Take my savings — but not my mediocre TV shows

October 27, 2008

No doubt about it, the financial crisis has been tough on the media business. Just ask Sumner Redstone, the folks over at the Associated Press, or anyone on Madison Avenue.

Then there are some of the poorly rated television shows to consider… The Hollywood Reporter writes that thanks to the economic downturn, the broadcast networks could play it safe and order full-seasons of some low-rated programs rather than replace them with new series.

There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that it costs money to order and market a new series.

But, the article points out, the “most obvious reasons for the pickups are that many series this fall are doing poorly, and these shows are performing among the best of the worst. Networks are loath to exit the fall without at least one series to tout as a success. Plus, the writers strike, as Rash noted, has delayed quality mid-season replacements. And with ratings declining overall because of increasing DVR penetration and audience erosion to cable networks and the Internet, the bar for success keeps being lowered.”

So even if your retirement savings isn’t what it used to be, at least you’ll be able to enjoy “Knight Rider” for a while longer.

Keep an eye on:

  • Chinese media firm Sohu.com Inc’s third-quarter profit more than quadrupled, helped by higher revenue, and forecast fourth-quarter results above analysts’ estimates (Reuters)
  • Sony Corp Chief Executive Howard Stringer said the electronics maker needs to cut fixed costs to weather a downturn in demand and a surge in the yen that forced it to slash its profit forecasts last week (Reuters)
  • The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, will cut its newsroom staff about 40 percent by year’s end, one of the largest reductions in a single move by a major American paper (NY Times)

(Photo: Reuters)

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