The Future Of Media

I think all-the-time of what I can do next. I’m under contract so it’s not a next week thing. I’ve got some interesting ideas. I have no idea if any of them would be a living.

The state of my industry is not good. This surprises a lot of people. It’s true. This is not a good time to own a broadcast property.

Revenues are down. Some stations may still have a positive cash flow, but not after debt service is figured in. It’s like being upside-down in a mortgage.

We are, by virtue of the technology allotted to us set-up to produce high cost newscasts. These shows are meant to be consumed en mass in a serial fashion, beginning-to-end at a scheduled time. The Internet provides virtually the opposite experience and the audience increasingly likes that.

I think all-the-time of what I can do next. I’m under contract so it’s not a next week thing. I’ve got some interesting ideas. I have no idea if any of them would be a living.

twit-live.jpgI have watched Leo LaPorte. He is on 24/7–live and re-runs. In his studio, he runs the cameras and switcher and audio and everything else. It’s a one-man-band operation. That doesn’t scare me.

What he does is not mass market broadcasting. Leo’s programming is tech oriented. I’m not sure there’s anyone watching other than early adopters. Can this type of programming be successful with a less computer savvy audience?

Meanwhile, Leo is performing the jobs a dozen or more people used to do.

Society has become too efficient for its own good. We need fewer people–certainly fewer expensive people to perform most jobs. Maybe the Luddites were right?

So many jobs are dead end. So many jobs are low wage and low benefit. We are currently undergoing the largest economic shift of my lifetime.

3 thoughts on “The Future Of Media”

  1. While debt servicing makes this challenging time for the news industry, some of the stuff that Leo LaPorte does could have great implications for the news.

    For example, during the snowstorm back on Dec 19th, I set up my webcam to be Woodbridge Snowcam. Using some of the tools that Leo uses, you could set up a nice channel Connecticut snowcams.

    Then, this morning, when my wife slid off our steep black ice covered driveway, I sent a quick message to Twitter about it, and friends around the state talked about the black ice.

    So, any news station that can get out from under the mountain of debt long enough to do a little experimentation could come up with some great ways to build community and with that, viewers, around their broadcasts.

  2. Setting up a webcam and being dependable are two totally different things.

    Alas, Leo’s business model is probably not adaptable to old line media companies. The entire corporate structure and financing would have to radically change which means permission from debt holders and unions.

  3. I’m not sure that this are as totally different as you might think. People wanting dependable disk storage for computers, some years ago, discovered that instead of having one big expensive highly reliable hard disk, you were better of having a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). By using software to take advantage of the redundancy, you could have something that to the end user appeared to be a single disk, and it was much more reliable than any of the older expensive highly reliable disks.

    It seems as if the same could apply to news gathering as more and more people start providing content. While Leo might come and go, or my Woodbridge Snowcam might come and go, like when we lost power today, a weather person who could quickly and easily access thousands of webcams around the state could end up with something quite compelling and dependable.

    That said, for any company to pull this off would probably need the flexibility that current large media companies can’t currently achieve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *