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Viewers Claim To Tune Out During Election Season

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

A new survey commissioned by MGH, an integrated marketing communications agency, found that 32% of survey respondents change the channel as soon as a political advertisement airs and during political news coverage, and nearly half (47%) of viewers will change the channel or mute the TV during a negative political ad.

The Baltimore agency commissioned the survey to find if consumers change their viewing habits during election season.

As usual, the vast majority (88%) of respondents said they are turned off by negative political advertising. But as usual, the negative ads work.

Younger millennials aged 18-24, skewed higher in some measures:

  • Forty-five percent change the channel during political news coverage.
  • Thirty-nine percent change the channel as soon as they see a political advertisement.
  • Twenty percent are more likely to watch programs online, and 19% are more likely to record programs they want to watch to avoid commercials.

"This year's election is gearing up to be a tight race, and with tens of millions of advertising dollars being put toward mudslinging political television ads, marketers need to pay attention to some of these statistics to make sure that their consumers aren't changing the channel on their clients," said MGH President, Andy Malis. "During election years, television advertising space is limited and more expensive, so advertisers need to get creative and integrated with their media campaigns to ensure their message is getting through the clutter."

The key takeaways, according to MGH, are that marketers have the potential to lose more than one-third of their potential audience if a political ad airs – and nearly half if a negative political ad airs – in the same commercial block as theirs. Additionally, marketers that target the younger millennials may have an even tougher time reaching this audience through TV ads.

Still the spending is high, and a report released in March from Borrell Associates forecasts that out of the $9.8 billion that will be spent on political advertising for this year’s election, $5.6 billion will go toward broadcast TV and $939 million toward cable TV advertising. The New York Times estimates that at least $50 million worth of ads will appear in swing states in the next several weeks, about five months out from the election.

Time will tell if these viewers actually do tune out as they claim. Viewership was very strong during the GOP debates. ABC claimed big ratings for its “Your Voice, Your Vote – Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire” broadcast. Nielsen tallied 6.25 million viewers, including 1.73 million Adults 25-54 and 1.40 million Adults 18-49. The ABC debate topped the Fox News Channel’s December 15 debate with 1.31 million viewers.

According to January figures from The Pew Research Center for The People & The press, it is true that fewer Americans are closely following the campaign than four years ago. Cable TV leads among sources at 36%, but the Internet is next to last at 25% and has not grown in significance since 2007. So, those younger-skewing voters who claim to get ad-free news online might be exaggerating, or simply disinterested. Just 20% of those younger than 30 claimed to follow the campaign closely, down from 31% in 2008. But because younger voters skew Democrat, they may prick up their ears as the conventions and election near.

Equation Research conducted the survey in April 2012 on behalf of MGH. Equation surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18+ who had seen at least one political advertisement recently, located in states where presidential primaries had taken place.

Cross Media: Will “First Digital Olympics” Fall Flat?

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

The broadcast press is abuzz about the “first truly digital Olympics.” But should ad buyers be robbing their TV budgets to run banners on NBCSports.com? Maybe not. As PaidContent reports, online consumption of the 2012 Olympiad will not be as widespread as NBC predicted: That according to research from the online sports broadcaster Perform Group, in their Global Sports Media Consumption Report 2012.

Perform Group surveyed sports enthusiasts worldwide, to find that:

  • Only 9% of UK sports fans and 16% in the US plan to view the Olympiad online
  • Just 3% of UK fans and 7% in the US plan to watch any Olympic content over smartphones
  • 64% of Brits and 71% of Yanks will watch via regular TV

Interestingly, 70% of Chinese intend to watch the games online. But as WebProNews describes, research groups in every country but China concentrated on a representative sample from all adults, while in China, the survey was taken amongst “tech-savvy” consumers in major municipalities.

