Why The Food Network’s Days Are Numbered


Posted on December 23rd, by Michael Rosenblum in New Media. 29 comments

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJLrliYmqSs[/youtube]

some killer videos here

Liz Mosquito de Guia has overcome the handicap that her name gave her and has gone on to create on of the most interesting video webcast sites around today.

Food Curated.

I could write about Food Curated, but frankly, Liz does a much better job of explaining herself:

What you need to know about me is pretty simple. I love food. And I love telling a good story. Food. Curated. is my dream series. An outlet for me to share what I enjoy doing most in this world. This is my passion. I am, honestly, most happy with a camera in hand and a stranger in front of it…being trusted with tales of hard work and determination. Telling stories is a drug for me. A drug worth passing around!

From what I can tell from the website, this is pretty much a one-person operation, and it seems that she is largely driven by a passion to make videos about food.

This dovetails so nicely with the blog the other day about authorship in video.

She has it by the bucketulls.

Now, compare her website to that of the Food Networkwww.foodnetwork.com/, an organization with, (with no exaggeration), about a million times the resources that Liz has.

And about 500 times the number of people.

Now, is The Food Network’s site a million times better than Liz’s?

Nope

Is it even 500 times better?

Nope.

In fact, I have to say that side by side, I think Liz’s site is better than that of the Food Network.

The Food Network’s site has more information, but it is lacking in heart. It is lacking in honesty. It is lacking in passion.

You can see that the people who are making it are working for a big corporation where everything is controlled and vetted and approved before it’s allowed to go public. It is cold.  It is passionless.  Informative, for sure, But uninteresting in a fundamental way. It doesn not engage me the way Liz’s site does.

Ironically, it is this personal passion for food that also makes Mark Bittman’s site on The New York Times, The Minimalist among their most popular online destinations,

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPZNvfWM3tM[/youtube]

Many years ago, Pat Younge, when he was head of The Travel Channel, said that eventually video coming to the web would render cable channels obsolete. We’re probably still a few years away from that, but if you look at these videos, you can see it coming.





29 thoughts on “Why The Food Network’s Days Are Numbered

  1. Pingback: food-network.us » Blog Archive » Why The Food Network's Days Are Numbered | Rosenblum TV

  2. So Michael, how many time in the last 8 years you’ve been saying that TV stations will be gone now that somebody has a web site sure to put them out of business? And how many of those web sites that you so much praised as being the sure replacement of TV are still in business?

    Looks like there was a lot of work that went into this food web site and I admit is better than other similar venture, I compliment the creator. But something is missing, that’s advertisers and sponsors, so who is paying for all the time invested? I won’t even mention the word “revenue”. This is what happen when business is blinded by passion.

    And that’s what is supposed to put television out of business? You gonna have to do better than that just to be convincing.

    Quality like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I’m sure you’ve heard that one before, and so is quality.

    You can take a coyote ugly chick and for some she will look like a ravaging beauty, or you can take a crappy video and refer to as “killer Videos”.

    The Food network and food channel has one of the best production value in the industry, so are the cooking shows on PBS and those on the Wealth Channel. They are also the most profitable because the food industry have some of he highest advertising budgets in the business.

    Don’t you think that if you are going to praise anyone you should at least make a distinction between a hobby or a business? If this food site is a hobby then it’s great, but apparently as a business isn’t so great.

    There are 148,000,000 food site on the web (that’s millions) all seeking some sort of advertisers and sponsors $$$. The fact that ALEXA.com don’t even rank them because the number of views isn’t high enough for ranking will keep any hope of advertisers involvement away, that’s the first thing advertisers look at.

    Look like this site has been in operation for about 18 months, so far longer than most similar ventures. But on it’s current course the odds of making it are slim at the best and statistically they will be gone like other similar web ventures, unless of course they bring up the number of viewers to make it worth to advertisers to take a closer look.

    Is there a way to do it? You bet it is, but their passion will have to make room for business wisdom. The longer they wait the harder it will be to turn it around.

