Television For The 21st Century
May 23, 2005
For years, I've said that the television industry has gone through a three-phase transition, from being a science, to being an art form, to its current incarnation as a business. What made television a business was digital technology. Digital made television more efficient, but it also brought about competition from the Internet, videogames, cellphones, DVDs, PPV, VOD, NVOD... you get the idea.
Back in the 80s, when I was discovering how cool the TV industry was, I was a gearhead. I loved gear and technology. Back then I loved gear for gear's sake, and back then that was OK.
Today, the television industry is no longer gear driven--it's about systems and commodities. While gear and technology are important, they are not vital for their own sake. True, most of us still get a tingle when we see some cool television technology or product, but now our brains have to move from the emotional right side to the logical left side.
Your right brain may think gear is cool, but your left brain needs to know how the gear will either make you money or save you money. Of course, even if the logical side of the brain is strong, the emotional side of the brain may still be strong enough to overpower the logical side. For example, someone might buy gear based on brand loyalty regardless of what the research tells them to buy.
With that in mind, I decided to take DigitalTV and transform it into the kind of magazine that the industry needs for the 21st century: A magazine whose sole editorial mission is to provide Technology Insight for the Bottom Line, focusing on the relationship between technology and business. That new magazine premieres next month with a name that will be familiar to many: Television Broadcast.
The need for such a new publication is obvious as more often than not corporate and financial management decisions determine technology purchases and integration. Where management's mission is to integrate technologies and equipment that will allow their facility to operate more efficiently, develop new revenue sources, and increase ratings leading to higher advertising revenue.
To help our management readers do this, the editorial within Television Broadcast will always keep an eye on the bottom line, with each story, product, and news item including a synopsis--"The Bottom Line"--of what is important to the reader.
As most of you know, I'm also the editor of Sports TV Production. I've made the decision to incorporate Sports TV Production into Television Broadcast; similarl to the way the old SportsCasting section was part of Television Broadcast in the mid-90s.
The Sports TV Production section will continue with its same great coverage of sports production techniques, but now on a monthly basis. Sports TV Production will continue to have stories written by Lee Henry (Director's Cut), Jim Owens (Olympic Countdown) and Dennis Baxter (Sports Audio)--the team that reports on sports production like no other can because sports TV is what they do for a living.
I like being different and it's time for the television industry to have a different type of magazine: A magazine that cuts to the chase about the real costs and benefits of products and technologies; a magazine that serves its readership with the bottom line information they need; a magazine that knows that gear for gear's sake is just... gear.
I hope you'll join me as we report on the new realities in our industry. See you next month.