perform a humiliating task drawn from the “Bowl of Pain.” “Jeff & Curtis Lose Weight” is being developed for truTV by Rive Gauche Television.
Turbulence (working title)
truTV takes off for one truly outrageous game show in the sky. As contestants fly from one location to another, they must answer questions. Every correct answer banks money for a big weekend blowout in Las Vegas. And every wrong answer makes the flight a little bit bumpier. “Turbulence” comes to truTV from Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions. Mandel says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be working with truTV on a project that I am really passionate about.”
World’s Dumbest… – Season 14 begins Thursday, June 7, at 9 P.M. ET/PT
Operation Repo – Season 10 begins Wednesday, June 6, at 9 P.M. ET/PT
Lizard Lick Towing – Season 2 returns Monday, June 11, at 10 P.M. ET/PT
Storage Hunters – Season 2 premieres Tuesday, June 12, at 10 P.M. ET/PT
Hardcore Pawn – Season 6 coming in July
Vegas Strip – Season 3 coming in July
Nearly six in 10 core radio listeners (57%) start their day with another medium or gadget, rather than turning on the radio, reports Inside Radio. That according to media analyst and consultancy Jacobs Media, in their Techsurvey8 report.
The 18-34 year old demo is more likely to engage with email or Facebook as their first media interaction of the day, along with their first cup of joe.
The Techsurvey8 results were gathered online from January 31-February 15 from listeners of 170 broadcast stations across the U.S. and Canada, contributing 57,358 total respondents. Jacobs Media surveyed 170 stations, 12 radio formats and 57,358 radio listeners, claiming it is the “largest technology survey ever conducted for radio.”
As a format, radio is hardly dead, but, is a more high-touch medium which, like TV, is finding itself having to meet digital natives wherever they listen.
Why AM/FM Radio still matters: While "favorite songs" and personalities rank highest, there are four emotional triggers that listeners value:
1. Having a radio on while they work
2. Putting them in a better mood
3. Providing a feeling of companionship
4. Offering an escape from the pressures of everyday life
Pandora is a (pure) player: By far, Pandora is the most popular pure-play Internet option, as nearly half (45%) of "streamies" listen to some extent, easily besting competitors like iHeartRadio (19%), Spotify (7%), TuneIn Radio (7%), and Slacker Radio (5%).
However, Pandora users are split as to whether the Internet pure play should be considered "radio" – 43% "yes" – 49% "no."
Protecting The In-Car Listening Franchise: More than half of all respondents say that most of their radio listening takes place in cars. One in ten (9%) now drives a car equipped with a system like Ford's Sync, especially fans of News/Talk and Sports/Talk.
Smartphones, Apps and Tablets coming on strong: More than half (52%) own a smartphone.
Tablets are becoming a significant part of the digital story. One-fourth say they own one (24%), and iPad has a big lead over its competitors.
The Social Media tidal wave: Eight of ten are on Facebook. More than one-fifth use Twitter, and Sports/Talk emerges as the format where Twitter rules.
Nielsen Company released some intriguing demographic data, from part 2 of its “State of the Media Spring 2012” report—this part presenting an in-depth look at usage by demographic (ethnicity, gender and age).
White TV viewers use their DVRs at twice as much as any other group on a daily basis for time-shifted viewing; yet Asians watch the most timeshifted content as a share of overall TV time.
Among the online destinations for streaming TV content, Hispanics are most likely to watch on Netflix (still no advertising opportunities), where Asians are most likely to watch on Hulu and black viewers on YouTube (both ad friendly).
- Teens used a gaming console for an average of eight minutes during primetime, more than twice as much as the general TV population.
- When watching TV and using their tablet computers simultaneously, male tablet users were more likely to look up information related to a TV program, and females were more likely to up look info related to a TV ad.
- Females spend 61.2% of timeshifted viewing during primetime to watch dramas.
- Females spend 46.9% of real-time viewing watching drama, versus 34.5% for men.
- Females spend 13.5% of their time viewing sports, versus 32.7% for me.