    And BTW, this is another of your tantrums against the Food Channel, as I clearly remember that they didn’t go for your VJ programs ideas in the past.

    Happy Holiday to you and your family……… and to the other 3 people left that read this blog.

    • You know what? It doesn’t matter.
      It doesn’t matter if there are ads or not.
      I know that may seem strange to you, but I think its the way the world is headed.
      There are now an estimated 250 million websites. That’s pretty remarkable in a world of 7 billion people. It means that 1 in every 28 people on the planet has a website. Of those, about 150 million are blogs, or personal websites.
      What does that mean?
      It means that the world is awash in information in a way that has never been in all of human history.
      During the Middle Ages, the amount of information that a person encountered in a lifetime could be held by the front page of The New York Times.
      Even when I was a kid there were only a handful of TV networks and radio stations and newspapers. A grain of sand on the beach of information that we are living in now – and this, remarkably, is only likely to grow exponentially.
      What does this all mean?
      In all honesty, no one knows.
      But here’s one insight.
      If ever website got only 4 readers a day, that would pull a billion people away from TV or newspapers. Of course, some get a lot more (a lot!).
      This explosion of free content, always being added to, always being refreshed, is continually providing alternatives to places like The Food Network.
      They have massive overheads.
      Buildings
      Studios
      Health plans
      The people who make these blogs have no costs.
      And if one of them disappears, another appears just as fast to take its place.
      And we only have a limited number of hours to devote to ‘watching’ any given thing.
      If the competition were one on one you might have a point
      but it isn’t
      It’s one Food Network vs. a million food websites. and if one dies, another 3 appear instead.
      It’s survival of the fittest and a new species has just appeared – one that reproduces and swarms and doesn’t need a lot to stay alive.
      The competition is brutal.
      The other one is a big lumbering beast who has to eat a lot every day to keep going.
      If you were going to bet on who was going to survive, who would you bet on.
      I know who I’m betting on.
      And I’m in the for the long game.
      And I bet I am right.

  3. Nice speech Michael, I’m sure you’re smart enough to realize that you just agreed with what I’ve been saying to you for the last eight years, while at the same time you have just disagreed with everything that you’ve been saying for the last eight years.

    A few weeks back you said this”
    “Once people can crank out video content with the same ease (and proficiency and quality) that they crank out text, the video monopoly of a few media companies is going to be over.
    And that is no bad thing.
    There are a few billion dollars on the table.
    Come and get them.”

    Then we spoke about your own VJs at Verizon hyperlocal who make 30K per year and zero benefits and you said:

    “In our capitalist society, what people get paid is what the market will bear. In the old days, it was very complicated to produce video for TV. Today, it’s pretty simple. Pretty much anyone can do it. There are 28 billion videos posted to Youtube so far – that volume of material one would take one network 114,000 years to produce. So things have changed – and fast. Everyone and their brother knows how to make video and the gear to do it costs a pittance. This is the new world.”

    In less than two weeks you went from making billions to a market that the most it can carry for those with the skills that you’ve been teaching are poverty wages.

    And only two week after that poverty wages statement you are saying that it doesn’t matter if anyone makes any money at all.

    So whatever happened to those billions Michael?

    And you don’t see anything deceiving and misleading in all this that you’ve been saying? Are you really expecting any sort of credibility?

    You’ve been telling people for years that there’s a fortune to be made with the explosive demand of videos, and when the time comes to explain about the business end of what you’re doing, or better yet the absence of any business, all you have to say is:

    “You know what? It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter if there are ads or not.
I know that may seem strange to you, but I think its the way the world is headed.”

    WRONG, this is the way that those who have been listening to you are heading to, they have been heading in that directions for years, this is why there’s nobody else left to discuss these things here but you and me.

    All those supporters of yours that were telling me here that I was wrong, where are they now, all out of business. All I was trying to do is warn them, but they had to find out on their own, too late for them now.

