My four-year-old just graduated from Noggin to Nickelodeon. Now she needs to take another course -- one in commercial-skipping.
News Corp's Rupert Murdoch is focused on keeping his newspaper businesses going strong -- but Google seems to be in the way. Is it also in the way of Murdoch's TV properties?
Don't get sucked into the euphoria of quick hits like "Twilight: New Moon" pulling in $140 million at the box office this past weekend -- the fourth biggest opening for a movie ever. There is still trouble ahead in DVD-land -- though some factors point to a more favorable future.
What happens to TV's syndication business and its TV station clients, now that Oprah Winfrey is leaving? Perhaps the question should have been asked a few year ago, when things began to go sour, with the sharing of valuable off-network sitcoms with cable networks, and fewer new high-rated, first-run shows. More recently, there's been a nearly deadly 30% to 40% decline in local TV advertising sales. Last week, Winfrey added to the bad wave of news, going to the enemy, (maybe frenemy), cable.
NBC Universal President/CEO Jeff Zucker expects a Comcast-NBC Universal-General Electric deal by Thanksgiving. That's the day someone usually delivers a turkey. But NBC's local affiliates are also part of the deal. This will mean Comcast will now have a closer association with TV stations, and not just in business partnerships like retransmission deals.
If Comcast is really serious about avoiding future derogatory adjectives -- like "dumber" pipe -- it should take a page out of a business it has long been associated with: Build NBC up as a cable network. Forget about all the digital/online distribution of content for the moment -- and even the issue about whether Jeff Zucker should hang around after the deal is completed. Holding onto the NBC network and giving it a new financial model is the real key.
Fractionalized TV -- some may call it polarizing TV -- makes sense for everyone. Some say the aim of the Obama administration is to transform those in the minority (in this case those who voted for McCain, the losing Republican candidate) into a fringe-like group. If some seem like they are on the periphery, that's good for the White House. For Fox, it's also a benefit. "Fringe" status also means more engaged viewers. That means they'll have higher recall when it comes to advertisers' ads.
You may believe that poor people are the thinnest people around, especially when little money equals less food. For the really indigent -- especially in non-developed countries -- this can still be the case. But for those richer countries (especially the U.S.), the modern developed world yields heavier humans. That's what 21h century food manufacturing can do for you: fast-food is cash-easy. The downside is always about health -- especially among our younger citizens. In this regard, a couple of Congressional representatives want to start up more legislation to curtail food marketing to kids on TV shows.
The parents of "balloon boy" have pleaded guilty to a massive hoax costing Colorado-area state and federal officials some $70,000 -- and huge embarrassment for all. There could be fines and jail time -- but it won't end there. Now we know that Richard Heene, who led his family into a couple of appearances in "Wife Swap" and was the mastermind behind the hoax featuring his son and a balloon, is looking for an "employment opportunity" in New York or California.
Many stand-up comedians have a "blue" act -- profane-laced bits, targeted for adult humor -- to go along with their clean TV acts. Now comes the popular "Shit My Dad Says" Twitter page - in which the title, as well as virtually all posts, contain hefty amounts of profanity. CBS is looking to make a TV show from this blue Internet content.