In your completely literal Wednesday media column: unsurprising insight into consumer preferences, ABC executives support ABC employee, Charlie Gasparino gets a new job, and Reader's Digest and Playboy have problems.
[It's come to our attention recently that some readers are having trouble picking up on when we are or are not being completely serious. Therefore all sarcasm has been purged from today's edition of Media Crack.]
A new survey shows that "85 percent of Internet users believed that online content that is currently free should remain free." This is thoroughly unsurprising, because free things save consumers money, and consumers will therefore generally prefer that anything be free, if given the choice.
ABC executives strenuously insist that George Stephanopoulos is doing fantastic work in his new morning show job. But ABC executives may be untrustworthy sources, because they have a vested interest in the success of the very show for which George Stephanopoulos works.
As previously rumored, TV reporter Charlie Gasparino is leaving CNBC for a job at Fox Business Network. It would be reasonable to speculate that Fox felt that Mr. Gasparino could contribute to the success of their network, and therefore made him an offer superior to the one that CNBC made in an effort to retain his services.
Among the magazines with circulations of more than 2 million, the two that failed to make their rate base in the second half of last year were Reader's Digest and Playboy. Not coincidentally, both of these magazines have been in financial peril for some time now. The fact that their circulation seems to be plummeting is unlikely to brighten their prospects.
We hope you enjoyed the added clarity of today's media column. But the notion of continuing in this manner is an unsavory one.