    One thing that you always avoided like the plague is the importance of the viewers, those are the customers that every business needs to stay in business. The better we can serve those customers the more successful we can become. You never mentioned them once in all your years in this business, and the reason is more than just clear, they spoke loud and clear, over and over, and you should know this more than anyone else as every one of your TV project using your “everyone can do it” methods have failed, every one of them. Customers (viewers) overwhelmingly rejected whatever you are trying to do, this is why nobody of your follower are making any money.

    You said:
    “This explosion of free content, always being added to, always being refreshed, is continually providing alternatives to places like The Food Network.
They have massive overheads.
Buildings
Studios
Health plans
The people who make these blogs have no costs.”

    So Michael, exactly why would this matter to a viewer? What difference does this make if the broadcaster has a multi million dollars overhead? Isn’t like the viewing public has to put a dime on the TV anytime they watch the Food Channel so they might opt to look for a free web site in order to save the dime. They already paid for television to come into their living room and they will always look for the best programs.

    This is why everyone of your VJ style ventures failed, the public is not interested nor has the time to waste to view insignificant poorly done programs or little stories with contents that nobody care.

    You should also know that at least 10% of those 500 employees of the that Food Network are there only to listen and test the market for new programs. Meaning listening to what viewers want to see.

    The reason that broadcasting companies spend a ton of money producing programs is because this is what the public wants to watch. And when the public watch those programs advertisers will spend money. And this is how the Food Channel can afford a multi million dollars overhead and still turn out a profit. Not to mention that there are five hundred families making a living from that quality.

    This is the economic of television, actually this is the fundamental economic of business.

    Fine if what you preach is a hobby, but there’s a distinctive line to be crossed to turn it into a business, you guys haven’t figure yet how to cross it, and never will until your attitude toward clients change and start putting them ahead of yourself.

  4. Some hundred years ago, the act of writing a letter or any other document was both compilex and expensive. The few who could do it made a nice living as scribes. That tradition of having someone else do your writing lasted in some form until very recently in the form of steno pools and typists and shorthand. That career, as the career of scribe, is Now finished. It is finished because today every literate person knows how to read and write. Writing costs nothing. There is lots of writing in the world. Yet it would be impossible for you to make any kind of living without being able to read and write.

    What happened to writing is now happening to video. Everyone and their brother can make video – pretty good video ….and for no cost. And with very little skill and a bit of training. Any successful business already requires video – from real estate sales to power point presentations. What is no longer needed are the scribes – the people who used to make the video for other people. This is a dead end career. And it’s not the fault of the people who used to do it, but it’s over.

    I am making a pretty good living teaching people to be video literate. I have been doing this for 25 years and the demand keeps getting bigger and bigger. I don’t see this. Changing. I am not training people to be cameramen. That would be a waste of time. For that, there is no future.

    I see you have already written off the news as a business for cameramen. That’s the first to go. Others will follow. It is inevitable. Not good news for the profession perhaps, but inevitable.

  5. They also invented the wheel thousand of years ago, show me how many people go to school to learn to ride a bicycle.

    You keep bringing up the writing like nobody know how, let me tell you something, if they know how to write they can do video and they don’t need anyone like you and me to tell them how, unless they are really stupid. Going back to what happen hundreds of years ago is pointless, you are only impressing the impressionable, or those who can’t write.

    I told you before that comparing writing to video is plain foolish. When I write I can be anywhere I want even if I never been there, I can even be in places that do not exist. With video you can’t do that, comparing the two is just plain ridiculous.

    Also many writers do not write for themselves, I know this because I deal with many professional athletes that have books out there but I can assure you that they can not write anywhere near what’s on the book, they tell it to a paid ghost writer who will put their thoughts on paper.

    The difference here is that you are trying very hard to sidestep and not answer the real issue, like you always do, is it a business or not. If yes then where are those who are making those billions that you’ve been preaching for years, where are al those unlimited earning potentials. Look back at your blog and you will not find a single poster or your very own post that is not talking about making money with the camera. The only way that you made the TCA work was the words “earn”, yet nobody has earned anything, except you of course.

    Every one of your posts either here, on B-roll or on NYVS are all about money in one way or another. If you have the gut ask openly on NYVS who is interested in making money with their videos or who is solely interested to expand their video knowledge without the hope of ever making money, let’s see the result. Then tell everyone that making money isn’t important, just like you just said here.

