Field Reports1 Aug, 2004 By: Response Contributor Response
MICROSOFT CREATES NEW MEDIA / ENTERTAINMENT & TECHNOLOGY CONVERGENCE GROUPREDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. has established a new group within the company designed to aide efforts and forge relationships with the media and entertainment industries. The newly formed group, Media/ Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group, will consolidate and drive the company's strategies for the digital convergence of home entertainment technologies, personal computing and media — particularly in the areas of business and market development, technical and IP policy and industry-standards initiatives.
Blair Westlake, former chairman of the Universal Television & Networks Group, will join the company and head up the new group as corporate vice president. Under Westlake's leadership, the Convergence Group will be responsible for ensuring that effective business relationships, technologies and policies are in place to meet the increasing consumer demand for access to high-quality audio/visual digital information, entertainment, news and sports programming via Windows Powered devices in the home.
"The creation of the Media/Entertainment & Technology Convergence Group and Blair Westlake's appointment underscore Microsoft's strong commitment to delivering cutting-edge products for the digital networked home and continuing to build mutually productive and profitable relationships with the media and entertainment industries," says Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
BEALES RESIGNS FROM FTC CONSUMER PROTECTION POSTWASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that J. Howard Beales III, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, will be leaving his position at the Bureau to return to academic life as associate professor of strategic management and public policy at George Washington University. At press time, FTC Chairman Timothy J. Muris announced Beales would step down on August 6. Lydia B. Parnes, deputy director of the Bureau, will be named acting director.
DARLA HAUN PARTNERS WITH TAKE 2 DIRECT FOR NEW 30 - MINUTE INFOMERCIALIRVINE, Calif. — Take 2 Direct (T2D), a newly formed direct response marketing and production company, announced the creation of a new 30-minute infomercial format, called New Innovations, featuring Darla Haun. New Innovations combines the best of live shopping with the best of traditional testimonial driving infomercials. Haun currently can be seen on TV as the host of such successful shows as the Gazelle Freestyle and the Ab Lounge. New Innovations' mission is to bring quality products in all classifications to market, while stepping up the standards for direct response in general.
The show utilizes an intimate living-room-style atmosphere complete with space for demonstrations, if applicable. The New Innovations concept has an economic model that lowers the barrier of entry for product developers and marketers who want to market more products and test more infomercials at a cost far below the industry average.
In other news, Take 2 Direct has assembled a direct marketing team that includes CEO Adam MacDonald; George Knowles, CFO; and Betsy Sanz, director of creative services.
4 NEW RADIO PROGRAMS FROM AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA JOIN AUDIBLE INC. SCHEDULEWAYNE, N.J. — Audible Inc., a provider of digitally delivered spoken word audio, announced availability of four public radio shows from American Public Media, a division of Minnesota Public Radio. The four new shows include "Sound Money," "Speaking of Faith" and "The Splendid Table," and will be available for both subscription and individual show purchase.
"Audible is proud of our deep and mutually beneficial relationship with Minnesota Public Radio, and now their new national production and distribution division, America Public Media," says Donald R. Katz, chairman and CEO of Audible Inc. "Minnesota Public Radio has been a visionary public radio producer, allowing Audible to bring their wonderful programming to listeners worldwide."
Jon McTaggart, Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media COO, says, "Audible is part of the changing ways people are listening to public radio. We are pleased that their technology offers us a way to make our programs accessible to a broader audience."
HORIZON CREATES DIRECT RESPONSE PLANNING GROUPNEW YORK — Horizon Media, an independent media services agency, has created a Direct Response Planning Group in an effort to expand its direct marketing efforts.
The team will be headed by Gene Turner, who has been promoted to associate director of direct response planning.