- Online adults aged 25-54 are 23% more likely than the average U.S. Internet user to follow a brand via social networking and 29% more likely to purchase a product online that was featured on TV.
That eight-minute figure for teens and gaming seems low, frankly. Few games can be played in eight minutes. Presumably, that average is dragged down because teens who spend zero minutes on gaming outnumber those who spend hours at a time.
New York’s 30-year-old WRKS (Kiss FM) will no longer broadcast at 98.7, reports the Wall Street Journal. Owner company Emmis Communications announced Thursday that it will lease the frequency to ESPN, effective Monday, April 30.
WRKS will merge with its WBLS, at 107.5 FM—a long-time rival—consolidating the city’s urban adult contemporary market under one call. The stations have announced they will "Maintain the Kiss FM legacy," by bringing aboard Kiss FM personality Shaila, and night-time DJ Lenny Green. Emmis has sold WRKS’s intellectual property to WBLS parent company YMF Media.
ESPN has for 11 years broadcast at 1050 AM, as the New York Times describes, challenging the better-established WFAN (a 24/7 sports station on the AM 660 frequency, which used to run “Imus in the Morning”). ESPN Radio New York will take over 12:01 a.m. Monday, and in mid-September, its AM slot will become the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes New York. That, said Traug Keller, an ESPN senior vice president, "Is the real gem [of the shuffle] which will better allow us to add a Hispanic element."
The Times speculates that this is a strong sign that ESPN Radio will pursue the rights to carry Yankees games, for which WCBS-AM pays $14 million in a yearly contract. ESPN Radio already carries the New York Knicks, Rangers and Jets games, while WFAN has the Mets, Giants, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils.
Aspire, the cable start-up launched by basketball player NBA Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, has signed the Chrysler Group, L’Oreal USA and Nationwide Insurance as sponsors, report the New York Times and Multichannel News.
The three advertisers will enjoy exclusivity on Aspire through 2013 in their verticals (domestic autos, beauty products and insurance), plus value-adds like having Johnson appear at company events. But there is plenty of room left in other verticals. Mary Jeanne Cavanagh, executive vice president for ad sales in the New York office of GMC TV told the Times she expects to complete $10 million+ by the june launch, in categories including beverages, distilled spirits, fast food, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications.
Aspire will launch on June 27, and is one of four new minority-owned independent networks to be distributed on Comcast Cable systems between April 2012 and January 2014. Another is Revolt, led by Sean "Diddy" Combs, and El Rey, led by director Robert Rodriguez ("From Dusk til Dawn," "Desperado"). These launches partly fulfill a commitment that Comcast to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in connection with its early 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal. Comcast entertained more than 100 proposals before selecting the four nets, two of which are majority African-American owned and two that are majority American Hispanic owned and operated and programmed in English.
Aspire is spearheaded by Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Johnson emphasizes Aspire’s positive messaging—no true crime, dating disasters or cutthroat competition shows. “Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations,” said Johnson. Aspire will deliver what Comcast calls “inspiring and positive programming” including movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and faith and inspirational programs.
As the Times describes, Aspire will go head-to-head for black audiences, with BET, Black Heritage Network and Centric, among others.
Oxygen has announced a 50 percent increase in original programming with five new series joining the 2012 schedule, including: “Girlfriend Confidential,” a new programming franchise which will have New York and Los Angeles editions, “All the Right Moves,” “My Shopping Addiction” and “I’m Having Their Baby.” Additionally, three new projects have been added to the development pipeline: “#VideoStar (working title),” “Propos’d” and “Longest.Date.Ever.” The network promises that the new slate will “provide relatable and authentic programming that speaks to the network’s core demographic of young, female viewers.”
These series join the previously announced shows “The Glee Project” season two, which will premiere Tuesday, June 5 at 10 P.M. ET/PT and “The Next Big Thing: NY,” following performance coach and musical director Trapper Felides as he trains a group of young performers, which will premiere Tuesday, June 12 at 11 P.M. ET/PT.
“We have ramped up our 2012 schedule with relatable and genuine series that reflect the diverse and distinctive tastes of our core viewers,” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development. “These series all dive into themes that Gen O” (presumably “Generation Oxygen”) “women are obsessed with – friendship, dating, fashion and entertainment.”
