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Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

CBS Appoints New SVP of Communications

CBSToday brings word of a new corporate communications manager for CBS New York.

Shannon Jacobs, who has been with the CBS team since 2005 when it split from Viacom, will serve as SVP of communications and continue to report to EVP Dana McClintock.

In addition to her handling of media relations for CBS TV, she will now also create and direct communications strategies across each of the company’s businesses. As manager of the company’s New York corporateteam, she’ll be responsible for everything from ad sales and research to governmental and legal affairs.

Before entering corporate PR, Jacobs worked in politics, acting as press aide to Richard Gephardt and comms director/spokesperson for Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer. She later moved into TV after coordinating political coverage on behalf of MTV’s 1996 “Choose or Lose” campaign.

McClintock himself says of her appointment:

“Gil Schwartz and I are extremely pleased to promote her; having worked closely with Shannon for the last eight years, there is no one I’d rather have by my side as we continue to tell the great story of the CBS Corporation.”

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PR Fail: Local News Shames Air Canada Rep On Live TV

oh HELL NOToday our sister site TVSpy delivers a hard-learned lesson to PR pros everywhere: make sure you know where your emails are going.

Seems a reporter at Sacramento CBS affiliate KOVR wanted a comment from Air Canada about a story involving a passenger’s lost dog, but spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick had more important things to do—namely, dismiss the station and the story altogether. Unfortunately, he included the inquisitive reporter on the “whatever” email he sent to a co-worker. Here’s the offending text:

“I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.”

So he brushed off the woman who lost her dog, the station reporting on the story and the country in which the story occurred in two sentences. We’re even more fond of the way the station aired the email as part of its follow-up report and wondered what Air Canada would do once they realized their mistake. Embarrassing video after the jump.

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Will TV Networks Pay for Publicity via Twitter?

We made it.The natural partnership between Twitter and television has earned a good bit of press over the past year or so, with Twitter taking credit for saving shows like Scandal and breathing new life into brain-dead franchises like The Bachelor. But this has been a free promo forum for networks, so will they pay for the privilege moving forward? And what, exactly, would they be paying for?

Unlike Facebook, Twitter insists that it can help clients more directly promote their products through new tools like Amplify, an ad option that embeds video clips within tweets. It’s like a mini YouTube with each clip sponsored by a brand whose ad runs before it starts, and that third party could make all the difference.

Yesterday the company revealed its first big partnership with CBS, which will try to build buzz for coming shows by doing a little bit of video-heavy content marketing. The problem is that studios still can’t tell which comes first—the ratings bump or the Twitter conversation.

How will the public respond to sponsored TV promos on their Twitter feeds? And how many such developments can we file under “content marketing?”

SPOILER: Everyone Loses in ‘Time Warner Cable and CBS vs. the World’

What’s more important: quality content or the distribution of that content? PR pros know the answer: distribution strategies don’t really matter if no one wants to see what you’re pushing.

We don’t have cable, so haven’t been directly affected by the ongoing snafu between Time Warner Cable and CBS. But we do hear that we should watch Under the Dome, and we can’t do it online right now because TWC is the only Internet provider that serves our area, and they’re currently engaged in a bitch-slapping contest with “the most-watched cable network.”

Time Warner’s decision to kill CBS broadcast and streaming services in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, et cetera threatens to create a big PR fail for both brands—and it certainly hasn’t made us miss that monthly cable bill. So let’s check out their crisis comms efforts…

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The Latest News on Recently Launched DOGTV, Cable Channel for Canines

While Time Warner Cable and CBS continue their dogfight in a few major metro markets, a new cable channel, DOGTV, made its nationwide debut last weekend. The subscription-based network is designed for dogs, to keep them busy during the day when their owners are out. The 24/7 programming is available on DirecTV, via Roku boxes and online streaming. PRNewser learned the latest on the unique channel from Ron Levi, DOGTV’s founder.

