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Industry Exec: Media Owners Are 'Too Old' For The Young Technologies

It's one of those assertions generally whispered in quiet corners at cocktail parties, not spoken of publicly. But this week an industry leader stepped before a crowd of fellow professionals and said it aloud: Owners of big media companies tend to be too old to fully understand and appreciate the vitality of new technologies. Rupert Murdoch's recent high-tech conversion to the contrary, Fru Hazlitt, of Virgin Radio, told a media gathering in the U.K. that it's "bollocks" that media owners can better understand technology by observing their consumers, and she quoted Henry Ford: "If I listened to my customers, I would have invented a very, very, very fast horse". As reported at, Hazlitt said, "Most people's understanding of technology is hindered because they are scared of it. Consumers don't, for example, really know what the 'killer application' on their mobiles is. But she also said that some major trends in media use had been driven by young consumers; text messaging, for example. What she learnt from her time at Yahoo! was that if you want to get it: 'Watch the kids.' Media owners are all simply too old, said Ms Hazlitt, and struggle with technology that they don't find instinctive. 'My parents had to learn to watch television, and I've had to learn the Internet,' she said."



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