    I repeatedly challenged you and any of followers to show me where they are making any money with the video skills that you teach, yet after 8 years nobody has shown up yet, yourself have not be able to produce anyone. The only reason that I ask is because of all the “unlimited earning potentials” you’ve been preaching and how they will knock people like me out of business. In spite of saying dumb things like “The food network days are numbered”

    Once I month I get hired to give a talk to chamber of commerce membership meeting about the importance of using video to market their businesses. I teach marketing not video. Video is a medium to achieve something, like a printed brochure is, a billboard or a radio ads. I talk to them about the element necessary to compose a video and what to expect if they either hire somebody or if they decide to do it themselves. If they are smart enough to run a business they can learn to do something as elementary as elementary video. I tell them what they need and where to find it. I will not offend their intelligence by telling them about the hand that cut carrots. I don’t want them to thinks that I’m stupid by thinking that they are stupid. I teach the logic of what to look for and how to understand it, and I can tell them all this in minutes.

    Again is or isn’t a business.

  6. Shooting video is not a job, at least not one with a future. Video is a tool – a powerful tool – to sell a house, a car, a story or an idea. It’s a way of teaching, of communicating information, of persuading someone of an idea. It’s a wonderful instrument to enhance a career or a business – but no, it is not a job.

    • Not a job michael, is that what you’re saying, not one with a future?

      You are out of touch with reality.

      Broadcasters are investing more money today than ever before. High Definition has doubled the amount of investments and had brought large screen images into every living room. Now we are working with 3D and companies like ESPN and Discovery are investing millions in this new technology.

      Do you seriously think that your VJ will be capable to meet these new technologies?

      I’m watching a football game with a 100K payroll and that’s not a job? I have over 200 channels with programming and are you saying that volunteers have done those?

      I get hired over 200 days per year at $2K per day, what’s that, charity?

      Skilled video photographer are getting paid today more than ever before and experienced one are busier than ever. As I’m also a crewer my biggest challenge is finding enough qualified crews to meet the increasing demand. There are many times that we either have to reschedule jobs or we have to fly-in crews from out of town. You just have no clue what is happening in the real broadcasting world. I got another news for you, consumers cameras and laptops are nowhere to be found.

      And you are saying that this is not a job? You’re right, this is better than a job. But as far as “the everyone can do it” methods of yours you’re right again, that will never qualified as a job, no one will ever pay them for what they know because as far as the market place goes they are worthless.

      Yes, there’s some element of truth in what you’re saying, video is also a form of unpaid personal communication with no revenue potential. But this is not what you’ve been preaching for the last eight years. This is something new after you finally realized that on the contrary of what your predictions always were, your methods haven’t made any money for anyone.

      So if this is what you video is supposed to be “not a job”, what was the purpose of this statement you made?

      “Once people can crank out video content with the same ease (and proficiency and quality) that they crank out text, the video monopoly of a few media companies is going to be over.
And that is no bad thing.
There are a few billion dollars on the table.
Come and get them.”

  7. Hi guys.
    I just fininished watching the extra bonus features on the AVATAR DVD special edition. And that applies somewhat to the conversation.

    On that DVD were examples of a great number of talents and skills… of hundreds if not thousands who put together the Avatar movie. Wow. There were also special features shot with small video cameras about the environmental issues James Cameron was involved in. Mini-documentaries, full documentaries, etc… about the feature film making process.

    The moral of the story… there are a number of positions and jobs available for a number of people. At different levels. Just like in Avatar… there are indiginous tribes – who are perfectly happy fishing in a small river and raising their family…. and there are corporations who have greed on a much higher scale…

    I don’t have the answers to all of the questions… but wanted to pitch in with one nights observations… There are different economies, and no one in particular is better than the other.

    • Even a minimum of a position would be a positive, but nobody here can come up with any revenue producing at all. Michael is right, isn’t a job unless somebody is paying for.

