I want to share with you a point or two that I somehow didn’t get around to making when I was on CoastToCoastAM with George Noory last night:
The main one is all this “Divisiveness” that is plaguing America right now is an economics-driven function. Believe me, you’ll understand a lot more about “fake news” and all the falderal after we run through a simple thought exercise.
Business models of “news organizations” have changed in the past 10 years.
10-years ago, the Internet was seen as an “interesting upstart” that was beginning to nip at the heels of a few major media outlets.
Today, there are tens of thousands of alt. news sites and even the old-timers of the web – like the Drudge Report – are being challenged by sites offering fewer adds and that don’t shove “push technology” in order to increase “page views.” And example of a “gen-2” web news site is https://whatfinger.com.
In summary, what matters is consumers now have a lot more choices.
Now Let’s Run a Business Model
Assume in the “old days” (10 years ago) there were 30 newspapers that mattered and 10 news networks. The internet ate 5% of available audience. The Audience was 200-million – to pull a number out of the air.
Assume ad revenues were $10-billion for the group. Profits were 5%.
Fast-forward to new figures of Today:
Still 30 newspapers and 10 major networks. But there is zero profit because the Audience has dropped from 200-million to 125-million. Costs have kept going up. Where’d the audience go?
OMG, let’s count the ways. Everything from ZeroHedge on the financial side to streaming IHeart news stations, to WhatFinger to even our own RSS aggregation for my personal convenience at ComputationalFuture.com.
Here’s How Divisive Arises
Pretend you have a news network and you’re losing money. What do you do?
Monetize Personality. Shock Talk – worked for Howard Stern on radio, didn’t it? And so hire the “angry anchors” and Trump-haters get into a ratings battle that (according to the overnights) are good for revenue. Partisan Big Time Wrestlemanics.
Since President Trump cut-off CNN’s Jim All Caustic and yanked his WH press credentials, we have to wonder who next from CNN will show up at the next WH presser (and will they not interrupt?).
The usual Trump-hater response goes to the idea that Trump is “Trying to shut us down.” No, no, no. Change is here and you’re not seeing it.
Gently, but, here’s the facts: The free market is shutting down excess news channel capacity for the President. He won’t have to lift a finger. Well, until someone gets stupidly rude selling their lefty agenda because that “has good young people demographics…” FMTT, have these people no vision?
You see, as with radio, “shock talk” teevee news will meet the same fate. How much crap America will be put through (as emotional anguish along the way) is all that we wonder about. There will continue to be at least a couple of “hard news” networks because that’s how technology change rolls. Eventually, the center will reappear.
But, the reality is that media moguls in their once-ivory towers, need to go back to their Ivy League training schools and get their money back or at least take a few business and history course to put things in perspective. They have lost their bearings.
Old-Style News has met its match because, as we described Trump’s brilliant “consumer-direct” gamble on Twitter (that helped seal his Presidency), an old technology and vertical hierarchy has fallen. It’s just the people in the High Towers haven’t noticed yet.
In the real world, networked computers have already flattened the org charts and thus, it’s only a matter of time until the commoditization of news is complete and driven by the same codebase.
As always, we try not to offer harsh assessments – like this one of the divisive CNN – without offering solutions as well: Might we therefore propose the CNN Board review Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition by Everett Rogers? And, with input from the radio division, talk about the trajectory of “shock talk” and then map where they’ve been to a new “Where they’re going?”
Understanding of the change of media flow is the secret to becoming a billionaire. Ironically, that’s how CNN got started: Ted Turner spied a new media opportunity and launched cable news. Brilliant.
Problem is, that business model’s day in the sun is setting and shock-talk (not to mention going to rude and arrogant with the US President) is merely a short-term holding action for a network that could reinvent itself as a new thought leader. But, maybe I give them more credit than due and no, as a long-time big city news director, I’m not going to give them the one way out that could work…My consulting rates are posted around here somewhere.
I will offer this – and I think you’ll find it interesting:
Whenever there’s an operating environment change such that a new “media efficiency” can be discovered, someone will be bright enough to take advantage of it and build an empire.
Take the US Postal Service. It got to be very big and very dependable in the 1800’s. It spawned what? Correct answer: Sears and Roebucks, Montgomery-Wards, and a host of other mail order outfits.
Fast-forward, change media and remember what I just schooled you on about diffusion of innovations, right?
People today view Jeff Bezos over at Amazon as a billioniare genius. But to us, he’s just living proof (again) of Ecclesiastes “No new thing under the Sun.”
You see Bezos is replaying the damn Sear Roebuck business model and it was proven just yesterday when this arrived in the mail: Know what it is?
YES!!! It’s the Amazon printed Christmas Catalog for kids! A Sear Roebuck last Depression innovation!
We don’t know if there will be a Sears Wish Book this year, but the mailing of the Sears Christmas Catalog was a very big deal for millions of now grown-ups back in the day.
It’s a delicious rhyme in economics, too. Because the Sears Wish Book was launched in 1932 and we take the Amazon spin on it landing this week as proof-positive of where we are in the social cycle (or is it PMS mood-swings?) of the country.
In the ultimate irony, as Amazon continues to exploit the new media (that Sears missed, just like CNN missed its fundamental premise changing), Sears’ Wish Book 2017 was online.
So there are two pretty good “thoughts for the day” to ponder, for you.
We see divisiveness is a last-ditch media effort to defend the old news paradigm not realizing that the Internet has cut the foundations out from under old media and yes, I too watched the White House stream direct…Who needs the bullsh*t commentary if I can hear for myself what Trump says.
I don’t need some token-hire news babe or buffo to tell me what I just heard with my own two ears, do I? That’s point one.
Second: Amazon is replaying Sears. Except in Seattle as the rhyme of history turns, Starbucks HQ is now on Utah Ave at what was the Sears Seattle Warehouse and Store when us old Seattle-types were planning the future.
Pretty neat, huh?
Turn Day Tomorrow?
Vacuum under the bed because if our turn date is right, next week we will be scampering to hide under the bed as we come up on 66 days from the all time market highs right after Turkey Day.
This afternoon, the Federal Reserve will decide whether to raise rates a quarter point now or wait until it can be sold as a Christmas present.
My sense is with the market blowing higher, could see a hike announced this afternoon.
Dow futures were down 70-earlier (try 4:30 AM, but I’m not staying up for the open since I’ve been up all night).
Quips and Snips
Behold! The All Aspects News Story! “Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders tell all on ‘Debbie Does Dallas’ scandal, supporting the troops.”
California gun law note: “Authorities: Gunman wounds 11 people at California bar.”
Hmmm… “Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair to replace Elon Musk.” Yes, but does he smoke?
And the hits just keep on coming, department: UBS faces new legal battle in U.S. over mortgage securities.
And if you want to buy an old painting: Scientists Have Discovered the World’s Oldest Known Animal Drawing in an Indonesian Cave.
4:48 AM…so time to get the other part of sleep…moron the ‘morrow…