The five greenlit titles and the three series in development represent Oxygen’s commitment to programming and developing content that resonates with the young, modern woman and the themes and topics that they are obsessed with. The network’s new programming franchise, “Girlfriend Confidential: NY” (formerly “Taking NY”) and “Girlfriend Confidential: LA” (formerly “Taking Hollywood”) follow a group of best friends in New York City and Los Angeles, each up and coming but well-connected across several different industries – beauty, fashion and entertainment. These women all at different stages in their lives – married, single and new moms – are making decisions that will affect their friendships and their futures. “All the Right Moves” joins the schedule with an upbeat and entertaining look into the lives of four professional dancers. Fresh off a “Dancing with the Stars” performance, Emmy-nominated choreographer Travis Wall (“So You Think You Can Dance”) is at the epicenter of a group of friends and roommates that are putting their immense talent together in a risky business venture – starting their own dance company, Shaping Sound. “My Shopping Addiction” is a serious look into the lives of young people facing a crisis brought on by a dangerous addiction to spending, and finding the underlying cause for and a way to alter this compulsive behavior. “I’m Having Their Baby” is a deep and emotional look at young, pregnant twentysomething women forced to make one of the most important decisions of their lives – to keep or place their unborn children for adoption.
NEW SERIES GREENLIGHTS:
“Girlfriend Confidential: NY”
Part of a new franchise on Oxygen, this series focuses on a group of gorgeous, well-dressed, high-powered and well-connected female friends in New York City that include: Leigh Cherrier (Public Relations Director for Louis Licari), Marianne Garvey (News Editor, InTouch Magazine), Leila Shams (Fashion Designer), Kelly Brady (Celebrity Publicist) and Raina Seitel (correspondent for NBC’s “New York Live”).“Girlfriend Confidential: NY” is produced by Discovery Studios with Daniel Soiseth and Jason Sands serving as executive producers.
“Girlfriend Confidential: LA”
The LA version of Oxygen’s new franchise follows four beautiful and successful best friends who help each other navigate the tumultuous waters of love, celebrity life and the entertainment industry – they are nobody’s wife. At the epicenter of this beautiful, intelligent and savvy group is Eva Marcille (“America’s Next Top Model”), fashion model, actor and producer. Her group of friends include: actress Denyce Lawton Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne”), Nikki Chu, a dynamic interior and product designer and Kelly Marie Dunn, a talent and brand manager who has worked with A-list musicians and pop stars. “Girlfriend Confidential: LA” is produced by Ish Entertainment with Michael Hirschorn, Wendy Roth, Madison Merritt and Gil Lopez serving as executive producers.
“All the Right Moves”
Showcasing Emmy=/-nominated choreographer Travis Wall (“So You Think You Can Dance”) and his lifelong friends and roommates: Teddy Forance (dancer/choreographer with “Cirque du Soleil”), dancer Nick Lazzarini (winner of “So You Think You Can Dance” season one) and Julliard trained Kyle Robinson (recently featured on “Dancing with the Stars”) in their quest to launch their own dance company, Shaping Sound. “All the Right Moves” is produced by World of Wonder Productions with Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey and Tom Campbell serving as executive producers.
“My Shopping Addiction”
“My Shopping Addiction” features shoppers who love the thrill of finding that perfect dress, beautiful décor item or fabulous piece of jewelry to purchase and call their own. But what happens when the high of the buy becomes an addiction and obsession, and causes their finances – and their lives – to start spinning out of control? “My Shopping Addiction” is produced by executive producers Matt Chan, Jodi Flynn and Jeff Kuntz for Screaming Flea Productions.
“I’m Having Their Baby”
“I’m Having Their Baby” follows would-be moms as they make the most difficult decision of their lives – whether or not to place their babies for adoption. They want better lives for their unborn children and brighter futures for themselves. The cameras follow these women in these docu-series as they search for potential adoptive parents, make their birth and transfer plans and ultimately struggle to go through with their decision. “I’m Having Their Baby” is produced by executive producers Michael Rourke and Michelle Kongkasuwan for Hud:sun Media.
