No. of Recommendations: 78
You made a comment regarding the History Channel and that spending can't be a popularity contest. If you were holding the purse strings, would that be good enough for you to fork over the money?

Not if my job was solely predicated on achieving ratings for advertisers, which, it should come as no surprise, is how commercial cable channels work. The number of channels which started out in a nice niche, and which have drifted - or changed completely - is legion. History no longer has much history, it's mostly AxMen and Cajun Pawn Stars and such. The Learning Channel is nothing about Learning, it's Jon & Kate Plus Eight wannabes and fat Cajun kids or something. MTV doesn't offer music, it's dysfunctional women in Jersey. The Weather Channel is all entertainment shows at night. You can get the weather if you're willing to wait through enough tornado videos from 5 years ago. Headline News doesn't do headlines anymore either, it's "Forensic Files" retitled and Nancy Grace unbridled, and little of it is "news."

And, of course, Fox News, by their own admission, is mostly "entertainment." HBO isn't much "Box Office" these days because it's largely original programming, and Country Music Television runs movies instead of country music. Arts & Entertainment? Are you kidding? What arts, anywhere? Opera? Symphony? Chorale? Even once a year? Speaking of which, Bravo!, which began as an arts channel has morphed into "Reality!" (Of the worst kind), and the Biography Channel now barely offers biographies about 10% of the time. The biggest successes for American Movie Classics is with original programming like 'Mad Men'. Movies (no) classics (no). You think they're going to pick up Lawrence Welk or other shows for 80-year olds?

More? CourtTV doesn't do legal anymore, it's all reality all the time. CNBC is more concerned with guffaws and chuckles than doing any hard hitting interviews with CEO's abusing their stockholders. Wouldn't want to create waves, especially with the corporate set.

No, I think there ought to be at least ONE channel that doesn't have "lowest common denominator" ratings as the only important metric. There are "minority" audiences to be served, and I don't mean "people of color." Yes, Ken Burns might find a home now (not sure, but possible), but who would have green lighted the first, with a pitch that went "it's history without video, just old black&white slides and narration"?

PBS costs you about $1.50 a year. Is that so much to ask to provide information unbiased by the needs of McDonald's and WalMart to an increasingly illiterate and poorly served nation? If not, heck, let's start having school textbooks vetted by our corporate overlords. They already have control of the microphone everywhere else.
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