This is a daily digest of news stories from around the media world, updated by The Media Leader team, to ensure you’re 100% up-to-date.Friday, 8 April
Obama’s Our Great National Parks to premiere Wednesday on Netflix
Former US president Barack Obama will narrate Netflix’s newest nature documentary Our Great National Parks, set to release next Wednesday.
The series will look at national parks from around the world in its five episodes.
Barack and former First Lady Michele Obama signed a deal with Netflix back in 2018 through their award-winning production company Higher Ground.
Bicycle London hires first commercial director
Bicycle London, the start-up media agency, has poached a WPP media buyer James Elliott to be its first commercial director.
Elliott is currently managing partner investment at WPP media agency Wavemaker and was formerly head of trading at the7stars.
Henry Daglish, the co-founder and CEO of Bicycle, knows Elliott well having previously founded Bountiful Cow in partnership with the7stars.
Sky News audience surges on TikTok
Sky News has surpassed one million followers on Tiktok after an apparent surge in demand for the broadcaster’s coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The audience has grown by over 1,000% in the space of a few weeks, having been at 81,600 followers on 9 February, Press Gazette reported.
BAFTA announces winners of 2022 BAFTA Games Awards
BAFTA celebrated the best games and gaming talent of 2021 in a ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night.
The exclusive PlayStation survival sci-fi game Returnal was the big winner taking home four awards including Best Game of 2021
Other winners at the awards were It Takes Two, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Unpacking, which won two Baftas each.
This marks the 18th year BAFTA has recognised the best of the gaming world.
Dentsu UK&I and Lumen launch attention tool
Dentsu UK&I has launched a digital advertising product that can predict attention paid to digital and social ads and then optimise campaigns programmatically and automatically.
The Effective Attention Forecasting considers the size of an ad or player, the platform and device on which it is viewed, the percentage and duration of the ad in view, and whether the sound is on to predict the attention that will be paid to it, including whether it was seen, for how long and its outcome driving brand recall or choice.
This model will then automatically avoid both programmatic and social media inventory unlikely to be seen, while targeting inventory more likely to be seen for the right amount of time to increase effectiveness. It can also give a live view of a campaign’s attention performance.
It is being delivered in collaboration with eye-tracking technology specialists Lumen.
Thursday, 7 April
Warner Bros. Discovery announces senior leadership team
Warner Bros. Discovery announced their incoming leadership team, to be implemented upon the closure of the two companies’ merger.
Future CEO David Zaslav will lead a team of the following executives:
- JB Perrette, formerly President and CEO, Discovery Streaming and International, will assume the role of CEO and President, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, with responsibility for HBO Max and Discovery+.
- Gerhard Zeiler will serve as President, International, with responsibility for the Company’s businesses across more than 200+ countries and territories. He has held the same role for WarnerMedia.
- Channing Dungey continues as Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group.
- Toby Emmerich continues as Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
- Kathleen Finch will assume a newly created role of Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group, a new, consolidated organization comprising the company’s more than 40 US Networks.
- Chris Licht will serve as Chairman & CEO of CNN Global, as previously announced.
- Bruce Campbell will assume the new role of Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer. He previously served as Discovery’s Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer.
- Casey Bloys continues as Chief Content Officer of HBO & HBO Max.
- David Leavy will be Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.
- Gunnar Wiedenfels will continue as Chief Financial Officer, as previously announced.
- Lori Locke will serve as Chief Accounting Officer, a position she held at Discovery.
- Savalle Sims will continue as General Counsel, a position she held at Discovery.
- Adria Alpert Romm will serve as Chief People and Culture Officer, having held the same role at Discovery, Inc.
Talon Outdoor expands to Singapore and Dubai
Talon Outdoor has expanded its global footprint with new offices and leadership in Singapore and Dubai.
Melanie Lindquist and Chadi Farhat (pictured, below) will lead Singapore and Dubai respectively. They are tasked with accelerating out-of-home growth in these regions as well as ensuring clients realise the full potential of their OOH investment through Talon’s proprietary technology platforms.
Talon, which launched in 2013, had already established offices in the US, US and Germany.
Le Monde to expand internationally
The 177-year-old French daily newspaper Le Monde launched an English version of its website today as it seeks to expand its readership into international markets.
Le Monde is looking to grow its digital subscription numbers from 425,000 to 1 million in the next few years, with a quarter of them reading the English version, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The move comes in advance of the French election, the first round of which will commence this Sunday and will likely draw significant international attention.
Jerry Buhlmann joins DEPT
Global digital agency DEPT has announced that former Dentsu Aegis Network CEO Jerry Buhlman has joined the company as non-executive chairman.
He will work closely with Dept’s Global CEO, Dimi Albers, and the rest of the board and executive team to support the company’s growth and global expansion.
Buhlmann was appointed CEO of Aegis Group in 2010, and following the merger with Dentsu became CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network (now Dentsu International) in 2013.
He is also chairman of Croud, the digital agency network.
Dozens of mayors and business leaders sign letter objecting to C4 privatisation
West Yorkshire mayor Tracey Brabin has coordinated a letter to Nadine Dorries signed by more than 70 people, including mayors and cultural and business leaders across the country, expressing “dismay” at the decision to sell Channel 4.
