Look Up, Reports of Gloom are Just Indicators – Friday’s Memo

Channel 10 in Albany, New York, WTEN, one of Young Broadcastings 15 stations, seeks bankruptcy protection. The Gannett Company cuts stock dividends by 90%. The Rocky Mountain News says goodbye to readers in Denver. Dell Computer’s quarterly profit fell half way. Yahoo reorganizes and even the giant Microsoft lays off thousands of workers. MediaWeek reports the local advertising market shrinks. These facts are scary but you must look at them as indicators so you can remove fear.

These indicators of the state of the industry are statistics to guide us in the future. Broadcast Newsroom Computing will once a week stop pushing forward and take time for assessment and encouragement in a Friday memo.

It is definitely time to look at facts and determine a solution or at least a humanistic strategy to stem jobs losses and save lives. These are troubling but also very exciting and innovative times. I wake every morning rushing to spread the word about technology and advances it has brought.

I believe we will realize a fundamental change in the way we do business. I know many of you face the dilemma of holding down and cutting expenses while maintaining the quality of your business. I am energized by tremendous resources available to assist in changing the way we carry out commerce. However we must press on without panic.

Rarely would any of us have an hour of free time to watch a poor quality video on the Internet but there is one I strongly recommend viewing.  Overlook having to strain your eyes to see charts and the almost static camera position. Listen absorbedly to Dr. Eli Goldratt’s admonitions for dealing with the global economic downturn. He is an internationally recognized leader in the development of new business management philosophies and systems. He recently offered his more than 30-years of insight for free at the Pacific Lutheran University’s Largerquist Concert Hall. I believe my hour looking at the video was well spent and enlightening.

Goldratt is an interesting character who proclaims how much he hates technology. In his expression of contempt for technology was one point so many of us seem to miss. The author complained he found it hard to push the right button but could turn a page in a book. Take his complaint to heart and remember for technology to better assist us we must keep it as simple as turning a page in a book.

Next week BNC will have more resources to help maintain the quality of news production and hold down costs.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company

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