The Most Memorable Moments From 2019’s NewFronts Week

From a big snake to even bigger stars

Studio71's presentation included a massive python, which elicited audible gasps and nervous laughter among attendees.
Stephanie Berenson/Studio71

The 2019 Digital Content NewFronts are finally winding down, capping a dizzying week of events and cocktail parties today with the IAB’s day-long NewFronts insight symposium. In case you missed any of the events, or your NewFronts experience ended up morphing into one long digital-themed blur, Adweek has rounded up the most memorable moments from each NewFronts event. (And if you missed any of our NewFronts coverage, you can find it here.)

MediaLink’s kickoff breakfast: The most astonishing element of the breakfast was not the content—a discussion of advertising and media trends with execs from Google/YouTube, MediaLink, JPMorgan Chase and UM Worldwide—but the fact that MediaLink was able to pack a room at Google’s 10th Avenue offices at the early hour of 7:30 a.m. —Diana Pearl

The New York Times: In an early-morning presentation that kicked off NewFronts, Times execs (including its own publisher) tried to impress upon the audience the importance of news. But buyers reacted most strongly to the last part of the presentation: solving the next day’s crossword puzzle. A lot of attendees left during this portion because it moved too slow, perhaps proving the point that not all things done in print deserve to be an IRL experience with others. —Sara Jerde

BBC News: At BBC News’ third annual NewFront, BBC Global News CEO Jim Egan talked about TV news in 2019 and why advertisers need to be involved. “I don’t think the right response to the understandable concerns that advertisers, agencies and brands have about news is to simply say, ‘Well we aren’t going to advertise on news at all,’ because that will make what we’re seeing in the industry worse, rather than better,” he said. Egan and his presenting colleagues stood on a round platform surrounded by the audience and made sure to speak to different parts of the room throughout—an effective dynamic for attendees. —A.J. Katz

Viacom Digital Studios: While Viacom kept its second NewFronts event focused on a young demo—with appearances by YouTube stars Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels and excited announcements like “Nala Cat is going to be joining us for cocktails!”—the audience seemed more engaged with the parts that targeted a slightly older demo. That included an appearance from comedian David Spade to tout his upcoming 11:30 late-night Comedy Central show (“I couldn’t be more fake-thrilled to announce that we’re also developing a new digital original series,” were among his many lines that elicited laughs) and the news that Pluto TV—the free, ad supported streaming service Viacom bought in March—will soon launch a channel exclusively airing episodes of The Hills, ahead of this summer’s revival.

Twitter: While Twitter is often touted as a platform for journalists, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos told attendees it has “literally saved” him from jail. While speaking on stage at Terminal 5, he recalled a moment from last February while he was in Caracas, Venezuela, to interview Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Maduro had president abruptly stopped the conversation early and asked for Ramos, his team and their equipment to be detained. However, right before he was taken into custody, Ramos said he contacted his boss in Miami, who began posting a tweetstorm about the situation.  “Everybody in the world knew that we had been detained,” Ramos said. “And let me tell you something: Before we were about to be put on a bus and possibly to jail, I remember telling the government agents and police: Have you checked your Twitter accounts?’… Some of them started checking their cell phones and their face changed completely, and a few minutes later, we were released.” Marty Swant

Studio71: The media company took the stage at AXA Equitable Center on Tuesday afternoon for a two-hour talk dotted with influencers boasting millions of followers. One of these characters, Mike Holston, brought a little something extra to the presentation: a massive, muscular reticulated python that looped around his face, resulting in audible gasps and nervous laughter among the assembled buyers. It’s fitting for the Instagrammer, a former zookeeper who now goes by @therealtarzann and boasts 5.3 million followers watching his international adventures with everything from dogs to chameleons to, yes, even pythons. —Shoshana Wodinsky

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