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Attention Award Shows: Live TV Musicals are Not Movies!
NBC did a sensational job with “The Wiz Live!” two months ago, by far the best of its live Broadway musical adaptations. Wonderful cast from top to bottom, dynamite direction and choreography and, despite not having a live audience in the studio to make the live performance more electric (the only major flaw, especially in the wake of “Grease Live!” on Fox), a triumph for all involved.

A New Era in Super Bowl Messaging -- Gender News Weekly
This is a special Super Bowl edition of Gender News Weekly, a blog series focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and relationships and inspired by Jack Myers’ upcoming book, “The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century.”

Can the Tech/Media Worlds Hit “Pause”?
Is there any way to put what got out back into Pandora’s Box and reseal it? My old friend from our cable days, Steve Effros, thinks the worlds of social media have gotten out of hand. Seeing as the cable/telecommunication cabals helped unleash the social media madness, we might want to consider the question of how to put (some of) it back.

The Top Five Ads That Did Not Appear During Super Bowl 50
Last week on Charlie Rose, MediaVillage’s Stuart Elliott called the Super Bowl, “the one day of the year when the American public will give Madison Avenue their undivided attention.” That comment prompted one industry pro to jokingly tweet, “Only one day??? Time to rethink my career!” (Scroll down to the bottom of this column to watch Charlie's interview with Stuart.)

TV or Not TV, That Is the Question
One of the many lively sessions at the Digital Place Based Advertising Association's (DPAA) annual Video Everywhere Summit in the fall was a panel that debated video agnostic planning; the issue of whether all video screens should be valued equally (see link to panel video at end of column). Suffice it to say, there were strong opinions expressed on the topic but one clear takeaway emerged: With screens now pretty much omnipresent in our lives, the definition of what constitutes television is murkier than ever.

Dramas Deluxe: “O.J. Simpson,” “American Crime,” “London Spy”
The overload of quality television shows no sign of waning anytime soon, even if critics are collapsing under the burden of it all and ordinary people are starting to push back, overwhelmed by the crushing combination of so much choice and so little time. Allow me to identify three stand-out drama series from the ever-growing list. BBC America's “London Spy,” the second season of ABC’s “American Crime” (currently the most powerful drama on broadcast television) and the first season of FX’s formidable new franchise “American Crime Story” are setting the bar awfully high for the year to come.

Super Bowl 50: Where Were the Brand Stories?
Super Bowl 50 was overrun with 30-second bits of confusing, celebrity-laden, idea-missing, frenetic hype and hyperbole, most of which lacked any memorable brand story whatsoever. 

2016 Network Upfront and Digital NewFronts Calendar
Television Network Upfront and Digital NewFronts Schedule

Rick Erwin of Acxiom on Targeting with Data
Rick Erwin has been in the epicenter of the data driven marketplace for over 25 years, including 10 at Experian and 12 at RR Donnelley. Now as President of Audience Solutions for Acxiom, Erwin is responsible for the success of the data, analytics and digital media business globally in division. “Acxiom is an enterprise data, analytics and software-as-a-service company [referring to the cloud],” he says.

Stuart Elliott: What the "L" Happened to Super Bowl 50 Advertising?
What a shame! The commercials that ran Sunday on CBS during Super Bowl 50 were, for the most part, as forgettable as the game was.

Susan Sarandon at the SAGs, Beer Ads and More: Gender News Weekly
Inspired by Jack Myers' new book "The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century" (coming in March), this is a weekly blog focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week's news roundup.

MediaBizBuzz: The Super Bowl, Comcast, ESPN, Viceland and More
A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, financial results from Comcast and Google shed more light on viewer and advertising trends, Nielsen fixes ESPN data, digital disrupts jobs at media companies, Yahoo tries to turn around its turnaround, Viceland’s executive landscape becomes clearer and how many digital ads a Super Bowl TV spot can buy.

Why I’m Excited About the Super Bowl for the First Time Ever
I have never been excited about the Super Bowl. I’m not a football fan. I neither enjoy nor understand it. The ads, which I do enjoy, are either released before the game or available immediately afterwards. I rarely care about the half-time performance. I do not like beer, buffalo wings, plain potato chips or really most go-to Super Bowl party refreshments. I do not like Sunday night engagements, as they conflict with “Downton Abbey.” Lest anyone rescind my invitation to their Super Bowl party, I am pleased to say that this year I am extremely excited about the big game. Why? Two words: Fantasy football.

ANA vs. 4As: The Advertiser Agency Battle Rumbles On
The argument between advertisers and media agencies in the USA over transparency rumbles on. Earlier Cog Blogs have commented on advertisers’ concerns over the agencies’ media buying practices, and their hiring (via their trade body the ANA) of two consultancies to look into the whole matter of where the money goes. Now, in what sounds like an attempt to get their retaliation in way before the consultants have even reported, the agencies’ trade body (the 4As) last week issued something called “Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct.” In line with what seems to be something of a strained atmosphere between the two parties, the 4As did this without any discussion with their clients, whose trade body is as we said in mid-consultation and who might have had something interesting to input into what they consider to be the principles of transparency.

NBC Digital’s Bill Smee on the Evolution of News
News creation and coverage is one area of the media that has seen particular change in the past few years. Affordable easy-to-use production equipment, the shift from film to video to digital formats, advancements in production technology and expansive access to anyone and everyone via the Internet have dramatically shifted the business of news content formation.

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