Newspapers are acting more like television networks when it comes to selling media to movie studios. A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times did the unusual, perhaps as a sign that when in Rome, it needs to be more Roman: it gave a free full-page ad worth about $50,000 to the Weinstein Company, the new film company from Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The ad touted the company's 17 titles in production.
Media companies should be able to fend off a slight downturn in the advertising market--but not the Tribune Co. The prominent TV station and newspaper group got hit big time having to tell analysts that for the three months ended in September its stations' revenues dropped while operating cash flow plunged 21 percent to $106.6 million.
In this new age of video content, the financial model for distribution windows of TV shows has been, well, thrown out the window. In the old days--the 1990s--cable and syndication would vie for popular TV shows some four years after their initial network launches. Now those two TV distribution windows seem oh-so-analog.
Kids' TV networks are looking at some real financial damage should proposed Federal Communications Commission rules take effect in January. The new rules are pushing commercial kids' programmers to become like public broadcasters--and perhaps even that isn't far enough.
This past summer young men saw 24 percent fewer films than a year ago. For the movie industry, which depends so heavily on one demographic in the summer, this statistic could be cause for some alarm. But given the fickleness of that young group--and perhaps of the research itself--no one should jump to conclusions.
With ratings down for many of its top-rated shows, reality TV isn't what it was. But you'd be surprised to know the new leader in the reality race. No, it isn't "Survivor" or "The Apprentice," the Mark Burnett-produced shows that had been kings in the past. Right now the king-of-reality title belongs to none other than ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
Dear DirecTV: I hear you are abandoning TiVo and starting up your own digital video recorders
and software. That's really nice--considering I just bought your cheapy TiVo digital video recorder last week, all touted in an ad campaign to sell the product. So, where does that leave me in future years? Just asking, TV Watch.
Reality TV is now taking jobs away from union actors--but casting still continues on the shows as if reality "stars" were real actors. Still, networks aren't necessarily to blame for this trend.
Rock bands now skillfully use marketing, especially on TV, for self-promotion. This seems quite a distance from an earlier generation, who would snub profit for creative artistry.
ABC has given "Jimmy Kimmel Live" another season, extending the show through 2006 -- which may not yet be such a strong endorsement for a late-night show.