August 8, 2013
Just how much is CBS asking Time Warner Cable to pay them to carry their programming? Just how much does TWC already pay? TWC makes money off of monthly subscription fees. CBS makes money off of TWC for a portion of those fees, plus advertising fees. Why can’t the CEO’s at the top cut their pay packages down? Then I went to look up just how much each CEO makes.
And I was uh, rather stunned. Per the internet, I discovered that the CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, makes $70 Million a year! Really!? And Rob Marcus, CEO of TWC is at around $6 million. That doesn’t look too good for CBS. Yes, it’s great programming. And yes, I miss watching This Morning, every morning, along with the superb insights on travel from Peter Greenberg. And yes, I miss watching the unique take and tranquility of Sunday Morning and the stellar reporting of 60 Minutes. But do I want a fee hike from Time Warner? Nope. We’re all trying to make ends meet out here in Los Angeles… We’re a town of creative folks for the most part, driven to create content, to tell stories, to challenge convention (well, some of us). In short, we’re all working 24/7 to get our projects off the ground… So don’t even think about hiking those TWC bills.
What happened to the days when advertisers covered the cost and you appreciated them for it? Disclosure: I don’t have TIVO and I don’t want it. Actually, I learn a lot from commercials — not just about products, but about demographics, film techniques and storytelling styles, and most of the time there are really good stories inside thirty seconds; though we can lose the over abundance of pharmaceutical spots or at least get a better format; I have one, by the way.
But back to this dispute: Can we live without This Morning and Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes? Those shows and others provide valuable information and entertainment, but they’re not made of food and shelter. And guess what, CBS and TWC, I can learn to change my viewing habits. In fact, without CBS why should I bother having television at all? I might just drop my TWC TV altogether. I could save a lot of money every year. In fact, I could use that money and take a desperately needed vacation to recharge my batteries, replenish my soul, see new cultures, be inspired by new horizons and not what’s inside a square screen hanging under a kitchen cupboard or mounted on a stationary wall, maybe even change my life, for real. I think I’ll start reading more books and exploring more content through the latest new social reading apps. I suppose everyone in the house will speak to each other in the morning over breakfast, rather than comment on the commentators commenting on the news, and rather than getting all riled up by one injustice after another with few solutions in sight.
Perhaps with less world news in L.A. and NYC, there will be less immediate reaction to current events, hence, less micro-second trading, and the market will level out, and perhaps become reasonably fair (if it ever was), and then everyone in the house will start their day from a place of calm and tranquility. Yes, this blackout has me thinking that if I blacked television out altogether, I might even have fresh story ideas to pitch instead of being unconsciously swayed into derivatives of what’s already on the air. Who needs TV? Really. Because we’re also a town of southwestern techies, with Silicon Beach below Silicon Valley. And through tech, we’re driven to find new platforms for our stories which open up new level playing fields (for a little while at least). We’ve got Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Studios and YouTube to entertain and inform. And who knows, maybe I’ll go back to old fashioned print newspapers in the morning.
I miss the crisp feeling of the paper and the quiet that comes with reading headlines and a good story to follow. Come to think of it, I believe I retain more information from reading words on paper than watching shows on television. I could read about where to spend that money I’ll be saving by cancelling subscription television bills. You know, I think I will cancel it and start planning that vacation. Unless, of course, Mr. Moonves wants to buy one of my shows.
Lynn Isenberg is a published author/Film & TV writer/producer, brand strategist, and founder of the Hollywood LITeraryRetreat: Literature. Intelligence. Technology.