“The Glee Project” (Season Two) – Premieres Tuesday, June 5 at 10 P.M. ET/PT
During the 11-week run of season two of “The Glee Project,” 14 talented contenders will be narrowed down as the creative forces of “Glee” carefully assess who has what it takes to win the prize of a lifetime – a seven episode guest starring role on the hit FOX series. Ryan Murphy joins casting director Robert Ulrich, choreographer, “Glee” co-producer Zach Woodlee and vocal producer Nikki Anders in the final deliberations of each installment of the series. “The Glee Project” is produced by Ryan Murphy Television and Embassy Row with Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto, Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio serving as executive producers.
“The Next Big Thing: NY” – Premieres Tuesday, June 12 at 11 P.M. ET/PT
“The Next Big Thing: NY” features Trapper Felides, a top New York City performance coach and musical director who gives his clients the blunt truth and tough love they need to succeed. The series will follow Felides as he mentors a group of performers, and takes on stage moms, as they prepare for their next career changing audition or their big music industry break. “The Next Big Thing: NY” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and Omelette Bar Productions with Izzie Pick Ashcroft, Jo Honig, David St. John, Jane Tranter, Stacey Angeles and Eric Cyphers serving as executive producers.
TITLES IN DEVELOPMENT:
“#VideoStar (working title)”
Everyday across America, millions of talented performers post videos of themselves online in hopes of finally scoring their big break in the music industry. #VideoStar gives the best of these undiscovered talents a chance at their dream – starring in their very own music video directed by acclaimed music video director Erik White (“The Glee Project”). “#VideoStar” is produced by Embassy Row with Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio serving as executive producers.
In this hilarious hidden-camera reality show, a team of pranking experts help mischievous but well-intentioned grooms come up with the most over-the-top and hilarious proposal stunts to give their girlfriends who have been driving them crazy for a proposal a taste of their own medicine. Each prank culminates with a genuine moment where the groom-to-be will get down on his knee and finally pop the question to his shocked and ecstatic girlfriend. “Propos’d” is produced by 11 Television with Kevin Healey serving as executive producer.
“Longest.Date.Ever.” follows two women per episode, who are exhausted by their quest to find “Mr. Right,” and sets them up on a date that lasts not just a few hours, but an entire week. The show will take singles that are scientifically proven to be each other’s ideal mates and move them in together for the longest blind date of their lives. At the end of the Longest. Date. Ever., they will certainly know the answer. “Longest.Date.Ever.” is produced by Electus and Five by Five Media with Ben Silverman, Jimmy Fox, Craig Armstrong and Rick Ringbakk serving as executive producers.
Claiming a record-breaking 2011 and a best first quarter ever in 2012, Style Media has announced a 25% increase in original programming with the addition of five new original series, six series in development and two returning series at the network’s upfront presentation held in New York.
“This has been a tremendous year for Style from every perspective,” claims Salaam Coleman Smith, President of Style Media. “We saw a huge surge in advertiser support and achieved our most impressive first quarter ever with double digit growth among women 18-49. In 2012, our programming lineup, anchored by fan favorites like ‘Tia & Tamara’ and ‘Giuliana & Bill,’ will be joined by a terrific mix of personality-driven series that really speak to our passionate viewers as well as our advertising partners.”
In 2011, Style Media delivered its best upfront performance in the network’s history, adding a historic 58 advertisers representing a 33% year over year revenue increase. Building on its 2011 success, Style Media grew its revenue by adding 18 new advertisers in the first quarter alone.
Style claims to have been up in viewership in Q1 an impressive 22% among W18-49 year-over-year, according to Nielsen data. The network’s success was fueled by its popular returning original series “Jerseylicious” and “Big Rich Texas” on Sunday nights, which delivered a 110% increase in total viewers versus 2011. “Jerseylicious,” now in its fourth season, is enjoying its most watched season ever and the sophomore season of “Big Rich Texas” is up an impressive 36% among the desired W18-49 from season one. Additionally, the fifth season of “Giuliana & Bill” delivered the franchise’s most-watched season premiere ever and is up an impressive 55% in total viewers season-over-season.
