Friday’s Memo – And the Winner Is

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I bow to idiom. 

Here are some headlines from the week past.

Pew: TV-News Biz Stinks

Pew Research Center Report: More Troubling Signs for Broadcast Networks

Barrington 4Q Same-Station Rev. Up 4.7%

Signs of hope at Gray Television

The headings describe the state of the media.  It depends on who’s reporting.  Is the glass half full or half empty?  Those idioms again.  Both Gray and Barrington made money in the 4th quarter. 

The Pew Research Center yesterday issued their annual research findings – “State of the News Media.”   Read the short version and form your own opinion of the state of the news media.

Last year was an election year.  Even though pols get breaks they pour money into advertising.  Automakers spent less on ads in 2008.  The Pew report describes the situation among newspapers as survival of the strongest. Cable and Internet revenues were stronger last year.  So, I guess they are the winners. The devil is in the details though. More idioms. 

PRC calls their report the bleakest yet but their executive summary has signs of hope.  Work needs to be done to understand how news is consumed these days.  The Pew report is extensive but broken up so you can read what pertains to you first.

One has to realize the world has changed drastically in the just the last six months, however it has taken longer to arrive where the economy is today.  The research center makes it plain in their findings media has to adapt immediately and creatively.

The Annual Report on American Journalism has six major trends it believes will shape this year still ahead of us.  Top of the list – how to finance the news industry.  The article criticizes industry leaders for possibly ignoring research in new areas.  PRC admits a magic bullet will be hard to discover. Damn idioms.

Next week Broadcast Newsroom Computing looks to the clouds in cyberspace.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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