MediaBizBuzz is a roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, the financial reporting season continues with mixed results from Disney and Time Warner, optimism from Omnicom and Nielsen, and Upfront predictions from CBS. Plus more about how Vice plans to shake up the TV business and Gannett’s reported plans to puts its newspaper delivery trucks to good use.
Walt Disney Co. Posts Record Quarterly Profit on Success of “Star Wars”
Disney's media networks unit posted operating income of $1.4 billion on revenue of $6.3 billion, which was up 8% from a year earlier. Within that unit, the cable division, which houses ESPN, recorded operating income of $1.2 billion, down 5% from a year ago. (via LA Times).
+ Disney Says Skinny Bundles are Hurting ESPN and Will Save ESPN (via Re/code)
Disappointing Show by HBO, Turner Drags Down Time Warner
Subscription revenue for HBO, home to shows such as "Game of Thrones," rose three percent and remained unchanged at Turner, which includes the cable channel CNN (via Reuters).
+ HBO Now? More Like HBO Later. Over-the-Top Service Slower to Catch On Than Predictions (via Ad Age)
+ Cable Channel Subscriber Losses Have Investors Bracing for Worst (via Bloomberg)
+ Why TV Executives Are Bullish On the Ad Market(via WSJ)
Verizon Said to Enlist AOL CEO Armstrong to Explore Yahoo Deal
Late last week, and as far back as December, Verizon has said “yes” when asked whether it was interested in purchasing some or all of the struggling company (via Bloomberg).
+ Yahoo Layoffs Have Begun, as Mayer Tries to Turn Around Her Turnaround (via Re/code)
+ Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T Want NFL Thursday Streaming Rights (via Bloomberg)
Omnicom CEO Says Too Early to Tell If 2016 Will Bring More Major Media Reviews
“Whether the pace of 2015 continues into 2016 it is too early to say, but we will not be surprised if the patterns continue” (via WSJ).
+ Media Dominates Conversation on Omnicom Earnings Call (via Ad Age)
CBS’ Leslie Moonves Predicts Big Upfront For C7 Deals
“I think it’s going to be substantially higher than it has been in the past year,” Moonves said of this year’s upfront. “This year more than 50% of the deals will be (based on) C7,” he said (via Variety).
+ CBS Exceeds Revenue Expectations Amid Cord-Cutting Concerns (via Hollywood Reporter)
+ CBS boss suggests Apple's TV streaming service is still stalled (via CNN)
NBCU Cable Shakes Up Programming Operations with New Roles for Chris McCumber, Dave Howe, Bill McGoldrick
Bonnie Hammer is blowing up the cable TV management playbook with a sweeping realignment of executive responsibilities across the largest channels she oversees at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment (via Variety).
Nielsen Boss on Client’s Public Criticism: “I’d Prefer They Were Saying Good Things”
“It’s always positive when our clients are talking to us in the marketplace,” CEO Mitch Barns says — it means company is “highly relevant” (via TheWrap).
+ Nielsen Adds More Business for Total Audience Measurement (via MediaPost)
+ Hearst Inks Multiyear Renewal of Nielsen’s Local TV Measurement Service(via Broadcasting & Cable)
As TV Gets Its Data On, Walled Garden Problem Looms
Does TV need its version of Costco -- a member’s only super store supermarket of aggregated ad inventory and data? (via WSJ).
IAB Study Claims “TV is No Longer the Dominant Screen”
British study finds 70 per cent of participants ordinarily used a connected device while watching TV, and that in the 16-34 demographic this rises to 87 per cent (via The Drum).
Vice Media Under Pressure: New Backers Bring New Challenges
“This is really more about the ability to get that audience that doesn’t watch an awful lot of television to watch some TV now. That’s the real challenge” (via Variety).
Facebook Will Start Automatically Captioning Video Ads
According to Facebook's own research, 80% of people react negatively when mobile video ads begin playing loudly in content feeds and blame the platform as well as the brand (via Ad Age).
Gannett Exploring Parcel Delivery Business as It Examines How to Make the Most of Its Fleet
Gannett reached out to parcel-industry consultants as recently as December. It also had meetings and preliminary discussions with Amazon.com (via Dow Jones).
GroupM Launches Viewability Standards for Digital Ads in Canada
The agency announced a similar standard in Australia two weeks ago and expects to roll out the standard globally. The U.S. offices are furthest ahead on the initiative to build viewability into their deals, by about a year (via Globe and Mail).
People on the Move
Havas Promotes Chief Growth Officer Laura Maness to New York President
Havas has promoted North America Chief Growth Officer Laura Maness to the newly created role of Havas Worldwide New York president, effective March 1 (via Ad Age).
iHeartMedia Promotes Five Senior Programmers to Division Executive Vice Presidents In Its National Programming Group
Andrew Jeffries, Steve Geofferies, Tony Coles, Thea Mitchem and Meg Stevens were formerly iHeartMedia Senior Vice Presidents of Programming and will report to Brad Hardin (via iHeartMedia).
Former AOL President Bob Lord Joins Screenvision Board
The company said Lord brings more than a decade of digital leadership experience with an emphasis on emerging media, technology and data -- which it termed key areas of focus for Screenvision to expand impact for advertisers (via Variety).
Vice’s Shane Smith Talks "Further Plans of World Domination" and how Viceland, his upcoming cable network, will get "ahead of everybody else." (via Hollywood Reporter).
Group M’s North America programmatic buying president Joe Kowan on the rise of a more developed programmatic ecosystem he called “programmatic 2.0” (via BeetTV).
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