Following are Style Media’s programming announcements:
Betsey + Lulu
Produced by Magical Elves. Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth serve as executive producers. The docu-series “Betsey + Lulu” explores the unique lives of fashion icon Betsey Johnson and her muse, daughter and confident Lulu as they struggle to maneuver their ever evolving mother-daughter relationship. As Lulu transitions into her role as a single mother, she hopes to break away from her mom’s fashion empire and follow her dream of starting her own line, however, it’s up to Betsey to let Lulu step out on her own for the first time. With a colorful support system that includes their personal assistant, business partner, shrink and interior decorator, there is nothing these two women can’t take on.
Ultimate Home with Bill Rancic (working title)
On Style’s hit series “Giuliana & Bill,” viewers have watched as Bill Rancic flipped properties into amazing high-end pieces of real estate. Now in this aspirational home makeover format, Bill will use his expertise to help real people create their dream home.
Empire Girls: Julissa & Adrienne
Produced by Ish Entertainment. Michael Hirschorn, Charles Suitt and Keira Brings serve as executive producers. The hour long docu-series, which premieres Sunday, June 3 at 9 P.M. ET/PT, follows Adrienne Bailon (“Cheetah Girls”) and Julissa Bermudez (“106 & Park”), two fabulous Latina best friends and starlets, in New York City as they strive to conquer the cutthroat world of show business and find love and happiness… by the time they turn 30! Julissa and Adrienne first met in 2006 as co-stars in MTV’s movie “All You’ve Got.” While filming, they became best friends, even requesting to share the same trailer. Since then, these fashionistas have been there for each other through thick and thin and loves and losses, making noise and a name for themselves along the way.
Produced by Endemol USA. Three-time Emmy winner Alex Duda and Blake Levin serve as executive producers. From the creator and executive producers of Style’s hit series “Jerseylicious,” “Chicagolicious” takes viewers to the Windy City to follow AJ Johnson who owns AJ’s salon in Chicago, and whose clientele includes a who’s who of actors and models, including Angela Bassett and Iman. AJ oversees a team of talented yet fiery hair and makeup artists who love to create drama; from the looks they give their clients to the manner in which they deal with each other. “Chicagolicious” premieres on Monday, June 11 at 9 P.M. ET/PT.
Party Fabulous Vegas
Produced by Gay Rosenthal Productions. Gay Rosenthal serves as executive producer. Event planner, Tory Cooper, and socialite, Joan Hammer, are co-owners of Priceless Affairs, a Las Vegas event company that throws high-end, over-the-top parties. The series follows Joan and Tory along with the help of their eclectic staff — a florist with a flair for vintage, an assistant who aspires to run the show and the hot photographer who captures all the magic. Each episode will follow the team as they plan amazing and entertaining events such as a three-day $350,000 wedding event, a double birthday party for two wealthy teen girls and a pool party for a 24-year old Vegas native who has the money to party with a few hundred of his nearest and dearest friends. As they say…only in Vegas.
The Cat Deeley Celebrity Project (working title)
Produced by A. Smith Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton and Cat Deeley serve as executive producers. An hour-long series that follows television personality and fashion diva, Cat Deeley, into the homes and lifestyles of some of today’s hottest stars! Through this casual and intimate lens, Cat treats viewers not only to a front-seat tour of their favorites star’s home, but into their lives, as well, as they share personal stories triggered by treasured items. Whether it’s the Oscar she won for a role she almost didn’t take, her favorite pair of jeans, or the raggedy old couch she won’t get rid of, viewers will get an inside glimpse into the lives of their favorite celebrities. Every item in the house is a testament to the celebrity’s style and we’re going to learn the stories behind it all.
House of Fab (working title)
Produced by Left/Right. Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver and Kimora Lee Simmons serve as executive producers. In partnership with Justfab.com, an online shoe/fashion service that features the fierce Kimora Lee Simmons at the helm as President and Creative Director, Style will be bringing fashion to the masses. This docu-series will follow the eclectic and diverse cast of characters behind this fashion forward dot com and see what it takes to keep the operation going. Get ready for glamour to be accessible to every fashionista.
