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Yay! Free money day at the Treasury! TV Networks want bailout!

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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:44 PM
Original message
Yay! Free money day at the Treasury! TV Networks want bailout!
They've been living on borrowed time for the better part of two decades, thanks to advertisers willing to toss in more cash each year even as ratings slowly trended ever lower.

But with the economy in a tailspin -- and the Big Three auto manufacturers, some of TV's best advertisers, near ruin -- the biz may finally have to pull the emergency cord.

"This day was going to come," says one conglom bigwig. "I don't think the business can be sustained without real change at this juncture. ... We have a gun to all of our heads."

Already smarting from a writers strike-impacted season, the networks haven't had much more to celebrate this fall. Collectively, the Big Five (including the CW) are down 13% among adults 18-49 vs. last year.

How low can they go? And at what point can the networks no longer monetize ratings that don't look much better than cable?

NBC Entertainment/ Universal Media Studios co-chair Ben Silverman likes to point out that ratings don't matter, profitability does. And deals with advertisers on shows such as "My Own Worst Enemy" (in which GM was heavily involved) should conceivably make a show like that still worthwhile, despite low ratings.

(SNIP)

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117996347.html?catego...

So who do you think will want a bailout next?

I think Hailburton and KBR will want one next...
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Let's bail out Exxon! Please?
Won't anyone think about the plight of big oil?
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. We need a bailout for decendants of rich folks too
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 12:51 PM by Taverner
Please, think of Jenna Bush!
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Witchy_Dem Donating Member (496 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. *giggle* looking forward to that day
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. "I" want a bailout right NOW!!!
And I don't even want to justify my need for a bailout; just give me the $$$$$!!
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Blue Meany Donating Member (986 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sorry, but the media oligopoly produces nothing we need and and have
done a great deal to dumb down the national discourse. Cars and financial services we may need for awhile, reality tv and infotainment, not so much. Let them go bankrupt, and let their stations and broadcast licenses go to small companies that will offer local programming. Broadcasting was better back in the days when radio and tv stations were not so expensive and the media was not so consolidated.
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slay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Indeed - there is NO rationale for bailing out the media - we'd be better off without them
Since they are owned by GE, Disney, etc, they do the bidding of their corporate masters. They are the reason the lead up to the Iraq war was not seriously questioned. They control our access to information so they can ignore whatever stories or facts they don't like. They talk to us like we are idiots and have the IQ of seven year olds. They flood us with distractions that have no impact on your average person like non stop coverage of OJ Simpson, Scott Peterson, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, or whoever the distraction of the moment is deemed to be by the powers that be. If they fail I say - good riddance - more a part of the problem than any kind of helpful solution.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. absolutely!!!!
Remember when the enws was not there to make a profit? It was actually supposed to be the news?
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99th_Monkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. Halliburton & KBR probably ALREADY got a bailout from Paulson, which is why it's a big secret
... probably why Paulson won't say where trillions went , cuz it went to these sleez-ball companies, or
maybe Blackwater got some too. :puke:
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. If its a secret, then they'll ask for ANOTHER one in public
Greedy fucks, those Haliburtonians

And I've worked with them before - the company is JUST as bad as you would expect
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Lockheed Martin and Boeing
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Boeing wouldn't exist without government pork. They already got theirs, and then some. nt
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Ah, yes...
But, they'll argue that the downturn in orders for their commercial products is hurting them, and that the alternative is laying off several thousand American workers.

It's becoming a matter of political/economic blackmail at this point. "Give us a fat check or we'll make sure your constituents know that you were personally responsible for the loss of thousands of jobs."
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. Media divestment- there's more than one way to skin a cat....
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Lugnut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. I want a bailout!
Nobody listens to me.
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sarcasmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. When is Trump going to show up with his hand out?
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
15. Nowhere in that article does it say that the networks want a government bailout.
That's just Variety's spin.
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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. TV received bailout from long Presidential primary season
Edited on Mon Dec-08-08 06:35 PM by unc70
The corporations controlling TV (broadcast and cable) received a huge part of the money spent by the campaigns the past two years. This may have been the largest "voluntary" transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich ever.

While many of us "voluntarily" participated by contributing money to our preferred candidates, nothing about this was left to chance by those with the most to gain, the media giants and some of the candidates -- particularly Obama. Cynically return with me to a time long ago, a time barely remembered -- 2006 and early 2007, the marketing of Election 2008, the Change Election. For Dems, the "storylines" pushed by the MSM included "Inevitable Hillary", "Who, if anyone, can stop Her?", and "Can anyone overcome Hillary's advantages of money and support from Dem Establishment?". The sub-texts of these messages were adeptly used by the Obama campaign to win and by the networks to generate a lot of revenue.

The MSM, while modestly profitting initially from more viewers and ad revenue, was allowed to define the "viability" of candidates almost entirely upon how much money each had raised -- with most of this money destined for the coffers of the MSM corporations.

The HRC campaign seemed slow to realize that this was more than just more RW attacks. More importantly, I believe they were unaware of how much of the DC and Dem establishment was quietly lining up behind Obama. They Clintons are much more part of the Washington power structure than the Carters, many in DC still saw the Clintons as outsiders and resented their own diminished postitions.

The Obama campaign leveraged early fundraising success and "that" speech in Chicago, its contents reported only by Obama himself much later after weeks of national debate. The rest is history. And a longer topic of its own.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
18. We can surely blame this industry for making crappy products.
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Initech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Definitely true.
I've all but stopped watching the shit that these networks manage to pass for TV these days and gone the DVD route. If I want my "Office", "24", "LOST", and so on fix, I'll watch the DVDs.
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