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breakingBusiness

SAG-AFTRA Yanks EMS’ Permit To Hire Its Members In “Signatory Services” Crackdown

SAG-AFTRA

In a crackdown on so-called "signatory services" that pose as employers of commercial actors, SAG-AFTRA has revoked the signatory status of Executive Media Services, which the guild has found to be an "illegitimate employer." EMS’ website notes that “For over 30 years, we've offered service-oriented business affairs and signatory services to leading ad agencies, production companies, and brands all across the globe.” "That's nice that they haven't let us know," an EMS… Read

breakingBusiness

SAG-AFTRA Actors Rally To Combat Non-Union Commercial Productions

SAG AFTRA Commericals Rally

More than 70 SAG-AFTRA members rallied tonight at the union's Los Angeles headquarters to draw attention to the plight of commercial actors. A grassroots organization called UnionWorking says that "upwards of 60% of commercials today are being produced using nonunion talent." The guild declined to either confirm or deny that figure. The rally is being held in advance of a meeting tonight that's part of SAG-AFTRA's ongoing #AdsGoUnion campaign to "help increase union… Read

exclusiveBusiness

Fox Launches ‘FN Genius,’ An ‘HQ’-Style Mobile Trivia Game Tailored To Its Live Programming Push

EXCLUSIVE: Fox is rolling out an answer to the viral success of HQ Trivia. Its new mobile video game show, FN Genius, is already live in Apple and Android app stores and has been pitched in sales meetings since May. FN Genius will officially enter the spotlight this weekend with major promotions Saturday night and Sunday during The Simpsons. It will premiere on Sunday’s the Teen Choice Awards on the Fox broadcast network, according to sources with knowledge of the launch… Read

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Univision Q2 Revenue Slides On Advertising Shortfall

Univision said total revenue dipped 2% to $749.8 million in the second quarter on a downturn in advertising, highlighting the challenge ahead of the privately held Hispanic media giant. New CEO Vince Sadusky has been remaking the company in recent months. He will address the status of the rebuilding efforts and discuss the quarterly results on a conference call later today. Net income inched up to $114.3 million from $106.1 million a year ago. But adjusted operating… Read

exclusiveBusiness

SAG-AFTRA Members Who Work On Non-Union NBA Commercial Could Face Expulsion

SAG-AFTRA

EXCLUSIVE: Actors are being cast in Los Angeles for a non-union NBA TV commercial. A notice posted by Frontier Casting says the four-day shoot set for later this month is looking for actors of all ethnicities to portray "passionate" basketball fans. According to the casting notice, its union status is "non-union." The National Basketball League is not signed to the union's contract, according to the SAG-AFTRA signatory page, so it's not violating any union agreements. But… Read

Business

Sinclair Broadcast Group CEO Says Merger Talks Continue With Tribune; Q2 Financial Results Come In Strong

Sinclair Broadcasting

Sinclair Broadcast Group said it continues to pursue its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media despite a major regulatory setback and new lawsuits claiming employees jumped the gun on the deal before it entered its current limbo state. The No. 1 local TV chain delivered the comments along with strong second-quarter financial results. It reported diluted earnings per share of 27 cents, a 37% decline from the same period a year ago but well ahead of Wall Street… Read

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Jason Alexander Is Latest KFC Celebrity Col. Sanders Imitator In New Ads

In his classic role as George Costanza on Seinfeld, actor Jason Alexander had to portray a man who was a bit chicken. Now, he’s taken that to heart in his new role as a spokesman for KFC. Alexander has become the latest celebrity to don the white suit and appear as KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders in the chain’s advertisements. The Louisville-based fried chicken chain enlisted Alexander to tout its $20 Fill Ups. This is the second go-round with KFC for Alexander, who… Read

breakingBusiness

FX Makes Its Ad-Free FX+ Platform Available To All Of Its Subscribers – TCA

FX is expanding the scope of its ad-free programming hub, FX+, making it available to all of its 90 million U.S. subscribers. Previously, it had been an add-on option only for Comcast and Cox cable customers. The announcement came as the Fox-owned (for now) network kicked off its day of presentations at TCA summer press tour. Opting in to the platform will still cost $5.99 a month for all subscribers, who will get all new seasons of FX originals as well as nearly every… Read

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Google Parent Alphabet Surpasses Second Quarter Earnings Expectations, Excluding Fine

Google parent Alphabet blasted past Wall Street’s earnings estimates in its second quarter, sending the stock up in after-hours trading. The company reported per-share earnings of $11.75, excluding the impact of a $5.07 billion charge in connection with a European Commission fine. That compares with analysts’ earnings estimates of $9.66 per share. Taking into account the fine imposed by European regulators, second-quarter earnings dropped 9.3%. Revenue for the second… Read

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Discovery’s Jon Steinlauf Reorganizes Ad Sales Unit And Executive Team

Jon Steinlauf, the former head of ad sales at Scripps Networks Interactive who took the top ad sales post at Discovery after its acquisition of Scripps earlier this year, has set a new structure for the sales division. Under the reog, there will be three selling “bundles,” the company said, organized by matching content and viewership. The first is HGTV, ID, Animal Planet and DIY Network; the next is Food Network, TLC, OWN and Cooking Channel; and the third is Discovery… Read

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Disney Wraps TV Upfront Sales With Double-Digit CPM Gains At ABC, Single Digits In Cable

Disney’s reorganized ad-sales efforts bore fruit in the upfront marketplace, with double-digit CPM gains at ABC and high-single-digit increases at ESPN and Freeform. The company did not comment on the results, but sources say revenue showed high-single-digit increases across the board on ABC as well as cable and kids. (The Disney Channels do not accept traditional spot buys but bring in significant sponsorship revenue.) Broadcast networks have announced healthy increases… Read

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‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Jack Ryan’, Marvel & ‘Mayans M.C.’ Rule Comic-Con Marketing

Walking Dead Mayans MC Comic-Con

Comic-Con panels don't start until Thursday and they are still unpacking the last of the hardware and memorabilia in the exhibit halls at the San Diego Convention Center. But out on the city’s streets, the battle for eyeballs is already going strong, with FX's upcoming Mayans M.C., The Walking Dead, Amazon's Jack Ryan and a deep-bench Marvel positioned to capture the most marketing attention on the jam-packed skyline of the City in Motion. (Click on the photo above to laun… Read