Total Media Newsletter w/c 19th Sept 2011

A digest of this week's news from the world of media brought to you by the TV Team


TalkTalk is extending its X factor . . . relationship to become the exclusive broadcast sponsor of 'The X Factor USA' on ITV2. The programme, which offers American groups and solo artists the chance to win a $5m recording contract with Simon Cowell's Syco and Sony Music, will first air on Fox in the US on 21 September and then on ITV2 on 22 September. Simon Cowell relinquished his role as a full-time judge on the British version of the programme in order to launch the show in the US. The other judges are choreographer and singer Paula Abdul and record producer LA Reid. The broadcast sponsorship was negotiated between ITV and TalkTalk directly and will include sponsorship bumpers either side of the ad breaks. Tristia Clarke, commercial director at TalkTalk, said: "'he X Factor' is bigger than ever before for us this year with two new elements – 'The X Factor' Live Final at Wembley and now 'The X Factor USA'. TalkTalk renewed its sponsorship of 'The X Factor' in May last year in a three-year deal understood to be worth £20m. A spokeswoman for ITV refused to disclose the financial details of 'The X Factor USA' deal. Source: Media week

SeeSaw owner Criterion comes out fighting. . . After the departure of two execs SeeSaw said it hopes to name a new chief executive in a matter of weeks and is dealing with its content problems. The VoD service was hit by the departure of platform controller John Keeling and commercial director Matt Rennie who quit the company following a meeting on Monday. The duo helped launched SeeSaw in 2009, when it was owned by Arqiva, which created the platform from the remnants of Project Kangaroo. The service is being overhauled by its new owner Criterion Capital Partners, which acquired the service in July for more than £10m. The site has recently lost content from Channel 4 and Channel Five due to licenses expiring, but today a spokesperson for Criterion Capital Partners came out fighting and said the company welcomed the departure of the two execs. "Criterion is pleased to see Matt and John go. We are in the process of hiring a new CEO and some new staff. At the moment all SeeSaw content is being reconfigured but more content will be added." Rennie and Keeling were unavailable for comment but it has been reported they left the company due to lack of promised investment. A cash investment into the ailing company was apparently due to come from an investor by 1 September but is understood not to have materialised. Source:  Brand Republic


Candis magazine . . . which claims to be the biggest-selling women’s subscription magazine in the UK, is to be sold on newsstands from the end of this month.  It will make its retail debut next week with a cover interview with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and promises “refreshed editorial content” including a 16-page fashion and beauty section and a new “me-time” feature aimed at “the busy woman on the go”. Candis, which has an average monthly circulation of 236,075 according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, will be distributed by some of the UK’s largest retailers including WH Smith, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrison’s. Source: Press Gazette


Uniqlo takes over Westfield Stratford City . . . Uniqlo has booked a five-week campaign on a new outdoor format at Stratford rail station in east London, to promote the opening of its new store in the Westfield Stratford City. The activity for the Japanese clothing store will run across 11 new digital screens and giant wall wraps across the tunnels that link the Tube, train and Docklands Light Railway platforms to the Olympic Park exit, surrounding the shopping centre which opened on 13th September 2011. The combination of wall wraps and the new digital screens is called the Stratford Corridor Gateway Domination and is part of outdoor media owner JCDecaux's contract for the outdoor media on the National Express East Anglia franchise. Spencer Berwin, managing director, sales, JCDecaux, said: "This is a first look at one of our key Olympic assets and we are delighted to have Uniqlo as our launch advertiser." The Stratford Corridors provide a high-impact, immersive experience for consumers at this new retail hub, influencing purchases and directing audiences to Uniqlo’s new store." Source: Media Week


Google has opened Google+ . . . its ambitious social networking site to the public, having attracted more than 20 million users for aits 12-week invitation-only trial. The public launch marks a significant moment in the search giant's challenge to Facebook, which has almost 800 million active users around the world, and the messaging service Twitter, which has more than 100 million members. Unlike Facebook, where you have to be a "friend" with a counterpart, or Twitter, where "followers" and even unregistered visitors to Twitter's website can typically see anything that someone tweets, Google+ uses "circles", where a posting cannot be shared more widely than its creator wants. At its broadest, that can be completely public – but it can also be a circle only of one person, or just family or close friends. Google+ also breaks with the brevity of Twitter, allowing users to post messages of unlimited length to any number of friends. Google also introduced a search feature for the site. The search engine giant's latest major social networking project got an underwhelming response from critics on its launch on 29 June, but the service quickly attracted millions of users, according to calculations. Source: Media Guardian