Pet experts and animal trainers developed the content, aimed at entertaining, stimulating and relaxing dogs. They’re using real-world sounds, music, objects and animated movements, in three-to-five minute video segments. (about the same attention span as for human online video viewing). The goal is for canines who watch DOGTV to be less stressed, bored, depressed, and not as likely to experience separation anxiety. Plus, their owners will feel less guilty about leaving them behind. DOGTV employees can bring their dogs to work, though. As Levi noted, “They assist us with quality control.”

Levi commissioned extensive research to arrive at the right programming balance. Testing included monitoring dogs watching DOGTV at home. As a result, they eliminated barking sounds and shouting, which agitated canine viewers. Instead, they opted for stimuli to acclimate dogs to everyday life, such as car noises. Levi said “programs are all filmed according to dogs’ unique senses of vision and hearing. While all content is produced in-house, we’re open to ideas for future shows for dog parents.”

DOGTV’s popularity has exceeded expectations, Levi reported. While the channel doesn’t show ads, they have various partners. “For our pre-sale we partnered with Dog Is Good, Pet Best, Rover.com, and Pet Product Advisor to deliver a welcome kit to early subscribers”. He also noted the network’s involvement with animal charities. “Every time your dog enjoys DOGTV, pets in need are helped. DOGTV supports HSUS’ (Humane Society of the U.S.) Pets for Life program to extend the reach of animal services, resources and information to under-served areas.”

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Getting Inked for Income? Company Offers Raises if Employees Get Tattoos of Logo

While many companies may reward employees’ loyalty, New York City real estate company Rapid Realty is asking for a lifelong commitment in exchange for a bump in pay; any employee willing to tattoo the company’s logo on their body will automatically receive a fifteen percent raise.

Selling your own skin as billboard space? Crazy, right? That’s what we thought, but apparently at least forty Rapid Realty employees have already deemed the bribe worth the body art.

Stephanie Barry justified her decision with hard-to-deny simplicity, telling CBS: “I was like, why am I throwing my money away when I could give myself from $25,000 to $40,000 for the same amount of work?” And she’s not alone. Since there are no size or location restrictions, workers have gotten creative, one person getting inked stealthily behind her ear.

Not everyone is buying in, though. When CBS asked non-Rapid Realty-employees if they would do the same thing at their jobs, responses ranged from “[the reward] would have to be extraordinary” and “It’s a scar for life. I have enough of those.”

What about you, readers? Would you be a walking billboard for a hefty pay raise? Tell us in the comments section.

Male-Targeted Shows’ Huge Female Viewerships Defy Marketing Clichés

Once upon a time, at the same time every week, one of my roommates and I had to ditch our apartment (occupied by a few fellow young women) for a guy friend’s abode so that we could watch South Park as it aired — our own TV was occupied by banter delivered at tongue-twisting-speed by The Gilmore Girls, which aired at the same time as our beloved Kyle and Cartman. So when this female fan of shows like Rescue Me, Archer, and The Following read AdAge’s article discussing the popularity of male-targeted shows among women, the first thing I thought was, “I knew it wasn’t just us!”

In fact, the highest-rated cable show among women so far this year is not FOX‘s female-targeted New Girl or Lifetime‘s Dance Moms, but AMC‘s gore-filled zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead. According to Nielsen, the February 10 mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead drew a 5.0 rating/11 share among women 18-49 (almost twice that of its nearest competitor). To give that number some context, shows like ABC’s Once Upon a Time and CBSThe Good Wife are lucky when the same demographic comes in above a 1.5.

So does that mean that women are seeing past gore and violence to intricate story lines and interesting characters? It’s not that simple. Horizon Media research director Brad Adgate says gore isn’t necessarily a turnoff for women. “If there’s one genre that’s really popular with men and women, science fiction is it—anything that deals with the occult really.” To support his point, Adgate mentions long-running procedurals like CSI and Law & Order: SVU, which boast an overwhelmingly female audience.

