Friday, December 13, 2013

Never Can Say "Good Buy"

....being part of Gary's perpetual love/hate rant with the Idiot Box.
Winter - It's Real

Television stations are costly to run.  Equipment, staff, licensing. They are not run by philanthropists trying to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.  They are run by businessmen who are trying to make a profit by selling more than they buy.  This is how businesses run.  The only thing that brings money into a television statement is advertising revenue. Car salesmen, prescription drug peddlers, insurance salesmen, crooked lawyers, fast food chains, and the manufacturers of Ginzu Knives all vie for air time to promote the products they bring into this world.  

On the other hand, once the hucksters have all paid their invoices, there is, in between the advertising, Program Content.  You want to teach the world to sing?  Here's the Sing-Off, the American Idol, the Voice, and a host of others. You want to eat?  They've got competitions for that, too - Chef Ramsey will curse at simple-minded would-be chefs, a panel of judges will taste food, and spit it out on the table if they don't like it, and on and on.  There are competitions for everything.

Home improvement is a contest.  Dancing is a contest.  Even marriage is a contest on TV. And, now for the holidays, even the Little Christmas Angel in the front yard is part of a competition - a Light Fight, to be exact.  Fa la #$%# LA!

What was my point - oh yes - the third element.  The most dependable and free money-maker that a station manager can tap into - the Weather!  Weather is free, it's everywhere, and the weather that sells the most Priusssses is the scary weather.  All weather can be scary with the right writeup.  Winter in the Midwest gives us an extra bonanza - Snow and Cold.  What a surprise, Winter is cold, and precipitation in Winter falls down in frozen flakes.  With the aid of Triple Doppler graphics, the terrible Monster Storm occurs roughly every two weeks.  If the audience can only be distracted from looking out their windows and thinking for themselves.  The Monster Storms - the Deadly Cold Blast - has people huddled in their hovels, cowering in fear.

I see a conflict, though.  If people are huddled in their houses, afraid to face the deadly elements outside their door, how can they possibly go out and shop for all the lovely products that the advertisers - the sole providers of TV station income - how can they afford continue to advertise, when television stations are constantly warning people to stay home?

"Come to Boston Store" sounds less appealing when the crawl at the bottom of the screen is warning that anyone who ventures outside will be annihilated - crushed in the jaws of the Monster Storm, which is always about to arrive?  Which should we take seriously?  The appeal of the merchant's marketplace, or the staged warnings of the weather "experts"?

1 comment:

Leslie Hanna said...

Personally, I grow weary of all the sensationalism, with everything. It's WEATHER, get over it. My latest rant is the need for a 5-minute video of the weather people saying it's going to snow about 2-3" tonight. Seriously? A video? #stabby

It's as if the masses weren't riled into a constant frenzy, nothing would ever happen. Pffth.

Back to your regular programming.