Sunday, May 06, 2007

"These are great days. They are trying, difficult, dangerous. But they are great days." Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., 1953

My thanks to James L. Baughman for today's quotation. Taken from the opening of chapter 5, "Mr. Spectacular," of his new book Same Time, Same Station.

We can all learn something from Pat Weaver, the gentleman, genius, ad man and NBC programming chief, who invented The Today Show and The Tonight Show.

Weaver taught us much, he was one for backing bold moves. Lesson: the solution to getting on the ratings radar is daring to get different rather than trying to get better.

Which brings to mind today's TV morning shows.

My sense is it's time for MSNBC to call off the morning show auditions and get different; give up their morning program to the whims of a real TV revolutionary - the brilliant Michael Rosenblum.

Michael, in my opinion, represents exactly the kind of new attitude that Pat brought to the game. He dares to be different. Michael's fresh ideas and unique pov are what MSNBC needs rather than yet another rehash of today's conventional morning format. Hiring the right readers is incremental not innovative. Same goes for last place CBS and CNN.

Stop trying to get better and start getting different.

My schedule at this years NAB did not allow me to attend Michael's session. The Jeff Jarvis video below shows a taste of Michael's usual unvarnished take. His comments in the video from this year's NAB/RTNDA Vegas meet are spot-on. "Katie Couric, 14 million dollars to work 22 minutes a night reading what someone else wrote for her. If we took the 14 million and hired...140 people at $100,000 a piece..."

In the words of Michael, "To do list for the broadcasters: Burn it to the ground."

He goes on to suggest the web is the place where breaking news should be and "...the website is your focus group, the website will tell you what everybody wants to wouldn't have an executive producer on eBay"

Bravo Michael!

While I do not believe you will get any takers for the 6:30 show, the odds are much better for a shot at mornings. MSNBC, CBS and CNN are excellent candidates. CNN Headline should consider giving Michael one of their prime slots - nothing to lose by doing something completely different. Each would benefit significantly from such a smart, bold move.

I highly recommend you check out this brief video (less than 2 minutes) and bookmark or better, put Michael's blog into your reader.

Closed circuit to MSNBC, CBS, CNN, et al: Engage Michael before Rupert does. Closed circuit to Michael: Thanks for the email.