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Jon Stewart Launches Kickstarter to Buy CNN

Last night on ‘The Daily Show,’ Jon Stewart turned his attention to the news that Rupert Murdoch is reportedly looking to purchase Time Warner for $80 billion. Murdoch rarely takes no for an answer once he has his eyes set on an acquisition, leading Stewart to remark: “He’s like the date-rapist of media barons …with all due respect.”

Murdoch owns Fox, which means that should he acquire Time Warner, CNN would be divested.  “It wouldn’t come cheap, though, with analysts saying the network would be worth about $10 billion on the open market,” Stewart said. “It’s a lot of money for anyone, but not a lot of money for everyone. Which is why tonight we’re starting our Kickstarter campaign to buy CNN.”

In the clip below, Stewart launches into the rewards for different levels of commitment. Stewart adds at the end that he hopes this campaign is more successful than his Wolf Blitzer Kickstopper.

 

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USA Launches Louis Litt 2048 Companion Game for ‘Suits’ Season 4

unnamedUSA has successfully launched companion games tied to its popular series ‘Suits,’ and is continuing the trend this season with ‘Suits 2048: Litt Up Cat Edition.’  The game is a variation on the popular open-source game 2048 using but features cat-loving ‘Suits’ character Louis Litt.

To date, the game has generated two million-plus page views and the average user spends about 30 minutes playing the game. USA also posted the game link on Facebook and the post has received over 10,000 likes a thousand-plus shares.

USA has also launched a weekly on-air social game, ‘Suits Live,’ available during the episode via desktop, mobile and tablet devices.  The game challenges fans to show off their series and character knowledge for a chance to see their names included in the on-air leaderboard and win prizes. Read more

CNN and Facebook Aim to ‘Connect Generations’ Through ‘THE SIXTIES’

cnn-logo_304x200The third episode of CNN’s 10-part series ‘THE SIXTIES,’ which explore the events and people that made the 1960s so iconic, premieres tonight at 9pm EST. Each week, the series focuses on a different angle -  “Sex, Drugs, and Rock N’ Roll” and “The War in Vietnam” among them – but tonight’s episode will explore perhaps the most memorable moment of one of history’s most memorable decades: ‘The Assassination of President Kennedy.’

In its conception, CNN wanted the series to appeal to more than just Baby Boomers. For this reason, the network partnered with Facebook to make the series interactive and engaging, and more, to attract Millennials. Read more

Why Time Warner Cable is Offering Fan TV to Subscribers

fan-tv-thumbAhead of its potential merger with Comcast, Time Warner Cable announced this week that Fanhattan’s Fan TV set-top boxes are now available to subscribers for $99. Fan TV is meant as a replacement for current set-top boxes, and blends the pay TV and online streaming experiences in a more visually appealing way.

Fan TV debuted at AllThingsD’s D11 conference last year, but has since lacked support from major cable providers. The partnership with Time Warner Cable should help Fan TV secure more deals, both with cable service providers and streaming services. Still, Fan TV currently remains limited in its streaming content offerings. Fan TV users can, as of now, only access Crackle, Target Ticket, Rhapsody, and Redbox Instant. HBO GO and Netflix – streaming device stalwarts – are conspicuously missing. 

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Discovery Makes Big Social Push to Celebrate ‘Deadliest Catch’ Season 10

downloadThe new season of ‘Deadliest Catch,’ one of Discovery’s most popular shows, premieres tomorrow night at 9PM EST.

This season is particularly special, though, as it marks the 10th year of the reality show that follows the lives of fisherman on the Bering Sea. Discovery is pulling out all the stops on social for the occasion. The ‘Deadliest Catch Fantasy Game’ – one of Discovery.com’s most visited destinations during Season 9 – returns with an even bigger prize for die-hard fans: a trip to Dutch Harbor to meet the cast.

