After the coffee. Before figuring out who has my Super Bowl tickets.
The Skinny: How funny would it have been if right before he delivered the State of the Union address, President Obama barked out, "Omaha! Omaha!" and the entire Cabinet got up and switched seats? That joke got the most retweets I ever got on Twitter on Tuesday night! Wednesday's roundup includes some sad news. Longtime movie executive and industry leader Tom Sherak died. Business news includes European media companies looking to fight Netflix's invasion. Also, sportscaster Dan Patrick gets caught up in the Weather Channel-DirecTV fight.
Daily Dose: CBS and the TV ratings company Nielsen have renewed their deal and will also launch several research projects aimed at improving and broadening television measurement. In particular, the two want to connect the dots between commercials and consumption. Or as the two companies put it, "the creation of attitudinal and behavioral segmentations that enable more discrete precision marketing and facilitate a deeper understanding of the path to purchase and resulting ROI (return on investment) of advertising activities."
R.I.P. The entertainment industry lost a giant Tuesday as Tom Sherak, former chairman of 20th Century Fox and president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, died after a long battle with cancer. As a movie executive, Sherak had a hand in many memorable movies over the years including "Wall Street," "Broadcast News" and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Last fall, new Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti named Sherak the city's first "film czar." Sherak was tasked with trying to bring movie and TV production back to Hollywood and took the job for an annual salary of $1. Obituaries from the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.
Sharing is caring. Two Los Angeles television stations have asked the Federal Communications Commission to let them conduct a test in which they will share the same spectrum. The experiment is being orchestrated by CTIA, the lobbying arm of the wireless industry, which hopes that a successful test may persuade other broadcasters to share channels and auction off some of their spectrum that could then be used for mobile devices. The FCC is also eager to auction broadcast spectrum but the TV industry has mostly been resistant to the idea. More on the station sharing from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Pressure? What pressure? The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are not the only folks who will be under the microscope Sunday. Lots of people have plenty riding on the Super Bowl including Fox, which will hope to improve on last year's ratings and the advertisers who shelled out as much as $4 million for a commercial. Variety looks at who is in the hot seat and why. Separately, the Los Angeles Times on the starring role the region will play in many Super Bowl spots.
Gearing up for battle. European media companies apparently aren't planning on rolling over for Netflix. According to the Wall Street Journal, many are busy locking in rights to content and looking to boost their customer base in anticipation of a Netflix attack. "We take new competitors very seriously," said Rodolphe Belmer, a top executive at France's Canal Plus.
What about us? Fox and Viacom are trying to make the case that they are not getting their fair share of anti-smoking ads that big tobacco companies are required to run as part of a legal ruling that they hid the dangers of the habits from consumers for decades. In a court filing, Viacom, parent of MTV and Comedy Central, and Fox argue that the tobacco companies won't reach young viewers or minorities if they only advertise on the big three broadcast networks. More on the filing from the Associated Press.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Sportscaster Dan Patrick found his show caught in the middle of the fight between DirecTV and the Weather Channel. Robert Lloyd on the BBC America miniseries on James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
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