Henry Blodget is Right. TV is in Trouble

Here is the latest in my now 10-year old and ongoing series of essays, Local Media in a Postmodern World.

Henry Blodget is Right: TV is in Trouble

I realize that some of you may not like this probing of a controversial article by Business Insider’s Henry Blodget, but it’s very important that we be honest with ourselves about the message – that shifting consumer behaviors make this a very dangerous time for our business. Blodget compared TV to newspapers before revenue calamity struck. This issue is highly complex and multi-faceted, but the way the industry has rejected Blodget’s argument out-of-hand is disturbing, because he’s very likely right (I certainly agree with him on the broader message).

This is why AR&D has written three books about these changes and dedicated our own resources to helping figure out solutions. It all begins with the acceptance and courage that only real leaders embrace, and that usually begins with speaking the truth.

The most important thing to understand about this discussion is that it is FUTURE-driven and not at all about today. That’s why the use of contemporary data to justify denial is so self-destructive. An intelligently-delivered future view may be right or it may be wrong, but it’s always worth consideration.


  1. Is the discussion not clarified by simply comparing commercial TV — interruptive advertising model — and non-commercial TV — the BBC for example? While I generally agree with Henry Blodget, looking at cable and the internet and human behaviour adds unnecessary complexity to a fairly obvious problem: the business model is based on controlling analog media which no longer exists.

    Perhaps I’m too much of a technological determinist, but internet classifieds are 1000 times better than print classifieds. Human behaviour changes in the face of immeasurably better media. Similarly, ‘smart’ or ‘software-enabled’ TVTV in the digital age — is 1000 times better than traditional TV. Incidental among an array of improvements — people can skip ads, which completely undermines the broadcast model. It seems obvious enough: the BBC is 1000 times better with digital media, and commercial TV is running advertising advertising commercial TV — yikes! (When Marshall McLuhan said ‘All advertising advertises advertising,’ this isn’t what he had in mind. (You may have to be in the UK to know these commercials.)) The implication is not all TV that’s in trouble, but that a particular kind of commercial TV is in trouble — one which relies on the interruptive advertising model.

  2. Hello, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s in fact fine, keep up writing.

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