Monday, November 9, 2009

The demise of Cliff Freeman and Partners -- and a certain kind of TV ad

The demise of Cliff Freeman and Partners last week marks the end of an era in many ways. First, it in all likelihood is the end of a certain comedic style — unless Freeman manages to move elsewhere — and it is also another death knell for agencies which rely too much on TV commercials as the default medium for advertising. By some accounts, among the problems the shop faced was that its emphasis on traditional forms of media over digital ones wasn’t in favor with most clients. (The faltering economy certainly didn’t help either.)

Whatever the case, it’s hard to imagine that even commercials the caliber of Freeman’s could capture the pop culture zeitgeist the way that “Where’s the Beef?” did in 1984, or the gerbil being shot out of a cannon did for Cyberian Outpost during the dot-com boom. (Clara Peller, the then-octogenarian who appeared in that famous “Wendy’s” spot, is pictured above.) TV commercials don’t capture the popular imagination the way they once did; it’s another casualty of the era of micro-targeted media..

For the fun of it, below is an overlooked commercial Freeman did for Wendy’s while at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample. Take a look and have a laugh at “Russian Fashion Show”:

Friday, November 6, 2009

My BNET Media posts for the week of November 2, 2009

This week at BNET Media, I wax on about Conan O'Brien climbing in the trunk of a Ford Taurus, Jay Leno getting real, and "Southland" scaring NBC -- even though Halloween is over. Here in reverse chronological order, is some of the finest content on this side of the Adverganza:

Feel free to follow our feed on Twitter, @bnetmedia.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Weezer Snuggie: It rocks ... and it's real

OK, just discovered this over at AdFreak. You can get the Wheezer Snuggie and their new CD for a lo, lo $29.95. I dare you not to watch.

Teaching social media workshop at Art Directors Club, Nov. 9

Just a quick heads up that I'm going to be teaching a social media workshop at the Art Directors Club of New York on Monday starting at 5, with the help of Greg Christman of Sam & Lori, otherwise known as @reelspit (I don't know why.) Our goal is to help people in advertising build their personal brands via blogging, Twitter and other tools. It's very hands-on -- attendees should really try to bring their own laptop so they can get their fingers dirty -- and will teach all anyone needs to know to be able to walk out of the room a few hours later with their own blog set up and a burgeoning Twitter presence. After that, your nefarious plan to rule the ad blogosphere is out of my hands.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Social Media Insider looks at the social net-energized portals

In today's Social Media Insider, I ponder what it means when everyone of the Big Three portals — the latest being MSN — allows users to put their social nets on their home pages. In case you doubted it, the era of the portal is now officially done.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Social Media Insider gets lost in the social media universe

Spent a long time today looking for a Social Media Insider column idea and discovered that the real problem was the information overload engine, which had overwhelmed by brain. Read more over at Mediapost. As a bonus, this column also makes reference to dead people on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Publicis to stop creating print ads

At least that's my takeaway from Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy's statement during the third-quarter earnings call that the agency holding company plans to become an "all-digital agency." And by the way, they'll be no analog radio or static billboards made at Publicis anymore, so there!

Seriously though, even as a believer in digital, I find proclamations of becoming all digital to be positively cringe-worthy because they have a "hook, line and sinker" quality to them that indicates those doing the proclaiming have had more than their fair share of of Kool-Aid. While it's true that all kinds of media are becoming more digital than less -- including such former stalwarts as TV, there's still a little something to be said for magazines, newspapers and other forms of analog media, isn't there? Isn't there?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marital infidelity, now appearing on Sprint's Now Network

For reasons that escape me -- something to do with fatigue, I'm sure -- I ended up watching just a little "Desperate Housewives" last night, and thus, came across this brand integration scheme: the Another Desperate Housewife" series sponsored by Sprint's Now Network. Its connections to the actual show, no pun intended, are many: the mischievous music, perfect houses and great-looking people among them.

But, of course, there's also the philandering, and that's where this little homage gets, to me, very off base. Sprint phones figure prominently — as the means with which to prove that your spouse is cheating. So, next time you feel the urge to check up on them, I highly suggest that you use Sprint's Now Network to see if that  text message that just arrived is really from your husband's office. I understand the urge to seamlessly integrate programs with products these days, but do you really want to position your phone as a great way to spy on your spouse? I don't think so.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, what is the truth about Tony?