London mayor Sadiq Khan, and regional mayors Dan Jarvis, Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram, Jamie Driscoll and Dr Nik Johnson signed the letter alongside creative and business leaders.
The letter stated: “Your decision to privatise threatens the Channel 4 we know and love, its commitment to nations and regions and the UK’s unique, diverse and extraordinary creative sectors and independents. We would strongly urge you to reconsider this extraordinary and confusing decision.”
It also highlighted research from Ernst & Young LLP which found if Channel 4 were privatised, the creative sector would be £2bn worse off, 2400 jobs in the creative industries would be put at risk and 60 production companies would risk closure.
Peacock to launch new Sunday morning MLB game package
Peacock, NBC’s streaming service, will host a new Major League Baseball (MLB) game of the week on Sunday mornings for 18 consecutive weeks, beginning on 8 May.
Though the first game between the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox will be simulcast on NBC, the following 17 games will be available exclusively on Peacock.
The MLB has made a slew of deals this off-season that has fragmented viewing options – while MLB.TV offers users first-party subscription packages to watch games from outside their local area, new exclusive deals with streaming services cut into the offerings available.
NumberEight and AdTonos launch cross-media agreement
NumberEight, the privacy-first contextual intelligence platform, and AdTonos, the digital audio advertising platform, have announced a cross-media agreement to expand contextual targeting capabilities in audio advertising.
AdTonos will combine its ability to insert audio ads on any stream, including in-gaming audio, with NumberEights contextual intelligence data.
The agreement aims to deliver live user context and behavioural audiences so advertisers can reach audiences through audio without advertiser IDs or personally identification information.
Digital audio consumption has been on the rise over the pandemic with latest Rajar audience figures showing digital streaming now accounts for two-thirds of all listening.
Wednesday, 6 April
Spotify to launch Batman Unburied narrative podcast, first in multiyear deal with Warner Bros.
Spotify announced Batman Unburied, the first narrative series to come in its multiyear deal with Warner Bros. and DC, will premiere 3 May.
The series is written by executive producer and Batman Begins screenwriter David S. Goyer and stars Winston Duke, Hasan Minhaj, Gina Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs, and Lance Reddick.
The launch comes on the back of The Batman’s passing $700m globally at the box office.
Spotify signed the deal with Warner Bros. and DC in June of 2020.
WarnerMedia CEO leaves ahead of Discovery merger
CEO of WarnerMedia Jason Kilar announced that he will be leaving the company following the closing of its merger with Discovery.
The statement comes amid other notices of leave – HBO Max executive vice president Andy Forssell and Warner Bros. chief Ann Sarnoff are also set to bow out, according to reports by Variety and The New York Times, respectively.
Discovery chief David Zaslav is expected to run the combined company.
Conservative MPs question Channel 4 privatisation plans
A number of Conservative MPs, including the chair of the culture select committee, have openly criticised plans to privatise the public service broadcaster.
Julian Knight, Conservative chair of the culture select committee, queried if privatisation plans were being pursued for “revenge” for “biased” Brexit coverage in a Twitter thread yesterday.
Now, elephant in the room time – is this being done for revenge for Channel 4’s biased coverage of the likes of brexit and personal attacks on the PM? The timing of the announcement 7 pm, coinciding with Channel 4 news, was very telling…
— Julian Knight MP (@julianknight15) April 5, 2022
He clarified these were his views, and not those of the committee, and that privatisation, even for the wrong reasons, could work but must be part of a thorough overhaul of public service broadcasting.
Former cabinet minister Damian Green called the move “very unconservative”, while former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was not in favour of it to Sky News.
Ex-leader of the Scottish Conservatives and current Times Radio presenter Ruth Davidson said it would be the “opposite of levelling up”.
Read more on Channel 4 privatisation here:
LinkedIn is expanding its editorial team
LinkedIn News is seeking to employ 200 journalists worldwide, according to a report from Press Gazette.
That’s more journalists than The Independent, which has around 170 staffers.
LinkedIn currently employs three UK editors but is looking to triple that number to nine.
Twitter is adding an edit feature
Twitter announced it will be trialling an edit feature just one day after Elon Musk joined the board.
Earlier yesterday Musk posed the question to his 80.7 million followers whether they would want an edit button on the platform.
The platform says they didn’t get the idea from Musk, and that they will be testing the feature with Twitter Blue users in “the coming months”.
now that everyone is asking…
yes, we’ve been working on an edit feature since last year!
no, we didn’t get the idea from a poll ?
we’re kicking off testing within @TwitterBlue Labs in the coming months to learn what works, what doesn’t, and what’s possible.
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) April 5, 2022
Tuesday, 5 April
Elon Musk appointed to Twitter’s board of directors
Twitter has appointed Tesla CEO Elon Musk to its board of directors, a day after it was revealed that he had become the company’s biggest outside investor by buying a 9.2% stake (see below, 4 April).
Musk has courted controversy on the social media platform after being unsuccessfully sued for defamation when he Tweeted a British cave rescuer was a “paedo guy”.
