Jan 23, 2010
Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 69: Leno, Conan, and New New Media .... in which I replay for you the entire 48-minute interview Fred W. Hofmann conducted with me on KCPS Radio, January 19, 2010, about the shake-up with Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien at NBC. My thesis is that this has little to do with the talents of either late-night comedian, but rather is a result of the shift in audiences from network television to cable and the Internet. I began to explore this shift in my 2009 book, New New Media, and I see the Leno-O'Brien events as just the latest rumblings in a television revolution which has just begun... Links:
home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv
more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com
published on 3 September 2009: New New Media
my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates "challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly "Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book
Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE
thirteen and a half years ago
The biggest challenge to the networks has been the cable stations. When Cronkite reported news, he only had two other stations to worry about. Statistically, he would expect to get about a third of all news watchers. Nowadays, there\'s about double that. I remember the old days when you only had 10 choices--11 if you turned off the TV. Nowadays there\'s about ten times that, depending upon what stations your subscribed to. And I seem to recall seeing something that said TV viewing is actually up overall.
I don\'t see broadcast TV (or radio) going anywhere soon, simply because it has one major advantage over the Internet: it reaches a LOCAL audience. The Internet is designed to reach an international audience. While you can still reach some people who might be local, you\'re not going to get as big a percentage. Broadcasting on the radio might allow you to reach 10,000 listeners. To reach that many locally out of your Internet audience you could need to reach millions, if not hundreds of millions. So for a chiropractor or car dealer, broadcasting is a much better option. As such there will always be revenues to support it.
It\'s also worth noting that while people are turning to the Internet, what they\'re watching is mostly material made for broadcast TV. There just isn\'t the advertising money yet to support anything anywhere near the quality of TV entertainment.
And even amongst podcasts, there\'s hardly anything in the way of true entertainment. 99% of podcasts are talk. There are podiobooks and a few audio plays, but video entertainment is scarce. It\'s still going to take a long time before the Internet can provide any true competition to TV.