Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thank you Newman!

The New York Times released a story yesterday that announced Newman's Own Foundation, a charatible organization started by late actor, Paul Newman, is giving a 2.2 million dollar grant that will help PBS and nine other local stations. It seems that the current President of the organization, Robert Forrester, wanted to pay homage to the late actor by giving this donation in a form of a grant because Newman "deeply valued" public broadcasting.

The grant was given to help the local stations continue to operate, it will match other donations given from multiple sources. Other stations that will benefit from this grant will be "WNET, Channel 13 in New York city, as well as CPTV, Conneticut Public Television." The grant will also benefit local radio stations such as "WSHU Radio and WAMC Radio."

I am very happy to hear about this story! With growing conglomerates taking over broadcast, local stations are having a hard time keeping up. Espeically non commerical networks like PBS. To me, these networks are important because they provide local programming for communities which is VERY hard to come by. They also create jobs in local areas and smaller markets so that those who wish to be in broadcasting have an avenue. It is incredibly difficult to become a professional in broadcast, especially when top conglomerates are dominating the industry. I think we should all do our part to keep non-commerical networks and local channels up and running! We all benifit from it, whether we know it or not! So i'd just like to take a  moment to say, Thank you Newman! 

Thanks for reading,


To read the original story visit: Newman's Own Gives Matching Grant to PBS

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Future of the Golden Globes?

The New York Times released a story yesterday reporting that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has sued Dick Clark Productions "of trying to misappropriate rights to the Golden Globes by unilaterally entering into a new eight-year contract with NBC." Both the association and the production company have worked together to produce the Golden Globes for years. The lawsuit also asks that anyone except for the association should be blocked from using Golden Globe content without their permission.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a non profit organizaiton that has controlled the Golden Globes since the 1940's. Representatives of the association feel that they should own rights to the Golden Globes and Dick Clark Productions has jepordized that by signing this contract with NBC.

I think that the association seems to have the most control over the show and therefore should get to have rights. Dick Clark Productions only helps with the production of the show and should not be able to share the content of the show with others including NBC unless otherwised cleared to do so. A contract is a contract, and you must follow the rules. I think that it is a good business move for the association to excersise their rights to protect the content of the Golden Globes, which has a growing fan base.

Thanks for reading

Read the original story here: Dick Clark Productions Sued over Golden Globes Deal

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Putting the ropes on Netflix

While many people including myself enjoy the services of Netflix, it seems that others are very unhappy with it's sucess. Various DVD manufacturers such as Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures and Lionsgate want to limit Netflix's reign so that they may begin to, agian, capitalize on their DVD sales. Digital Entertainment Group reported that there was a "14% decrease" in standard DVD sales in "the first three quarters of the year".

Despite the decrease in standard DVD sales, DVD manufacturers are planning to push Blu-Ray DVDs, which aren't seeing such high decreases. Netflix doesn't seem to mind the potential restrictions, responding by saying, "While there are things in the Netflix system that are clearly cannabilistic, there are things we can change. They can pay us more or we can reduce the quality of what they give them."

I personally own Netflix, and this story upsets me. I understand that major companies are hurting with DVD sales, I personally haven't purchased a DVD in awhile. It would be a great business move for these companies to put restrictions on netflix and I understand that. However, I enjoy the services of netflix, I like the freedom to stream movies instantly and to get DVD's mailed to my house and keep them as long as I want. It also seems that they are not keeping the cosumers in mind (as usual). The response from Netflix seems to state a potential for poor quality videos or higher prices. As a consumer, I do not want to be forced to purchase DVD's, pay a higher price for Netflix, OR be forced to watch poor video quality. I think the better business move for these companies is to use Netflix to their advantage. I hope these potential restrictions don't go through! I love Netflix!

Thanks for reading,


to read the full story: How Hollywood Will Squeeze Netflix

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yahoo! For Sale?

FOX Chicago news released a story today disscussing the future of the internet sensation Yahoo!. AOL Inc, and various other equity firms are looking into the possibility of buying Yahoo Inc. Among those equity firms are Silver Lake Parnters and Blackstone Group LP.

Perhaps the spark of this interest in Yahoo Inc has been the rise in it's stock. "Shares of Yahoo jumped 5.7 percent to $15.25 on Wednesday in one of the highest volume days of the year." AOL Inc's market is not as large as Yahoo Inc's and the combination of the two could be very profitable for AOL.

This story reminds me of my previos blog about media consolidation. It seems like many media companies are trying to make the merge into larger conglomerates where they control multiple aspects of the industry. This will maximize profit, so I understand the motives of these companies. However, I wonder if this is in the best interest of the public and I wonder if the FCC should look into  what these companies are doing. We do not want these companies to start controlling whole aspects of the industries. We don't want these companies turning into monopolies.

I still consider companies that are trying to control every aspect of thier particular industry a threat, even though that is not the definition of a monopoly. AOL joining with Yahoo is a great idea for AOL, but is it a great idea for the public?

Thanks for reading

Information from: AOL, Private-Equity Firms Explore Offer to buy Yahoo

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ethical Issue? Media Consolidation

This past Sunday, the New York Times covered a story about the merge between Comcast and NBC Universal. Last Fiday, the head of NBC Universal announced that he would be steppinng down, and Comcast almost immediately made moves to purchase the company. The consolidation of the two groups is being reviewed by the FCC, but some wonder if Comcast is trying to "buy" their way to approval. Comcast has spent "tens of millions of dollars on lobbyists, donations, ads and investments" and opponents feel that this excessive spending is Comcast's attempt to get approval. Comcast states that "such steps are common when companies are facing regulatory approval in Washington. It says the merger is pro-competitive and in the public interest, promising fuller access to TV shows, movies and news."

While I love comcast and the services they provide, I wonder how this consolidation will play out. I understand that there is no real way to tell how much money Comcast has actually spent, but we are certain that there IS money being spent. I feel like this is an ethical issue because Comcast should not be trying to "buy" their way to approval from the FCC. The media is supposed to behave in the public interest, and to me using money to get your way is not in the public interest. Those opposed to the merger, such as Frederick Ryan, President of Allbritton Communications makes a strong point, "If it’s such a good deal, and it’s so wonderful for everyone who watches television and is interested in news, why do so many lobbyists have to be hired and why does so much money have to be spent to push this merger through?”

I can understand how this would be a good business move for Comcast. As it stands right now Comcast is soley a cable system, providing the cables to distribute programming. NBC Universal, creates programming that needs to be distributed. If Comcast could create/own the program they distribute, they would be in a cozy situation. Nevertheless, I still feel compelled to wonder if their actions to better the company are ethical in nature.