Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Media Spotlight--January 28

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

The Moguls

Phone Hacking Trial Update
Executives for Rupert Murdoch's "News of the World" are still on trial in England, and that trial produced this notable development yesterday (from the Guardian):
Evans said that at the News of the World he was given cash to buy pay-as-you-go phones that were nicknamed "burners". These, he explained, were phones used for "illicit activities" and would be destroyed or "burned" after two to three months. Asked how often he hacked between his start date on the paper in January 2005 and the arrest of the paper's then royal editor, Clive Goodman, for hacking-related offences in August 2006, Evans replied: "Probably most days, there might have been the odd lull."

The Pundits

~The Daily Show Begs Sean Hannity to stay in NYC
Sean Hannity had a little hissy fit because of the Governor's comments there, and is threatening to leave New York. The Daily Show took the opportunity to beg him to reconsider...

Broadcast News

~How is this for a tease?
The New York Daily News gossip page, casually flops this out there today: "A secret, steamy relationship between one of NBC’s best-known on-air personalities and a network executive has been put on ice because the duo fear their naughty behavior will be exposed by eavesdropping Russian agents at the Olympics. Confidenti@l has learned exclusively that the exec, who admits to a 20-year-long, on-and-off-again shagfest turned sexting bonanza, is frustrated the fun will be on hiatus as long as one of them — we won’t say who — is covering the Games."


~More Deregulation?
I think everyone knows where I stand on this, so imagine my dismay upon reading Radio Ink this morning:
"Speaking before the Hudson Institute in Washington, new FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly gave a speech that was music to the ears of large-market broadcasters. On media ownership, O'Rielly criticized the FCC for failing to determine whether 1996 mandates from the Telecommunications Act still apply. He then said something, those in favor of deregulation often discuss, how different the media landscape looks today."
I'm starting to believe that FCC Commissioners are being forced to bash their heads on the pavement before they are allowed to take office. Thinking that the 1996 Deregulation didn't go far enough? Wow, just wow. Cue the millions of e-mails...again.

~Confessions of old FCC field engineer
Radio World features the memories and confessions of John Reiser, a retired field inspector. I love some of these stories, including this one...A “bribe” of sorts that was offered when word got out that Reiser and another field engineer were inspecting stations in a large Midwestern market. The suspected owner of one of the stations sent a couple of “lady companions” to the hotel where Reiser and another inspector were staying. Of course, attempted bribery of federal officials is a big no-no, be it money or services offered.


~Preview of Beatles Tribute Show
Based on this review by Radio.com, the Beatles tribute show on February 9th will be worth watching. Of course, I was going to watch anyway...but this sounds like a good show to me.