July 17, 2006
If you've been watching -- and a lot of you have, given that it's the new No. 1 show on TV -- you know that it's already pretty ugly. Given that it features a wider range of "talent" than its sibling 'American Idol' ('AI' judge Simon Cowell is an executive producer of 'AGT'), we face the ominous prospect each week of being exposed not only to awful singers, but awful jugglers, awful comedians, awful contortionists, awful performance artists (for lack of a better term), and so on. Naturally, watching the losers crash and burn is part of the fun, particularly since some of the contestants clearly are being amusingly bad just to get a little TV time.
July 17, 2006
Too bad the name "America's Biggest Loser" is already taken. If it weren't, America Online could use it for a totally compelling webcast about its ongoing corporate restructuring.
July 09, 2006
Somehow, already, it's been a year. One of the peculiar pleasures of doing a column like "Media Guy" -- so far, as of this writing, 53 weeks' worth -- is jumping off a cliff each week. It's the standard columnist's shtick, of course, to try to sound decisive, definitive, omniscient. But the truth (as any columnist will probably admit after a drink or three) is that you often have to wing it.
July 03, 2006
July 02, 2006
Now that we've hit the halfway point, the state of the 2006 media world is starting to come into focus -- but a lot remains uncertain. Fortunately, many of Media Guy's industry sources are visionaries and savants. After making a few phone calls, he's now able to deliver this exclusive report on what's going to happen next in the media world.
June 26, 2006
PowerHouse Books, the thoroughly unstuffy pop- and media-minded art-book publisher, can only put out so many bound volumes a year. To deal with the overflow of worthy talent, the company just launched pHytonics.net, an online gallery that gives artists one-week solo shows that change over every Friday (with past shows archived forever).
June 26, 2006
Next month, Rupert Murdoch's top dogs are descending on the legendary greens of California's Pebble Beach Resort. It's the News Corp. annual executive retreat, and while there are plenty of things for Rupert's boys to discuss, perhaps the biggest question at hand is: What the hell do we do with MySpace?
June 19, 2006
Over the years, iMacs and iPods have transformed the formerly nerdy consumer-tech sector into pop culture of the first order. But the pop halo, of course, hovers mostly over the Apple universe, leaving the PC gang mostly in the dust. That's why the newly redesigned PC Magazine ($5.99) is such a welcome surprise.
June 18, 2006
When I'm looking for a cheap media thrill, I seek out service pieces in The New York Times. Like last week's "Career Couch" column -- a career-advice Q&A -- in the Sunday business section. It -- and other Times editorial devices obviously meant for Gen X and Y readers -- are basically case studies in how not to court Gen X and Y readers.
June 12, 2006
Wherein Media Guy asks repeat offenders in the media world to give us a break already.
June 12, 2006
"Comics Comics" ($5 by Internet order) is a new mini-mag that "aims to document contemporary and past comics from a plural-istic, affectionate, but critical standpoint."
June 05, 2006
Each week, an uncharacteristically generous Media Guy lavishes praise on a pop-cultural gem. This week: David Shrigley's non-record record "Worried Noodles"
June 04, 2006
The problem with trying to parse the behavior of the FCC is that, like much of what's happened at the federal level the past few years, logic is beside the point. Instead, politics is the point. As are a faith-based agenda, a pro-Big Media slant and shameless cronyism.
May 28, 2006
So much for educational experiments: A lot of you balked at the most recent Media Guy Media Studies test, with its in-depth essay questions -- and, frankly, I was shocked at how many of you simply copied and pasted answers from Wikipedia. So, screw it. I'm going back to the multiple-choice pop-quiz format. Like, effective immediately. All books and papers off your desk -- now!
May 14, 2006
I'm not a hateful or bitter person. Honestly. This column is, at its core, about optimism, dear readers -- because why complain about the shortcomings of the media world each week unless you really believe (as I do) that things can and should get better?
May 08, 2006
This week is the National Magazine Awards ceremony. In the past, it's been an insufferable luncheon at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria. This year it's an evening black-tie event at the spectacular Frederick P. Rose Hall --because the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) really, really wants the awards to live up to their billing as "the Oscars of the magazine industry." Forget the event, though. What really should get reformed are the awards themselves.
May 01, 2006
Ok, so here's my idea, which I'm pretty sure is the Best New Media Idea Ever in the History of the Universe: Basically, it's a sort of viral mobisodic Wiki MySpace. Sounds awesome already, right? Wait, it gets awesomer. This product's mobisodes -- mobile episodic videos for your cellphone -- are created by harnessing the collective creativity of...
April 23, 2006
Readers have questions all the time, and Media Guy is always surprised at how many different topics they cover. So, in the spirit of trying to satisfy the ever curious, Media Guy presents his user friendly "Not So Frequently Asked Questions."
April 17, 2006
Jared Paul Stern -- the New York Post gossip writer who's been accused of extorting a billionaire -- is guilty. Guilty, that is, of doing a lame brand extension.