Monday, January 11, 2010

As Predicted

Palin on Fox and Leno Loses

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I make predictions.

Resolutions are those things that you wish would happen, i.e. “I shall lose weight.” “I shall exercise more.” “I resolve to ...” You know what I mean. Predictions are those things that you may be pretty sure about: “I won’t lose significant weight.” “I’ll gain back the weight I lost.” “Democracy will survive in the United States.”

Over the past year I made several media predictions, and now they are either becoming reality are they are being talked about at the very least. The latest prediction came true today.

“Sarah Palin signs on with Fox News.”—Washington Post. It took a few months longer than I thought, but it’s coming to a cable TV near you. Surprised? Hey, she can read a teleprompter. She has a degree in journalism. She cannot ad lib, however. (See “O Biden” on “60 Minutes” January 10, 2010) or with Katie Couric. So, this announcement leads to another prediction: Sarah Palin will utter some grievous gaffe in the next year. We’ll see.

At first I said, nah, this announcement isn’t worth a post. Then, I thought about a few other newsmcnabb predictions and recent developments.

NBC cancels “Jay Leno Show”. In the concluding paragraphs in last winter’s post about “The Leno Effect” I opined that Leno wouldn’t be around very long. Why? He was killing the news ratings for local newscasts following the broadcast.

Leno’s lousy numbers resulted in a slide locally for KXAN TV (NBC) during the November sweeps. The Winter Olympics cannot start soon enough to bring the viewers back. What will be interesting, however, is will the viewers come back.

Local news users/consumers/viewers have been sampling other 10 O’clock broadcasts for months now, documented by KEYE TV (CBS) rise to #2 in the Austin market. KVUE TV (ABC) remains #1. Will the Winter Olympics mean the return of better ratings for KXAN? Or, will these viewers have found a new home for their late news consumption.

Further, what will NBC do with the 9 O’clock (Central) hour? Will it gain immediate traction, attracting viewings and providing a powerful lead-in audience for the late local news? It could be as bad as “The Leno Effect”. Both network and local broadcasters are twitching.

One other prediction that attracted little attention when written is that free network TV will disappear to cable in the future. Local broadcasts chided me saying, “No, it will never happen.” Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider while trying to purchase a controlling share of NBC Universal also protests that they are committee to the traditional broadcast model. They would never take NBC to cable. Remember, a big business deal is in the works and people are prone to saying whatever will help, rather than hinder their efforts. I’m just sayin’ …

© Jim McNabb, 2010


Anonymous said...

Jim, Your posts are morphing into liberal political commentary which is your right to do, but not why I read your e-mails.

Isn't it interesting that 60 Minutes spent most of the piece last night going after Sarah Palin - and mentioned nothing about Harry Reid's observations about Obama or Bill Clinton's demeaning conversation about Obama with Ted Kennedy?

You say Sarah Palin can't ad lib? A lot of women like me thought she did quite well against Senator "Plugs" Biden in the VP debate - sans TelePrompTer. Take your blinders off and note that Barack Obama goes NOWHERE without his promoter!!!!!! And BIDEN is nothing but a gaffe machine. But Obama's reaction to one of Biden's gaffes documented in the book "Game Change" wasn't brought up last night on 60 Minutes either.

But of course there is no liberal bias in the media.

P.S. Congratulations to Judy Maggio

Anonymous said...

I believe Judy has always had that title at KEYE.

NewsMcNabb said...

Editor's Note:
Yes, I had forgotten, Judy had Managing Editor as part of her title when she went to KEYE from KVUE. She updated her title on LinkedIn, and I was sucked in.

Insofar as being "liberal", I am a classic liberal, meaning that I am open-minded and accepting of new ideas. I'm not morphing. Do I fit into a political catagory? Can I be labeled or branded "Liberal"? Sure, people always call the media "liberal". Often, especially at the local level, it is not true. It's a label.

You are correct that President Obama uses a prompter. I think that he should, especially when he is speaking to the ears of other nations. He needs to be precise. He can also ad lib with ease as exhibited by his town hall meetings. The Vice President has misspoken, true. I wouldn't say he was a "gaffe machine", however. I invite you to watch Ms. Palin with Katie Couric again working without a net.

Where Harry Reid is concerned, I write about the media and journalism. I made no predictions about Mr. Reid, so he wasn't part of my post.

I cannot speak for "60 Minutes".

Do I have a bias? Yes. I'm writing a blog. This blog is, I hope, more balanced than most blogs and even some media. I didn't write anything about Ms. Palin that has not been written or viewed before, other than she is going to work for Fox, as I predicted. I always try to write truth.

I really didn't write much about Ms. Palin. Most of my post had to do with the Leno problem. So, I think that your bias shows through.


Anonymous said...

Wow, NBC really screwed the pooch on this one! As I understand it, the two main reasons for adding Leno at 10 was to prevent him from going to Fox after giving 'The Tonight Show' to O' Brian and to save money on prime time production costs. Lower ratings were going to be acceptable in trade to saving money.

Now they are on the cusp of losing O' Brian to Fox AND paying him somewhere between 45 and 80 MILLION DOLLARS for breaking the terms of his deal with NBC! Wow. Plus, they must rush into production 5 hours of new programming... the very expensive programming they were trying to save money on! DOH! Nice job NBC... you have lost eyeballs, pissed off the affiils, and it'll cost you upwards of 100 million dollars for your pleasure! Heads ought to roll, but they won't, the exec will probably get a bonus.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Editor,

Whether Palin suffers through a gaffe on Fox depends on whether she'll be ad-libbing or reading from a prompter.

If she has no prompter, she'll have several gaffes.

Since you're into predictions, here's one that I'll offer: one-man band reporting will become common-place in Austin TV within the next three years.

To the first anonymous,

Go take two aspirins and get some sleep. Maybe you'll make more sense after nap time. Jim's post had no political twist to it. You're the one trying to make this particular blog into a political arena.

Anonymous said...

Jay Leno has cemented his reputation as a Wal-Mart level corporate shill. Leno and NBC are worthy of each other. Conan has shown he has big balls and comedy cred. Nothing has made me happier than seeing Conan give NBC the big FU!