Advertising Week (final full week of September)

You could boil the theme of the week down to one word -- programmatic.

Almost every other session appeared to focus on some aspect of the programmatic advertising movement, including how it impacts every media imaginable. At the same time the week overdosed on programmatic sessions, it totally under-dosed on TV, to the point where only one panel – yes, one -- was devoted to the subject: A lively debate on linear TV's future. (Note: Other TV luminaries were scattered on various panels, most notably a session on original content.)

Nothing on the growing adoption of smart TVs and interactive TV apps. Nothing on the growing impact of video-on-demand, digital video recorders and ultra HD. Nothing on the explosion of original scripted programming, or bringing more diversity to the medium. Let's get real, Advertising Week organizers. This is inexcusable. By going way overboard on anything programmatic, you let your constituency down on dealing with TV. Please make every effort possible to see this doesn't happen again next September.

Two other important points: 1) That nicely-staged linear TV debate was preceded by an Advertising Research Foundation power-point display which had nothing to do with the topic at hand, and was gobbledygook to boot. Given this panel was either organized or sponsored by the ARF, there are no qualms with them touting their work like this. However, they should have stayed on topic. 2) How about at least one Advertising Week panel dealing with the opportunities on Internet radio and podcasts? Full disclosure: My interest derives in large part from doing an Internet radio-distributed program. Still, isn't this subject long overdue for industry exposure?

The quote box:

"I watch lots of TV on my laptop...and I watch lots of my computer stuff on Apple TV." -- Webby Awards founder/AOL program supplier Tiffany Shlain

"It's a great time to be in TV. It's a bigger way to connect brands and audiences." -- Former ABC Family president, now independent executive producer Michael Riley

"You need to be developing (content) for all the platforms, and fund it in unique, innovative ways." -- eOne Television executive Tara Long

"None of these platforms matter if you don't have a hit." -- Comedy Central president Michele Gainless

"The challenge isn't collecting big data, it's interpreting it." -- Amazon Studios president Roy Price

Hispanic TV Summit (October 2)

This one-day focus on the Latino TV marketplace from the publishers of Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News has become a must-see attraction. A number of blockbuster people impacting this side of the medium spoke up, including NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel, new mun2 president Ruben Mendiola and Televisa USA chief creative officer Michael Garcia. In the aftermath of the World Cup soccer tournament from Brazil, the big focus was on the role of sports in Spanish-language TV. The panel and one-on-one sessions were well-spaced throughout the day. Still, there was little said about a vital question: What's the next frontier of Spanish-language TV? Is it weekly comedies, dramas and variety series produced in the U.S. with U.S. Latino talent in control? Is it interactive services? Is it something else not on anyone's radar screen?

The quote box:

"Minorities are becoming the majority. We're seeing the maturing of the multicultural market, and we're migrating to the age of all media [being] digital ... We're not at the saturation point of new networks. The appetite [for new nets] is always going to be there on the part of the consumer." – Starcom MediaVest Group’s Multicultural/Latin America chief executive officer Monica Gadsby

"Have you heard programmatic enough?" -- Fox Hispanic Media executive vice president of advertising sales Tom Maney

"Total market is like the Loch Ness monster. Nobody's ever seen it." -- Univision Communications executive vice president of advertising sales Steve Mandala

"Most networks take an antiquated view of how to reach Latinos. Small specifics of culture are left out. The networks need to figure out showing the lives of U.S. Hispanics ... You have to make shows with characters that reflect the reality of their lives, and make those lives matter. We need more parts, more roles [and] more shows that offer such relevance." -- Televisa USA chief creative officer Michael Garcia

"Scripted or unscripted, you have to show authenticity, with the imperfections." -- Discovery U.S. Hispanic Networks content vice president Bilar Joa Silar

"We can be an entertainment superstation. That's where we're going." -- mun2 president Ruben Mendiola

NCC Media Upfront (October 9)

Just when we were enjoying a breather between this year's cycle of upfront spectacles and next year's events, along came a presentation from NCC Media, the local/national spot cable operator cooperative. And guess what? This Gotham Hall-staged event was highly entertaining, with plenty of punch lines by senior vice president Andrew Capone, a succession of well-edited and scored videos and dynamite music by La Bamba and The Hubcaps (including a one-note trumpet solo that had to come close or beat a Guinness World Record if anyone had timed it). Don't forget the pan-Asian/sushi bar with sliced mushrooms on skewers.

Some choice Capone tidbits:

"I need your attention for 20 minutes. Our CEO has given up his seat just for you."

"Forget programmatic. We're going right to dinner."

"When it comes to big data, we're going from ‘Mad Men’ to ‘Mad Men and Women.’"

"Don't worry. ‘Dating Naked’ has been renewed."

"Bravo will be teasing us next year with ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey: State Penitentiary.’"

"The time of 25 million people watching ‘American Idol’ is gone."

Until the next time, stay well and stay tuned!

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