Open Mic

MTV’s No-Host Video Music Awards: Much More to Go Gaga About Than Just Beyonce’s Baby News

MTV’s Video Music Awards are known for generating zeitgeist pop culture moments — like Kanye West’s infamous onstage interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech in 2009 — and this year’s edition was no exception. The buzziest moment — which generated…

Aug 31, 2011

The ‘Baddest Show in Late-Night’ Is No More — and TBS May Have to Face the Consequences

The “baddest show in late-night,” as host George Lopez called it, is now relegated to the history books — and if there is such a thing, the television business etiquette books, under the chapter of “How Not to Fire Your…

Aug 12, 2011

The Great Consumer Companies, When They Screw Up, Admit To Their Customers They’ve Done So. Does This Video Supplier Have the Guts to Say ‘Mea Culpa’ To Its 23 Million Subscribers?

[Editor's Note: This commentary first appeared on Jeff Grimshaw's The TV News, which can be found at www.tvnews.com, and we appreciate Jeff letting us reprint it.]It wasn’t so long ago that we were singing the praises of Netflix, calling them…

Aug 8, 2011

NBC’s Upcoming ‘Playboy Club’: Nostalgic Fun or Something More Sinister? Is It OK to Ignore the Sins of the Past by Saying Hey, It’s Just a Prime-Time Soap, Baby

Comparisons to "Mad Men" were brushed aside. The controversy over a Salt Lake City affiliate’s refusal to run the program was glossed over — because another station picked it up. The argument was set forth that the show is about…

Aug 4, 2011

Point: PR-Wise, Rupert Murdoch Didn’t Do Himself Any Good In His Appearance Before a Parliamentary Committee Last Week

[Editor's Note: This commentary first appeared on Jeff Grimshaw's The TV News, which can be found at www.thetvnews.tv, and we appreciate Jeff letting us reprint it.] As the News Corp. scandal continues to snowball, the company has done a couple…

Jul 25, 2011

Potpourri: An Email from Oprah; Surviving Carmageddon

We’ll get to Oprah in a moment. First, as any resident of Los Angeles knows, we’re on the eve of Carmageddon — a wonderful phrase coined a few months ago, though I’m not sure by whom. Carmageddon is the insane…

Jul 15, 2011

Rupert Murdoch: Too Much Jack Bauer and Not Enough Betty Ford. At 80, Can He Find His Moral Compass? An Intervention Begins NOW

We all should be able to expect–at a minimum–when we read stories in our newspapers that no illegal means were used in the gathering of the news stories. That’s a key issue in the growing phone-hacking scandal involving The News of…

Jul 13, 2011

Royal Couple Melt a Royal Awkward Moment at the Variety Venture Capital and New Media Summit

It was wall-to-wall coverage on Los Angeles local news stations for the 48 hours between Friday and Sunday afternoon that William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, traversed Southern California from Skid Row to Santa Barbara, leaving a…

Jul 12, 2011

NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Distinguished Itself From ‘Idol’–and Found a Winning Formula

Any one of the four finalists on NBC’s bangup freshman show "The Voice" could have taken the title. We thought Vicci Martinez, Dia Frampton and especially Beverly McClellan were each worthy of being the champion. But it was Javier Colon…

Jul 7, 2011

How Clarence Clemons Helped Bruce Springsteen Make Rock ‘n’ Roll History

The music my parents loved was big bands, jazz standards and Sinatra. As I tried to find my own identity I fell in love with other kinds of music, starting with blues shouters such as Big Joe Turner and Wynonie…

Jun 22, 2011