Monday, May 11, 2009

Okay, folks this is why big corporate media sucks:

from Media Buyer

President Obama’s three recent prime time news conference pre-emptions have cost the Big Four TV networks an estimated $30 million in ad revenue this year, executives say.

Fox rejected the President’s most recent press event on April 29, in a move that may serve as precedent for other networks to refuse future White House requests for prime time air time if they believe there will be no urgent breaking news to be discussed, writes Mediaweek. Fox lost as much as $6 million in ad revenue during the President’s second news conference, which forced the network to bump its hit show, American Idol.

While President Obama has proven a ratings darling, with his appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show and CBS’s 60 Minutes giving major boosts in viewership, network executives - none of whom would speak for attribution - feel there have been too many demands at a time when too much money is at stake. They believe the President should speak to the nation earlier in the day, either from 7-8pm or during the evening news telecasts.

But while the networks claim to be considering refusing future White House requests, one industry observer says that will never happen. ABC, CBS and NBC all have nightly national newscasts, prime time news shows and Sunday morning news shows - and keeping the White House happy, and a future Presidential appearance a possibility, is paramount.

The smallest audience of the three news conferences turned out on April 29, but the event still reached 28 million people. The third press conference was down 42% from the first event.

So we're in a financial meltdown only dwarfed by the Great Depression, fighting two wars and trying to re-tool healthcare so American could actually be healthier, but we don't see the need to give Obama airtime if he requests it.

I think the president is operating on the concept that if the electorate understands what he is trying to do perhaps Congress will go along. And maybe, just maybe, he is giving the American people some credit for having brains.

We need information to function as a republic. Are we getting it?

Let's face it for the networks it's all bread and circuses, my friends. Let's have more Britney news, more Madonna adopting orphinks news, more American Idol chatter, more mindless celebrity slop, more time with former VP Dick Cheney sniping at the present administration, more inane real life crime shows, more shows with judges... you see where I'm going here.

This is why the big corporate media needs some sort of break-up. This is why local media must find ways to take their place. This is why an economic model for the Web must be devised.

Tomorrow: an animation riddle – at least for me.
© 2009 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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