• TV Executives And Talent Who Sucker-Punch And Live To Tell About It
    Had enough of Leno and O'Brien? Not us. We're punch-drunk with late-night love. Seems Jay Leno now feels he was "sucker-punched" by Jimmy Kimmel when Kimmel was a guest on Leno's soon-to be-history 10 p.m. show. Which got us thinking about TV's other sneak attacks that made us feel less oxygenated.
  • TV Shows Need To Be MultiDimensional -- With A Brand Manager Attached
    A really successful TV show doesn't have much to do with actual pixels, cast salaries, or story arcs. These days TV success is about "becoming" more than a TV show. It isn't extra money anymore; this tactic is now essential. The TV show is just the creative starting point.
  • TV Advocacy Commercials? Give Them All Equal Weight, If You Can
    CBS might have had better timing for its decision to ease restrictions on advocacy commercials. The network should have put out phone calls to the likes of Planned Parenthood, the National Organization of Women, and MoveOn.org, all to say: "Hey, if you were thinking about an advocacy commercial, perhaps now would be a good time. We got this thing called the Super Bowl coming up in February. It's a pretty big deal."
  • Big Ratings Equal Big Buzz - But Maybe Not For Long
    Here's a truth about mass media and broadcasting: When viewers see a value, they'll tune in -- sometimes unexpectedly. Conan O'Brien's last "Tonight Show" episode got what was almost the highest non-sports program ratings on NBC this season. (Only a "Biggest Loser" premiere did a bit better). The lure of old quarterback-warrior Brett Favre -- as well as a close, exciting NFL championship game between the Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints -- gave Fox the best numbers for that event since 1982.
  • Want To Dodge Barrage Of Corporately Funded Political Ads? Press This Little Button
    Corporately backed advertising for political issues and candidates will seemingly now run wild. But all this may turn viewers into bigger skeptics of any TV messaging -- even more so for those who have message-avoiding technology.
  • NBC's Real Late-Night Picture: Network Was Losing Money
    NBC now gives us a clearer picture of how "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" was doing: apparently, dripping in red ink. Surprise! That show has never lost money before -- ever.
  • TV's Upfront Ad Rollercoaster: It'll Be Up -- And Down As Well
    Don't be fooled by the new surge in some TV ad spending -- there's more going on than meets the eye. Take Olympic spending this year. Interpublic Cos. Magna research group says that this year's Olympic games will generate $488 million in "incremental revenue," much of it going to TV platforms. But this is way down from the $650 million in incremental revenue during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.
  • What Do TV Stations Need In 2010? Less National Programming, For One
    TV stations need to embrace more of their localism to be successful in the coming years -- which could mean no more new court or tabloid magazine shows. We're talking about the current failure of trying to cater to an entire DMA the same way. In the digital age, this is too much "broadcasting." Stations need to go far beyond local efforts and focus much more on micro-localism.
  • Not Just The Wrongs But The Rights At NBC, Along With Finger-Pointing
    t's never a black-and-white TV world, despite all the negatively charged feelings around Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and NBC in general. All this begs the question: What has NBC Universal President/CEO Jeff Zucker done right?
  • TV's Biggest Show Hasn't Saved The Music Industry
    Years ago, an editor pushed me to write a story about how "American Idol" would save the music business. I didn't write that story because I didn't believe it -- along with the fact that no music business forecasters would offer up such a theory.
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