BBC Sport in the UK plans to broadcast or stream 2,500 hours of the games across TV, Internet, mobile and tablet forms. And the International Olympic Committee plans to stream the entire event across YouTube. Finally, all 32 sports at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will be streamed live at nbcolympics.com, as the New York Times reported in April. As PaidContent observes, “we will believe actual online viewing habits when we see them.”

New Red-State Radio Personality: Herman Cain

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Conservative talk-radio veteran Neal Boortz is retiring after 42 years on the air, to be replaced by embattled former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
As an Associated Press story describes, the 67-year-old Boortz (who broadcasts out of Atlanta) will retire as of Jan. 21, 2013, which is the scheduled date of the presidential inauguration. Boortz is syndicated through Atlanta’s WSB radio, and draws about 6 million listeners across 230 radio stations.

Cain is the 66-year-old Atlanta businessman who dropped out of the GOP presidential race in December. Cain has also hosted a WSB show. Cain is famous for his peppery delivery, and has already drawn fire for saying on Boortz’s show that “the dumb masses are ruining this country.” Cain is also the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.

“Herman Cain is the logical successor for Neal,” Cox-Atlanta market manager Dan Kearney said. “He is very well known, passionate about his beliefs, not afraid to speak his mind and our listeners have shown they love him.”Boortz will not retire completely, reports Inside Radio: He will host the “Boortz Blast,” a new twice-weekly commentary.

WSB is counting on Cain taking over the ratings and advertisers from Boortz, and is grooming Cain for the spot, with twice-daily commentary at 8:45 A.M. and 6:45 P.M. daily.

A call to WSB revealed the Boortz demographics, which are:

  • Men and women 25-54
  • 6 million listeners
  • 240 radio stations across the country
  • A conservative-leaning demographic

Another Indie Rock Station Goes Down: Boston’s WFNX Sold to Clear Channel

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Just short of its 30th birthday, Boston’s independent rock station WFNX (described as "iconic," "legendary" and "progressive" across the press) has been sold to radio giant/clearinghouse Clear Channel Communications. As the New York Times describes it, The deal for WFNX, which broadcasts at 101.7 FM, is pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission. 

It is unlikely that new management will keep the old format, as 17 of 21 employees were immediately let go, as RadioInk reports. Three full-timers and one part-timer will keep WFNX on air until the sale completes. As WFNX Program Director Paul Driscoll told New England Cable News, "I think of it as a two month Irish wake, so we're going to send this legendary station off the right way."

Stephen M. Mindich, the chairman and chief executive of the station’s owner, the Phoenix Media/Communications Group, announced the sale Wednesday morning in a memo to employees, which was posted by the Boston Phoenix newspaper (another Phoenix Media property).

“We introduced Nirvana and Pearl Jam to wider audiences in 1991,” claimed Mindich. “Together with the Boston Phoenix we staged the notorious Green Day concert at the Hatch Shell in 1994…for years we broadcast One In Ten, the only program on a commercial radio station in the nation dedicated to the issues and lifestyles of the GLBT community…Here comes the catch....Despite its celebrated history, its cutting edge programming , its tradition of breaking new music, its ardent fans among listeners and advertisers, for some time it has been difficult to sustain the station -- especially since the start of the Great Recession.”

In other words: “Thanks for the memories and you’re fired,” as RadioINK described the notice.

Clear Channel owns 840 stations across the United States, including four in the Boston area: The Top 40 WXKS-FM; WJMN-FM, which plays hip-hop; and two AM stations, the talk WXKS and the “Spanish hits” WKOX.

As the Times observes, rock stations have been on the decline for much of the last decade, leaving independent stations particularly vulnerable. Last year, Emmis Communications sold WRXP in New York to Merlin Media to a former top Clear Channel executive who converted it to a talk format.

Viacom: Social TV Must Offer Content, Communication, Comments

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Viacom has unveiled the results of a new study exploring the social TV phenomenon through the lens of the viewer. While fairly nascent, social TV and co-viewing trends represent a shift in TV viewing from what Viacom calls a “lean-back” to a “lean-forward” experience. If there is a takeaway for advertisers, it is that those “behind the scenes” streams, additional scenes and blooper reels that networks run on their websites are pretty valuable ad real estate.

