CommentaryYou Can Go Home Again... They Just Redecorate Your Room

So here I am...again. When I originally took the job as editor of Television Broadcast in September of 1994, things were looking up in the world of broadcast. I wanted to produce the type of industry magazine that I, as a former station manager, producer, and director, would want to read. But that was then, and this is now.

Things are different. World politics, the economy, and the television industry are in very different places than they were when I last sat behind the editorâs desk. But the people are the same (well, the type of people at least). Unfortunately, trade magazines are also almost exactly the same as they were back in the mid-1990s. If you read them, you know what I mean. If you just throw them in the trash, then you really know what I mean.

So when United Entertainment Media, (publisher of DigitalTV) asked me to come back, I said, ãYou want me to come back? I will, but this is what I want a magazine for todayâs television industry to be...ä For those of you who donât know me, Iâm the type of editor who is fun, driven, passionate, and full of energy, but that would be a half-truth. For those of you who do know me, Iâm the same arrogant, egotistical, and somewhat abrasive ass that youâve always known. Itâs good to be back. Did you miss me?

This is a new magazine. We have a new look, a new editorial focus, a new editor (sort of) and a new name (sort of). We also have new writers as well as some familiar faces (as long as theyâre named Mark÷Mr. Bell and Mr. Schubin) that I have always enjoyed reading and hope you do too. Jonathan Bellows, who came on-board after my initial departure, is also staying÷a little industry due diligence is a good thing.

Why No One Reads Editorials
Unless they are managers, manufacturers, or public relations folks, most of those who pick up this magazine will not read my editorials. Thatâs because they donât have the time÷they have lives and jobs. They have too much work to do and an editorial isnât going to help them to do their jobs better or faster (although it might make for good bathroom reading). Managers, on the other hand, do read editorials. They need to keep a handle on emerging trends within an industry. Itâs their job.

As for manufacturers and PR people, they will read my editorials. Theyâll try to figure out where Iâm coming from, where Iâm going to, and how they can help me get there (while plugging their companyâs products, of course). Not that there is anything wrong with plugging your product. Manufacturers and their PR teams do that with every trade magazine and website editor. Itâs just that Iâve grown tired of magazines that seem to only write about what their advertisers are doing. I have other ideas.

These ideas revolve around what I think the television industry needs: a magazine dedicated to in-depth analysis and insider views of the business of television with a witty, humorous, irreverent, and honest style. That means covering the individuals, market trends, technology, products, and policies that drive this business, both good and bad. It also means that weâre not going to pull any punches. Everyone is fair game. Everyone.

Our first ãeveryoneä happens to be Michael Powell, FCC chairman. While he may be hesitant about granting future interviews to us after he and his staff read this monthâs cover story (and see the cover), be assured that if we need to talk with him, weâll just bug him and his staff until the cows come home (which might make an interesting cover concept). Regardless of how the Chairman feels heâs been portrayed, I do expect to have brought some sorely needed insight into the digital television revolution. Next month, weâll take a hard look at how R&D has fared in the wake of the recent economic conditions, and the delay in the digital transition time table. Some of our cover stories wonât be pretty, but they wonât be sugar-coated either.

Other changes include a new monthly feature spotlighting producers of some of the best shows on television, starting with Al Gough, executive producer of Smallville. Iâve added a section on the business of television and how stations can and are increasing revenues with new technologies, such as digital transmission. Youâll also see a Tech Focus area once or twice a month where weâll report on, with manufacturers, the latest technology advances. And then thereâs Scott Jones. If you know Scott, youâll jump right to his column, if you donât know Scott, youâre going to want to. So Iâm back. Itâs good to be home. I hope that youâll like it here as much as I do.

And so we begin.

Michael Silbergleid is the editor. He can be reached at: