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Joint Promotional Effort for Fox Duopoly Bucks Trend

Joint Promotional Effort for Fox Duopoly Bucks Trend

Media

by Claudia Peschiutta

While local Fox executives have been stressing that sister stations KTTV-TV (Channel 11) and KCOP-TV (Channel 13) will retain their separate identities, a new post has been created to coordinate promotional services for the recently created duopoly.

Adrianne Anderson last week was named vice president of creative services for KTTV and KCOP. She will work with Dan Brazda and Kathleen Bracken, creative services directors at the respective outlets, in managing on-air promotions and off-air campaigns, such as radio and print advertising.

Anderson most recently was director of creative services for a CBS-owned duopoly in Philadelphia.

“We wanted to have one person overseeing the strategic element of the promotional departments for both stations,” said David Boylan, vice president and general manager of KTTV and KCOP.

Duopolies usually lead to a consolidation of operations and, therefore, layoffs. But “this is actually one of the places where the job comes as an expansion,” Boylan said.

KTTV and KCOP became part of the same television group when News Corp. purchased Channel 13 owner Chris-Craft Industries Inc. last year.

Talk of the Town

Variety wants to get some screen time of its own.

The trade publication has “been having some dialogue” with cable networks, including MSNBC and Fox News Channel, about a weekly entertainment talk show, Variety Publisher Charles Koones said last week.

Broadcasting & Cable said the show is being pitched “as a ‘Meet the Press’ for the entertainment set.”

Koones didn’t offer any details about the proposed program and said no deal had been worked out, as of last week. “We think that there’s an audience for it,” Koones said.

“We’re very early on in the stages of this thing,” he said.

Scathing Rejection

The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies unanimously rejected again an application for admission from the Beverly Hills Weekly. But the real sting came in the admissions committee’s statement about the local publication.

“The committee found the Beverly Hills Weekly to be beneath contempt a poor community newspaper full of plugs for advertisers and pretty much the antithesis of AAN’s core values. Ugly and irrelevant,” the association said in a statement. “The committee recommends this paper be taken out back and shot.”

Weekly Publisher and Chief Executive Josh Gross called the organization’s claims “ridiculous” and said that the paper is not influenced by advertisers. Beverly Hills Weekly LLP launched the publication in 1999.

“(Beverly Hills) is a small town so some of your advertisers are logically going to be some of the people who contribute,” Gross said. “That’s OK. We want local input.”

The Weekly was among 14 papers applying for membership this year.

Advertising Blitz

Los Angeles Magazine is expanding its advertising department as it looks for new sources of revenue.

President Alan Klein recently created the post of ad director and filled it with Erika Anderson, former West Coast advertising director for Emmis. He has also doubled the sales staff to 12 employees since joining the magazine in October.

“We’ve basically adopted a broad model that we believe will get us better coverage of the market,” Klein said. “L.A. is a big enough market that it justified having more people on the street.”

Like other city magazines owned by media company Emmis Communications Corp., Los Angeles is seeking out special projects and custom publishing opportunities, Klein said. For example, the magazine recently put together a shopping guide for Rodeo Drive retailers.

So far, the strategy has generated no great gains. Klein said ad revenues for the first half of the year are flat compared to the like-year-earlier period, but he noted that other city magazines have suffered declines. He expected further benefits once the “new sales organization matures.”

Local Show Goes National

What started as just another wacky L.A. morning news show is proving to be a hit nationwide.

“Good Day Live,” the offspring of KTTV’s “Good Day L.A.,” last week became a part of the line-up at every Fox owned-and-operated station. The show, hosted by Jillian Barberie, Steve Edwards and Dorothy Lucey, is expected to make its official national debut this fall.

Since “Good Day Live” premiered in L.A. and a few other markets in December, the show has proven itself with viewers from Austin to Salt Lake City, according to executives at syndicator Twentieth Television.

“The interest has been remarkable,” Paul Franklin, executive vice president and general sales manager of Twentieth Television, said in a statement. “There is absolutely nothing else like it for daytime or early fringe.”

Goals for LA Weekly

Beth Sestanovich, who recently was named publisher of the LA Weekly and OC Weekly after a stint as an advertising director at the Los Angeles Times, says she has lots of ideas for improving ad sales.

“In contrast to the Los Angeles Times, one of the nice things that you have here is probably a little bit more opportunity (to grow),” says Sestanovich, who says she will concentrate on building sales in several categories, including classifieds, entertainment and retail.

“When you’re the biggest kid on the block, it makes getting through the door a little bit easier…We probably have to work a little harder here,” she says.

Though Sestanovich was still familiarizing herself with the weeklies last week, she said she wants to review sales commission plans to “make sure people are appropriately (motivated) to go out and find new business.” She also plans to provide her sales staff with more training.

Sestanovich, 38, replaced Michael Sigman, who was let go earlier this year by Weekly-owner Village Voice Media. She said no major staffing changes were expected for the near future.

In Other News…

The LA Weekly won first-place honors in the health care, illustration and news feature categories at this year’s Alternative Newsweekly Awards. The publication was also recognized for arts criticism and editorial layout. New Times Los Angeles won an award for its health-care coverage.

Staff reporter Claudia Peschiutta can be reached at (323) 549-5225 ext 229, or at

cpeschiutta@labusinessjournal.com

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