BYUtv’s Neon Trees Gig Is All About the Music


Where can a heart-on-their-sleeve indie-
rock enthusiast turn in a television
world that just doesn’t love us the way
it used to?

Let’s just say the Mormons have uncovered
the rock.

BYUtv’s Audio Files is a no-frills, upclose
look at some of independent music’s
most interesting songwriters and
bands. The first season has profiled
up-and-comers like Imagine Dragons
as well as more established songwriters
like Mason Jennings and indie veterans
such as Low.

This Tuesday (Aug. 7) marks a new
episode featuring the indie band Neon
Trees, the pride of Provo, Utah.

Neon Trees has a resume with a Billboard
No. 1 alt-rock single, countless
TV appearances and opening slots for
some of rock’s biggest bands. It’s also
a band whose members are Mormons.
Audio Files
happens to be on a Mormon
Church-affiliated TV network — not
that that was a pre-requisite.

“We wouldn’t do a show or not do
a show because it had a Muslim affiliation
or a Jewish affiliation,” bassist
Branden Campbell told The Wire from
a tour stop in San Diego. “It’s about the
music, and they want to share
stories about great bands.”

For BYUtv (or Brigham Young
University Television, affiliated
with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
day Saints and available in 50 million
homes), it’s not about Mormon
music, either.

“We don’t necessarily want to yell
from the rooftops that hey, BYUtv is
cool,” content developer Jared Shores
told The Wire. “It’s more of saying:
This is who we are. The artists that you
love are artists we love too.”

Zac Brown Band Helps
AMC Get ‘Wheels’ Rolling

Theresa Beyer, AMC’s vice president of activation
and promotion, wants to “raise some hell” with
the network’s latest marketing stunt.

Looking to drive tune-in for the secondseason
premiere (Aug. 12) and sophomore campaign
of manifest-destiny Western series Hell on
, AMC is partnering with the Zac Brown
Band. The crossover country and Southern rock
act is central to radio and sweepstakes initiatives.

Promoted on AMC and online at and, the “Raise Hell Sweepstakes”
will send one winner and a guest to the Southern
Ground Music & Food Festival in Nashville Sept.
21-22 and in Charleston, S.C., Oct. 20-21.

Along with paid accommodations for both venues,
the winner gets a private meet-and-greet session
with the band. The promo kicked off Aug. 3
and runs through Aug. 27.

AMC is also working with 40 radio stations in
20 key markets to stoke tune-in and flag another
sweepstakes yielding two-day passes to the Nashville
event plus face time with the group.

“We wanted to see who was out there and going
on tour,” Beyer told The Wire. “Zac Brown Band
had a new album it’s promoting [Uncaged], so the
timing is perfect.”

Helpfully, the band members “look like they’re
from the Civil War era on the cover of their new
album,” she added.

—Mike Reynolds

Alert McSlarrow Avoids
Seeing Olympic Swimming
Aired in Real Time

Kyle McSlarrow, who serves as Comcast and NBCUniversal’s
Washington, D.C., president, is among
those avoiding London Olympics spoilers.

At a demonstration last week of Ultra-HD (16
times the resolution), which NBCU teamed with
NHK and the BBC to deliver to a handful of viewing

McSlarrow had a tense moment when
a swimming race appeared on the screen in all its
super-high-definition glory showing American
swimmer Allison Schmidt racing for the wall.
McSlarrow quickly asked whether the event was
being shown live and was assured it was taped footage.
(All the demo footage was taped, due to rights
issues, according to an NBC technical representative.)

Crisis averted.

—John Eggerton


Productivity at The Washington Post plummeted for a while last Tuesday
while staffers broke out their camera phones to capture history — and an
up-close celebrity moment. Robert Redford (left ), who played reporter
Bob Woodward in the Watergate movie All the President’s Men, was in
the newsroom for the first time in 35 years. With him were the real Woodward
and (Carl) Bernstein (far right) and retired Post editor Ben Bradlee
(blue jacket), filming for the upcoming Discovery Channel documentary All
the President’s Men
Revisited. Director Peter Schnall is behind the camera.
Tweets flew, including this one from Post blogger Joel Achenbach:
“Redford is about to turn 76, and he looks great and can still shut down a
newsroom.” Laura Michalchyshyn, partnering with Redford in Sundance
Productions and co-producing the doc, told The Wire: “I felt I was part of
history, remaking.” Discovery hasn’t announced a 2013 airdate yet.