The New York Times is running a front page story on the death of broadcast television in its Saturday edition. While stories focusing on the struggles of broadcast television are common, it’s usually not front page fodder outside of trade publications. When I saw it was an A1 story, my first thought was that it was a “see, newspapers aren’t the only business getting crushed!” And dang if they didn’t snag a Jeff Zucker quote exactly along those lines:
Jeff Zucker, the chief of NBC Universal, has been more pessimistic, saying, “broadcast television is in a time of tremendous transition, and if we don’t attempt to change the model now, we could be in danger of becoming the automobile industry or the newspaper industry.”
Despite a tinge of skepticism on my part that it seemed too we are not alone-ish the article covers a lot of the topics and themes that frequently wind up in our comments. The article glosses over many facets, including that perhaps most of all the local affiliate model is broken, but it does at least hint at broadcast networks’ desire to have more of a cable channel model (subscription and advertising revenue):
The future for the networks, it seems, is more low-cost reality shows, more news and talk, and a greater effort to find new revenue streams, whether they be from receiving subscriber fees as cable channels do, or becoming cable networks themselves, an idea that has gained currency.