• New Reality TV:Real Criminal Characters Helping TV Ad Sales
    The power of TV still lights up faux celebrities, from impeached former governors to overloaded mothers with too many children looking for more -- and now, an imprisoned NFL star.
  • Stations Experiment With 'Stimulus' Packages
    In its latest initiative, TV station owner Allbritton probably isn't thinking only about its employees' transportation needs. No doubt future advertising relationships weighed heavily in the company's decision to provide employees with a $2,000 credit if they buy a new vehicle from struggling local car dealerships.
  • Cable Networks: NOT Wannabe Broadcast Networks
    Cable may know its place, may know what it doesn't want to be in the TV viewing world. For example, FX's President/General Manager John Landgraf says cable still needs to be different from broadcast -- that too much of a good thing, might just be a mediocre thing. Landgraf says you probably won't see FX developing programming in mass like the broadcast networks. All this would lead to lesser quality shows, he says, and more costly network operations.
  • NBC Spins A Different Upfront -- But Is It Really Business As Usual?
    For the better part of a year and a half, NBC has shrugged off the value of the typical upfront week for advertisers, saying business needs to be done differently. But are there real changes here or not?
  • Maybe NBC Needs To Offer Incentive For 10 P.M. Switch
    New research suggests NBC may be right -- and wrong -- about its programming decision to run Jay Leno every weeknight at 10 p.m. Maybe it needs to tinker a bit with its plans. TiVo research says that at 10 p.m. many viewers are either watching DVR-ed programs, or "abandoning that hour of television altogether."
  • TV Shows About Depressing Times Make Depressing Sense
    Though the stock market seems to be showing momentum toward improvement, market analysts, and even one network, doesn't believe it for a second. Not only are media stock market analysts still pessimistic -- but broadcast networks are looking to exploit the downturn. Fox, for example, is starting a reality show, "Someone's Gotta Go," which follows a real-life company where a real person will be fired from a real job. Nice. By the way -- who is going to advertise in this uplifting piece of entertainment?
  • The Internet And Local TV: Competitors Or Partners?
    The Internet and local television stations seem like naturally competitive media platforms. But there's another line of thinking: that each could use the other's help.
  • TV Journalistic Rules Of The Road: Illegal Is Still Illegal
    TV and film critics need to respect the rules -- most of the time. Fox News' Roger Friedman (no relation, as far as I know) knew he was breaking the rules in regard to the new Fox Film Entertainment movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" when he reviewed a pirated copy of the film, which won't be released until May. At first one might say that journalistic intrepidness is a positive mark on one's curriculum vitae. Not so. His bosses fired him because News Corp., as well as Fox News, has zero tolerance for anyone grabbing what, as it turns out, is ...
  • TV Stations Want Their Own Revolutionary Programming Changes
    Think TV stations are desperately worried about losing precious network shows? Maybe not so much. NBC's big Boston affiliate, WHDH-TV, doesn't believe the network's new 10 p.m. Jay Leno talk show will work. Maybe station execs are pissed there'll be less traditional scripted TV dramas on the network. No matter. Just like that, execs say the station will air its own local news.
  • Asking Viewers To Pay Again for TV Programming? Don't Ask
    Walt Disney's chief executive Bob Iger wants to keep his digital options open -- and mostly free for consumers. Some of his business distribution partners feel they are being left out of the mix.
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