Turner Execs Plan to Ladle Out Goodwill


If you need to talk with a Turner Broadcasting executive Sept. 9, you'll have to prowl the homeless shelters and soup kitchens in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and London. On that Saturday, the corporation estimates that more than 1,600 employees will participate in Turner's second annual "TV Day." That's not for viewing the tube, but for "Turner Volunteer." TBS Inc. chairman Terence McGuirk has a prior commitment, but he will be in Atlanta long enough for the kickoff event and to send his troops into the field. Employees from division presidents on down will hit the hometown charity circuit to clean up parks, mentor students and distribute food through local food banks. Last year, 800 workers participated in the first event, and positive feedback was nearly unanimous. Turner executives note that the company will be expanding operations soon in Atlanta, and they hope future TV Day turnouts will experience similar growth.

- - - Instead of using sniperlike precision to target cable operators and digital-subscriber-line providers, BroadJump's recent marketing tactics in Denver and Austin, Texas, more closely resemble shotgun blasts. BroadJump-clients of which include AT & T Broadband, Time Warner Cable, Sprint Corp. and Road Runner-placed billboards in those cities to drum up buzz for the budding provisioning firm. The Wire wondered whether this was the most efficient or effective way to make some hay with a minuscule band of potential decision-makers. While the Denver billboards'messaging is targeted to broadband operators, its bigger-than-life Austin ads are designed to raise employee morale, to gain exposure with the Austin investment community and to boost recruiting efforts, a BroadJump spokeswoman said, noting that the company's Web traffic rose dramatically when the Austin boards appeared. The billboards did get The Wire's attention. But good luck doing the same with AT & T Broadband CEO Dan Somers as he zips around the "Mile High City."

- - - Hey, Disney movie guys, have we got a song for you! The song, "The Deep Blue Sea," is actually the property of Jim Kremens, who's married to Oxygen PR chief Laura Nelson. Before he and his combo performed at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village last Wednesday, Jim informed the audience that he was trying to get the tune into upcoming big-budget flick Pearl Harbor, and he asked anyone who knew anyone connected with the picture to pass the message along. It sounded pretty good to us. Anyone out there pals with producer Jerry Bruckheimer?

- - - Word that rock group Smashing Pumpkins was giving away 50 passes to last Thursday's taping of a VH1 Storytellers episode brought the band's Web site (www.smashingpumpkins.com) to its knees Tuesday night, when a random drawing for 50 seats was held. Passes to the intimate taping were a hot ticket, considering that the Pumpkins announced plans to break up earlier this year and the VH1 show may be one of their last U.S. gigs. One hardcore Pumpkin-head/Wire correspondent was one of the 50 fans who won tickets through the band's Web site. But he dutifully returned the pass after VH1 came up with a press pass, giving a fan without friends in the industry the chance to see the show, which VH1 will premiere Nov. 4.

- - - Has this writer gone Hollywood, or is it a sign of quid pro quo for Time Warner Cable's recent decision on MTV Networks'carriage? The press gathered en masse at MTV's "Choose or Lose" schmooze at the House of Blues during the recent Democratic National Convention week, including crews from as far away as France. They were there to hear what the "Gore Girls" had to say, but they had to cool their heels through a mini-concert by DreamWorks recording artist Nena (great pipes, but hey, we're on deadline here!) and introductions of MTV's street-team reporting members. But the penultimate intro was puzzling to fellow members of the Fourth Estate. Given a rock-star buildup and introduction was Tamala Edwards, political reporter for Time Inc. Her presence was understandable: She had just penned an article on Karenna Gore Schiff. But the journalist came on stage to promote her pub to the captive audience. "Watch MTV and read Time magazine!" she gushed. Talk about journalistic sin ... er, synergy.

From bureau reports.