“Project Reinvention” committee to meet

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At the TVB last week, CEO Chris Rohrs and EVP Abby Auerbach noted to attendees that Kathy Crawford, MindShare President/Local Broadcast (present and sitting in the first row), continues to help spearhead the “Project Reinvention” effort announced at the recent AAAAs in Orlando (3/10/08 RBR #48)–
and that she and the committee will be meeting with broadcasters in the near future to start hammering out the details.


Crawford tells RBR/TVBR they are only missing one member of the team, representing the cable MSO community (there is one currently). “We have two broadcast people and two agency people. We’re pretty much ready to go,” noted Crawford. “We’re going to sit down and hammer out the concerns; how the process could work; what if this, what if that. All of this will be on the table, and I know there are concerns. But we have to do something—we don’t have a choice.  We as an industry need to be streamlining the transactional process just like banks and plenty of other industries have done.”

She also tells us that certainly, the electronic commerce piece of it is a must in order for us to continue streamlining. “We can’t be doing things manually anymore. So you’ve got to crawl before you walk, before you trot, before you canter.”

The Reinvention Process aims to receive electronically exact times from the radio and television stations, downloading them into a buy sheet, auto-matching them to Nielsen data—and subsequently PPM data—which, in reality, creates an invoice. And then auto-paying off of that. Spot TV and Spot Radio are main targets for improvement. The Reinvention Project suggests that we need to cut down on the labor intention that broadcast has now gotten us to. It will create more efficient buying, and buying on the new digital multicast channels for radio and TV without hiring more staff.

Other committee members include Kathleen Keefe, VP/Sales, for Hearst-Argyle Television; Kevin Gallagher from Starcom; Rich Cerussi/Mark Lund from NBC; Howard Levinson from Yes Network is representing the local side of cable.

RBR/TVBR observation: Radio needs to get someone on that committee as well. We just sat through rave reviews of TVB’s ePort electronic commerce system, which is already being used by 60 broadcast groups and 700+ stations; along with most of the buying, selling and traffic software systems. TVB has made this a major priority, making the Project Reinvention that much closer to completion. Let’s do all we can to help the RAB and our business to the same. The easier we make it for the agencies to transact business, the more business they will want to transact—especially if the data is viewable ASAP. And that also means incorporating makegoods, revisions, discrepancy reports, audit trails and proposals.