NBCUniversal Goes It Alone With Non-NewFront Event

Digital upfront pitch will have stronger mobile focus

NBCUniversal last month broke with the Digital Content NewFront posse of upfront presenters (taking its place: CBS Interactive). Now the company is planning a stand-alone, non-NewFront event it has dubbed “Digital.Amplified.”

The event will take place April 24 at the Skylight Modern and will be less of a presentation and more of a party; it also will be the highest-profile NBCUniversal pitch to be personally overseen by digital chief Lauren Zalaznick, who will host the event with sales head Linda Yaccarino.

Zalaznick is no longer spearheading the cable networks Bravo and Oxygen, but she is in charge of NBCU’s digital properties. Yaccarino will be pitching NBCU's cornucopia of digital offerings to advertisers at the event, with emphasis on material that ties across multiple platforms. The conglomerate has invested heavily in Webisodes for its network series including Grimm and Revolution, and second-screen executions that encourage live viewing. 

If the network is trying to draw a crowd of techies, they’ve probably hit on the right strategy. An announcement from NBCU stressed that there would be “no formal presentation,” just some “interactive and entertaining” examples of the media conglomerate’s new offerings for 2013-14. One of its biggest bets is Syfy’s video game/linear TV show Defiance—and, presumably, an open bar.