Thursday, August 30, 2007

"My clearest recollection of a long-ago interview with Thomas A. Edison is of a single sentence that was painted or hung on a wall in his room. In effect, the sentence was: 'It is remarkable to what lengths people will go to avoid thought.' That is tragically true. Some of us think, more of us think we think, and most of us don't even think of thinking." Pollack

"The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has." Hamilton Wright Mabie

"Invention, strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory. Nothing can be made of nothing; he who had laid up no materials can produce no combinations." Sir J. Reynolds

Todays image:
Step Up by Thomas Hawk. Thank you very much.

He takes pictures in the graveyard: Fred Winston, celebrated radio star, has favored us with a couple of new pics from the cemetery of the rich and famous - Waveland on Chicago's north side here.

Video: Michael J. Copps via PBS' Bill Moyers. On broadcasters - " this environment...less and less captains of their own fate and more and more captives of the unforgiving expectations of Wall Street and Madison Avenue...Citizen action can still work." 19:29 of video here. Also on offer, discussion of low power radio.

Why Washington Post Radio Died - WaPo's Marc Fisher dials us in...

"At first, the idea was to create a throwback to radio's golden era, with a station designed like a magazine, with different departments each hour--an hour on travel from the folks in the paper's Travel section, an hour with the editors from Book World, an hour of politics, and so on. But with the station making not a blip in the ratings and with its producers increasingly convinced that too many of the Post's writers had perhaps chosen a career in print for a good reason, the executives at Bonneville quickly moved to scrap the original format and go to something they knew more intimately--a tightly-organized hourly clock with different stories and personalities appearing every five minutes or so.

Listeners had every reason to wonder what had happened to the increased depth they had been promised. Print editors accustomed to a more serious news menu clashed with radio producers who argued that their medium required a more populist and lowbrow selection of stories. In each newsroom, too many people rolled their eyes over the cluelessness of their cross-town partners.

When the radio-side producers one morning invited on the air and lightly questioned some nutball hawking a conspiracy theory about how the U.S. government had arranged for the 9/11 attacks, editors in the Post newsroom went ballistic. Although many attempts would follow to find a happy medium between the two news sensibilities, the basic reservoir of mutual respect had dropped suddenly and permanently to a dangerous low."

Read the entire piece (w/comments) here. Bravos to Marc! My sense is the concept is strong, this appears to be an execution, a leadership, issue.

One small step for TVB, one giant leap for video: Kudos to TVB prexy Chris Rohrs. 28 station groups are now signed on to the ePort initiative. The latest include Cox Television, KTTV, LA and WNYW, New York. Thanks too to NAB for having the courage to seed the project.

Buzz: Team Diller & Dow Jones step up to ready (of ready, set, go) stage for their coming JV. Catch their FiLife blog here.

Does anyone really know what time it is? Does anyone really care? Daniel Henninger writes via WSJ OpinionJournal...

"Big media and big politics are all flying through an electronic meteor shower just now, and not all will survive. But, like "Star Wars," it'll be fun to watch the carnage. The GOP candidates have their own CNN/YouTube debate in November. Most, after seeing a Snowman dominate the Democrats' debate, have been leery of the format. They should be. I wouldn't want to argue with a Snowman."

Congrats & cheers: Len Besinger named DOS at; David Devonshire, Motorola Exec VP, joins Arbitron board - Steve Morris making the smart move of getting some additional tech experience in the house. Anne Sweeney being honored with the 2008 Golden Mike award by BFA.