The End of Broadcast

The Reinvention Of Television, Continued

From today's NY Times, some rather remarkable words about the profound change coming to television, what had been the dominant media of politics for the last 50 years:

With one sweeping shift this week, the ailing NBC network reordered the playing field of prime-time television. The introduction of a five-night-a-week program starring Mr. Leno, beginning next fall, was a concession that TV norms cannot continue, at least not at fourth-place NBC.

The programming and viewing habits of the last 50 years - exemplified by the checkerboard of competing programs on the broadcast networks - are being replaced by an Internet-influenced time-shifting model of scheduling. As a result, the very definition of prime time may be changing.

"We do have to continue to rethink what a broadcast network is," Jeffrey Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric, said at an industry conference Monday, hours before the news of Mr. Leno's new assignment emerged. He warned that if changes were not undertaken, "the broadcast networks will end up like the newspaper business or, worse, like the car companies." Maybe Mr. Zucker has seen the future; after all, his network has lost 50 percent of its 10 p.m. audience in the last three years.

For the past several years we've written and discussed how the old model of a campaign - large donors, lots of TV - was being replaced by a new bottom up always on model.  For anyone in the advocacy business these trends are ones that need to be closely followed, as a whole new era of political communications is dawning.

For more on this visit our affiliate, the New Politics Institute, or check out the video and transcripts from our April event, "The End of Broadcast."

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