Les Moonves speaks
: Still at the ANA confab and CBS boss Les Moonves is being interviewed by Scott Donatan of AdAge. Asked about the future of CBS News, Moonves said:
Obviously, this has not been a banner year for CBS News… We’re making changes that probably should have happened a long, long tie ago. One of hte problems with being the Tiffany tnetwork was that people at CBS News still thought that Edward R. Murrow was down the hall and still alive….
All the networks have been operating the same way for 25 years in how they do the news and there’s a new thing called cable news… We’re looking at doing something somewhat different… We’re looking at changing the format somewhat, makig it a bit more relevant, faster paced…
We’ve said this before: that single anchor voice of God.. may be over or certainly we should veer away from it.
: On the American Idol voting glitch, Moonves jokes: Do you really think they had a problem or they wanted to stretch it out? “I wish I’d thought of it first for Survivor.”
Fighting for the First Amendment
: I’m at an Association of National Advertisers’ meeting on TV in New York and Bob Corn-Revere, the leading First Amendment attorney (whom I’ll be interviewing at the Freedom to Connect conference) is speaking to the industry:
He is subbing for an FCC speaker and he’s doing so because, he reveals, when Kevin Martin got the chairman’s job at the FCC, people in the agency were told to cancel all speaking engagements.
He lists new content-control initiatives: on violence (see the post below), on children’s TV and ad limits (including even the inclusion of URLs for network promotions), on advertising of food (“the new tobacco?”), on product placement, and, of course, on indecency and profanity.
Media on Media
: Will be on MSNBC at about 9:15a ET on nazi sites (out of the high-school shooting murders); plan to mention the GoogleNews dustup.
The value of aggregation
: Tribune, Knight Ridder, and Gannett buy a controlling stake in Topix. Unlike the idiotic Agence France Presse (hey, what do you expect… they’re French), these companies — like The New York Times, which bought promotion on Topix — recognize the need for (a) aggregation of news for consumer convenience, (b) getting audience from such services, and (c) the distributed nature of news and media in the future.
A Saudi blog
: The country that may need blogging more than any other — Saudi Arabia — has a new blogger working in both English and Arabic. See SaudiJeans (Arabic blog here). He says that forums are still big in the Arab world but he bets that blogs will explode. We came across each other in links because he found Spirit of America’s Arabic-language blogging tool. And he points to a story in the local paper about blogs. He says:
I think blogs could make a real difference, especially in the Arab World, where the lack of freedom of expression is a main barrier to progress and development. And to encourage more Arab users to start blogging, I’m glad to announce that I’m ready to give away the design of my Arabic blog…
About another reporter’s story on blogs he reports:
She also said the word “blog” is not translated to Arabic yet, which is wrong because the word “مدونة” (Modawanna) is a perfect translation, coined and approved by Arab bloggers.