TV networks are feeling better about themselves; so are movie studios, coming off a record-breaking theatrical box-office year. Maybe a few premium video Web sites are high five-ing as well. But the DVD business? All roads point south.
After 850 interviews for the new Oprah Winfrey biography, what do we know about her that we didn't already know? Not much. We are told she's a hard-driving businesswoman with little left for her personal life. That may not be news to most people.
Just in time for the upfront, TV marketers will now consider Conan O'Brien... on TBS. While outsiders all assumed O'Brien's obvious next stop after his ouster at NBC was Fox, few looked at the real business math at work. That's why this nuts-and-bolts, unglamorous tale is ultimately about TBS.
Farmers do it. So do currency and gold traders, and coffee growers. Why shouldn't movie executives? Yet a lot of nay-sayers have turned up in the wake of two companies looking to establish a futures commodity market based on the movie business.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine from England came to visit. We took her right over to a New York City-type deli after she arrived -- where she was instantly paralyzed, surveying the hundreds of possible combinations of sandwiches. When asked what she wanted, she said, "Nothing." It seems this kind of paralysis is occurring more frequently among consumers because of the sheer volume of growing digital entertainment options. Companies like Amazon and Netflix -- and now some TV content providers -- have begun dealing with this issue by offering various kinds of suggestions.
Nike has some guts. It never backed down from keeping Tiger Woods, when all other Woods sponsors ran for cover. Now it shows up the day before Woods return to the Masters with a commercial that features a voiceover of his late father, Earl Woods. Does it sell compassion, guilt with sympathy, forgiveness after recklessness... or golf caps?
Once again, the seemingly simple picture of TV ratings reveals that there is a lot more behind the pixels.
You can always interview for a new job while still at your existing job. But it's probably not a good idea to do too much for your prospective new employer.
TV's spring appears in lamb's clothing -- but a lion could be revealed. Tiger Woods' practice session at the Masters yielded little-to-no outbursts from the gallery of onlookers. TV and golf tournament executives feared a lot worse. Then again, real play hasn't started yet.
Simpler technology. Big screen. No physical keyboard (who writes anything longer than 140 characters anyway?) That's what the iPad is about.