This year, the projectors and other electronics at Turner Broadcasting’s upfront all worked.
Turner made the most of last year’s failure, opening up with a film showing executives still suffering from “post-upfront traumatic stress disorder” getting tips from its show’s stars on what to do if there were issues again this year.
In the tape, Conan O’Brien assumed Turner would be too smart to again hold its presentation at 9:30 a.m. at that “Hammerstein place.” He told media buyers were in the room not to hear statistics about TNT and TBS’ performance, but to be entertained, and Donna Speciale, Turner Entertainment’s new president of ad sales, showed off her dancing skills. And the stars of TNT’s Franklin & Bash advised Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS, and Turner Classic Movies, that their secret was to bare their bottoms, and assessed Wright’s, just in case.
After the tape, Steve Koonin, the president of Turner Entertainment Networks, whose quick thinking and good humor saved last year’s show, emerged with an overhead projector and a set of cardiac defibrillators.
“I’m please to introduce to you the most modern technology ever used in an upfront presentation,” Koonin joked before turning more serious and addressing strategy and programming.
The event also marked the coming out party for Speciale, who had been a market mover as a buyer at MediaVest.
She said it was surreal to be on stage at an upfront.
“What a difference a few months can make,” she said. “You are now looking at the new closer.”