Behind the current flood of job cuts are broken companies requiring a more enterprising fix. The recession is prompting massive layoffs in all media sectors, even at the biggest players. The scramble for survival masks the urgent need for major restructuring.
A record number of consumers are choosing to shop online this holiday season because the instant price comparisons, social-network recommendations, free shipping and other interactive tools save time and money. It is a behavioral shift that is permanently changing commerce and advertising.
Unlike the other monumental challenges confronting president-elect Barack Obama, broadband interactivity can be an immediate, universal catalyst for commerce, communications and wide-ranging productivity. It can generate new jobs, revenue streams and profits in a better economy requiring minimal investment.
Interactive consumers will be the salvation of a painful, protracted recession in surprising and constructive ways--if only media and Internet companies respond to trends that spur digital growth and opportunity.
Yahoo's deepening problems could be expeditiously addressed by a multi-pronged value-creating deal involving Time Warner's AOL and Velocity Interactive-- if the principals could just agree on the value of the newly combined entity.
Amid the worst consumer confidence and negative GDP in decades, people are finding more ways to consume their favorite entertainment for free. That trend will adversely impact the balance sheets of media companies hoping that pay-for-play or pay-for-access will offset reduced ad spending.