Oscars Offers Big Stage to Entertainment Mags - Broadcasting & Cable

Oscars Offers Big Stage to Entertainment Mags

Shows remain TV cornerstones, also shine on social
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For top entertainment magazines Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra and The Insider, the Oscars is truly the  Super Bowl of events, with each magazine putting all of their resources into covering Hollywood’s big night on as many platforms as possible.

Hosts from all three shows join ABC’s Good Morning America crew, E!’s stable of entertainment news journalists and many others running around with microphones on the red carpet to cover celebrity arrivals, and then fan out across Hollywood to hit the parties. While much of the footage that’s gathered is edited into next-day shows for Monday, it’s increasingly important to have a live presence on Hollywood’s golden evening.

TV ratings for all entertainment magazines understandably jumped significantly on Monday, Feb. 29, for their day-after Oscar coverage. CBS Television’s magazine leader, Entertainment Tonight, led the pack with a 4.0 rating/7 share weighted metered-market household average for its primary runs, an 18% increase over its year-ago time period average. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood also shot up 18% to a 2.6/5 share. Warner Bros.’ Extra grew the most of any of these shows, adding 22% to a 2.2/5. CTD’s The Insider, sister to ET, joined the after-party with a 14% leap to a 1.6/4.

Ratings remain an important way to judge TV shows’ success, but increasingly, their digital media metrics are coming into play.

“Every day, I’m looking at that audience. I do a deep dive into the ratings on a daily basis,” says Brad Bessey, ET and The Insider executive producer. “But we are also able to identity and count people who are engaging online so much easier than we can on television.”

For the third year, ET began its Oscar coverage with a two-and-a-half-hour special on CBSowned network Pop, with ET anchors Kevin Frazier and Nancy O’Dell live on the red carpet.

“It was like Broadcast News,” says Bessey. “We would get information like ‘Charlize Theron’s necklace is worth $3.7 million.’ I would relay it to Kevin or Nancy and they would say it on the air.”

Once the Pop coverage was complete, ET shifted gears to covering the show itself. ET’s digital team of 45 to 50 people in Burbank filed stories on ET Online, says Shana Krochmal, editor in chief. “We published about 60 pieces over the course of the evening and through the next morning,” she says.

“That’s one way our coverage has really changed,” says Bessey. “When the memes started appearing, our Burbank team would send them to us and we were able to get reactions to them from the stars.”

A meme popped up during the show that best supporting actress Alicia Vikander’s dress looked like Belle’s from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The ET team was able to show that to her, get her reaction and put that back out to the fans on social media.

“We are now able to do what has always been my fantasy for these programs—reach the audience in the moment,” says Bessey.

“We try to speak to our audience authentically with great information and content everywhere they are,” says Moira Curran, CTD VP, digital marketing. “That’s different for each platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Snapchat.”

The result of building that team is a sizable expansion in Entertainment Tonight’s audience, with more than 5.5 million social followers and reach of 70 million U.S. users monthly.

Daily Allowance of Hollywood

All entertainment brands know that covering Hollywood is a 24/7 affair, so all are constantly working to build their presences online.

Access Hollywood experimented with Facebook’s new live video feature, going live more than ten times on Oscar Sunday. One video featuring Access Hollywood correspondent Liz Hernandez was seen more than 1.1 million times, says Rob Silverstein, Access Hollywood executive producer. Overall, more than 4.5 million people saw those streams.

“The only way to grow ratings these days is through social media,” says Silverstein.

Access Hollywoods Billy Bush also surprised best actress Brie Larson with a Tonight Show clip of herself that aired when she was 9 years old, the same age as her Room costar Jacob Tremblay. “She got more excited over that than when she won the Oscar,” Silverstein jokes.

While Extra offered viewers lots of social content as well—scoring some 2.5 million views on Twitter—the show also had exclusive access to Vanity Fair’s after-party, arguably the most glamorous of these events.

“It’s the best couples-palooza that you can imagine,” says Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, Extra senior executive producer. “People always love behind-the-scenes coverage.”

Extra also had a Twitter mirror on the red carpet and was uploading a constant stream of photos to Instagram. And Adam Glassman, stylist to Oprah Winfrey, was Snapchatting the entire experience. “We shoot the entire show from the red carpet,” says Gregorisch-Dempsey. “We don’t want to break the illusion by being back on our set.”

