March 20, 2008
I was surprised to see Apple and Avid will not be at NAB. Is this a protest over rising costs for exhibitors or a statement that the deals are all done with professionals before the show, so the exhibit is just for the consumers who attend? The effect is a loss of two of the centers of gravity for the show.
Though Artbeats is a consistent exhibitor, the rest of us selling stock footage have thought the return on investment was questionable. I remember four years ago, there was a stock footage start-up which was one of the major sponsors of the show. They even threw a semi-lavish cocktail party. They are now bankrupt and out of the business.
There is no question, shows are fun for attendees and a horror for exhibitors. So is it worth it? It depends on the show. For years, NATPE was a premier show attended by all the media elites. Now it is a shell of its former self, populated by independents who have small budget productions and big dreams or the foreign producers who have not yet figured out the parade has moved on. It would be sad to see NAB fall so far.
March 27, 2008
As there is little love lost between ranking Senate Commerce committee man John McCain and the Bush appointee, “you’re doing a great job Brownie” of the FCC, chairman Martin; it is likely he will soon be gone regardless who wins the presidency. That’s the good news.
The bad news is he is still there. Right-wing station group owners in the south are still permitted to censor network programs they deem politically offensive, while the FCC finds offense in the slightest sexual titillation. Blood and gorge during the children’s hour is fine. The sight of Janet Jackson’s 40 year old breast or an F bomb from Bono are reason enough for Martin to impose ridiculous fines. It gets worse.
Some in Congress want to regulate speech on pay channels such as HBO and ShowTime. Should it surprise anyone that these are the people who speak for those who would like to control all speech.
Rather than allow any more consolidation of media interests, the time has come to break up the media conglomerates. Their inbreeding has killed their own newspapers and threatens to make television a casualty of credibility. We know better what Rupert Murdoch thinks than Russians know what Putin thinks. And yet we lecture them about free speech.
The simple answer is to kill the FCC. It was created by an act of Congress and a simple majority can kill it. Either John McCain or the Democratic President to be named later would be glad to sign that bill into law.
One more point before I close this rant...apparently either the problem gamblers known as hedge funds are balking at the price requested or creditors are not lining up to finance the owner's hoped for sale of the Clear Channel Radio Group. George Soros could buy it to eliminate the hate talk which makes up most of their programming or he could sell it off piece by piece, breaking it up into hundreds of pieces. It could be a very healthy precedent to set.