Daily Marauder



Meet MTV for the era of Obama: The cable network for 14- to 26-year-olds is trying to gloss its escapist entertainment with a veneer of positive social messages via new “inspirational” programming. Today’s young are “becoming more civic-minded” and are “demanding a new MTV.” (Iwantmedia 4/20, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/business/media/19mtv.html 4/18)


MTV approved a new reality show working with DJ AM (aka Adam Goldstein) that is for now titled Gone Too Far, reports THR. The series will be an intervention style featuring DJ AM who has battled his own drug addiction and last year survived a plane crash in South Carolina. (Cynopsis 4/20)


The Screen Actors Guild, ending a nine-month stalemate with Hollywood studios, is approving a new film and television contract that establishes payments for shows streamed over the Web. However, the contract does not give actors residuals for most Internet shows, a sore point. (Iwantmedia 4/20, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-sag20-2009apr20,0,3250190.story 4/20)

USA Network debuts its new original scripted series Royal Pains June 4 at 10p with a 75-minute inaugural episode containing limited commercial breaks. Burn Notice will also air the same night in its new time slot at 9p with the network’s window premiere of theatrical blockbuster Casino Royale airing first. Royal Pains was shot entirely in New York and around The Hamptons and stars Mark Feuerstein, a young, blacklisted doctor who becomes a doctor for hire to the rich and famous in The Hamptons. (Cynopsis 4/20)

In what is becoming an often-heard refrain, NBC Universal, like many media conglomerates, posted disappointing first-quarter financial results with only one bright spot — the performance of its cable networks. While the company as a whole reported a profit decline of 45%, to $391 million, on revenue of $3.5 billion, NBCU said cable profit was up 19%. Reuters (4/17) , OneTRAK (4/17)

First-quarter results for several major media companies, to be announced in the coming days, are expected to reflect the continuing advertising slowdown. “It’s not getting any better,” says one analyst. “If you own a TV station or radio or outdoor or a newspaper, it’s bad.” (Iwantmedia 4/20, http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/209450-Analysts_Media_Earnings_to_Remain_Challenged.php 4/20)

Shares of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. are trading at a “notable” discount to their component parts. However, a boost “might come only if the boss’s advancing age changed his outlook — or led the board to appoint a successor less attached to some of the company’s assets.” (Iwantmedia 4/20, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/business/20views.html?_r=1 4/20)

Although Viacom’s stock lost half its value in 2008, chairman Sumner Redstone was compensated $12.1 million, up from $8.3 million in 2007. CEO Philippe Dauman earned $23 million, up $3 million. One executive compensation monitor gives Viacom a D grade. (Iwantmedia 4/20, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-viacom18-2009apr18,0,5459000.story 4/18)

Moving the NFL Network to a sports tier had nothing to do with Comcast’s trying to retaliate against the league or show favoritism to its affiliated networks, said Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts in the last day of hearings before the FCC. Rather, he said, the decision was based on business reasons: The country’s largest cable provider was able to save $50 million annually by moving the network to a less-viewed tier. Broadcasting & Cable (4/17)

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