A Turn-Back-The-Clock Revolt?

By Erik Sorenson 

In posting here last Monday about a change in editors at Shoptalk and the momentous (if sometimes horrific) times in which we live, I blogged about the changing business model for the television industry and how technology was driving change. A television journalist with 30 years experience (who asked to be anonymous) fired off this missile with a passionate, albeit it retro, message:

Erik, I could not resist responding to your message about the brave new world of TV. Are the numbers for traditional TV down? No doubt. But why? Because as TV, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and everyone else trying to develop an internet model is learning, people will NOT pay for news. It is against their very nature. Would I pay my neighbor a buck to find out who broke into his garage or why the police were down the block at the Jones’ house? Newspapers did themselves in once they started to give their content away for free on the internet. They lost subscribers, then advertisers and soon their franchises. TV stations are doing the same thing. News used to be appointment TV. You turned on the news at 5:30 or 10 to get the news. If you missed it, too bad. Now, there is no reason for me to watch TV News. I can see it whenever I want. You want to reverse the trend? Every traditional media outlet in this country needs to shutdown its internet websites. Am I trying to turn back the clock? No, I’m trying to save the traditional media. Look at the crap the “new media” puts out. Most of them don’t even update their pages on weekends. Most of what they have is stolen from AP, Reuters, newspapers and TV websites. Want to put them out of business? Stop giving them your content for free. Without it, they die like a plant without water or sunshine. Look at most of them, break them down, they are nothing but stolen material. There is very little new, very little original reporting going on. Half the sites are kids running blogs about nothing. The more the traditional media gives away, the weaker it becomes. I have much more to say, but have to go. I am organizing a revolution…. ANONYMOUS, Somewhere in the Midwest.

My mother always told me you can’t get toothpaste back in the tube. I believe content-sharing and distribution is pretty much like toothpaste, not to mention the massive corporate collusion required to “put it back.” But hey, I jumped ship and work now at a new media operation so perhaps I’m biased. What do you think? I’d love to get your comments!

Erik Sorenson is chief executive officer of Vault.com, Inc. He oversees the strategic direction of the global, New York-based media company, including ShopTalk & TVSPY. If you would like to comment on Remote Control, or want to reach Erik, email remotecontrol@tvspy.