Viacom finds that viewers engage in an average of seven different types of social TV activities – online or offline – on at least a weekly basis. The most common activities include watching TV with others (85%), searching for supplemental content (61%) and viewing TV show clips on social networks (58%). The new research reveals that consumers engaging in social TV activities "C's the moment" primarily by communicating, consuming content and checking comments.

The two-phase study involved 24 ethnographies in Boston and San Diego with VMN viewers aged 13-52 that engage in social TV activities on at least a weekly basis. National online surveys were conducted with over 1,500 VMN viewers aged 13-54. When asked what social TV means to them, the most commonly reported words were "interactive," "friends" and "Facebook "or "Twitter." The leading source of discovery of social TV services is through search (38%), followed by social networks (26%) and ads run on shows (22%).  

"One of the main goals of this research was to understand how to inspire social TV activity among our audiences," said Colleen Fahey Rush, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Viacom Media Networks. 

Content
Content is king for social TV users. Viewers want something special from their social TV services rather than commoditized content that can be found through online searches. The number one request for content is full-length episodes (88%), followed by sneak peeks of new episodes (75%), and behind-the-scenes extras (71%) and highlight clips (71%).

The majority of TV socializers are interested in rewards with real value, like free merchandise or signed cast photos. When putting aside the material aspect, virtual rewards offer an emotional pay-off, described as being similar to the feeling when 'liked' on Facebook. Trivia and casual games related to a show are of greater interest if they offer some kind of reward. Real fans want to have their knowledge and skills tested, and expect the game to be challenging.

Communication
Communicating is a top priority for social TV users. Many respondents described cobbling together unique communication systems to interact with different social circles while watching a show. "When I'm watching Jersey Shore, I have Facebook chats with 10 friends and I'm texting a dozen people, and I can be on the phone to my best friend," said one participant.

There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of chat options. Of those interested in chat features, 56% prefer communicating through the social TV app/service, 53% through Facebook, 50% through individual or group texts and 38% through Skype or Apple FaceTime. For those that use check-in services, 71% check in to a show to let their friends know and 64% check in to let other fans of the show know. Check-in services are a unique way of communicating viewing activities while simultaneously encouraging others to tune-in and join a shared experience.

Smartphones dominate the use of social TV apps at 82%, trailed by tablets at 18%. For services that are delivered via HTML websites and associated apps, 52% of usage occurs on smartphones or tablets, followed closely by desktop or laptops at 48%.

Comments
Social TV users check comments about their favorite shows for a variety of reasons. Comments provide a different point of view, can pick up on something a viewer may have missed on their own and most importantly, create a direct connection between fan and show. "I love reading Daniel Tosh's tweets while watching Tosh.0. It gives the show a whole other dimension," said one survey respondent.

Not all sources of comments are equally valued. The number one source viewers want to hear from is a show's cast and crew, followed by the people they know. Audiences are sensitive to the quality of comments from a show's cast and crew – they look for authenticity and prefer the star(s) to be in character.
Social TV Users "C's the Moment" During Live Viewing

"Viewers C's the Moment" reveals that live TV show viewing unlocks the real value of social TV services and co-viewing activities. Features relating to communication, content and comments are twice as likely to be used during live than time-shifted viewing. Social TV enthusiasts reported feeling "left out" of the conversation if they missed a live airing.

One respondent said, "I'm most likely to engage with Social TV networking when it's live. So when a new show comes on, I'm very likely to check-in just before the show, see comments from other people, [and] make my own comments during the show as well."

Social TV activities also increase directly after a live show, when viewers can access exclusive content like sneak peeks without interrupting the live viewing experience. "I go to the website and watch the director's cut…after it airs as I like the extra scenes. I like to feel that I am getting something extra and it extends the show," said a participant.