For top entertainment magazines Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra and The Insider, the Oscars is truly the  Super Bowl of events, with each magazine putting all of their resources into covering Hollywood’s big night on as many platforms as possible.

Hosts from all three shows join ABC’s Good Morning America crew, E!’s stable of entertainment news journalists and many others running around with microphones on the red carpet to cover celebrity arrivals, and then fan out across Hollywood to hit the parties. While much of the footage that’s gathered is edited into next-day shows for Monday, it’s increasingly important to have a live presence on Hollywood’s golden evening.

TV ratings for all entertainment magazines understandably jumped significantly on Monday, Feb. 29, for their day-after Oscar coverage. CBS Television’s magazine leader, Entertainment Tonight, led the pack with a 4.0 rating/7 share weighted metered-market household average for its primary runs, an 18% increase over its year-ago time period average. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood also shot up 18% to a 2.6/5 share. Warner Bros.’ Extra grew the most of any of these shows, adding 22% to a 2.2/5. CTD’s The Insider, sister to ET, joined the after-party with a 14% leap to a 1.6/4.

Ratings remain an important way to judge TV shows’ success, but increasingly, their digital media metrics are coming into play.

“Every day, I’m looking at that audience. I do a deep dive into the ratings on a daily basis,” says Brad Bessey, ET and The Insider executive producer. “But we are also able to identity and count people who are engaging online so much easier than we can on television.”

For the third year, ET began its Oscar coverage with a two-and-a-half-hour special on CBSowned network Pop, with ET anchors Kevin Frazier and Nancy O’Dell live on the red carpet.

“It was like Broadcast News,” says Bessey. “We would get information like ‘Charlize Theron’s necklace is worth $3.7 million.’ I would relay it to Kevin or Nancy and they would say it on the air.”

Once the Pop coverage was complete, ET shifted gears to covering the show itself. ET’s digital team of 45 to 50 people in Burbank filed stories on ET Online, says Shana Krochmal, executive editor. “We published about 60 pieces over the course of the evening and through the next morning,” she says.

“That’s one way our coverage has really changed,” says Bessey. “When the memes started appearing, our Burbank team would send them to us and we were able to get reactions to them from the stars.”

A meme popped up during the show that best supporting actress Alicia Vikander’s dress looked like Belle’s from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The ET team was able to show that to her, get her reaction and put that back out to the fans on social media.

“We are now able to do what has always been my fantasy for these programs—reach the audience in the moment,” says Bessey.

“We try to speak to our audience authentically with great information and content everywhere they are,” says Moira Curran, CTD VP, digital marketing. “That’s different for each platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Snapchat.”

The result of building that team is a sizable expansion in Entertainment Tonight’s audience, with more than 5.5 million social followers and reach of 70 million U.S. users monthly.

Daily Allowance of Hollywood

All entertainment brands know that covering Hollywood is a 24/7 affair, so all are constantly working to build their presences online.

Access Hollywood experimented with Facebook’s new live video feature, going live more than ten times on Oscar Sunday. One video featuring Access Hollywood correspondent Liz Hernandez was seen more than 1.1 million times, says Rob Silverstein, Access Hollywood executive producer. Overall, more than 4.5 million people saw those streams.

“The only way to grow ratings these days is through social media,” says Silverstein.

Access Hollywoods Billy Bush also surprised best actress Brie Larson with a Tonight Show clip of herself that aired when she was 9 years old, the same age as her Room costar Jacob Tremblay. “She got more excited over that than when she won the Oscar,” Silverstein jokes.

While Extra offered viewers lots of social content as well—scoring some 2.5 million views on Twitter—the show also had exclusive access to Vanity Fair’s after-party, arguably the most glamorous of these events.

“It’s the best couples-palooza that you can imagine,” says Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, Extra senior executive producer. “People always love behind-the-scenes coverage.”

Extra also had a Twitter mirror on the red carpet and was uploading a constant stream of photos to Instagram. And Adam Glassman, stylist to Oprah Winfrey, was Snapchatting the entire experience. “We shoot the entire show from the red carpet,” says Gregorisch-Dempsey. “We don’t want to break the illusion by being back on our set.”

For top entertainment magazines Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra and The Insider, the Oscars is truly the  Super Bowl of events, with each magazine putting all of their resources into covering Hollywood’s big night on as many platforms as possible.

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