• Emmys Alone Don't Do the TV Marketing
    The Emmy nominations are a great time to ramp up the marketing machines when nothing is going on -- in the dead, slow-moving heat of summer. But, Emmys alone don't mean much.
  • Baseball Needs More Reality TV Spin
    Calling Barry Bonds and Derek Jeter and Mark Burnett -- the All Star Game needs you. Just over 12.3 million viewers watched the Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, which resulted in a Nielsen 4.3 rating/13 share -- the lowest ratings since 1970 when the game was first aired in primetime. The show dropped 14 percent from last year, or 1.5 million viewers.
  • NBC Programming Remedy: Hire a Production Doctor
    NBC is taking no chances for this upcoming season; it's ready to shift gears at a moment's notice with an unusual hire. NBC Universal TV Group has hired its first-ever executive producer at large, more or less. Longtime sports and live event producer Michael Weisman will have the title of executive producer of the NBC Universal TV Group and will report to Jeff Zucker, president of the NBC Universal TV Group.
  • DreamWorks and Pixar Woes
    Boom goes the glutted DVD market -- and with it goes DreamWorks SKG and Pixar Animation Studios. Is anything else in its wake? You can blame too many perfect and less-than-perfect TV series of seasons gone by for some of these problems. The mass public has little interest in these efforts, but a niche audience might want to reminiscence or even buy them as gifts for family members. Anyone for "Cop Rock," "Sports Night," or "Central Park West"?
  • No Poker Faces When TV Poker Is King
    There's no bluffing here - TV advertisers and networks have alternatives to the big masters of the media in the sudden age of media un-consolidation. It comes oddly enough with all those full-houses, straights, two pairs, and three pairs references on TV. TV poker shows -- in case you have been under a casino slot machine for the past two years - have been a surging programming area. Professional, amateur, and celebrity poker tournaments have been seen on many a cable network, and some broadcast networks as well.
  • MTV's Live 8 Behind the Eight Ball
    MTV viewers may have short attention spans, but they still want to hear the song and how it ends. MTV's Live 8 concert producers thought otherwise and during this past weekend's coverage of the worldwide event, which staged concerts in six cities, trigger-happy producers switched quickly between parts of live performances and live interviews. Rarely did viewers hear complete songs. You might excuse Live 8 producers, as quickly edited MTV shows have been a staple at the network and its sister network, VH1, for some time now. MTV's programming intention has been clear for years: less actual music and …
  • OLN Still Needs to Climb a Mountain
    Outdoor Life Network got great mileage out of Lance Armstrong for the last several years, but the network doesn't need to follow his wheel up mountain passes to be successful in the future. Recent press reports worry way too much about what the retirement of Lance Armstrong will do to OLN. The fact is even though OLN pulled its biggest numbers ever for a Tour de France last weekend, averaging 418,735 viewers per telecast -- up 80 percent from last year - the biggest bike race in the world is only three weeks long. The network has 49 other …
  • Kids and TV - Mostly a Bad Combination
    Virtually all TV studies on children lead to the same conclusion that TV is bad for growing minds. But it also creates something else: bullies with proper speech.
  • Media Moguls Retreat
    Warm feelings always curdle my heart this time of year, as my favorite media moguls are chumming around in a blissful state in Sun Valley, Idaho for the annual media mogul retreat put on by longtime investment banker Allen & Co. Calming satisfaction is brought with the knowledge that Walt Disney's Bob Iger can get a brisk game of tennis with Viacom's Sumner Redstone. That's because a relaxed media mogul can only mean good things for the U.S. media consumer.
  • Finances Have TV Networks Moving Across Oceans and Up River
    The TV news business is changing from all ports of call - all the way from Fort Lee, N.J. to Qatar in the Middle East.
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