NBC officially announced that Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien will return to the air on January 2nd without their writing staffs. Conan expressed his support for the writers and said his show “may be terrible” without them. Ratings have dropped off considerably during reruns, with both shows losing over 30% of their audience.
THE FCC will vote today on the proposed relaxation of media ownership rules and a rule to cap the market share of cable companies at 30%. Both votes are expected to pass but opposition outside the FCC is strong. A bipartisan group of 25 Senators said it will block any change to media ownership rules, with John Kerry and Barack Obama vowing to withhold any funding needed to implement them.
THE WGA rejected a waiver requested by the Golden Globes, forcing the awards show to proceed without WGA writers this year. The Guild also rejected clearance for clips sought by the Oscars and will reportedly deny its request for writers as well. Officials from the WGA and the Directors Guild of America have planned a meeting to discuss issues related to the contract negotiations.
NEWSPAPERS have lost the lead in local online advertising for the first time. According to media research from Borrell Associates, newspapers have seen their share of local ads drop to 33.4% – down from 44.1% just three years ago. Internet companies now have 43.7% of the local ad market. Meanwhile, ad spending on social networks is expected to almost double next year, reaching $2.2 billion dollars. $1.2 billion was spent on the social nets in 2007, with MySpace and Facebook earning 70% of the revenue.
THE NBA has launched a new channel on JOOST, offering full streams of past games and Top 10 play compilations. However, the channel lacks any emergent video, with the selection comprised solely of games and plays from last season. A screening of the already outdated channel revealed sponsorship from EA Sports. On Joost “It’s in the game” — but only if the game was last year.