Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations." Jean Paul Richter

"The wrong way is endless." Bert Hellinger

Today's image: The Land of Ghosts by peter bowers. Fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

Welcome to the first quarter we were all warned about. Earlier this week the Association of National Advertisers released findings from a recent study indicating 77% of marketers plan to reduce their advertising media budgets. 72% said they plan to reduce advertising-campaign production budgets. Marissa Miley provides more detail via Ad Age - Most Marketers Cutting Budgets, Renegotiating With Agencies - here.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, media consumption remains in good shape. The Grammys pulled in 19 mil viewers, up 14% from last year. Not Idol numbers but respectable. The continuing economic problems with broadcast are related to leadership, a massive failure of imagination and, as has been said many times in this space, sales issues that have turned into a full blown sales crisis. While the state of the nation's economy provides a good cover story for media CEOs, the weak economy has simply exacerbated ongoing fundamental business problems. The real task at hand is getting serious about industry reinvention, especially sales, and making something happen. Execution not excuses.

My sense is the wacky crazy death meme will continue cause it's so much fun (e.g., newspapers are dead, radio is dead, TV is dead, agencies are dead, advertising is dead). Seems to me the media darlings of 2009 will be social media led by Facebook. The most recent valuations for FB alone pegs it at $3.7B. The buzz on Twitter has those boys clocking in around $250mil. Stay tuned. Let me add that mobile will remain near the top of every media CEO's agenda this year and it deserves to be. Local, local, local. One other thought for media CEOs - How large is your developer community? Each property should establish, nurture, support, encourage, recognize and reward a developer community. Seems to be working out well for Google.

Bravos: WSUM General Manager Dave Black leads the Madtown student radio station to a new home. Deborah Ziff has the story via Wisconsin State Journal - New digs for University of Wisconsin-Madison's student radio station - here. [Thanks to Tom Teuber for the tip]

Congrats & cheers: Carrie Bugbee (for her exceptional ongoing performance as that incredible doll we've come to know as @PeggyOlson) and all the winners of The Shorty Awards. Related: Check out the Supporting Characters gang that supported the Mad Men Twitter campaign, here.

Bonus: Bill Figenshu writes If There Was Ever a Time via RBR, here. Kudos, Fig. Well said.

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