Hot Topic - The BBC
It is immutable. There is something old about radio. And it is not just the listeners getting older. As platforms expand listeners are checking out new channels and taking some seriously. It isnít the old platforms that are under threat, itís the old brands.
Almost everybody likes a surprise, children in particular and television viewers. Accountants do not. The TV world thrives on the serendipity of something new intersecting with something known. Creating that surprise is the art attracting viewers and, now, subscribers. There is no formula.
Economic theory offers that consumers are, after all, quite rational. Absorbing information they deem necessary choices are made. That information comes from a lot of sources or, most often, just a few. Restricting choices doesnít necessarily nudge them along, disruptive opportunities quickly appear.
From the earliest days of broadcasting listeners - and later viewers - in many countries contributed to transmitter and program costs through a tax levy on receiving equipment. Over time public broadcasting emerged in Europe and elsewhere from state operated systems. The household license fee formed, in part, the financial basis for independence from political and commercial influence. Several public broadcasters were able to leverage brand strength from this independence. Neither politicians nor competitors have been pleased.
The biggest executive challenge in handling a crisis is knowing what is and isnít a crisis. Itís a qualifying attribute, requiring a certain distance from the moment or, at least, good noise-abatement technique. The best executives love, worts and all, their people, programs and jobs. The rest are simply accountants.
Broadcasters have long counted on young people for energy, boundless curiosity and a weld to the future. Old people are set in their ways and, today, that means so very last century. Adapting to the "shake it off" set transfixed on smartphones is now elemental, surprisingly simple and a great comfort to those adept. Mass audiences are, some say, a thing of the past. Still those who count are still counting.
International broadcasting reached a pinnacle during the post-Second World War years. The Cold War gave birth to a competitive sphere where government funded radio broadcasters kept news listeners fixed to their radios. By the mid 1980’s the dial was filled. A decade later, everything had changed.
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Few pure media brands transcend borders and boundries to acheive the iconic status of the BBC. The institution has come to define public service broadcasting. Yet missteps, errors and judgment questions fuel critics. The BBC battles those critics and competitors and, sometimes, itself. 155 pages PDF (August 2015)
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Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda – new
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
In the media sphere nothing is more important than knowing the audience. Once in a generation a target group evolves to catch the attention of publishers and broadcasters, advertisers and media buyers, social critics and politicians. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y and digital natives, are it, with unique characteristics and behaviors. They have already reshaped everything we do. 35 pages, PDF (December 2016)
State Aid - Media Rules
National authorities have at their disposal a variety of economic measures to stimulate, develop and improve competitive market sectors. Sometimes they miss the big picture or have special circumstances. Within the European Union an executive branch of the European Commission stands ready to clarify the rules of each and every game. State Aid rules are developing as the playing field gets bigger. 35 pages, PDF (September 2016)
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