Monday, 18 April 2011

"Champion" NPR?

You won't see it mentioned much of anywhere except the Wall Street Journal, but the folks at NPR finally came around the last couple of days and admitted that they need public relations help.  So a private company is being called in.

One of the things they are talking a "champions" program.  Thats new slang for talking up all your positives.  You get a bullet paper of sorts which really lays out where you are going....then it goes to every member of your organization....and to the friends of your friends....and everyone repeats the same talk.  If everyone keeps repeating the same comments, then it's all positive and sells easily to just about anyone who talks about your organization.

If someone talks about bringing a 'senior champions' club to your organization....that's when a bunch of the senior folks in the organization all get together and practice the same crisp "talk" and commentary.  Everybody gets the same notes, the same presentation, the same bullets, and they all try to repeat this over and sell cooperation and advancement within the organization.

So if you were wondering about a change at NPR....well....yeah, but it might not be much of a positive change, if you ask me.

TV and Business

For those who might know me....I have a very short list of TV shows that I watch.  One of those is Doctor House (Fox).  Today, the Wall Street Journal came out with a curious piece.

Fox is in the middle of working the October deal with the new season.  Funny thing....Doctor House over the past year....has lost around twenty percent of its viewer numbers.  Advertising can't be procured at top dollar.  So, there are two choices that Fox sees.

First, cut the number of episodes for the new season from twenty-five down to around twenty-two.  The show will simply make less shows, and everyone takes home around eight percent less pay.  It's not exactly what the stars and production team would desire.

The second choice?  Dump one or two of the prime stars, and bring on one very lesser star to fill the gap, at half the pay that the prime stars were making.  That won't settle well with the stars on the show because they all want to continue on for another season.

The guys who produce the show came back over the weekend and said that there is a third option....dumping Fox and handing the show to NBC.  Fox laughed and said they had a contract.  The production team laughed and said that it might not be valid.

Thirty years ago....the networks simply made decisions and that was typically the end of a show.  They didn't make less episodes or dump stars.  It was pure business.  Today....folks are smarter.  Personally, I'd like to see the show continue on....with all the stars, and just do a few less episodes. But I doubt that I'll get a choice in this matter.

There's a Bigger Picture

Out of the Washington Post from Sunday....came a fairly long and winded article over public sculptures in America.  Someone had done the research and determined that America has 5,193 public statues of sort.  Sadly....only 394 involve women.  Naturally, 4,799 are men.  The writer....Ms Cari Shane....went through the various discussion items that more emphasis needed to be put on statues of women.

I sat and thought about this for a while.  It's an interesting thing that has occurred since the 1950s.  Basically....if you look around....other than statues of Presidents, a couple of guys from the Koran and Vietnam war, some sports figures, John Wayne, and Rocky Balboa....that's about it.  Our massive statue phase from the period before the 1950s...has kinda collapsed.  We don't make statues period....unless it's really a big deal.

It's an interesting discussion to cover.  Generally, if you say you need a statue to cover some battle now....then it's a wall with names on it, or some modern art piece that isn't male or female.  We aren't exactly rushing out to honor folks.

Course, I'm not suggesting we start this new national trend...because it'd require US tax revenue to start turning out more statues.  The last thing we need is the President to stand up and do a four-star speech outlining a statue-building agenda, a statue "Czar" in the White House, and a deal to unionize all the statue-makers in America.

I believe Ms Shane's article is probably worth reading and at least discussing.  The problem is that we kinda got started on a path where all the folks at the big meeting in Philadelphia were men....then a bunch of men fought a couple of wars versus the British, the Mexicans, the south, the Spanish, the Germans, the Nazis, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, the Vietcong, and Saddam's guys.  Folks kinda revolve around the history and stories that's been written.

Are there any women today who ought to have a statue made up?  Yes.  A dozen?  Well....that might require a debate.  I can't see making up statues for tennis players or figure skaters....but we ought to be able to start a better statistical trend.

Just my two cents.