Social TV can also help foster show discovery. Features like check-ins, viewer comments and shared video clips help viewers discover shows, incentivize them to watch and encourage them to join the live conversations.

CEA: Consumers Use HDTV Like An iPad

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

As video consumption increases and viewing devices vary, consumers are still using televisions most often to watch video, according to The Evolving Video Landscape study released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). So should ad buyers take back those digital dollars they robbed from TV budgets? Not necessarily. Consumers are increasingly using televisions like iPads, for social media, music and web browsing.

Consumers are watching more video than they have in the past, across a variety of platforms. One-third of U.S. adults online (34%) say they watch more video content today than they did a year ago. Viewing of television video programming is up 28%, with consumers citing convenience and the appeal/variety of programming as the top factors for increased viewing. Viewing of content on portable devices has also increased, with 40% watching more on those devices today than a year ago.

Many consumers (66%) who are watching video content on television are simultaneously using other consumer electronics (CE) devices. This behavior is more prevalent among younger consumers, as 85% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 70% of 25- to 34-year-olds multitask with another device while watching video on a television. U.S. adults online report watching some type of video content an average of 3.2 hours a day, five days per week.

Televisions continue to be the most commonly used device for watching video but other devices are gaining in popularity. HDTVs are the most prevalent devices used for video viewing, used by two-thirds (66 percent) of U.S. adults online. Computers are also commonly used to watch video, with 62 percent using a laptop to watch video and 55% using a desktop. One-third (33%) of consumers are using their smartphones to watch video content, and 17% are using their tablets.

“Consumers are watching more video than they have in years past and they are seeking devices and technologies that deliver a quality video and audio experience,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and director of research. “However, younger consumers accustomed to multitasking are defining new video behaviors as they watch video content across multiple platforms, on their own schedule, all while interacting socially on their devices with their friends.”

Televisions have also emerged as a device that can do more than just play video. Among consumers using televisions to watch video content, nearly half (47%) also use their sets for other purposes. One in three (34%) consumers who use a television to watch video also use their set to listen to music, and one in five (21%) uses a television to listen to audio. Usage also varies by age and the type of display owned. Younger consumers, those under age 25, rely on their TVs more for music, social media, going on the Web and communicating. Consumers with Internet-enabled TVs use their displays in a number of ways as well: 47% listen to music, 28% use social media, 26% surf the Web and 23% view photos.

Future television purchases will be based on better picture quality and larger screen sizes as consumers will continue to seek the latest innovations in the market. Almost half (48%) of consumers planning to purchase a TV in the next 12 months will be replacing an aging, obsolete or broken set. However, half (51%) desire improved picture quality in a new display and half (50%) want a larger screen size. One in four (24%) consumers with intentions to purchase a TV over the next year expect to purchase a 3DTV; 21% plan to purchase an OLED display; and a quarter of consumers (25%) plan to purchase an Internet-enabled TV. While stated purchase intentions do not always translate to transactions, the study clearly shows many consumers have their eyes fixed on newer TV technologies.

“Easy access to the Web makes TVs more versatile, allowing us to stay connected, informed and entertained,” said DuBravac. “In the future, new technologies, like OLED and 3D, will continue to improve the viewer experience, and Internet-enabled sets will fulfill consumers’ desires to be connected.”

The Evolving Video Landscape Study (April 2012) was conducted between February 22 and March 2, 2012. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research, the most comprehensive source of sales data, forecasts, consumer research and historical trends for the consumer electronics industry. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete study is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org. Non-members may purchase the study at the CEA Store.

New “NBC Politics App” For iPad, iPhone

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

NBC Politics today launched a new app for iPad and iPhone that brings users inside the 2012 election with a collection of videos, reports, and interactive tools, graphics and games from the best team in politics.

NBC promises a seamless advertising experience through Zumobi’s new rich media mobile ad platform. Through the Zumobi Brand Integration (ZBi) platform, NBC Politics offers brands an immersive advertising experience that is "organic and complimentary to the app design." The NBC Politics App is sponsored by Nissan and Liberty Mutual Insurance. The app is available for free from the App Store.

