Another article with a studio or TV network head discussing the changing world of media distribution.
"The only sure way to declare defeat is to say 'I'm going to keep doing it the same old way,'" Mr. Zucker said of media companies that wish to hew to legacy ways of doing business. "The world has changed." He made his remarks at a session held during a Digital Hollywood Media Summit, being held this week in New York City.
The media chief said NBC Universal was making some progress in the quest to monetize traditional TV content online. Where he once warned that media companies could not afford to lose analog dollars in exchange for digital pennies, he joked today that he felt NBC was now able to get "digital dimes."
"I think we've actually made some progress, but there's still a long way to go from dimes to dollars," he said.
The TV business will remain in transition for some time to come, he added. "What we've lost in terms of viewers and ad dollars on the traditional audience system is not being made up, not even close, on the digital side. Until we do that, there is a risk," he said. "I think we'll get there, but can we survive from here to there is the question. A lot of newspapers have not been able to survive, and a lot of local TV stations are having trouble surviving. So we believe in ubiquitous distribution. We want our content to continue to be available. We want to find an economic model that makes sense" and "the next two to three years is going to be what that's all about."
Overall, Zucker said that the broadcast industry must be going through the same questions as all traditional media in the digital age. Newspapers and Detroit automakers didn't ask questions fast enough in a changing world.
"We need to be honest about the change that is going on in broadcasting," he said, highlighting that the Internet has changed primetime TV and video viewing overall. "We have to think about the model."
I think it's a lost cause. Broadcast TV will never be the same again. Much as I like Jay Leno, I'd rather have 5 hours a week of good scripted entertainment. Unfortunately there's just not enough money for that.