The Deadliest Catch Instagram account has also been active in the lead-up to the premiere, offering a season-by-season look at the show. Read more

How VH1 Became a Linear, Digital, and Social Juggernaut

VH1-logoLost Remote recently had the opportunity to meet with Dan Sacher and Jonathan Mallow, SVP and VP, respectively, of Connected Content at VH1. Sacher and Mallow walked through the network’s recent successes and future plans, and it is clear that the network is now a linear, digital, and social juggernaut.

In 2013, VH1 enjoyed triple-digit year-over-year follower growth on Facebook and Twitter, becoming the third-most social non-cable sports network. The executives attributed part of their success to VH1’s willingness to experiment, take advantage of what’s trending, and employ a 24/7, 365 approach to social programming around shows. The network focuses not only on building buzz for upcoming episodes, but also on leveraging its digital assets – including VH1.com and the VH1 app – to host exclusive content and keep fans of shows engaged throughout the rest of the week and the year.

The soundness of this approach is reflected in the numbers. Linear ratings are up 33% in the coveted 18-49 demo, and the average time that visitors to VH1.com spend with video is more than double that of visitors to Bravo or TLC (129% and 136% more, respectively), and more than six times that of E! (550% more). Read more

How CNN Journalists Are Leveraging Newstron for High-Level Reporting

cnn-logo_304x200While many networks are focused on developing client-facing social apps, CNN has created Newstron, an internal platform designed to harness the power of news traveling through digital and social for the benefit of its journalists. The platform is wholly designed and developed by Turner, and has been available to CNN’s editorial staff for over a year.

One of the newest tools introduced within Newstron is StoryTracker, which presents content (from both CNN and outside sources) to editorial users in an easy-to-consume way. According to Michael Koetter, SVP of Media Technology and Development at Turner, the tool drags in video, Instagram posts, text, tweets, URLs, and 10 to 13 different supported objects.The end goal of the platform is to make it easier for CNN journalists to do the initial legwork on a story so that they can direct more of their energy towards high-level reporting.

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‘Next Generation’ Cable Provider ‘Layer3 TV’ Raises $21 Million

Layer 3 TVBoston-based start-up “Layer3 TV” has raised $21 million series A funding in its push to become a “next generation cable provider.”

The network, which hasn’t launched yet, is helmed by cable and technology veterans, including CEO Jeff Binder who founded Broadbus Technologies; Chief of Technology Dave Fellows who served as CTO at Comcast and ATT Broadband; video technology chief Chuck Hasek who was Time Warner Cable’s technology chief; and head of Marketing Eric Kuhn, the former social media guru for CNN and United Talent Agency.

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An inside look at Bravo’s social strategy for ‘Online Dating Rituals of the American Male’

Online-Dating-Rituals-editedFor women, it will provide a glimpse into the male psyche; for men, it will be one Bravo show that they actually don’t mind watching. ‘Online Dating Rituals of the American Male’ premieres on Sunday, March 9 at 10pm EST (before moving to Thursdays on March 13) and each episode will follow two men as they attempt to land a date online. Some men will be seeking wives, while others will be looking for one-night stands.

Bravo’s social strategy will play up the show’s ‘anthropological’ attempt to get to the core of the male psyche. The marketing team will introduce a “What’s Your Dating Species/Which Male Mate Should You Date?” Twitter-based quiz. Users can tweet back answers by selecting 5 hashtags from a “hashtag cloud.” Once tweeted, a reply instantly comes back from @bravotv telling them their Latin species name along with an embedded video that defines their species. Some of the species types include Friendus Alonis (a guy who’s always in the friend zone) and Predatorius Obnoxious (an aggressive player). Read more

On ‘Real Time,’ Bill Maher announces plans to #flipadistrict

real_time_with_bill_maher-show1_9307Friday night on HBO’s ‘Real Time’, Bill Maher pointed out that while Congress has a 13% approval rating, 90% of incumbents are re-elected each term.

On ‘Real Time,” Maher has consistently addressed the subjects of congressional inaction and ineptitude through his monologue, panel, and ‘New Rules’ segments. Perhaps Maher realized the limits of this format, so on Friday night Maher announced that he and his show would attempt to bring about true change in a more direct way:

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