Triumph of the himbo
ITV chairman Michael Grade (who has had stints in charge of Channel 4 and the BBC before joining ITV) calls YouTube a “parasite”
– what does he mean?
“The day that Google or Joost or any of these people start investing £1bn a year in UK content is the day I’ll start to be worried,” he said in a pre-recorded interview played at the IBC conference.
“They’re all parasites, they just live off our content is what they do. As long as we can create the content, the content is the keys to the castle for us going forward.”
It’s true. Content is King. And seeing others reap the benefits of your content while your own company is struggling, must make you see red, or even little red dots.
Meanwhile traditional media companies like ITV continue to feel the pinch as their business model makes less and less sense. In another of today’s stories, some film companies are launching a new format for DVDs that includes a file that can be copied onto a hard disk. This at least a step up from expecting you to pay twice (or more!) for the same content, which has been the business model for music companies moving from vinyl to CD and from CD to downloads.
In yet another content-protection move, The Times newspaper is moving to a subscription model for its archives.
The 200-year archive includes news stories from 1785 to 1985 including the Battle of Waterloo, the arrival of convicts at Botany Bay and the execution of Marie Antoinette, all in the original page layout.
The archive also includes the first ever Jeremy Clarkson column, from 1908, in which he complains that the Model T Ford is only available in black. “What this means is that if you want the Model T in Ferrari red, you’re going to have to get a paint brush. But that’s a minor quibble, because this car is simply astonishing. It’s got an incredible 20 horse power and can reach a top speed of over 40 miles per hour. And that makes it the fastest mass-production car – in the world.”*
Finally, one of my perennial favourite media news stories. Whenever a prominent news reader is passed over for a job, you can guarantee that he or she will step forward to complain about the avalanche of bimbo news presenters who “aren’t proper journalists.” Mark Austin is the latest.
“There are a number of pretty young women and handsome young men without a solid journalistic background reading the news nowadays.
“Naming no names, but particularly on the 24-hour news channels. I do believe, though, that they’ll get found out,” he said in an interview in this week’s edition of Radio Times.
It’s a story as old as the hills. I expect someone thought Robert Dougall was too pretty to read the news in 1951. And BBC 5Live’s Peter Allen was allegedly turned down for a job at Radio 4 because he didn’t go to university! (I expect he got “proper journalistic training” instead.)
In the 1987 film Broadcast News, William Hurt plays a newsreader who uses childhood memories (or something) to make himself cry when preparing to read a tragic news story.
*This bit may not be true.