I've spent way too much time today trying to figure out what the point is of this video, "The Truth About Tony" which is currently on the Burger King site and presumably the work of one Crispin Porter + Bogusky. I get that the Tony in question, Tony Stewart, is a NASCAR guy who has an ongoing relationship with The King -- from an endorsement point of view. What I don't get is why, in this video, Tony undergoes a polygraph test, judging how truthfully he answers questions from viewers, closing with the inevitable BK questions -- about whether he loves the Whopper sandwich. (He does, and he didn't lie about it.)

OK, but at the beginning of this post, I said I couldn't figure out what the point of this was. Here are my questions:

  1. Why would people sit through 15 minutes of this? It's at least that long.
  2. Why can't you pause the version on, or or embed it?
  3. Why does the page with the video on it not even indicate how long it is?
  4. Why hasn't BK posted this to YouTube? (LiveStream, which provided the streaming for this, posted a blissfully abridged version.)
  5. Did Old Spice and Office Depot, whose logos are prominently featured on Stewart's shirt, sign off on this BK stunt?

Anyone who can answer these questions, lemme know.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Social Media Insider wonders if real-time search is all it's cracked up to be

If you did anything, anywhere on a social network today, you probably saw that Microsoft's Bing is starting to offer real-time search of tweets and Facebook status updates. The Social Media Insider asks if we should be quite so excited about this..

Ads that annoy: Volume 1, Windex

Just saw this Windex ad as a pre-roll to a preview of  "The Biggest Loser" at Not that the guy in this ad would qualify for the show, but do you really think, in the real world, he would snare this woman? (OK, maybe if he worked at Goldman Sachs.) This commercial had to have been concocted by men.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Verizon decides it's time to make fun of the iPhone on two fronts

With Apple still selling iPhones like there's no tomorrow -- it sold 7.4 million of them in the last quarter -- it's not exactly tme to kick the company in the teeth while it's down on its luck. So what's up with the two campaigns out right now from Verizon that make fun of the iPhone specifically, and iCulture in general?

The first is the campaign below for Verizon's new Motorola 'Droid phone; in the nanosecond that the campaign's been out, it's at least managed to gain some notoriety, even though all of those references to "iDon't" makes it sound, well, like a dumbphone unless you're paying attention. The references to iDon't are actually about the iPhone. More than 700,000 YouTube views later, here's the spot, which has led some to speculate that the endless poking of fun at the iPhone may kill any possibility of Verizon becoming an iPhone carrier too. (Damn!)

The second attacks the iPhone in a more obtuse way. In this one, a voiceover intones over and over that, "There's a map for that" instead of the iPhone-esque, "There's an app for that." The maps in question are really ones showing that Verizon's 3G coverage across the U.S. is much stronger than AT&T's — AT&T, of course, being the sole carrier for the aforementioned iPhone, which kind of lives for 3G.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is social media turning us into Whiner Nation?

In yesterday's edition of the Social Media Insider, which I write for Mediapost, I ponder whether social media is turning us into Whiner Nation. Pissed off at a big company? Make sure to whine about it! Preferably in public!

Some people have called this column "Spot on"; others "insulting" and "patronizing." You be the judge.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

American Express learns it's not good to get Joseph Jaffe mad

Those of us in the marketing business already knew that it's not a good idea to make Joseph Jaffe mad. He's one of those people who has all of the tools at his disposal to spread bad news about a brand (and good news), virally. If you want to see what I mean, check out the video above, which he, of course, posted to YouTube, posted to his Jaffe Juice blog, and has tweeted to his more than 13,000 followers. I'd be surprised if American Express hadn't noticed this by now.

Estee Lauder will beautify your lowly social networking profile pic

Someone told me recently that the wonderful world of retouching has come to high school graduation pictures, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Being retouched to a fare-thee-well is now in reach of everyone! Even your 16-year-old who doesn't need it!

