May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
The nightly news just ran a story about the financial crisis that newspapers are going through and how they are jumping through hoops to figure out a way to beat or join the Internet. After this feature, they went to a commercial break. The commercial was for ShamWow, the self-proclaimed absorbent cloth you have lived without for many, many years. It's an advertisement you wouldn't have seen during the network news a few years back.
Not that long ago, like all "special TV offer only, call now, but that's not all" commercials, it would have run at 4:30 in the morning between a rerun of a Gene Autry oater and "The Return of the Return of the Living Dead." Now it's running in the middle of the nightly news.
And network television thinks newspapers are in trouble? They'd better start looking over their shoulder. On shows during which the only companies that could afford to advertise made automobiles, mass-produced fast food, or beer, now you see commercials for cloak-like blankets with armholes, and pitches for Head On. Networks won't be able to hire any more 5-million-dollar-a-year anchors on that kind of scratch. The death spiral begins.
One primetime show is bragging that they had 6 million plus viewers last week. Twenty years ago, having that miniscule of an audience would have gotten them kicked off the air, and the executive who OK'd the show would have been tarred, feathered and displayed in the town square for children to laugh at.
You will never see another "Cheers," "Seinfeld," "Cosby Show" or "Friends" on network TV again. They are too expensive. After a year or two of a hit show, the once unknown stars want more money, and the advertisers want to pay less. The last season of "Cheers" Ted Danson was getting $450,000 an episode. The six stars of "Friends" were getting $1 million an episode by the end of their run, while the grand prize after an entire season of "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor" was exactly the same. (We should all work in a business where the words "only" and "1 million dollars" go together. Like politics.)
That's why reality shows are on network TV to begin with -- they are the ShamWows of entertainment. Reality shows, game shows and talk shows are so much cheaper to produce than programs that require scriptwriters and performers, that you don't need huge numbers of viewers to make them profitable. It may work in the short term, but who is going to watch a repeat of "Survivor" five, 10, 20 years from now? Or "Dancing With the Stars" or "The Bachelor"? There is no pay-off, and network television's decline continues. Less money coming in, cheaper shows, fewer viewers and on it goes. So what is network TV's answer to this inevitable decline? Better shows? No more office Christmas parties?
This weekend I watched a movie from Netflix instantly, as it streamed onto my desktop computer. No DVD, no mail, no commercials. I could pause it, do something else and come back to it at my convenience. For less than nine dollars a month, I can watch as many movies as I have time for. Imagine what they'll be offering to download two years from now, five years from now? That's how fast TV will change.
It wasn't that long ago that video rental places charged a stiff membership fee before they would rent you a VHS tape for three bucks a day. What happened to that business model?
Newspapers will adapt, they'll slowly figure out that they're sitting on a goldmine of back issues and photographs that they can sell on the Net over and over again until the end of time, they'll see that they can easily self-generate columns like "A Hundred Years Ago Today," "Today in the Blogosphere" and "Celebrity E-mails." The opportunities are here and now. Any business that is waiting for the future won't have one.
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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."
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When pigs flu
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The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
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