Cable ad sales executives shrugging their shoulders at reports about cord-cutting, declining ratings and digital spending shifts threatening their business can probably continue to rest easy for a while. Projections call for all of the top-25 networks in 2011 ad revenues to post gains this year except two: the ratings-challenged Nickelodeon and CNN.
During the Republican primary debates, candidate Newt Gingrich essentially had one message: I can debate President Obama better than anyone, so vote for me. Like him or not, Gingrich is smart, quick-on-his-feet and can dial up some zingers. Romney beat Gingrich, but does he stand a chance against Obama on the debate stage?
There's little surprise the DVR has impacted how the Big Four networks put together their prime-time line-ups with people recording shows to watch later. And, yet there's still an adherence to the old days when an 8 p.m. show was to elegantly lead into the next hour, which would flow into the hour after that - hopefully with one night even setting the table for the next. At least, that's the world where CBS operating.
Odds of succeeding in the restaurant business are about on par with developing a TV hit. Bravo has figured out how to navigate the TV road many times over. So, why wouldn't it give the brick-and-mortar culinary business a go?
There's a lot of irony going on here. In 2010, Cablevision had Fox blacked out for two weeks in a nasty fee dispute. Similarly, it now has New York's CW affiliate (WPIX) off the air. But, it's gone to court trying to help Fox and WPIX get the dollars it hates paying them.
With Aereo, there's an entertaining contrast between funder and fundee. Barry Diller, the chairman of financial backer IAC, has been a big-talking and provocative champion of the service, which streams live broadcast channels to mobile devices. Company CEO Chet Kanojia is low-keyed and reticent.
The organization launched with such promise. It was going to avoid politics as usual. It was more interested in justice than the ballot box. It would have appeal across party lines. But now it needs a reboot. The leader, Stephen Colbert, needs to meet with himself and devise a plan to win hearts and minds between now and election day.
Questions about the possibility of a DirecTV merger with Dish Network keep coming up. Shareholders and executives of the two companies might embrace one, but hopefully for consumers, the marriage will never happen.
There are multiple reasons why advertisers are drawn to the 18-to-49 demographic. The least interesting is the potential for a more efficient buy. As one long-time industry observer put it: you pay for the 18-to-49 viewers and anyone 50-plus watching, you get for free.
President Clinton didn't have a monopoly on all the great lines at the Democratic National Convention. How about this one from President Obama poking fun at the deluge of political ads: "If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me - so am I." But all those spots from him and his opponent and their affiliated super PACs and national committees may not be working. A law of diminishing returns may apply.