As the press obsessed on Rosie O'Donnell's exit from "The View" and gave passing notice to Heather Mills' last dance, it pretty much ignored a new report from the Federal Communications Commission suggesting Congress limit the amount of violence on TV and cable. Rosie on "The View" probably doesn't count in FCC definitions of violence, but in my opinion embracing and accepting her behavior is more destructive to young people than the vast majority of prime-time violence.
Mindshare's annual Clutter Watch study -- released just in time for the upfront frenzy -- is a valuable barometer for how the TV business is evolving pods, promos and other brand messaging. Each year that passes, the study becomes more valuable, enabling us to better understand trends while the business seeks to come to terms with an audience that seems to be fragmenting not only by channel, but also by platform.
If memory serves me well, back in the mid-'50s two opposing media research forces were vying for hegemony over the naming and defining rights for the media term "a media market," a physical piece of property that was defined by many characteristics like number of people, homes, education, families, dwelling, income, boundaries, occupation -- that would stretch continuously in many shapes and sizes across the United States. The two top contenders were ADI (audience of dominant influence) and DMA (designated marketing area).
This is an especially difficult column to write this week. All my instincts cry out to avoid participating in the emerging debate over the publication, distribution and redistribution ad nauseum of the photos, video and manifesto of sick, deranged Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui. Once again, the media is in the spotlight this week, as bloggers and discussion boards, as well as professional commentators and critics, debate the actions of NBC and others.
No one who has paid the slightest attention to the issue over the past couple of years can possibly be surprised by the FTC's announcement that this summer food and beverage companies will be receiving formal demands for details of their advertising and marketing strategies as they pertain to children.
In the mid-'90s, when the FCC was publicly discussing the termination of analog broadcast transmissions -- sometime in the first decade of the 21st century -- and allocating digital spectrum to TV stations, I thought the promise of the digital terrestrial value proposition was terrific.
Should Don Imus have been fired by both MSNBC and CBS? The more appropriate question is why he was fired at this particular time, when he has been making blatantly biased and bigoted comments for more than two decades. The problem is that Imus has become increasingly bitter, scathing, cruel and insensitive -- while at the same time becoming less funny and generating declining revenues.
I spent a good deal of yesterday -- from about 7 a.m. -- within earshot of a TV. Worryingly, after all these hours of exposure to news on the Big Daddy of all media, I can recall only three things that happened in the world today -- none of particular importance in the larger scheme of things.
Last week's press coverage of Google and satcaster EchoStar's ensuing partnership generated a lot of questions from friends and family concerning its efficacy. The following is list of random thoughts I had -- not necessarily in order of importance -- about the engagement and its interim success. Please share yours when you have a moment.
This weekend HBO premieres the first of the final nine episodes of "The Sopranos." This landmark series promises to go out with a bang. Perhaps several bangs as two families square off, loyalties are frayed, and conflicts turn to gunshots. Where, though, does television go from here?