Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Media executives love to go on about their love of the Apple's iPad. But the tablet isn't suited for everything. Walt Disney's Anne Sweeney relayed her recent experience catching up on an ABC TV show using the popular tablet.
Sweeney missed the season finale Grey's Anatomy and, while traveling, decided to watch the show in her hotel room. The episode was particularly gory -- several characters were picked off by a aggrieved man who held the hospital at gunpoint.
"It was a massacre," Sweeney said at the Reuters Global Media Summit. "There's nothing like seeing that on your pillow. There are some things you might not want to watch that close on your iPad."
It’s the classic media story — and this one even involved a stint driving through nearly every little town in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi to sell this odd new 24-hour sports network to cable distributors.
I asked ABC TV chief Anne Sweeney at our Global Media Summit on Monday whether the nightly news broadcast will go away someday soon. Everyone who follows the broadcast TV business has wondered this at some time or another, particularly as fewer people tune in.
Here’s a bit of that conversation, where I got Sweeney to firmly say… not much. If you’re in a rush, the general message appears to be:
When I went to college in 1991, I begged my parents to buy me a small television for my dorm room (They wouldn’t let me work during my first year of college, so I had no money). How things have changed in 18 years!
I learned how much they changed at the first day of the Reuters Global Media Summit. Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, was talking to us about how quickly the Internet and mobile technology are changing the way that we look at news and entertainment. That led to her divertimento into campus life:
Are people going to watch more TV because they've no money to go out? According to media buying and planning agency MPG -- a subsidiary of Havas, the world's sixth-largest ad firm -- the answer is no, unless the TV networks come up with better shows.
"That's inventory for us, that's our supply," MPG Chief Operating Officer Steve Lanzano told the Reuters Media Summit in New York. "The thing is, there are no hit shows out there on the big networks," he added. "And if there's no supply in the marketplace, that just makes it harder and harder for us."