It seems we ladies aren’t wading through the scary stuff–we are wholly engrossed in it. Girls may be sugar and spice and everything nice, but we also like to watch shows about serial killers.

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Orthodox Brooklyn Politician Thinks Blackface Is Hilarious

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov HikindFor those of you who thankfully don’t know, Dov Hikind is a New York State Assemblyman in our town of Brooklyn who has represented the Borough Park area since 1983 thanks, in large part, to the voters in his district who share his Orthodox faith. Yesterday he hosted a big party for Purim, a holiday derived from a story in the Biblical book of Esther. It was an “open door” party; Hikind encouraged visitors to go a little crazy with their costumes and post the pictures on their Facebook pages.

Today Hikind stands to gain more attention than at any other point in his political career–and the vast majority of it will not be positive. Quite a few people in New York City politics and beyond have expressed their shocked surprise at his decision to attend his own party in blackface, dressed as what he describes as “sort of a black basketball player.”

Hmm…apparently no one told Hikind that blackface was a blatantly racist stage trick used throughout the early 20th century by white performers who embodied cartoonish stereotypes of their black countrymen.

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CBS Warns Grammy Performers: No Boobs, Butts or Crotches!

To PR News‘s “7 Media Relations Tips for Joe Flacco” list we’d like to add: Don’t drop the F-bomb on live TV! The uptight ninnies at the FCC got a little upset about Flacco’s apparent resemblance to a drunken sailor after the Parents Television Council insisted that they investigate CBS for failing to bleep the offending word.

CBS is also airing the 55th Grammy Awards this Sunday, and we’re guessing that the Flacco incident may have inspired the network’s standards and practices department to issue this ridiculous email warning to the performers’ managers and publicists.

The full message has to be seen to be believed (emphasis ours):

Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could  possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible “puffy” bare skin exposure. Please avoid commercial identification of actual brand name products on T-shirts. Foreign language on wardrobe will need to be cleared. OBSCENITY OR PARTIALLY SEEN OBSCENITY ON WARDROBE IS UNACCEPTABLE FOR BROADCAST. This as well, pertains to audience members that appear on camera. Finally, The Network requests that any organized cause visibly spelled out on talent’s wardrobe be avoided. This would include lapel pins or any other form of accessory.

No “actual brand name products”? No “organized causes”? No audience members with “partially seen obscenity” on their clothing? No “‘puffy’ bare skin exposure?” (Psst…we think we can see Rihanna’s “bare fleshy under curves” in the pic above. Someone call the FCC!)

It’s almost like the folks at CBS just ignored the last fifty years of pop music! Oh, and if they’re so concerned with maintaining standards, why the hell do they keep inviting Chris Brown?

SodaStream Super Bowl Ad Rejected for Picking on Big Soda Brands

We recently told you about SodaStream‘s clever ad being pulled for “denigrating” the bottled drinks market — or, as we saw it, being a little too effective at competing with Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Now, SodaStream’s newest spot, dubbed “Game Changer” and created specifically for the Super Bowl, has been rejected by CBS for similar reasons.

Because SodaStream is a direct competitor of the Big Soda brands that tend to be omnipresent during the Super Bowl — and because the proposed ad isn’t shy about taking direct aim at those brands — even the company itself isn’t surprised “Game Changer” was rejected.

CMO of SodaStream International Ilan Nacasch said in a release, “We understand that the ‘Game Changer’ ad may be uncomfortable to the Big Soda companies, but we are proud of the ad and the truth that it brings to the American consumer.”

That “truth,” according to CEO Daniel Birnbaum, is that “500 million bottles and cans are manufactured every day in the U.S and less than 50% are recycled, causing untold damage to our environment…Our ad confronts the beverage industry…by showing people that there exists a smarter way to enjoy soft drinks.”

A cool product with a save-the-world angle? No wonder the big brands are a little nervous. The rejected ad will air internationally beginning next week (but you, lucky readers, can watch it now below).

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