He has also been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for Tweeting “false and misleading” statements about his public companies, such as when he said he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 a share.
The SEC also mandates that anyone who buys more than 5% of a company’s common shares must disclose it in a filing within 10 calendar days. Musk signed his filing about Twitter 21 days after 14 March.
Smash Hits mag returns for Derry Girls promo
Bauer Media has launched a one-off special edition of Smash Hits magazine as part of a marketing campaign for Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls.
Produced by 4Creative for Channel 4 Marketing, the campaign is inspired by the 90s, the decade in which Derry Girls is set, and ‘last-day-of-school’ chaos in a nod to this being both the final series and final year of school for the show’s characters.
The 28-page magazine includes a pull out and over 150,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed.
Bauer Media said copies will be handed out across the UK, as well as being bagged up with this week’s issues of Heat and Closer.
Omnicom’s Mulch to join DAX at Global
Global has appointed Omnicom’s Mia Mulch to be the new programmatic and data director for its online advertising platform DAX.
Mulch is leaving Omnicom Media Group as managing director of its UK programmatic division, having spent eight years at the advertising and media agency network.
She will join Global next month to lead DAX’s international programmatic and data projects, reporting to Mark Halliday, director of DAX.
DAX operates in the UK, US and Canada.
UK to ban gambling advertising featuring sports, reality stars
The Committee of Advertising Practice announced that gambling companies will no longer be allowed to advertise their products using sports and reality stars in their promotion materials.
The ban will come into effect in October, ahead of November’s World Cup in Qatar.
The rules are designed to protect under-18s and other vulnerable groups.
Roku and Amazon reach multiyear extension for Prime Video and IMDb TV
Roku and Amazon reached a multiyear extension that will allow Roku to continue distributing Prime Video and IMDb TV on its devices.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though the news sent Roku’s share price up over 7% yesterday.
The streaming hardware company reported it reached 60.1 million active users as of Q4 2021.
Monday, 4 April
BBC’s Dan Walker to move to Channel 5
BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker has announced he will be moving to 5 News and Channel 5 in a few weeks in a Twitter post.
He will host 5 News as well as other programmes across the channel.
He will replace Dr Sian Williams who will stay to present Mind Matters with Dr Sian for 5 News.
And he’s got something to tell you all – watch his video down below ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/nMKrG2Wmfw
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) April 4, 2022
Sunak asks Royal Mint to create government NFT
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint to create the UK government’s first non-fungible token (NFT) to be issued in the summer.
This decision shows the the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK. pic.twitter.com/cd0tiailBK
— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) April 4, 2022
The announcement comes as the Treasury publicised a wider plan to make the UK “a global cryptoasset technology hub”.
At the same time, it announced stablecoins will soon see regulatory measures so they may be recognised as a valid form of payment, the UK government will establish a Cryptoasset Engagement Group to work more closely with the burgeoning industry, and it will explore ways to ensure the UK tax system allows for further development of the cryptoasset market.
Lenovo announces Stagwell Agency Assembly and Dentsu as media agencies of record
Lenovo announced Stagwell Agency Assembly and Dentsu will be their global paid media agencies of record.
Assembly will support Lenovo across EMEA, North America, and Latin America, while Dentsu will cover their Asia Pacific markets.
Lenovo had previously used a bespoke unit at Publicis for their global media business.
The two agencies will work alongside Lenovo’s new in-house Global Media Strategy Center of Excellence to collaborate on paid media advertising operations via a digital-first hybrid operating model.
Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s largest individual shareholder
Elon Musk purchased a 9.2% passive stake in Twitter, becoming it’s largest individual shareholder.
The buy comes just weeks after Musk publicly criticised the social media company for “failing to adhere to free speech principles”.
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
Twitter’s stock price jumped nearly 26% on the news.
Sir Ian Cheshire appointed Channel 4 chair
Ofcom has announced Sir Ian Cheshire has been appointed the next chair of Channel 4 for a three-year term.
Cheshire’s appointment has been approved by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and he will succeed interim chair Dawn Airey on 11 April 2022.
He is currently Chair of Spire Healthcare, environmental trust Menhaden, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund and Mental Health at Work Leadership Council.
He is also a non-executive director of BT and has served as chair of Barclays UK, the British Retail Consortium, Debenhams and Maisons Du Monde SA as well as senior independent director at Whitbread.
In public service, he was lead non-executive director at the Cabinet Office and has chaired the Ecosystem Markets Task Force, the Economy Honours Committee and currently chairs the independent Food Farming and Countryside Commission.
Lord Grade confirmed as Ofcom Chair
Lord Grade has been confirmed as Ofcom chair by a government committee despite “lack of knowledge about social media and online safety”.
In a pre-hearing about the appointment to the communications watchdog, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee noted while Grade will bring “a wealth of experience and knowledge of the broadcasting sector”, it was “concerned about his lack of knowledge about social media and online safety”.
The report also stated he will play “no part in public debates about the future of Channel 4 and the BBC”.
Read more on Lord Grade’s appointment here:
In case you missed it last week:
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