NPR Pulls the Plug on News and Notes and Day to Day Amid Cutbacks, but What Does This Mean?

Well, it looks like NPR is rolling up its half-assed attempt to establish West Coast operations. The two programs produced here, News and Notes (N&N) and Day to Day (D2D) are getting axed. Surprise, surprise. I suspect that many staffers and execs at NPR will look on this as a return to NPR’s core mission – covering news that matters from the Center of the Universe (Washington, DC) and the known universe (the Eastern Seaboard, from DC all the way to Boston). Many of the producer’s honchos will probably breathe a sigh of relief at ending NPR’s quixotic adventure of... Read more →

Why certain companies make such great bozos

Want to see some major corporate twaddle? Check this out. It's the fake blog of a fake persona, along with fake profiles littering the web from Facebook to Twitter. All brought to you from the company headed by this guy. In case you'd rather keep reading than clicking for the reference points, what I'm referring to is an online Microsoft "campaign" that's nothing less than a sterling waste of dollars on drivel. Parker Whittle, the fictional name of a fictional character with his own very real but fictionalized Linkedin profile, is supposedly on a daily mission. Here's how he describes... Read more →

The State of LA’s Media

That’s Capital Topic: Media Economics Los Angeles has become an increasingly complicated media market. Television, especially news coverage, spans a broadcasting market for too motley and sprawled to communicate a coherent message. Radio continues to shine; with all that time spent in cars, people would gnaw their left arms off if we didn’t have something to listen to. And print… *sigh*… print has fallen on truly hard times. Let’s start at the top or the center if you will: The Los Angeles Times. Since scooping up a clutch of Pulitzers in 2004, the paper seems hell-bent-for-leather to show that defeat... Read more →

To the WSJ Staff: Walking (Out) A Mile in Labor’s Shoes

That’s Capital Topic: Media Economics So Rupert Murdoch has his eye on Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal and the WSJ’s staff ain’t havin’ it. So they walk out. My oh my, the irony and the righteousness are so thick you’d need a good samurai sword to cut both. Don’t get me wrong: the WSJ writers have plenty to worry about. Murdoch’s political views aren’t so much of a concern – after all, it’s not like the WSJ is a leftwing rag – but his views go beyond just plain Conservativism. Seriously, when he was asked about his Conservativism... Read more →

Online Selling, Online Connections, Online Roadmaps

That’s Capital Topic: Media Economics The trends regarding online selling being more flat, open, and personal seem to mirror well developed trends in music and porn. This isn’t said to make light of how broad these trends have become. Porn has a long history of being at the forefront of innovation in the use of media technology; this goes all the way back to using early printing press technology to make “adult” storybooks. And the widespread distribution of music by “amateurs” through digital aggregators such as CD Baby and conduits such as Kazaa foreshadowed how other media (like movies and... Read more →

More Thoughts on Hezbollah - from Mark Perry

Curious about the strategy behind Mark Perry's meetings with Hezbollah, I sent him some follow-up emails. My basic query was whether in talking to Hezbollah, they may want to include some Israelis in the process, precisely because the Lebanese Shiites' actual enemy is their neighbor, not the United States. It seems to me that until Lebanese political figures are not just willing, but interested in speaking to Israelis who consider themselves Zionists, they are simply doing the same thing Israelis did to Palestinian groups for far too long (and are still doing with Hamas) which is basically live by denial.... Read more →

Hezbollah - An Alternative View from Mark Perry

In my last piece I mentioned Mark Perry, someone who co-directs Conflicts Forum, an organization of former diplomats and foreign service professionals that has been talking with groups like Hezbollah and Hamas to, in their words, "increase understanding between western policymakers and leaders of political Islam," working by principle of increased "understanding between western policymakers and the leaders of political Islam through a series of dialogues and exercises of 'mutual listening.'" It's a powerful mandate, though honestly, it seems to me that until it expands the dialogue to include the actual neighbors of Hezbollah and Hamas, specifically Zionist Israelis, Conflicts... Read more →

That's Capital Publisher Chosen As Top Member of American Business Leadership Council

TC News Desk May 2, 2006 New York, NY Jonathan Field, co-founder of That's Capital, says he was eating his breakfast when the phone rang. He thought it was his landlord. "It's that time of the month when they normally figure it's time to start hounding me for last month's rent," Field recalled. But it wasn't someone asking for rent money. They were asking Field for something much more important. "All of a sudden, someone's telling me to hold the phone, as they had a speaker from Congress who wanted to talk to me. They even knew my first as... Read more →

What Do You Speak? Where Are You From? To What Do You Belong?

For my money, the best reality television the past few weeks was on C-SPAN. Namely, coverage of the immigration issues erupting all of a sudden. America's donor free/commercial free network has been much better than other television media in following the surprisingly robust rallies that seemed to erupt spontaneously across the nation. Two weeks ago, 500,000 people marched in Los Angeles. Two weeks later, another 500,000 showed up to march in Dallas. Yesterday hundreds of thousands showed up for rallies in Washington DC, Seattle and New York, slowing down a range of industries depending on low paid labor across the... Read more →

Bits of a Puzzle - Part V

A friend of mine called last week. He hadn’t been in touch for a bit. Apparently, he had fallen in love with a woman he only sees on weekends. He's in New York. She's in Chicago. When he's not with her, all he does is think about her. “It’s amazing how powerful a hold she has,” he told me. “I’m out having beer with friends and all I can do is wonder what she’s doing when I’m not around. I catch a scent of a perfume that reminds me of her and I’m completely undone.” A magazine sales guy whose... Read more →