Deconstructing Pop Culture

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Media Business

Hey Bancrofts, Have I Got an Idea for You!

June 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

This weekend’s coverage of Rupert Murdoch’s quest for the Wall Street Journal took a remarkable turn in tone. Some inbred New England clan called The Bancroft Family controls Dow Jones, mainly because the company has a bizarrely-antiquated two-tier stock structure, and they own a majority of the tier that votes. Initially, they “reacted coolly” to […]

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Two Puzzles of Modern Advertising

April 27th, 2007 · No Comments

The purpose of retail advertising is to induce in consumers a desire to acquire goods or services. This being so, one might think of it as a subtle kind of art form: an announcement of availability, a delineating of features, perhaps a comparison with other brands, and a statement of the product’s suitability for its […]

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Letters to the Editor

April 19th, 2007 · No Comments

Seung-hui Cho was one crazy f*ck, that’s for sure. One interesting item about the case, not receiving that much comment, is the multi-media package he sent to NBC News while he was on break from his killing spree, Carter, B., “Package Forced NBC to Make Tough Decisions,” New York Times (Apr. 19, 2007); Serrano, R. […]

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Google at $513

December 13th, 2006 · No Comments

Google went public in August 2004 with an initial offering price of $85 per share. When it started trading a few days later, it opened at $100 per share. On November 22, 2006, it hit a high of $513 per share. Google structured its IPO as a modified version of a “Dutch auction,” so-called because […]

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Crossing Media

October 29th, 2006 · No Comments

Sony/BMG recently established a position to create opportunities for its recording artists in the movie and television industries, Lieberman, D., “Lack is determined to be more than a music man,” USA Today (Jun. 13, 2005); Gallo, P., “Sony BMG makes feature presentation,” Variety (Jul. 25, 2005). Even though the implementation of this concept has turned […]

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Why Google’s Deal with YouTube Presented an Acceptable Level of “Legal Risk”

October 17th, 2006 · No Comments

Any business transaction involves both “business risk” and “legal risk.” The former is that the economics of the deal don’t work. Either the company, or its management, doesn’t perform as anticipated; the price was too high; or, the market for the company’s product is different, than was expected. The latter involves the prospect of claims, […]

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The Economics of Media Consolidation

October 5th, 2006 · No Comments

On October 3, 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (“FTC”) held one of its show-case hearings in Los Angeles. The topic: media consolidation. It goes without saying that these hearings basically are useless. The commissioners are bored and listless. A predictable laundry-list of gadflies shows up to complain, to nobody in particular, supported by a cadre […]

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Journalists on Journalists

September 30th, 2006 · No Comments

There are few things more entertaining than “journalists covering journalists.” This happens all the time. Television news shows interview their “reporters in the field.” Cable talk shows interview the anchors of the TV news shows. Newspaper reporters interview other newspaper reporters. Recent examples include slow moments at both the Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson trials; […]

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Are Newspapers Dead?

August 28th, 2006 · No Comments

I. INTRODUCTION One of the most vexing questions facing the media industry is how “old school” newspapers and television stations will adopt to the new digital era. Are they enmeshed in their historic past, like the woolly mammoths in the La Brea tar pits, or will they be able to transition successfully into a new […]

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