Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Week in Review: Bankruptcies, Restructurings, and Lawsuits, Oh My

Lots happening in the media world this week... below are some of the stories and events I found most intriguing:
  • The Wall Street Journal looks at the increasingly dire state of the local broadcast station business;
  • MyNetwork TV announces that it is transforming itself (yet again) -- this time, it is shifting from a "more traditional broadcast model" to a "hybrid national program distribution service" (in other words, airing syndicated fare but at the same date/time across the country). The good news? It looks like the WWE is staying put;
  • Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable is one step closer to being a stand-alone company;
  • Though I take issue with some of the writer's conclusions regarding print v. visual media, there are some useful statistics in this article from the International Herald Tribune regarding current media consumption practices;
  • Speaking of media consumption practices, here are a few recent figures regarding online viewing (not surprisingly, many of those "lost" viewers of Lost seem to be turning up online). But how do we count these nontraditional viewers? Yet another person offers his two cents on current audience measurement practices;
  • Reading this interview with Disney exec Gary Marsh might cause one's eyes to roll to the back of their head more than once. Yet it is nonetheless a fascinating take on how Disney thinks it can attract more boys (ages 6-14) to TV with its newly re-branded "Disney XD";
  • It looks like discussions about enacting "opt-in" privacy policies for online advertising are beginning to receive more regulatory attention -- and more press coverage;
  • There may be many media companies tanking, but hey, at least Netflix is doing well;
  • The future may be getting dimmer still for Miramax, as Disney strikes a deal with DreamWorks;
  • And finally...former Miramax heads, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, add yet another lawsuit to their queue -- this time, their targets include indie financing/management powerhouse Cinetic and prominent "independent" company, Lionsgate

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So much to blog about, so little time...

A great deal is going on in the media industries right now (layoffs, billions in losses, shifting business models, etc.)...I wish I could pause to blog about all that is happening. Unfortunately, with the semester now in high gear, time is limited, to say the least.

Until this time magically becomes available (spring break, perhaps?), I am making a concerted effort to continue feeding articles onto this blog via Furl (see the right column of the blog, labeled "Recent Articles on the Media Industries").

A few recent articles I found particularly compelling...
  • The Hollywood Reporter ponders how tightening credit markets will impact film production practices
  • Transcript of Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer's rousing keynote at the NATPE conference (aka TV is dead, long live TV...have we heard this one before?)
  • And my favorite...a recent NY Times article about how and why infomercials are on the rise in prime time (I am personally fascinated by the ads for bronze Obama busts being replayed nonstop during The Rachel Maddow Show and other MSNBC prime time shows)