Revenue isn’t the problem!

AP asks a question no broadcaster wants to hear, “Where have all the viewers gone?” The answer depends on who’s giving it, but let’s not fool ourselves about the importance of the question.

In TV’s worst spring in recent memory, a startling number of Americans drifted away from television the past two months: More than 2.5 million fewer people were watching ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox than at the same time last year, statistics show.

…Scariest of all for the networks, however, is the idea that many people are now making their own television schedules. The industry isn’t fully equipped to keep track of them, and as a result the networks are scrambling to hold on to the nearly $8.8 billion they collected during last spring’s ad-buying season.

…The viewer plunge couldn’t have come at a worse time for the networks — next week they will showcase their fall schedules to advertisers in the annual “up front” presentations.

Really now, should this be a surprise to anybody?

Let me drag out, once again, the first Heatonism: Revenue isn’t the problem; audience is the problem. Fix the problem.

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