So, in this era of Photoshopping for the masses, it shouldn't be surprising — but is nonetheless a great idea — that Estee Lauder is about to bring a similar thing to the lowly social networking profile picture, while promoting itself to boot. According to Ad Age, the cosmetics company is now offering free makeovers and photo shoots for Web site profile pictures in a select group of department stores, such as Bloomingdale's New York, that carry its brand. The only "cost" for those who do it is having an Estee Lauder logo in the background on the picture, which to me seems like a minimal bother given how expensive it is to hire a makeup artist and photographer all by yourself. The brand is promoting it on its Facebook page, though the pictures themselves can appear wherever women in Estee Lauder's 35 to 55 year old target roam online.

So, will there be retouching? A little. Estee Lauder spokesperson Tara Weisenberg described it as "minor." Damn.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pssst ... Want to learn how to blog? I'll tell you how

As I slowly resurrect this little thing called Adverganza, thought I'd post about a course I'm teaching out in Westchester (New York, gang, not Pennsylvania), tomorrow night covering the basics of how to use social media tools such as blogs and Twitter. Is this stuff hard? Nah. But occasionally people think it is, so this course aims to walk people through enough of the ropes to feel comfortable dipping their toe into social media for themselves. Maybe, by the end, everyone will have even sent their first tweet. Here are the details:

When: Oct. 8, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: The Bakery at Four Corners, 4668 Boston Post Road, Pelham Manor, NY
Price: $20 (wine will be served, but drunk blogging is strictly prohibited)

To register, go to this link and scroll down to the course titled, "Blogging Boot Camp and Twitter Too ... " or contact Lynda LaMonte Garmong at

Thanks all. Now back to coverage of advertising.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ANDYs Randy for Crowdsourcing Jury

So, I'm reading tonight about the decision by ANDY Award co-chairs Ty Montague and Michael Lebowitz (JWT and Big Spaceship, respectively) to crowdsource the jury, actually a kind of obvious step when you think of where things are headed -- to one big crowdsourcing of everything, from advertising ideas to what to have for lunch. So what the hell, go to and cast your votes.

Among other things, what the duo is hoping for is: "a more accurate, fair snapshot of what has been done in the past year," according to Montague. I'm not sure about that. I stuffed my ballot box with AKQA's Rei Inamoto, because he has such a cool name; John Jay to fill the Wieden + Kennedy requirement; Simon Waterfall, because he just left his agency and doesn't have much to do; Ogilvy's Lars Bastholm because he's Lars Bastholm; and Jimmy Wales because if he ever sat for an advertising awards show I'd plotz.

The story about all this in Adweek of course led some advertising types to speculate about creative directors at big agencies getting their minions to vote early and often, thus skewing the jury, and ultimately, of course, the awards. Ah the cynicism.C'mon, I checked the site out and you can only vote once ... per day.

It occurred to me that what Montague and Lebowitz really ought to do is eliminate the jury entirely and just crowdsource the entire show. You know, cut out the middleman.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lee Garfinkel strikes back, defends mustache

Woke up this morning thinking I should post some more thoughts in the Lee Garfinkel-gets-canned-for-Eric-Silver saga, because what struck me was how, when the swap out was eventually confirmed, the commenters had turned a bit more positive by my subjective estimation. The detractors were still there, of course, but you could see the hatefest slowly playing itself out. The whole incident makes me think we all should have a commenter SWAT team, at the ready, for whenever our reputation is being impugned online. Rally those Facebook friends and Twitter followers!

Anyway, this morning @bmorrissey pointed out that now Lee, back from Antarctica (yes, he was in Antarctica during this whole thing), has stricken back with a 825-word story at in which he mostly defends the trashing of his ... mustache.

He also claims to have started a blog, in which people can continue to comment about him, but he hasn't, really; it's just a parked GoDaddy page, owned by Adweek.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Times' Weekender ads finally get the spoof they deserve

Thank God someone finally made fun of those ads for "The Weekender" package from The New York Times. Whenever I see one, it actually makes me reverse policy and think that maybe it going away wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

Friday, February 6, 2009

BBDO's Eric Silver going to DDB is only part of the story

You may have seen the story at yesterday saying that BBDO executive cd Eric Silver had departed, supposedly heading to sister shop DDB in "the top creative post" at the New York office. The office's chairman/chief creative officer is the (depending on who you ask) legendary Lee Garfinkel. But what looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill story about creative director musical chairs is actually a demonstration of the advertising industry coming unhinged. Since going up some time yesterday, the story has garnered some 145 comments, including name-calling not only on the individuals involved in the story, but on the ad industry itself. Some choice excerpts (I'm not vouching for accuracy of any of these, but only reprinting as an example of what you'll find if you go there):

From agencywonk:
About time they called Garfinkel what he is: a woefully underachieving CCO who hasn't produced anything noteworthy since his BBDO days

From an anonymous poster:
This is not a good fit. Eric is a nice guy and extremely talented, but he is a man-child. He will not be able to run an agency creatively. He doesn't have the patience for it. He has not made a career out of getting good work out of tough clients. He has made a name for himself by doing exceptional work for good clients. There is a world of difference between the two.

