Open Mic

Adam Lambert: Network Roller-Coaster Ride

Just as with Jon and Kate, and before them, Octomom, it’s hard to avoid the Adam Lambert spectacle. After admittedly missing the entire “American Idol” season in which he took second place–and thus never having seen him perform–it was difficult…

Nov 25, 2009

For Many Years It Was Thought That an Oprah ‘Halo Effect’ Delivered a Significant Number of Viewers to ABC’s ‘World News.’ If That’s Still True at All, What Happens When She Ends Her Current Show?

A few years ago—OK, more than a few—Tom Brokaw and his executive producer, Steve Friedman, had me up in their “Nightly News” offices to share with me an extraordinary memo that had been prepared by Larry McGill, NBC’s manager, news and…

Nov 24, 2009

News of a TV Legend Ending Show Raises Real Issues About Journalism and Why It’s So Important (No, I’m Not Talking About Oprah)

If you’re at all interested in why journalism matters in a free society—and you should be–I want to recommend a book to you. The book is "Moyers on Democracy" by Bill Moyers. Perhaps the best description I’ve ever heard of Moyers was…

Nov 22, 2009

ABC News Interview of Janet Jackson Enough to Make You Cringe

It was Janet Jackson’s turn to shine, and the pop megastar obviously put a lot of thought into who she would spill to in her first televised interview since the tragic death of her brother Michael nearly five months ago….

Nov 20, 2009

What is Oprah–and the ABC O&Os That Carry Her Show–Going to Do?

[NOTE: I wrote this piece on 11/6, speculating about what Oprah might do. Last night she made her much anticipated announcement that she’ll be leaving her current show in Sept. 2011. Over the weekend, after hearing what Oprah has to…

Nov 6, 2009

With Leno Off ‘Tonight,’ is There a New King of Late Night?

When Americans are looking to soothe their frazzled nerves after a long day, late-night TV shows have always been happy to oblige. But these days, the world of late night is as topsy-turvy as the real world we’re trying to…

Nov 3, 2009

The New Digital Channels Being Broadcast by Your Local Stations Could Be TV’s New Wasteland

Do you watch any of the new local digital channels? No, neither do I. Welcome to television’s new wasteland of local digital multicasting. Now there are seven zillion more channels and still the same complaint, “all these channels and nothing…

Nov 3, 2009