Field Reports1 Jun, 2007 By: Thomas Haire, Courtney Beth Pugatch Response
Response Expo Set to Blow the Doors Off of San Diego
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The saga of "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis continues. Francis pleaded guilty to contempt of court on April 23, receiving a jail sentence of 35 days. Francis had been held in a jail for about two weeks prior to sentencing.
The sentence is a result of a lawsuit filed by seven women claiming to have been minors at the time of filming. Francis, who was blowing his nose and wiping away tears according to the Associated Press, apologized to the judge for yelling at the plaintiffs during the settlement talks.
"I'm sorry for my behavior," said Francis. "It was wrong. I had heard about appeals and things and I was confused. I am sorry, I really am."
His attorney, Jan Handzlik, has said that being in jail changed his client. Handzlik cites that Francis is, "A different man. Undoubtedly is a different man."
Francis drew the contempt charge during negotiations to settle the lawsuit brought after his company filmed the girls in 2003. He was arrested in early April, and then overrun by barrage of different charges, including tax evasion, smuggling and bribery.
Francis has reached an undisclosed settlement with the seven women. The Associated Press reveals that the women wanted $70 million to settle the case, but no formal announcement has been made.
TVi's Andariese, Norman Look Back and Ahead at DR Market
By Thomas Haire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Andariese is CEO and Jeff Norman is president of interactive and mobile technologies for TVi Media, a full-service television, interactive and mobile advertising representation firm. Founded in 1980, the company is based in New York and represents such clients for DR ad sales as the NFL Network, a portion of NBATV, as well as 25 syndicated programs and independently produced shows on NBC, ABC and CBS Sports — among many others. Andariese has also spent much of the past 30 years as an analyst on New York Knicks basketball for the MSG Network. Recently, Response caught up with Andariese and Norman to discuss the background of and current action at TVi.
Can you speak about the history of TVi Media? How did the company start and what keeps it going strong?
John Andariese: I was working with Ted Turner on his dream of building a "national superstation." I guess you could say it worked out well for him. I saw an opportunity in representing ad sales for syndicated TV shows, especially with the idea of cable TV catching on. With a couple other gentlemen, we built the business in a traditional way — there was no banker behind us like there are with many of today's startups. At that time, syndicated shows were very saleable — before hundreds of networks popped up, a low rating was a 3.0. Today, with a 3.0 rating, you live in a big house somewhere. Our DR focus really began about a decade ago, when cable and satellite exploded. Those 3.0-rated shows weren't around anymore, and a lot of programming wasn't being served in the general ad market because ratings were too low. However, syndication still held a great amount of appeal to DR advertisers because the shows were reaching large amounts of people. One of the opportunities we found was with a company called Primetime 24, which was allowed by the FCC at the time to send ABC, NBC and CBS signals into rural areas that weren't receiving a signal from a major market. Within a year of repping Primetime 24, we were doing $15 million in DR billing. When the FCC shut down this opportunity, we continued to pursue DR with other entities. There were plenty of avails in these syndicated shows, but ratings weren't high enough for bigger clients. It just kept growing, as we created relationships with NFL Network and NBATV in recent years. Where DR works, networks will allow certain types of DR to take spots.
What does TVi do for its clients in the DR space that sets it apart from the competition?