From Baffled Three:
Just when you thought Big Dumb Agencies couldn't get any bigger or any dumber... There just isn't much call anymore for agencies whose sole focus is the :30 second TV spot. Oh well, makes it that much easier for the rest of us.

From Disappointed:
...that people in our industry can stoop so low as to the comments made here. I am disappointed and embarrassed. How can we get paid for our talent or command respect when clients see garbage like what's been written here today. I hope one of you doesn't fall victim to the same scrutiny one day."

Thanks to Alan Wolk for tweeting this and bringing it to my attention, and for noticing that many of the commenters are referring to the comment thread as a blog. Weird.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Charlie Rose talks to MySpace founders

Since my Social Media Insider column doesn't permit the embedding of video, thought I'd embed video here of the half-hour Charlie Rose interview on Tuesday night featuring Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson of MySpace (or as Charlie Rose pronounces it Mah-Space). If you want to read my column, click here; if you want to stream the video, see below.

Monday, February 2, 2009

For advertisers, it's not the Super Bowl, it's the Desperation Bowl

As you may have noticed, Adverganza has assiduously avoided doing anything about Super Bowl advertising (and posting, for that matter). In both cases, it has to do with having too much work right now and not enough time, a situation I'll take, especially with the economy continuing to tank. But it yielded a surprise benefit: a completely fresh eye last night on Super Bowl commercials in the context in which they were meant to be seen, with pretty much no early look at what the ad-fest had in store. As it was as much of an outsider's perspective as I've had in 25 years, this is what I came away with: the strain employed to make Americans laugh is painful to watch. It's never been so clear to me how desperate the subtext of nearly every ad is, which is a pleading, "Please, pppllleeeeaaasssse, puh-leeze laugh." As an armchair ad-watcher this year, it also made me wonder what the hell the ad industry is up to during the rest of the year, when it's not busy trying to win the USA Today Ad Meter. Is everyone just phoning it in during the other 11 months?

Given that the commercials seem to carry a similar, over-the-top tone, the net effect for those of us who've been able to avoid the pre-game hype is that it's one big blur of (attempts at) over-the-top comedy, which sucks everyone and everything into its vortex. I cringed at Conan O'Brien for Bud Light, and winced at the "I'm good" commercial for Pepsi Max. A former Adweek colleague, who was hosting the party I attended, couldn't believe that Pepsi Max has actually gone and forthrightly declared it is a diet drink for men. Are men going to order that now because Pepsi told them to? The commerical started off well, but the payoff didn't work at all. It's not that such commercials are supposed to be plausible, exactly, but a guy who performs open heart surgery with a ballpoint pen can't buy a car on his own? C'mon.

It's somewhat amusing to read that the winner of the USA Today Ad Meter (which itself, like individual commercials, has gotten lost in the hype), was a consumer-created ad for Doritos, but don't jump to the conclusion that this means consumers make better ads. It just means that they've gotten really good at copying BBDO.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Have you checked out @bmorrissey yet?

Getting around to letting you guys know that there's a new blog in town containing "thoughts on branding and advertising" from my former Adweek colleague Brian Morrissey. How Brian is finding the time for this, I don't know, but since he started the thing on December 31st, he's managed to post ten times. More importantly, his posts, like his tweets, tend to be heavy on the insight. In a post yesterday on what Brian calls "Advertising's (over) consumption problem," he sees the layoffs currently going on in the ad industry as being not just a byproduct of the lousy economy, but something much, much deeper. "While layoffs get the headlines, the real story is advertising itself is in uncharted territory," he observes. Keep up the good work, Brian, until your hands seize up from too much keyboarding.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Honda ads: Making Bernie Madoff's investors feel better