The NBC Politics App "delivers the power of NBC News’ political reporting right to your fingertips – anytime, anywhere," NBC said in a statement, and from trusted journalists like David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and the network’s deep bench of correspondents and contributors. NBC News

NBC Politics is now available on-air on NBC News, online at NBCPolitics.com and on mobile with iPad and iPhone, offering users a multi-platform experience of the political landscape. “With all eyes on the 2012 election, the NBC Politics App delivers the best political content and reporting – wherever you are. This all-access, easy-to-navigate resource puts the full power of NBC News in your hands, from the top headlines and stories to innovative features that allow serious political junkies to dig even deeper,” said David Gregory, moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“We’re excited about offering this interactive, up-to-the minute experience for the depth of our political coverage this election season,” said Jennifer Sizemore, msnbc.com general manager and editor-in-chief. “The expertise of the NBC Politics team is the essential ingredient for this app, which is another entry in our strategy to give our audience what it needs, wherever and whenever it needs it.”

The NBC Politics App features Include:

  • Video: Agenda-setting interviews and reports from “Meet the Press with David Gregory,” “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” and NBC News’ entire line-up of trusted news broadcasts and platforms
  • Battleground Map: an interactive map that gives users the tools to test potential electoral vote outcomes. How do different state election outcomes add up to 270 electoral votes needed for victory? Users can test out different scenarios, play along with NBC News political experts and create personalized outcomes with the chance to see their map on-air or online.
  • Tip Sheet: A round-up of the day’s most memorable, must-know moments and headlines
  • Live Election Results: Real-time results as they unfold.
  • Candidates: Details about each presidential candidate through in-depth profiles and headlines related to each candidate
  • Share: A feature to share articles on Facebook and Twitter and to follow @NBCPolitics for the latest updates and exclusive reports

 

Digital-First Strategies Deliver for Publishers, Advertisers

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

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.

Yahoo: Optimize Travel-Related Search Ads Now

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

“Advertisers in the travel industry need to increase their online footprint in order to keep up with this ever growing audience,” wrote the online ad team at Yahoo! Their 2011 data revealed that travel-related searches begin climbing in May and peak in July, suggesting now is the time to optimize online ad accounts for the season. Yahoo! offers these tips

Yahoo! offered some specific tips from its search-ad experts:

  • Ensure your keyword coverage: Analysis of travel keywords used by adCenter advertisers reveals that the highest click-through rates (CTR) are found in longer keyword entries that include the destination and an offer (e.g., "Hawaii all inclusive vacation packages"). Even if the destination was not included, terms like "all inclusive vacation" or "last minute vacation" still have strong CTRs.
  • Book Insurance for your Ads: Like travel insurance, a robust list of negative keywords will, for example, prevent your ad from being shown for searches related to cruise ship accidents or other such incidents.
  • Know what's popular: Yahoo's Search Query Performance Report shows exactly what queries a Bing or Yahoo! Search user entered in relation to a keyword. The report helps you identify additional keywords to bid on and provides a list of potential negative keywords to exclude unwanted traffic.
  • Go Mobile: Analysts estimate that the number of U.S. mobile users booking via mobile will nearly double from 2010 to 2012, from 8.7 million to 15.1 million. Duplicate your search campaigns to target mobile devices, and reach these searchers while they are on the road.
  • Plan ahead: In a 2011 survey commissioned by the Mark Travel Corp., 19% of respondents booked trips six or more months in advance, compared with 16% in May 2010. That type of traveler has already made summer plans, but are booking their fall and winter trips now. 

truTV Upfront: Top 10 Network for Advertisers Promises More “Dumbest,” Steve-O and Shaquille O’Neal

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

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:

NEW SERIES:
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.”

DEVELOPMENT:
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.”

RETURNING TV:
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