Road trip


Oyo Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson are going on a road trip.

Despite Las Vegas being such a mad sports betting town, I kind of lost interest in the NFL during my 13 years there. Part of the reason was that the Bears (the team I grew up rooting for) were so god awful, and remain that way.

The other reason is there’s just so much to do on sunny Sundays, it’s not like where I grew up in the northeast; Sundays during football season were always freezing so you’d stay indoors with your family and watch games.

Then I moved up to the northwest, and it was cold again. That kind of got me back into watching football, and I’ll admit I got into the Seahawks this season.

I’m also into these little Oyo Sports guys, so I’m going to have some fun with them as we get closer to the Super Bowl. Tomorrow I’m taking them on the road, you can follow their adventures on Twitter and Tumblr.

Listener supported

Snip20150122_130A retrospective series for a trio of romantic dramas was a risk, but Now Playing Podcast listeners didn’t shy away from this week’s Before Sunrise review.

That’s the first No. 1 debut of the New Year, and comes just a few weeks after the Ocean’s Eleven show also hit No. 1.

If you haven’t listened yet, check it out at

Unlike the film series, you won’t have to wait 10 years for a review of the sequel. The Before Sunset show hits Tuesday.


Preemptions an opportunity to experiment with streaming, social

The National Football League on Sunday agreed to continue Thursday Night Football on CBS for the 2015-2016 season, according to Deadline.

There's a lot affiliates can do for viewers watching (and not watching) football.

There’s a lot affiliates can do for viewers watching (and not watching) football. 

The deal again gives the network a slate of eight prime-time games that will air simultaneously on NFL Network. Last year’s series wrapped on Oct. 23, a week before the start of November sweeps.

As Deadline notes, the 2014 Thursday Night Football matchups were not a ratings smash, but it would have been foolish not to continue the agreement, especially in a season in which the Super Bowl will be broadcast on CBS.

The prime-time games also present an opportunity to local affiliates who will find their programming preempted by football.

Back in the day, a sports preemption was considered a day off, and everyone in the newsroom breathed a little easier knowing their deadlines were extended a few hours.

But now I look at it differently. Now I think an on-air preemption is an opportunity to experiment with live programming online. Whether it’s a newscast or another live show, you can still produce content for viewers, a) not interested in the game, or, b) watching with a device in their hands.

The traditional newscast can still start online the same time it does every night, or you can try to come up with a new format that’s more appealing to an audience that gets all of their news online.

Those prime-time games also give local affiliates a chance to build their social brands – because you can be sure CBS and NFL Network will be doing just that while they have a captive audience.

Before the season starts, come up with a social game plan to engage the viewer during Thursday Night Football. Get your followers involved before game time, let them debate the players and showcase their fandom. Find the fan bar in your city and have your team post up for the night. Share the viewer experience in the social space while you continue to deliver news content on the live stream.

Audience engagement is more valuable than game highlights on the nightly news, so you need a streaming and social plan for preemptions. You’ll be glad you did on those nights when Tampa Bay visits Atlanta and the final score is 56-14.

That really happened. Week 3.

I saw it coming

Snip20150115_105My prediction of “great things” for the Now Playing Podcast review of The Dead Zone came true this morning, when we woke to see the show debuted at No. 2 on iTunes, ahead of some really tough competition.

If you haven’t heard the show, check it out and stick around after the hosts give their recommendations to hear more details on the live show happening Feb. 17. There’s going to be a chat with the hosts following the show and some big announcements, which I cannot reveal.

With The Dead Zone wrapped up, the Now Playing Stephen King Retrospective Series will be on hold for a bit, as we start looking at Richard Linklater’s Before films and the Oscar-nominated Boyhood.

The first review — Before Sunrise — is out Tuesday.

Oh and speaking of Oscar nominations…

We’ll do it live!


Just posted this piece to the Venganza blog on today’s announcement for Now Playing Podcast’s live review of Kingsman: The Secret Service on Feb. 17.

It starts at 9:30 p.m. EST you’re on the east coast, you better put on a pot of coffee, because you won’t want to miss the live Q&A that follows the review.

This is just the beginning, 2015 is going to be a huge year for Now Playing Podcast. There’s a lot in the works, stay tuned.

Election Day


Bobblehead Biggio waiting for the Hall of Fame announcement.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Class of 2015 will be announced in a couple of hours. You can watch MLB Network coverage streaming live here.

Crossing my fingers for Astros great Craig Biggio. I have a feeling this is his day.

UPDATE 11:09 a.m.: He’s in!

Are you getting tired of tease teasing?

"Halloween 6" star Paul Rudd in the trailer for the trailer for "Ant-Man."

“Halloween 6″ star Paul Rudd in the trailer for the trailer for “Ant-Man.”

I’m an admitted trailer junkie. Back in the days when I used to watch E! I was all about that show Coming Attractions with future Vegas Price is Right Live! host Todd Newton. When we had dial-up I used to wait at my computer for hours while downloading trailers and then I freaked out when the phone rang and stopped me from seeing 2 minutes of The Big Hit.

These days I’ll sit in front of my laptop for an hour watching the “red carpet premiere” for the Furious 7 trailer, knowing the whole time that I can do the laundry or practice juggling or run a couple miles and come back in 60 minutes to watch the thing.

I’m just kidding, I don’t run.

If you’ve ever watched Entertainment Tonight you know how they tease their viewers. You get a 30-second clip promoting some story about some reality TV person at the beginning of the show, then you get the same clip every five minutes until you finally get to the end of the show and the actual story is about 10 seconds long and told you something you already read on Twitter three days ago.

That’s what I started thinking about when Marvel’s “human-sized” Ant-Man tease showed up on YouTube today. It was a version of the 17-second clip that you could actually see, as opposed to the miniaturized (and from a marketing standpoint, very clever) clip that went online a day ago.

I wondered, “Have we gotten to the point where ‘teasing the tease’ is the norm?” In Marvel’s case, it’s actually teasing the tease of a tease with a miniaturized tease.

Marvel is promising the full trailer (if it doesn’t leak first) during Tuesday’s premiere of its Agent Carter series. And you know it won’t come during the first act. In all likelihood you’ll have to wait until the second hour and then Ryan Seacrest will have to read the results of something and there will be five more commercial breaks and then the trailer will be over before you know it.

When I posted the new Ant-Man clip to the Now Playing Podcast Facebook page it sparked a discussion on this topic, with a lot of fans annoyed by the new strategy.

Tonight I added this Hollywood Reporter piece to the thread. I think it sheds some light on the “why” question. The most-watched trailer of the year was the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, with 93 million views.

So there’s your answer. It’s not just about getting people to watch Agent Carter.

I’m curious to hear anyone’s thoughts on the “teasing a tease” strategy. My guess is it won’t hurt Ant-Man’s box office.