Tag Archives: NBC News

Cutting Corners, The Media Industry’s Obsession to Automation

Economic downturns often forced profit-centered media properties to find ways to cut down costs. Not even 3 years after NBC’s parent company, RCA was sold to General Electric, they were finding every efficiency possible to make NBC be very profitable and ensure that they’d get it “for free” when GE sold mostly all the former RCA assets.

“Corporate media” that is often used to degrade the media in 2023 to me is a slur, but it was in 1985, when most of the our present media companies became more profit centered, than being a utility to inform and entertain. (the other three was Bill Paley’s sale of CBS to Larry Tisch, The Capital Cities acquisition of ABC and News Corporations acquisition of the Fox Movie studios and Metromedia chain of indie stations.)

For NBC, they did a lot of cost cutting, for instance NBC wasn’t entirely based at 30 Rock before latter part of the 80s, they were based off various offices on the Manhattan island. By the end of the 80s, virtually all the NBC operations were in 30 Rock soley.

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SMPTE NY: COVID19 Response Panel Discussion (2020)

I recommend people to take a  couple hours to watch this interesting video in June of last year, in the midst of the pandemic. This Zoom panel features a mix of network and O&O execs, mostly on the engineering and operations. Stacy Brady had the best comment in the session, something like disaster recovery didn’t mean people going down.

ABC is also an interesting discussion; as they had issues “getting communications out of the building” like push button intercoms and IFB earpieces. This explains why The View forced the ladies to talk one at a time.

Of course the show stopper started in the beginning, with the head of the Fox O&Os playing an internal video from WTXF in Philly and how the station there handled COVID19, starring the infamous Mike Jerrick!

Unfortunately, the rep from B&H didn’t make it; which would’ve been interesting to see the prosumer vendor respond to large demands, for the broadcasters. Typically live streamer types use B&H as their primary vendor.  In fact WABC-TV found a Black Magic Design Web Presenter device that helped aid production, that was apparently lying around.