• Exactly HOW Accurate Must Historical Content Be These Days?
    Here's what one media executive said about the decision of A&E's History not to air the miniseries "The Kennedys": "They say 'it is not a fit for the History brand.' But somehow 'Ice Road Truckers' and 'Pawn Stars' are? Give me a break."
  • Is Network Prime Time's 18-49 Bottom Line Still A MOVING Line?
    For some on-the-ropes broadcast network programs, it's kind of like getting selected to NCAA March Madness -- for next TV season, who is going to the big dance?
  • Oprah's Going Off The Air, But There's Still Time To Engage With Her
    A couple of weeks ago, media business executives at an industry event were asked a usual industry question: What your favorite TV show? United Talent Agency's Jay Sures took me by surprise when he said, "The Oprah Winfrey Show." It kind of shocked me because you'd expect big-time media executives to roll off the name of some high-brow broadcast network drama or HBO movie -- perhaps a comedy. But a talk show?
  • Sting Operations Reveal Media Hypocrisy
    The NPR sting has engulfed the media in a maelstrom of hypocrisy. If Vivien Schiller is canned for her behavior, why not Roger Ailes or Glenn Beck? Let's clean house across the political spectrum.
  • Could 2011 Be A Year Of Real Change In TV/Video Distribution?
    We are well into the first quarter of 2011 -- and TV networks still can't decide whether or not to be in the digital distribution business. But they know what they don't want -- new kinds of digital services looking to change the game again.
  • CBS Takes Aim At Newspapers With Local Websites
    t makes sense that CBS CEO Leslie Moonves wants to make his company's single-market websites into the new local newspapers. He's got the wide reach of TV to promote the just-rolled-out sites.
  • Keep Emotions Out Of It When Sizing Up Performers Like Sheen And Beck
    Whether talking about Charlie Sheen, Glenn Beck or Conan O'Brien, emotions can run high. But network executives always look to take emotion out of highly charged situations. Of course, you'll never see that. It happens off-air, which is perfectly appropriate. For all the on-air barbs Sheen has levied at people, you have to figure someone was calmly doing the numbers.
  • Rooting For Millionaires: No Problem For Viewers, But The Storylines Need To Deliver
    Whether it's sports stars versus owners, actors versus networks and producers, or broadcasters versus cable systems, TV watchers can pick sides -- and root for their favorite millionaires. The lure is not the money, but the drama around the participants. You can't put a price on that.
  • With Pressure On Its Funding, Can Public Broadcasting Increase Sponsor Dollars?
    The pressure is on public broadcasting. Some in Congress already believe there are too many TV and video networks, stations, and digital areas, a lot of it free with advertising support. Why should the taxpayer pay for more of it?
  • Current Joins Cable's One-Hit Wonder Strategy -- But Will Viewers Keep Buying Into These Brand Extensions?
    We may be well into the digital content age, but with traditional cable networks -- or for that matter, any TV networks -- it now comes down to having one big hit show that moves the needle. Joel Hyatt, executive vice chairman and co-founder of Current Media, said exactly this at a conference in New York, speaking of course in reference to his new hire, ex-MSNBCer Keith Olbermann.
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