Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CBS TV show NCIS slammed book business

CBS TV show NCIS slammed book business

By Walter Haan, www.war-books.com, www.southfarmpress.com

A week ago today, on May 4th, the CBS TV show NCIS included the following line in its script:

"Books are a dying business."

That's like the kettle calling the pot black, sort of. The book business is down slightly in sales, but broadcast network television is tanking as far as ratings. All three of the network television news programs are down in the number of viewers compared to a decade ago. NBC , the network of Uncle Miltie, Friends, Jerry Seinfeld and ER needs mouth to mouth, last of the four broadcast networks in ratings. Don't forget the Jay Leno 10:00 pm debacle. Back in the 50s, the DuMont TV network was in fourth place and by 1957 was gone. NBC is the DuMont network of our day. Jackie Gleason started his TV success on DuMont but it isn't where you start, it's where you finish. He finished on CBS.

Another plus for book publishing today is the number of books being published now, way up from five years ago. And there's now new platforms to deliver books to readers. Undoubtedly some of them will be gone shortly, but the new platforms show that the book business is innovative. How is network broadcast TV innovative? (Think Jay Leno again. Or think about broadcast TV networks not developing any new shows for Saturday night. Is retrenchment innovative?)

Not only that, there are many more book publishers today than ten years ago. Sure, most of them are smaller firms, but more fleet of foot than the bigger publishers owned by the Germans for example. In this age of technology, being able to act on a dime is important.

Broadcast TV networks are putting less resources in their broadcast shows and are hooking up with cable networks. For NBC, think MSNBC for example, For ABC, think the ABC Family Network, also known as rerun city around my house.

Tonight another new episode of NCIS will run at 8:00 pm eastern time. What industry will it slam tonight to cover for broadcast network TV's rapid slide? --Copyright © 2010 by Walter Haan, www.war-books.com, www.southfarmpress.com

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