Edward Wasserman titled his piece “The Next Rebirth of the Media” but I came away wondering about the future relavence of networks as we know them. Wasserman is a professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA.
“TV will migrate to the Net, and if networks can reach a national audience online, why bother with costly affiliation contracts? By cutting out the needless re-transmitters they keep the entire advertising dollar. But what becomes of broadcast affiliates once theyre no longer affiliates indeed, once theyre no longer broadcasters either, since their audiences wont be getting them over-the-air either? When you click on to your online news and entertainment options, why will you choose your local ex-ABC affiliate? You wont, unless it has something unique to offer namely, the very content that has been most sorely neglected in the current era of non-regulation: local programming.”
Four our five years ago I described the Web as a meteor, far out in space, headed toward earth. We don’t know how big it is… when it’s going to get here… or whether it will miss our little planet or smash ut so bits. But we better start building spaceships. Just in case. Don’t know how to build a spaceship? Better start learning. The meteor is big…and it’s close.