Built (working title)
Produced by Endemol. Alex Duda serves as executive producer. Remodels never looked so good as “Built” follows a Manhattan home service staffed exclusively with high-fashion male models who are also skilled handymen. Each week, the crew will tackle a home makeover project helping their clients with remodeling challenges. With their different personalities and skill sets, the Built team sometimes struggles to find common ground in their work; however, their dizzying good looks bind them together and ensure a handsome ending.
Celebrity Closet Confidential
Produced by FremantleMedia. Larry Barron serves as executive producer; Mary Alice Haney is a producer. Peek inside the closets of some of your favorite celebrities with stylist Mary Alice Haney as she works to elevate a star’s style. Each episode, Mary Alice works with a different celebrity to create a “fashion moment” for a huge celebrity event. She also identifies a few fashion fixes and sends them back into the spotlight as style icons. In the pilot episode, viewers will get to peek into the closet of singer and actress LeAnn Rimes as Mary Alice gives her a sophisticated and sexy new look.
Absolutely MARvelous (working title)
Produced by My Tupelo Entertainment. Michael Yudin and Joe Townley serve as executive producers. “Absolutely MARvelous” follows Mar Romero, owner and founder of TEAM, a high-end hair and makeup styling company based in Santa Barbara, California. TEAM, a top West Coast styling company, does over 200 events a year including hundreds of specialized upscale weddings, editorial photo shoots, commercials and red carpet events. Feisty and in your face, Mar rules the roost with an iron fist and a fierce ambition. She runs her business like a military general. Mar recently launched a line of hair extensions and her newest endeavor is leather totes and handbags. She dreams of expanding to the East Coast but can she manage even more? Absolutely.
Pop Style (working title)
This topical weekly series will break down all things you need to know about looking good and living stylishly – including the latest in fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and pop culture. From trends and the latest movies and TV shows to the coolest tech gadgets and the hottest restaurants, no topic will be left uncovered.
Tia & Tamera
Produced by Good Clean Fun. Executive producers are Jason Carbone, Sarah Kane, Tia Mowry Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley. The second season of the hit docu-series “Tia & Tamera” returns on Monday, June 11 at 8 P.M. ET/PT and follows the identical twin sisters as they embark on major life transitions. As they face the realities of motherhood and matrimony, Tia and Tamera lean heavily on each other to lighten the difficult moments with comedic insight and advice and to share their worries and fears. After nine months of sickness, pre-natal classes and then the birth, Tia now is figuring out how to balance between being a successful actress and a successful mom. For Tamera, she spent months preparing for her dream wedding, and as she approaches her one-year anniversary, she wonders about her new role as a working wife. With homes in Los Angeles and Napa Valley, where her husband’s family also owns a vineyard, Tamera finds herself pulled between two different worlds, struggling to decide where she will ultimately call home.
Produced by Endemol USA. Three-time Emmy® winner Alex Duda is the Executive Producer. Alexa Prisco returns as the “Glam Fairy,” which takes viewers inside her glittery, high-energy world as a makeup artist extraordinaire. Since establishing ‘The Glam Factory,’ Alexa has built her own glamorous home base where she showcases her makeover magic and expands her already growing clientele. Season two will follow Alexa as she takes her business to the next level and her personal life takes center stage when her boyfriend, Danny, takes a big step in their relationship while becoming her business manager at the same time.
NBC Owned Stations will begin selling national advertising for four Comcast SportsNets cable channels, reports the Washington Business Journal. Those channels include Comcast’s New England, Mid-Atlantic, Northwest and Philadelphia networks.
Comcast Sports Group test drove the model in a trial run at New England Cable News (part of the Comcast Sports Group), and “It worked so well that we decided to expand this relationship to more markets,” Ray Warren, executive VP and chief revenue officer for Comcast Sports Group told Broadcasting & Cable.
