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Posts Tagged ‘Herb Scannell’

BBC America’s British Bacchanal

Last night BBC America hosted its annual upfront presentation in New York. Upfronts, as most media buyers are acutely aware, are usually a rather staid affair. Network executives typically take the stage and plug their upcoming shows, spinning the Nielsen ratings numbers to their maximum benefit.

Not at BBC America.

The total length of the speeches by EVP of sales Mark Gall and BBC America GM Perry Simon were well under five minutes. The rest of the night was spent marveling at oddity after oddity, and spectacle after spectacle. Sure there was a portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (pictured right), and TVs rolled a loop of BBC America programming, but there were also women dangling from the ceiling on rings, and a ghostly Marie Antoinette-esque figure floating above the bar.

The food was served in a court designed to look like an outdoor street market, with stands for Indian, Chinese, barbeque and of course traditional English meat pies.

An old-fashioned band serenaded the crowd with hits straight out of the 1920′s, while burlesque dancers performed on stage. Around 9 PM, curtains on one side of the room dropped, and a team of fire-breathers performed, before opening up that floor to a dance party.

Given that one would expect the BBC to have a stiff upper lip, many media buyers in attendance were surprised by the display.

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News Corp.’s Carey: Consistency For Pay Walls Is Key

carey.jpgWhen Chase Carey speaks, the media world listens. And rightfully so. As Rupert Murdoch‘s number two, News Corp.‘s COO’s opinions do have a certain amount of clout.

This morning, at the Media and Money Conference, hosted by Nielsen and Dow Jones, Carey spoke about a number of topics — from Comcast seeking majority ownership of NBC Universal to the future of network television to pay walls for online journalism.

Carey said he thought the NBCU deal “makes sense for Comcast,” adding that it is a “pretty smartly structured deal” for the company. He also seemed pretty excited about the fact that the deal would test the regulatory waters under the new administration, perhaps setting the stage for or heading off other deals in the future. “These are uncharted waters with major issues with two big companies,” he said.

Carey seemed positive that the major players involved would be left with “regulatory baggage” after the deal was completed, although he doubted any assets would have to be sold.

As for pay walls, which News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal has excelled at and Murdoch has pushed to extend across all his brands, Carey emphasized consistency. He said he was interested in “creating a great experience around content itself,” adding that people will pay for value and a good experience. “Quality journalism has value,” he said.

Later, when a reporter quizzed him about Murdoch’s plans to take his sites off Google and the Journal‘s leaky wall, Carey said he wanted the pay wall to remain consistent — if only subscribers can access certain content on WSJ.com, then others shouldn’t get it for free. But, there is some content you can get for free on the site, Carey pointed out. He didn’t outline any plans for creating the consistency he championed.

More from the Media and Money Conference, after the jump

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WNYC Throws A Gala To Thank NYT For Selling Classical Music Station

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Last night, New York public radio station WNYC threw a gala at Gotham Hall to celebrate its recent acquisition of New York’s classical radio station WQXR and honor its former owner, The New York Times Co.

Hosted by Alec Baldwin, the evening featured performances by folksinger Judy Collins and opera diva Deborah Voigt. David Sanger, a New York Times correspondent and host of the “Washington Report” on WQXR — and grandson of the station’s founder Elliott Sanger — presented the Times Co. with an award, accepted by Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., commemorating the company’s stewardship of WQXR since 1944.

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Later, Baldwin announced that the winner of the evening’s raffle would get a radio — actually, an Internet radio tuned to WQXR. “The New York Times got a piece of glass, for the millions and millions of dollars they’ve coughed up,” he said. “A piece of glass. The winner of the raffle gets a radio.”

(Video and more pictures after the jump)

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Amid Layoffs, Scannell Elected Chair Of WNYC Board

scannell.jpgLike almost every media outlet today, public radio station WNYC is facing tough times — as we reported yesterday it is now cutting 4 employees and eliminating eleven other unfilled positions. So it is with high hopes that the WNYC board has elected Herb Scannell chair of the station’s board of trustees.

Scannell seems like a wise choice to help lead WNYC into the future of media; he is currently chairman of Next New Networks, an independent producer of online television networks. (You may know it as the home of web celeb Julia Allison‘s “TMI Weekly” or the company that picked up Obama Girl creators BarelyPolitical.com.) He also previously served as vice chair of MTV Networks and president of Nickelodeon before co-founding Next New Networks in 2006, and he brings 25 years of media experience to his role at WNYC.

“As the models of traditional journalism are radically altered by the economy and the fast-paced demands of the online world, public radio has been able to retain its journalistic values while embracing new platforms and expanding its reach,” NYC president Laura Walker said in a statement yesterday. “We’re honored to have Herb, with his invaluable digital experience, at the helm during a time of rapid change and tremendous possibilities.”

Full release after the jump

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