The Brand-New Rules of Old and Newish Media

'Everything I Know I Learned From MySpace,' Media Guy Says

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I don't want to give too much away, but I've quietly been working on a business book -- a media-advice book that collates some of the lessons I've learned from my many years in this business. Haven't settled on a title yet, but I'm thinking maybe, "Everything I Know I Learned From MySpace." Or "Tuesdays With YouTube." Or "Who Moved My Facebook?" I'm almost done writing it, but to keep it as current as possible, I've been revising the last few chapters to stay totally up to the minute. A preview of some recent additions:
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Jon Stewart
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Jon Stewart Credit: AP

If you are Bill Gates, you must wear your Web 2.0 ambitions on your sleeve -- a cheap, obvious, knockoff sleeve, like something you got on sale at Wal-Mart that was made in a sweatshop somewhere.
Last week Microsoft launched a beta version of Wallop, its very own social-networking site. Wallop? Why not call it Bludgeon? Or Or

If your tired entertainment property got hot again because of a recent infusion of new blood, be sure to combine a hiring freeze with layoffs.
"Saturday Night Live" experienced a mini-Renaissance last season largely because of the addition of Andy Samberg, who teamed up with "SNL" vet Chris Parnell to create the viral-video sensation "Lazy Sunday." "SNL," of course, has always been dependent on new blood to keep it quasi-fresh. So what did NBC do to its reborn show? It forced Executive Producer Lorne Michaels to not only not make any new hires, but lay off five cast members -- including Parnell.

If Sumner Redstone can scrimp and save, so can you!
Speaking of budget cuts, Viacom announced last week that Chairman Sumner Redstone's salary will be slashed from $1.75 million to a paltry $1 million starting in 2007. Look, first of all, the dude's 83. Second of all, we're suddenly supposed to forget that he's spent tens of millions of dollars on severance pay for the various executives he's pushed out of the Viacom nest over the past few years? Yet Wall Street got weirdly excited about the "admirable" pay cut, and compensation "experts" acted like it was some sort of big deal that the billionaire has a little less pocket money for private-jet fuel. We've all officially gone nuts.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf? 'The Daily Show' guest material. The dude who got fat from eating McDonalds? 'CBS Evening News' guest material.
Also: Losing Afghanistan? Newsweek International cover material. The celebrity photographer who made Suri Cruise as recognizable as, well, Marv Albert? Domestic Newsweek cover material.

Chris Wallace has not been programmed. (Seriously. No, seriously.)
After Bill Clinton accused him of baiting him in questioning him about his administration's fight against terrorism, Chris Wallace told Washington Post columnist Howie Kurtz, "I thought it was a fair, balanced and not especially inflammatory question." It's entirely coincidental that Wallace spoke in Fox "fair and balanced" boilerplate corporate-speak. Really, more journalists should speak in taglines.

If you are in the magazine industry, you must immediately lose all interest in publishing magazines (if you haven't already).
Time Inc. has put 18 of its titles up for sale (after killing off Teen People). Felix Dennis is said to be having another go at a fire sale for Maxim, Stuff and Blender. Hachette knocked off Elle Girl and For Me. Hearst snuffed Weekend and Shop Etc. Worst. Year. Ever. For. Magazines. So much so that it's starting to seem like nobody in the executive suites of magazine-publishing companies has any real desire to muck around with ink and glossy stock anymore. You know, folks, at least, like, Detroit is still trying to make cars. It's not going so great, but so far the Big Three haven't thrown in the towel entirely. Although, come to think of it, maybe GM and Ford and DaimlerChrysler would be better off making viral videos about cars, instead of actual cars. If they put some cute kittens in those cars, I know I'd watch!

The 'Long Tail' is, well, long.
But is it long enough so that we can strangle Chris Anderson with it?

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