A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, the FCC’s proposal riles cable companies, Yahoo cuts ad jobs, Gannett advertising revenues fall while Crown Media’s surge, Nielsen and comScore measure up their ratings capabilities, MediaCom explores global culture, ABC’s turmoil at the top, plus much more.
FCC Moves Forward on Proposal to “Open” Set-Top Cable Box
Proposal to “open up” the set-top box will be put out for public comment, despite fierce lobbying against it from cable and satellite firms as well as Hollywood studios (via Variety).
+ The Divergence: Comcast really loved the idea of open cable boxes before hating it (via The Verge)
Yahoo Layoffs Include Many Ad Platform and Sales Jobs
Latest cuts include half of its content verticals and positions in ad platform sales, data-driven sales enablement, CPG vertical solutions, agency outreach and strategic account sales (via AdExchanger).
+ Yahoo forms panel to explore strategic options (via Reuters)
Gannett Q4 Revenue Down 9.7% as Circulation, Advertising Fall
Declines were partially offset by positive revenue trends in Gannett's digital products, particularly national digital advertising and mobile growth (via USA Today).
Crown Media Q4 Revenue Up 18% on Strong Advertising, Subscriber Performance
Addition of 5.1 million Hallmark Channel subscribers and 6.7 million Hallmark Movies & Mysteries subscribers fueled 21% advertising revenue growth (via Business Wire).
Revenue, Profit, Organic Growth All Up at Dentsu in 2015
For the year, company had net new business wins of $3.6 billion and retained another $4 billion in billings from existing accounts (via MediaPost).
NBCUniversal Launches One-Stop Shop for Data-Driven Ad Targeting
New division called Audience Studio ties together four different ad buying products NBCU has introduced over the past few years (via WSJ).
Publicis' Mediavest Loses Massive Walmart Account
Company spent over $900 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2014, but declined to say what that transition will be for its North American media business (via Ad Age).
Facebook Plans To Put Ads in Messenger
Businesses will be able to send ads as messages to people who previously initiated a chat thread with that company (via Techcrunch).
+ Facebook named undisputed leader in mobile advertising for app developers (via VentureBeat)
ESPN Won’t Go It Alone, But It Could Embrace Skinny Bundles
“We can sell ESPN as a standalone business, but we don’t believe it right now to be good business,” says company president John Skipper (via Wired).
Nielsen Responds to comScore Rating Plans
+ ComScore Expects To Launch Cross-Platform Video Measures in Time for TV Upfront (via Variety)
Cablevision Becomes First Cable Op to Offer CBS Live Streams Out of Home
Announcement comes as Cablevision hopes to persuade regulators to approve its $10 billion sale to European telecom company Altice (via Deadline).
MediaCom Unveils New Cultural Connections Partnership with Hofstede Centre
Survey of over 60,000 consumers across 52 countries will give multinational advertisers insights on how different cultures and countries respond in different ways to content and media (via PRNewswire).
Rubicon: Brand-Direct Media Buyers Buy More Native Ads than Any Other Mobile Format
Media Auditor Billett Attacks WPP’s GroupM Over Programs for Airtime Deal With Channel 4
Billet says broadcaster’s deal with GroupM, in which GroupM Entertainment supplies the channel with programs in return for airtime, is in nobody’s interest -- apart from GroupM’s (via More About Advertising).
Sony Entertainment Chief Sees Music Moving to Phased Release, Like Movies
Adele’s decision to withhold her newly released album “25” from free music streaming services may eventually become the industry’s norm (via Re/code).
New Online TV Services Touted by Channel Owners Proving Slow to Emerge
Apple, YouTube, Amazon, T-Mobile and AT&T are exploring Web video services, though talks aren’t advanced and many big media companies still are loath to license just one or two popular channels to a service (via WSJ).
Why Agency Creatives are Flocking to Mobile World Congress
"It's a place to learn and see what's going on and how people are using mobile technology," said Y&R global CEO David Sable (via AdWeek).
People on the Move
Channing Dungey to Succeed Paul Lee as Chief of ABC Entertainment
A long-running internal battle among ABC executives over creative control and future strategy led to the ouster of the network’s entertainment president and the elevation of a pair of his lieutenants (via NY Times).
Nicole Seligman Exiting as President of Sony Entertainment
Seligman, who has held dual roles as president of both Sony Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America, is stepping down from those posts to pursue other interests (via Hollywood Reporter).
Video: Machine Zone CEO Gabe Leydon Predicts the End of TV Advertising As We Know It (via Re/code)
Podcast: Omnicom’s digital chief: Agencies shouldn’t try to be VCs or compete with Google (via Digiday)
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