Friday, June 1, 2018
Buzzr tidings and a few other things
Buzzr put a story on Broadcasting and Cable that has a number of interesting factoids. First, what happened to Ron Garfield, who used to be the general manager of the diginet? Now the GM is Mark Deetjen, formerly the number two guy at Buzzr. I don't know if Garfield left or got kicked upstairs, but not long ago he was doing live updates on Facebook for Buzzr. There was news of an exec shakeup at the diginet a while back, but the story did not mention Garfield.
Second, Buzzr will start live streaming of the channel on buzzrplay.com. Deetjen says Buzzr's over-the-air stations and cable outlets don't mind the competition, which I can believe. It's not like a niche-within-a-niche diginet is a big deal for the carriers. This could be related to the exec shakeup. Buzzr might be going in a different direction. They may be downplaying TV expansion and trying over-the-top instead.
Third, Buzzr will apparently pick up "a pair" of non-Fremantle shows - "name brand" properties, according to Deetjen - later this year. Start the speculation, folks. I figure that Buzzr will go for a couple of recent shows to take some of the dust off the lineup, as they're now doing with Celebrity Name Game. The wildest speculation would be the Sony pair, but I have no inside (or outside) information.
By the way, I finally looked at my inbox. Buzzr has sent me a press release about the live stream on buzzrplay.com, but not the other items. And in unrelated news, Let's Make a Deal sent me a release about their "zonk redemption" special today to cap off the ninth season. Wheel of Fortune sent me a release about their "tennis week" starting June 4. I'm getting all sorts of stuff.
UPDATE: According to Ron Garfield's LinkedIn account, he is no longer associated with Buzzr. Instead, he is now a media consultant at an organization called Pacific Coaching and Strategy Group. Good luck to him.
In his description of his three years at Buzzr, Ron offers a few interesting numbers. Buzzr is now available in 43 million households, and the diginet's deal with Dish resulted in a 26% increase in distribution and 45% increase in revenue. So now you know.