OK, I'm checking out this 8-minute Honda "Failure: The Secret of Success" video and know that there's no way in hell I would watch the thing if it weren't for that I have an advertising blog. Or maybe, I'd find inspiration in it if I'd, like, invested with Bernie Madoff and was feeling as though investing with him was the worst thing I ever did. I guess other people are feeling the same way, as, despite being featured in The New York Times the other day, the video has only 980 views on YouTube. Yeah, call me a curmudgeon. What the hell.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apple threw "MacWorld Expo Under the Bus"

As you know, I'm a bit obsessed with Apple's mishandling of everything on and around Steve Jobs' health issues. Loved this interview by Simon Dumenco of Ad Age with Jason Snell, editorial director of Macworld. Lots of good sound bites, but this one, about why Apple made that weird announcement about Jobs' non-participation in Macworld Expo, really stands out:

"My personal opinion is that for whatever reason it was decided that Jobs couldn't or wouldn't give the keynote, and given the recent speculation about his health, a simple announcement that Jobs wouldn't be giving the keynote would lead to massive speculation that he was very sick. By changing the story to be about Apple throwing Macworld Expo under the bus, Apple deflected attention from Jobs' absence. It worked for a couple of days, but in the end the speculation machine left Expo and turned back to Jobs' health, which led to the health statement he released."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 01.12.09

Wherein I scan the Monday morning headlines so you don't have to.

From Advertising Age:

Things that will be hot in '09. The list includes online video and, of course, beer.
Raising $50 million for a campaign to promote the U.S. auto industry is just as hard as it looks.
New product pipeline slows down.
Obama-mania, round 2.
NBC taps into its girl power, featuring Meredith Vieira, Tori Spelling and Shelly Lazarus.
—Will the Army billing scandal at Burnett hamper the agency's new business efforts.
Microsoft and Intel will invest more in the downturn. Woo-hoo!
—January: it's a time for diets, and this year, a time for discounts on diet plans.
Nat Ives' guide to dead magazines.
—Unreality TV: The networks refuse to give advertisers price concessions.
—Will Oprah blaming her weight on the blue chips hurt sales of the blue chips?
—3-Minute Ad Age: Jonah Bloom thinks that the paid model for content is coming back.

From Adweek:

—How the recession may change spending habits for years to come.
Anthony Viceroy named president, global operations and CFO at Porter Novelli.
So-called "echo boomers" have rosy future financial outlook. Easy, when your retirement is at least three decades off.
Having spent 73 pages criticizing agency diversity, the NAACP and law firm Mehri & Skalet will now pressure advertisers to pressure agencies to change their hiring practices.
Mike Wehrs is new head of Mobile Marketing Association.
—Guess what!? You can market to the Hispanic market on the Web! (Facetiousness completely intended.)
Barbara Lippert critiques Alex Bogusky's new diet book, asking: "If a diet isn't presented as a diet, is it still a diet?"
Advertisers contracting with bloggers to cover their products. Yes, I'm available.
—Checking in with Universal McCann CEO Matt Seiler.
Just as much new business in 2008, if you don't look at the dollar amounts.
—Greg Stuart asks if people in advertising hate advertising on their cell phones, how will mobile advertising grow?
—As agency personnel get laid off, Joseph Jaffe asks whether the ad industry is having a watershed moment.
—In a new Adweek feature, Freak Week looks at the strange occurrences that go on over at AdFreak.

From Brandweek:

More advertisers whine to the National Advertising Division about comparative ads.
Olay's Professional Pro-X goes after women who used to buy department store skincare brands.
Q&A with Kimberley Gardiner, national marketing and communications manager for Scion.
You're not doing enough with bleach.
Humans acting like geckos for Geico.

From Mediapost:

OfficeMax wants your cubicle to look better. I do, too ... I just can't launch a bunch of new products to help you.'s best and worst Super Bowl ads of all time. Guess where the Celine Dion/Chrysler commercial came out?
The all new world of the Air Jordan.
Hollywood comes to the rescue of Super Bowl advertising.
You should be feelin' the luv for Philadelphia.
—Computer gaming organization says its members really aren't computer potatoes. Sure.
Yelp defamation lawsuit gets settled out of court.
Arbitron CEO Stephen Morris steps down. New CEO is Michael Skarzynski.
Radio revenue drops 8 percent in Emmis' fiscal Q3.

