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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart earned its second highest total viewer count of the year on Thursday with 2.3 million viewers (the largest viewer audience was on Inauguration Day with 2.6 million).  Why the big audience?  Stewart’s guest was CNBC host Jim Cramer.  The interview is also available on TheDailyshow.com site, which is reporting its highest traffic numbers in 2009. (Cynopsis 3/16)

daily-show-cramer

Thomas Clarke, TheStreet.com’s CEO for the past decade, is leaving, effective immediately. The financial-media firm’s board is searching for a new CEO. Clarke’s abrupt exit comes amid co-founder Jim Cramer’s ongoing fracas with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090313/FREE/903139975 3/13)

“Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon is interviewing bloggers and showcasing gadgets in a digital embrace that may help draw hip, plugged-in consumers who don’t watch much television. Fallon has already interviewed Digg co-creator Kevin Rose and Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cotown-fallon16-2009mar16,0,5467182.story 3/16)

Not only are the Digg guys stars on Jimmy Fallon’s show, after witnessing the all out rock star madness at the SXSW Diggnation party, they’re surely becoming a formidable brand.  Perhaps the first credible online video series brand?  I’m sure the Gary Vaynerchuk fans will have something to say about that comment.

diggnation

“60 Minutes,” at age 30, is back in a big way. Thanks to a renewed focus on hard news, along with some exclusive interviews, the audience is up to 15 million per episode. “Our success is a direct reflection of America’s hunger for news,” says executive producer Jeff Fager. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.newsweek.com/id/189288 3/14)

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ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos and Arizona senator John McCain will come together online for a “Twitterview” to be conducted on Tuesday. The public will be able to read the real-time 15-minute exchange by signing up at the microblogging site. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090313/ap_en_tv/na_us_twitter_stephanopoulos_mccain 3/13)

Reporting from the Twitter capital (Austin, TX), Twitter is reaching epic proportions while struggling to monetize itself.  Perhaps SXSW is the best place to see the advantages of a Twitterverse as my estimates are that at least 70% of the attendees are using it.  That said, as twitter reaches epic scale, how do we sort through the mass communication stream?

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America‘s Next Top Model held auditions in New York City this past weekend, and before the day was over three people were arrested for inciting a riot and disorderly conduct and six others were injured.  At some point chaos broke out involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel, reports the AP, though what exactly happened to create the free-for-all remains unclear.  Once it was all over, the street outside the hotel was strewn with clothing, sleeping bags, beach chairs and shoes, all left by several potential auditioners who had been waiting on line, many overnight.  This particular round of auditions were for shorter women, under 5’7″, the standard height minimum for previous ANTM auditions, and other auditions are schedule in several other cities across the US in the upcoming weeks. (Cynopsis 3/16).


TV Guide Network‘s season premiere of Idol Tonight delivered 325,000 households last Wednesday, marking a 26% increase over last season’s premiere.  Idol Tonight airs ever Wednesday at 8p with hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. (Cynopsis 3/16)

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In consideration of the economy and wanting to remain relevant to its viewers, Today‘s Matt Lauer will take his annual Where in the World trip starting May 1st, but Lauer will remain in the United States, visiting a variety of affordable vacation sites. (Cynopsis 3/16)

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Beginning today, Sci Fi Channel will be no more — it will become Syfy. The rebranding, which does not change the pronunciation of the channel, will be accompanied by the tag line “Imagine Greater” and will be rolled out for advertisers and agencies at NBC Universal’s upfront presentations. The New York Times (3/15)

syfy

Most traditional media professionals don’t understood digital media, says outgoing AOL chief Randy Falco. “Having spent two years at AOL, I would love to be able to go back to that industry knowing what I know. There are a lot of misconceptions about digital media.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=102085 3/13)

Last week’s News Corp. executive shakeup came as a shock to television industry insiders. The ouster of Fox Entertainment chief Peter Liguori is “shocking.” One network exec says that the jockeying for power is already intense. “The place resembles Iraq after the fall of Saddam.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/who_won_and_lost_in_the_news_c.php 3/15)

Discovery Channel and a few other cable networks are buying shows exclusively in high definition, even though many unscripted shows are still being produced in standard format and the economy is putting the pinch on other networks. One advantage for cable networks buying HD is they run their programs repeatedly, according to this article. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Verizon is preparing an update to its FiOS-based widgets platform to enable third party developers to create applications for the platform, according to a post on Verizon’s PolicyBlog. Designers are testing new apps providing integrations with popular sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. (Cynopsis 3/16)

Time Warner, which owns cable networks such as TNT, TBS and HBO, will get more than $9 billion from its spinoff of Time Warner Cable. And that, according to Chief Financial Officer John Martin, will allow the company to consider well-researched M&A bids: “We’re going to be opportunistic and evaluate whether there are any acquisition possibilities, but we’ll be extremely disciplined in whatever we might do in that area,” he said. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Hispanic Cable TV (+9.6%) and Cable TV (+7.8%) were the only two media to show ad growth in 2008 according to Nielsen. Cable was the highest CPM-based revenue-generating medium with $26.6 billion in sales. Internet advertising, not including paid search, text only, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, in-stream (“pre-rolls”) players, messenger apps, partnership advertising, email campaigns or house advertising activity, dropped by 6.4% in 2008. (Cynopsis 3/16)

U.S. Ad Spending -% Change 2008 vs. 2007
Media Category                                      Jan-Dec ’08 vs. Jan-Dec ’07 % Change
Hispanic Cable TV                                           9.6%
Cable TV                                                        7.8%
Spot TV Top 100                                            -0.3%
Syndication TV                                               -0.8%
National Sunday Supplement                           -1.9%
Hispanic Broadcast TV                                     -2.4%
Network Radio                                                -3.3%
Broadcast Network TV                                      -3.5%
Local Magazine                                                -3.7%
Spot Radio                                                      -4.0%
Spot TV 101-210                                             -4.6%
Outdoor                                                         -5.0%
FSI Coupon                                                    -5.2%
Internet*                                                       -6.4%
National Magazine                                          -7.6%
National Newspaper                                        -9.6%
Business to Business                                       -9.7%
Local Newspaper                                           -10.2%
Local Sunday Supplements                             -11.0%
TOTAL                                                            -2.6%
Source: The Nielsen Company

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