EXCLUSIVE: Execs at the home of Sleepy Hollow, Glee and The Mindy Project had a message today for showrunners and agents: Diversity is the new ka-ching. “Not only are you going to have more chances of a show being made here, more chances of a show being a success on TV, more chances of making it into syndication, more chances of a show selling globally and making you millions of dollars, but you are going to bring more viewers to our air and keep us in business,” Fox Broadcasting COO Joe Earley told a group of the company’s brass, as well as agents, producers, and media coalitions. Usual good intentions aside, that good-for-business mantra was the primary thrust of the third annual invite-only confab, called “Seizing Opportunities” this year.
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And the Zanuck Theater on the Fox lot certainly had a lot of people who do business with each other on hand Thursday. Earley co-hosted the event with Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly; Fox TV’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman; Fox Animation’s Vanessa Morrison; FX’s John Landgraf, Eric Schrier and Nick Grad; Fox TV Distributions’ Mark Kaner; and Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley. Unlike past Fox diversity conferences, the agencies were represented for the first time too, with WME’s Rick Rosen, UTA’s Jay Sures and CAA’s Joe Cohen as co-hosts as well. ICM’s Pete Stone, Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, Mindy Project EP Jack Burditt, 3Arts partner and former 30 Rock EP David Miner and Gang Related EPs Chris Morgan and Scott Rosenbaum also were among the 150-plus attendees for the 90-minute session. Don’t Trust The B—- creator Nahnatchka Khan was there on a Walden-fronted panel with her producing partner Melvin Mar and restaurateur Eddie Huang, whose memoir Fresh Off The Boat is the basis of a 20th TV comedy project the trio are behind and ABC has given a put pilot commitment to. From the non-industry world, reps from the National Hispanic Media Coalition as well as the National Latino Media Council and the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, both of which have clashed with Fox in the past, were there too.
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Fox Broadcasting Co. continues to realign its top management team following the recent promotion of Peter Rice to Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group. After Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly last week was elevated to Chairman of … Read More »
Fox’s President of Marketing & Communications Joe Earley has restructured the network’s marketing and communications teams. Under the previous setup, more than 10 different groups in the two areas reported directly to Earley. Now, that will be trimmed to six with the consolidation of some departments’ oversight. As a result, three veteran executives, who will lead the newly formed teams, are getting promoted to EVP reporting to Earley:
Laurel Bernard has been promoted to EVP Marketing. In addition to her current role as head of national media, on-air planning and national promotions teams, she will now also oversee Fox’s affiliate marketing and multi-platform distribution marketing efforts. As part of the new structure, Michelle Garry has been elevated to SVP Multi-Platform Distribution Marketing, and will join SVP Affiliate Marketing Nick Belperio, VP National Media Emily King and VP On-Air Planning Shawn Mills as Bernard’s senior lieutenants.
Brian Dollenmayer has been promoted to EVP On-Air Promotions and Marketing Operations. SVP On-Air Promotion Operations Steven Weinheimer will now report to him.
Shannon Ryan has been promoted to EVP Marketing & Communications. She will oversee grassroots marketing efforts, publicity and corporate communications and creative services teams. Reporting to Ryan, George Oswald has been elevated to EVP Creative Services Group and Executive Producer Special Projects, and Jason Clark has been promoted to SVP Publicity and Corporate Communications. Read More »
‘New Girl’ Opens Big, Tops Night
For the first time in a decade, Fox can say that it has a live-action half-hour comedy hit on its hands with New Girl, which blew past all ratings projections to open with a big 4.8/12 in adults 18-49 (10.3 million viewers overall). New Girl‘s performance caught everyone by surprise, including Fox’s head of marketing Joe Earley. While he is elated today, just a couple of days ago he was worried as the network’s risky promo stunt of putting the New Girl pilot on iTunes, VOD, airplanes and Hulu and in hotels for two weeks ahead of the premiere had started to get out of hand. Fox had made the deal to raise awareness for the series starring Zooey Deschanel, as the show’s intent-to-view levels had been consistently high but its awareness numbers were lagging. In exchange for getting the pilot for free streaming, distributors committed to promote the show across their platforms, including a prominent placement on the homepage of iTunes, which was taking a pre-premiere window on a show for the first time. After the first week, things looked good — awareness for New Girl was up by 6%, something Earley said could not have been achieved by the network’s standard marketing campaign alone. (Free press for the sneak peek experiment might have helped, too.) After awareness went up, the buzz metrics also started jumping, and chatter on the show increased 400%. “People were talking peer-to-peer, and it was overwhelmingly positive,” Earley said. “So we figured any viewing lost (by the promotional streaming) would be replaced by people who didn’t intend to watch.” Read More »
You know those living statues that look like they’re motionless until the cleverly disguised mime moves and startles passersby? Fox is seeking a similar effect with a new promo campaign for its new and returning series. The network is placing full-motion video ads in mall kiosks across in 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and Philadelphia. Fox is the first TV network to implement the moving ads technology to the digital billboards, which have so far been predominantly static. The interstitials were produced by Fox’s marketing team led by Joe Earley specifically for the kiosk buys. Here are computer-generated video renderings of how the ads will look in their mall environment with Fox’s highest profile new fall series as examples — comedy New Girl, prehistoric drama Terra Nova and singing-competition series The X Factor. New Girl star Zooey Deschanel is a standout with her spot-on reactions.
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