From Mediaweek:

Football still beats the Golden Globes and Jack Bauer.
Digital buyers suspicious of Microsoft's ad mathemeticians.
Elle partners with CAA to extend its brand.
—It doesn't look like anyone wants the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Has anyone knocked on Bill Gates' door yet?
—Yeah, single copy magazine sales are down too. Maybe what the business really needs is for Britney Spears to have another meltdown.
—Alan Frutkin talks with "24" executive producer Howard Gordon.

From The New York Post:

Kathie Black gets three-year contract extension at Hearst, even though the company has "no digital strategy."
CBS about to sign retrans deal with Verizon FIOS.
—Hollywood finding that 3-D isn't all its cracked up to be. For one, those glasses are still freakin' goofy looking.
—CBS looking to turn into a Hulu competitor.
You think you never go to any AOL sites, but you probably do.
Honda launches Webisodes from RPA this week.
—David Carr would love to see the launch of iNews.

From The Wall Street Journal:

—In case you were watching football, who won at the Golden Globes. Free.
Spend money on software and save money, says Microsoft. Subscription required.

That's all for today.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Adverganza's Monday morning picks, 01.05.09

Wherein I scan the Monday morning headlines so you don't have to.

From Advertising Age:

--Guess what? In 2009, auto ad budgets will continue to suck wind.
--Marketing execs more interested in trade deficits than your silly Web 2.0 marketing idea.
--Social media valuations might not be what you think.
--Boy Scouts invest in new brand, GPS.
--David Berkowitz looking to kill the word "viral." Here, here!
--Outgoing NBC guy tells CBS and ABC their video search sucks.
--While you were on vacation, CMO Mark Jarvis left Dell.
--Below, Bob Garfield's 11th annual Bobbys.

From Adweek:

--U.S. agency of the year: Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. (You knew that, didn't you?)
--Global agency of the year: TBWA.
--Media agencies' 2009 mantra: ROI.
--Barbara Lippert thinks the Pepsi spot below, from TBWA/Chiat/Day, got watered down.

--2009 is gonna hurt.
--Dag Soderberg puts Bono in the bible.

From Brandweek:

--From the editors of Brandweek, a new blog, BrandFreak.
--Nielsen CEO John Burbank on why Web advertising isn't memorable.
--All about the digital transition.
--We'll learn a lot about the power of brands this year.

From Mediapost:

--Agency of the year: Mediavest.
--Retail marketer of the year: WalMart.
--Food marketer of the year: Campbell Soup.
--Automotive marketer of the year: Subaru.
--Financial services marketer of the year: ING.
--Technology marketer of the year: HP.
--American Pie's Seann William Scott to MC a sports show on Heavy.
--Where the VC money might go this year.
--Google diggs for mobile product ideas.
--Q&A with Television Bureau of Advertising president Chris Rohrs. He's not all that upbeat.
--Aegis Group looking for those so-called "strategic alternatives."
--Viacom apologizes for those "Why Is Dora Crying?" ads.

From Mediaweek, lotsa depressing forecasts:

--2009 might hurt less if you're in digital, but it's still gonna hurt.
--You don't want to be in network TV right now.
--Good news! Cable might not experience the "concussive trauma" this year of some other media sectors.
--Independent magazine entities are headed for a lot of pain.
--Local TV and radio looks to diversify.
--Advertisers still liking out-of-home in '09.
--TV production is going to be awful in 2009.
--The ups and downs of Knight Rider.

From The New York Post:

--Steve Jobs says he has "hormonal imbalance."
--Which retailer will fold next?

From The New York Times:

--Superheroes came to the rescue of Hollywood in 2008.
--You knew things were going to go a cropper with Kathy Griffin on CNN.
--The surprising strength of
--In magazines, being down in ad pages by single digits is the new up.
--Book publishing business so bad that conferences are being held via Webcam. Boo-hoo!
--More people get their news on the Web than newspapers. Duh.

From The Wall Street Journal:

--Ads to be less "lavish and glamorous" this year. Duh. Subscription required.
--Are TV and the Internet finally getting hitched? Free.
--New York Times sells ads on its front page. The horror! Free.

Glad that's over. Very depressing. Uh, happy new year?