Open Mic

Comcast Has Already Bungled Its Takeover of NBC Universal, But It Can Be Fixed

Right out of the box Comcast has taken it on the chin for its new NBC Universal logo, and rightly so. And it actually matters. A lot. First, here’s a picture of both logos, with the new NBC Universal logo…

January 31, 2011

NATPE: New Area Transformed Programming Event

(Miami Beach)…A change of venue from the gaming tables of Sin City to the tropical breezes and Latin influence of Miami re-energized this year’s NATPE market and conference, headquartered at the beachfront Fontainebleau Resort. More than 4,500 attendees and 700…

January 30, 2011

Why Fox News Should Hire Keith Olbermann When His Non-Compete Expires. Does Roger Ailes Have the Guts to Make the Offer? Does Olbermann Have the Guts to Accept?

Keith Olbermann’s next stop—after the expiration of the non-compete clause that is reportedly in his exit agreement with MSNBC—should be Fox News. Not only would such a move be non-intuitive, it’d also be bombastic, boisterous, thunderous, intimidating, outlandish, gregarious, attention…

January 24, 2011

MTV’s Tom Freston, Trailblazer Diahann Carroll, Newsman Great Peter Jennings, Cloris Leachman, Composer Earle Hagen, Writer Susan Harris and Game Show Impresario Bill Todman All Inducted Into the Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Television history from its very earliest days came to vivid life during the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 20th Hall of Fame induction gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Seven television trailblazers, people who have had a major impact…

January 24, 2011

‘Put Another Candle on My Birthday Cake, I’m Another Year Old Today.’ Actually, It Was This Past Monday That the First Lady of TV, Betty White, Turned 89. And Here’s Part of the Celebration That Took Place in Kansas City

Brad Moore, president of Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, gave the cue. As America’s favorite octogenarian turned around, the Hallmark Gospel Choir, a volunteer group of employee serenaders, tore into their version of “Birthday” by the Beatles. We know it’s…

January 21, 2011

Just Where Did Ricky Gervais Go Wrong in His Stinging Golden Globes Performance?

Why are people so surprised that Ricky Gervais made a series of (not particularly funny) jokes at a lot of people’s expense during his second outing as host of the Golden Globes telecast? It’s the Globes, folks, the awards show…

January 17, 2011

The Folks Behind ‘American Idol’ Have Become Tone-Deaf. Season 10 Is About to Premiere. Why It’s Going to Be Like Jay Leno at 10 p.m. All Over Again

“American Idol” is in trouble. I know this because I asked some of the key executives about the show yesterday, and I didn’t find their answers encouraging. The problem is that, fundamentally, they don’t understand why most of us watch…

January 12, 2011

Oprah, Part 2: We Get Some Unexpected Support for Our Position That Oprah Is Wrong About TV Programming Today. Plus Some Ideas About Where OWN Must Go

Las Vegas–Greetings from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronics Show. I went to a keynote session this morning (I’m writing this on Thursday night, Jan. 6, 2011) and watched Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman and CEO of Verizon, interview Jeff…

January 7, 2011

Memo to Oprah: Your OWNerous Assessment of TV Today Is Just Plain Wrong. But Here’s What You’re Getting Right, as Well

Here’s a truism about TV that bears repeating: At every moment in its commercial history, TV has been accused of being a vast wasteland. Yes, the exact phrase referring to TV as a “vast wasteland” wasn’t coined until FCC Chairman…

January 3, 2011