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Vice Returning to NYC’s NewFronts; Fusion and Jukin Media Drop Out

The shortened 2018 Digital Content NewFronts is getting a reshuffle less than two weeks before the annual online-ad pitchfest kicks off.

Univision’s Fusion Media Group and social-video network Jukin Media have pulled out of the NewFronts.

Meanwhile, Vice Media is now in the lineup, slated to present Friday, May 4, from 3-5 p.m. Newly appointed Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc and Dominique Delport, chief revenue officer/head of international, are among the execs slated to attend the session at Tribeca’s Spring Studios. Last year, the millennial-skewing media company took the final Friday spot in the first week; then-CEO Shane Smith skipped the event, which featured a boxing match between an exec and the host of one of Viceland’s shows.

Jukin Media exited the NewFronts in New York after deciding that it would instead participate in the first-ever L.A. NewFronts later this year. “Our viewership and reach have never been stronger… and we look forward to presenting in the fall,” a Jukin rep said.

A rep for Fusion Media Group said parent company Univision decided to integrate the FMG brands — which include the former Gawker sites, the Onion — into one overall session rather than having a standalone NewFronts event. Univision is holding a two-day “experiential event” May 14-15 at Spring Studios.

It’s been a turbulent time for Fusion Media Group, as well as Univision, which last week laid off 150 employees. Raju Narisetti, CEO of FMG’s Gizmodo Media Group, said last week he was departing, a month after Fusion Media Group CEO Felipe Holguin and president and chief content officer Daniel Eilemberg left the company. In addition, Univision CEO Randy Falco announced plans to retire a day after the media company scrapped IPO plans.

The NewFronts schedule changes come after the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade group that runs the NewFronts, announced earlier this year that it was truncating the New York series to one week (instead of two). At the same time, it set tentative plans for a second NewFronts run in Los Angeles in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Currently, there are 18 presentations planned for the NewFronts in New York, down from 35 in 2017. That includes an additional session hosted by consulting firm MediaLink on Monday, April 30 — an early 7:30-8:30 a.m. presentation to kick of the week.

In addition, Viacom last month joined the NewFronts lineup, hosting its first-ever presentation to be held on April 30 from 3-5 p.m. at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.

Founded in 2012, the NewFronts ostensibly are patterned on the TV industry’s upfronts events for Madison Avenue buyers to book advertising for the fall season. In reality, while some NewFronts companies say they transact real business out of their events, they’ve been more of an opportunity for online-video players to share their overall positioning and strategies for marketers — and woo them with free food and drink.

Last year, several companies bowed out of the NewFronts, including BuzzFeed, Fullscreen Media, Yahoo and Warner Bros. Digital Networks. New presenters in 2017 included Twitter, BBC and MediaLink, each of which are back again this year.

Here’s the current 2018 NewFronts New York lineup for April 30-May 4 (with changes highlighted in bold italics):

Monday, April 30 Tuesday, May 1 Wednesday, May 2 Thursday, May 3 Friday, May 4
Breakfast
(9-11 AM)
The New York Times Disney Digital Network Hulu Meredith IAB NewFronts Insights Breakfast
Lunch
(12-2 PM)
BBC News Studio71 (new date) ESPN Group Nine Media (11:30-1:30)
Afternoon
(3-5 PM)
Viacom Condé Nast Refinery29 DigitasLBi (2-5 PM) Vice Media
Evening
(6-8 PM)
Twitter Verizon’s Oath YouTube

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