A week before the start of the new TV season and advertising market, things are "positive," "bottomed-out," or "encouraging" -- you pick the word -- according to our most senior media executives. Even then, please toss in some qualifiers.
When has product placement ever turned a viewer off? I can think of one probable instance, NBC's "The Restaurant" featuring Rocco DiSpirito, which ran a few years back and got some bad returns from viewers/bloggers. But not enough to say that product placement was why the show failed.
The idea that mobile advertising will be the savior for most flagging businesses, including local TV stations and their flagging local TV newscasts, might be a more difficult road to travel. Current click-through rates on mobile phones are only half that of click-through rates on the Internet: 0.48% to the Internet's 0.83%, according to a recent study.
The question for Ellen DeGeneres is whether this is her Dennis Miller "Monday Night Football" moment. ABC put Miller in the booth to liven up the sometimes technical process of game strategy -- the Xs and Os of the NFL game. Miller had a casual knowledge of football. But his biggest asset came from those quippy, fast-entertaining-on-the-moment remarks.
Make the TV more like a PC, Mac, or the device of the day -- the iPhone -- with applications for the TV screen, and what do you get? More value -- or just more confusion?
What's the right number for a cable network? TNT says that would be six original programs. It runs two one-hour dramas each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That lesson may be transferred to broadcast as well. With TV shows looking down the barrel of less than one in 10 making it, it becomes more a business of closely monitoring, if not lowering, your specific number.
I don't know about you, but when I'm thinking business news -- and especially Fox Business news -- I'm thinking Don Imus. The nascent cable channel will simulcast the Imus radio show in an early morning time period, no doubt to give that still-small network some new marketing spin.
Is YouTube morphing into more of a TheirTube business? Now the popular video site is considering adding pay theatrical movies to its site, according to new reports.
ESPN looks for the day when a real long distance coast-to-coast interview between, say, LeBron James and a "SportsCenter" anchor will be possible. Enter holograms.
For years, media prognosticators have mourned the coming death of TV's upfront market. Turns out they should have been mourning the death of upfront market information and gossip.