Warren went on to describe that Comcast’s regional sports networks “have delivered a lot of value to advertisers because of the hard-to-reach male demos we attract.” Through combining selected regional sports networks with the NBC Owned Stations, Warren sees Comcast as “able to create a complete local package with compelling cross-demo appeal for advertisers that is unprecedented in its reach."
Comcast Sports Group and NBC Owned Stations (there are 10 stations in the group, nationwide) will roll out the model over the next four months, beginning in New England.
- Bad news for ABC and “The Bachelor.” As a Reuters story describes, two African American men expect to file a racial discrimination lawsuit today (April 18) against ABC television and the producers of the reality dating shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." Both men come from Nashville, Tennessee, and claim that the reality shows intentionally exclude people of color. Nashville residents Nathaniel Claybrooks, an All-American football player, and Christopher Johnson, an aspiring National Football League player, observe that in the 10 years and 23 seasons, neither show has featured a person of color in a central role. The lawsuit is expected to name ABC television, Warner Horizon television, Next Entertainment, NZK Productions and Michael Fleiss, the executive producer of the "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" franchises.
- Bravo Media has renewed the controversial “Shahs of Sunset” for a second season. The Sunday night season one finale earned its most watched episode of the season with over 1.5 million total viewers and 1 million adults 18-49. The show follows wealthy Iranians living in Beverly Hills, which Iranian-Americans have complained is stereotypical. One of its stars, Reza Farhan, scoffs at the criticism, telling the LA Times “This is not a National Geographic documentary about the plight of the Persian people from Mecca to Medina to Beverly Hills.” Compared to last week’s episode, the season finale spiked 20% among adults 18-49 and 15 percent among total viewers. Based on the show’s success the network greenlit a second season of the series from Ryan Seacrest Productions. Additionally, “Watch What Happens Live” hosted by Andy Cohen with guests Reza Farahan, Asa Soltan Rahmati and Mike Shouhed from “Shahs of Sunset” scored an impressive 1.4 million total viewers and 942,000 adults 18- 49, up 31% and 44%, respectively, over the week before.
- Still a few days to buy. Fox has unveiled the guest appearance list for its 25TH Annviersary Special, scheduled for Sunday April 22 from 8 – 10 P.M. ET/PT. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the star-studded special will pay tribute to Fox’s most memorable moments with appearances by Fox talent, highlights from iconic series and specials and reunions with cast members from some of the network’s fan-favorite series. Talent scheduled to appear include Calista Flockhart from “Ally McBeal”; Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler from “American Idol”; Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering from “Beverly Hills, 90210”; Seth MacFarlane from “Family Guy,” “The Cleveland Show” and “American Dad;” Christina Applegate, David Faustino, Ed O’Neill and Katey Sagal from “Married With Children”; Kiefer Sutherland from “Touch” and “24”; and Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and creator Chris Carter from “The X-Files.”
- NFL Network, ESPN and NBC have announced their football broadcast plans, NFL Networks for Thursday nights; ESPN for Monday Night Football and NBC for Sunday Night Football. Thursday Night Football on NFL Network kicks off in Week 2 (Sept. 13) and features nine 2011 playoff teams, including six which won division crowns and both NFC Championship Game teams (Giants and 49ers). Game times for the contests are 8:00 P.M. ET. The 43rd season of Monday Night Football will kick off on ESPN with a doubleheader Monday, September 10 –Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens, at 7 P.M. ET, and San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders at 10:15 P.M./7:15 p.m. PT) – and will continue with a total of 17 prime-time games. NBC will broadcast 19 primetime NFL games during the 2012 season, highlighted by: the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants hosting their division rivals the Dallas Cowboys on NFL Kickoff 2012, and the new Thanksgiving night game.
- Good news for FX and perennial disgruntled employee Charlie Sheen. According to TV Guide, test audiences who viewed the upcoming FX series “Anger Management” have given it high marks. The sitcom is based on the 2003 movie of the same name, featuring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. Sheen plays an ex Major League Baseball player with rage problems, who becomes an anger management therapist. Over 80% of the group approved of Sheen’s performance. “Anger Management” will premiere back-to-back episodes on Thursday, June 28 at 9 P.M. ET.