Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today's SCOTUS ruling that corporations and unions can inject as much money into political campaigns as they want has an upside for our industry: lots more political TV ads will be made, and millions more political TV spots will be purchased.

Since business has deep pockets and an ongoing interest in pending legislation, perhaps the "political cycle" income at TV stations will flatten as ads are bought year round and in non-election years, too.

I expect to see plenty of "Paid For By The Chamber Of Commerce" taglines in my future.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


The client doesn't care about how hard you or I might find the jobs they give us.

They do care if they have asked us to do something that is expensive or time consuming, especially when there is a cheap or fast equivalent.

If you and your client have a good long-term relationship, you will tell them of the cheaper, faster alternative, and even if they don't choose it, telling them will cement your partnership.

If you have a bad relationship with the client, or view each job as an opportunity to squeeze as many dollars out of the client, you build up the easy and cheap to appear hard and expensive. You view the truly hard and expensive not as the opportunity to develop a new skill or be a hero to your client, but as another boat payment.

In business, bad relationships don't last long. If most of your relationships with clients are bad, neither will you.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am forever in awe of those who bring us images like this.

My work today seems unimportant in comparison.


Monday, January 11, 2010


Personally, I'm surprised The Prime Time Leno Experiment failed.

My assumption was that an hour of Leno was so much cheaper to produce than an hour of anything else, the total profit would be higher even if nobody watched it. I didn't factor in a station revolt.

The Leno Fail is good for everyone working in TV. It's a reminder that you can't just roll out anything and expect people to watch, and there is still demand for the scripted series- which means many more people will have work compared to a talk show.

I hear the laptops clacking away.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Maximum Annoyance

One of my local broadcast stations is in a retransmission fight with the local cable company. (I get my locals off of satellite, so I don't have a dog in this fight.) I was watching a football game in HD when I got a rude surprise.

The local station ran its crawl reminding us that if you were watching this program through cable, you might be losing access in a few days. Fine- that's their best weapon in this public war. But how they did it stunned me.

To run the crawl, master control had to switch the HD feed to SD. Every time. For 2 of every 10 minutes or so. In other words, A LOT.

That's where these public fights go bad- the collateral damage like me. Because I, an innocent bystander, got drug into the fight, I now think the station owners are:

A. Jerks.
B. Technical dorks for not having an HD crawl
C. Surprised that they haven't set up a direct feed to the cable company so they could isolate who sees the crawl.

This is customer service at its worst- making your user experience as bad as possible as leverage in bargaining.

The station will win this battle, they always do.

But they are losing the war for viewers with tactics like this.