News

NYC Comic Con: An ‘Intimate’ Spot For Cartoon Fans

9/27/2010 2:03 AM Eastern

While it lacks the buzz
and heft of the similarly named
San Diego gathering, the upcoming
New York Comic Con (Oct.
8-10) will draw its fair share of
cable-network participants.

Turner Broadcasting Systemowned
Cartoon Network and
Adult Swim will have a major
presence, hosting panel sessions
for such shows as Adult Swim’s
Children’s Hospital, Robot Chicken,
The Venture Bros.
and Delocated,
as well as Cartoon’s Ben 10,
and providing a first look at Cartoon’s
newest original CGI movie,
Firebreather.

Cartoon will take over the
registration area with a content
sampling lounge and present
world-premiere screenings of its
upcoming content.

New York Comic Con has become
a pop-culture and entertainment
phenomenon, as
comic-book content has become
the subject of blockbuster films
like Transformers and television
shows like AMC’s upcoming
zombie series Walking Dead
although it was unclear at press
time whether AMC would have a
presence at the event.

The San Diego Comic-Con International
packs in more than
100,000 attendees, compared
with a still-impressive 77,000 attendees
in a February 2009 event
in New York City’s Javits Convention
Center.

Still, Vicky Free, vice president
of 360 Consumer Marketing
for Turner’s Animation, Young
Adults & Kids Media Group, said
the New York convention is just
as important for its networks in
reaching the network’s
target audience
of young
males.

“This environment
enables
intimate fan engagement
in a
manner that traditional
marketing
cannot deliver,”
she said. “I believe
we are wellpoised
to deliver
a memorable experience
to fans
and tastemakers who dominate
this event.”

Animal Planet also will exhibit
and G4 will provide event highlights
each night on Attack of the
Show!

Syfy, which has had a significant presence for the San Diego
Comic-Con and has taken part in
the New York event in past years,
is sitting this one out and focusing
on next year’s West Coast
gatherings, a network spokesman
said. BBC America had touted sci-fi shows, including Torchwood, at
past New York Comic Cons, but
won’t be there this time. BBC
Home Entertainment will be
there, though, to promote Sherlock,
coming up on PBS, network
reps told The Wire.

Mixed Marriage of
Allies Advertise for
Retrans ‘Reforms’

The American Television Alliance, another
name for “cable operators and others
for retransmission reform,” has taken its
campaign to the pages of print publications
targeting Washington, D.C., decision makers
and a national audience.

Ads, like the one opposite this page, are
all scheduled to run the week of Sept. 27
in 10 publications including this magazine,
Roll Call and Communications Daily.

Someone familiar with the campaign said
the six-figure ad buy was, in part, meant to
provide a parting reminder to legislators
about the issue as they head out the door
next week to try to get re-elected.

The “strange bedfellows” mix of companies
and organizations in the alliance
include Cablevision Systems, Verizon
Communications, Dish Network, AT&T,
the American Cable Association, Public
Knowledge, the Parents Television Council
and Starz Media, plus about two dozen
others.

They want either Congress to legislate
change, or the Federal Communications
Commission to act on a petition — filed by
many alliance members — to institute “reforms,”
including standstill agreements and
outside arbitration.

Independent producers (ATVA members
and others), including representatives of
Outdoor Channel, Retirement Living TV
and Gospel Music Channel flew into D.C.
last week to pitch the FCC and the Hill on
retransmission reform.

The FCC has collected comments on the
petition, but does not appear in any rush to
act. Maybe a slogan like, “Would you wait 18
years for TV repair?” would light a fire.

Harvey Weinstein
‘Pressed’ for Seat
At Communacopia

It was another tight fit at the Goldman
Sachs
Communacopia conference last
week.

Seats at the investment bank’s Conference
Center at 200 West St. in New York (the
bank’s new offices near the site of the former
World Trade Center) were at a premium.

How coveted were they? Even movie
mogul Harvey Weinstein had to squeeze
into a seat way in the back of the venue, in
an area normally reserved for the press.

During one presentation, The Wire noticed
two lonely, plastic chairs wedged
against the far wall in the back of the room
had “Reserved” signs slapped on them.
Many of the presentations were standingroom
only. According to Goldman, more
than 1,300 people attended over three days
(Sept. 21-23).

Top names in media presented, including
IAC/InterActiveCorp chairman Barry Diller,
The Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger and
News Corp. deputy chairman Chase Carey.
Hence the crowds.

Goldman spokeswoman Gia Moron
said the Conference Center auditorium
seats about 350 people and attendees
were seated on the ground level, upstairs
and in overflow rooms at times.

The conference used to be held at the
midtown Grand Hyatt Hotel. It moved to
Goldman’s former 32 Old Slip office in lower
Manhattan last year, to save money, before
Retrans-reform advocates are making a big shifting again this year.

September