The Future of Broadcasting & Print (again)

It was in last week's post that I wrote about the "coming soon" sign at the new studio for WNET. That's why I was rather surprised to read the next day's headline in Crain's: At Channel 13, the financial signals are red.

As you'll see, the article is about all the problems at WNET. With regard to the new Lincoln Center Studio, this sentence pretty much summed it up for me:

"[The new chief executive of WNET, Neal Shapiro] also signed a deal with Lincoln Center for the street-level Broadway
studio, paying $1 million a year for the 5,000-square-foot space."

Whoa. Seems to me, you can produce a whole lot of great online content for $1 million a year.

In a related note, this weekend I had lunch with a staffer at one of this country's leading print magazines. She matter-of-factly mentioned that the magazine is debating whether it will go all digital… in 2011 or 2012. Inside the company, it's not a debate about "if" it will go digital — but only about "when."

The next wave of fundamental changes to media because of the Internet is happening all around us — clear as day. And what surprises me is that when these changes arrive, so many managers are surprised and unprepared.

The mindset I'm living with is that television and newspapers (and magazines) are artifacts of another era. Sooner than we may think, we'll be living in world in which these media sources will have to reinvent themselves — if they are to survive at all. That's something we all can prepare for now, seems to me. 

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