Mermigas returns with a biting critique of media companies

Diane Mermigas always says it better than anyone else, and the industry has missed her regular commentary since she left TV Week. Now writing for the Hollywood Reporter, she’s delivered a lengthy but powerful prophecy to the media and entertainment industry. As usual, her writing carries the weight of a vast insight into where everything is going, and that enables her to deliver warnings with precision and bite. It’s called “Note to Media, Shobiz: The Status Quo is History.”

The rapid adoption of more compact, inexpensive, smarter technology that puts consumers in control should surprise no one. But it has. Traditional content producers and distributors are scrambling for ways to offset sliding fundamentals by capitalizing on this change, which is exploding in countless daily developments. At stake is the estimated $214 billion in annual revenue and $340 billion in market capitalization of the nation’s top media and entertainment players, according to Ernst & Young…

…the next generation of media leaders must be more driven by vision and enterprise than by the empire-building instincts of their famed predecessors.

The truth is, digital conversion no longer is a blue-sky stretch; it is a mandate. But even as they search for holy grail applications, the entertainment and media industries’ worse enemy might be their vulnerability to economic factors, responsible for an estimated 60% of their collective revenue mix, 37% of which is advertising, according to Goldman Sachs.

If there is one thing that a year away from the daily news-reporting fray taught me, it’s that you cannot make the most of a changing status quo unless you think clearly, creatively and boldly about where you want to be — and then go there. Trying to sort through the monumental technology-driven change afoot in media and entertainment — whether for a book or a weekly column — can be illuminating. As always, that is my promise to you.

She asks, “How long will you cling to the status quo?” This is a question I’ve been asking the broadcasting industry for the past few years. There’s a heap of trouble out there for those who aren’t already exploring a radical alteration of their core business models. As the Leonard Sweet quote that greets all visitors to this site says, “The word is out: Reinvent yourself for the 21st century or die! Some would rather die than change.” It’s not too late.


  1. There is a very interesting story on the BBC News website about how Austrians are adapting to a new media model very well, and very quickly.

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