    • I actually just watched Avatar here last night on ITV. It was a Christmas special (or here Boxing Day Special). Let me tell you, without the 3D and on a 21″ screen it loses a lot!

  8. So if this is what your video is supposed to be “not a job”, what was the purpose of this statement you made?

    “Once people can crank out video content with the same ease (and proficiency and quality) that they crank out text, the video monopoly of a few media companies is going to be over.
And that is no bad thing.
There are a few billion dollars on the table.
Come and get them.”

    Still waiting for an answer Michael.

    And maybe you can also explain how the food channel days are numbered. Look at alexa.com and look at the rating of their web site, never mind the TV audience. Then look and compare the rating of the one you’re saying will put them out of business. Many of the key numbers of the site that according to you will put the food channel out of business are actually decreasing, meaning that it already seen better days.

    You really should start taking some business classes before making foolish statements.

    And BTW about your previous statement that “you abandoned B-Roll”.

    After the “screw them” statement you made on video I wouldn’t have the ball to show my face either, not without a humble and extensive apology.

  9. Videos can and are being made by everyone and anyone. It is not a job for some. There is a internet web band – callled Pomplamoose. Check them out. I like them…and watching their videos was addicting. They recorded their music, and shot video of everything, then made their own vids and posted them on YouTube. For no pay. It’s not a job for them… its the love of producing their own content. Then, they try to get people to buy their tunes on iTunes… for money. Video content sales will follow… in the future.

    Anyway, their unique musical numbers got the attention of Hyundai car company…which now features them in their car commercials…so I hear them on the radio and see them on TV (Pomplamoose) more and more.

    That’s the future…. or should I say PART of the future. (There are many futures) Individuals producing their own stuff for free…. then gaining an audiences depending on their popularity.

    Apple is building a new cloud computing server – for Apple TV. Google TV is being developed. Etc… etc… etc…. They are figuring out the revenue stream / monetizing solutions… but soon enough it will be a free for all – in the content production business. Small producers will become big producers depending on popularity.

    Big companies – certainly have the advantage – NOW – as producers. They have the infrastructure…. and the talent… and the quality… and the sales departments… and the corporate deals… and the promotions…. and the deals with outlets (cable companies, networks, etc….) So this is certainly true, today, that the production companies and high end producers get the gigs.

    But over time, if you do a simple (very simple) supply and demand economics check…. the supply is increasing – but the demand – can only go so far before the economics level off.

    Big screen televisions – in High Def and 3D – willl provide jobs for those producers. Yet smalll producers will have access to high def cameras as well – to build their audiences up and monetize their careers.

    One more thing – I digress – the NPPA magazine monthly features how freelance photographers are getting the screws put on them… because so many magazines, websites, etc…. are simply putting out a call for photography “contests” in which the magzine gets a huge number of still photos submitted…. and then DO NOT PAY for them. They get them for free. And all the RIGHTS to use them. Check out Denver Parks – Red Rocks Amphitheater website. My son entered that contest, took a number of photographs… then did not win the contest… but Denver City Parks – used these photographs and many others – FOR FREE. It’s not a job for these photographers is it? So there are a number of examples describing a number of positions.

    • Webster definitions of job:
      “the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money.”

      Call me old fashioned Eric, but in my book, like the Webster definition of what a “job” is, is earning a living. The better that you can do your job and the more the demand is for the job you do the better of a living you’ll be able to make.

      If for whatever reason you and Michael decides to blurry the definition for whatever your purpose is, it doesn’t change a thing.

      As far as what the future has in store for the many who decide to call themselves a VJ, CJ, TJ or BJ, it still doesn’t change a thing. If one can not earn a living today with his video skills what makes you think that all the future projection and plans that you just mentioned will change anything at all.

      Are you all expecting and hoping that the standard of quality will be so much lower in the future that everyone with little or no skills will be able to get some sort of revenue from whatever those predictions are?
      You’re dreaming.

      Eight years ago we started the same conversation on B-Roll, how many times we’ve heard this:

      “Thing are about to change, bet ready or you’ll be out”
      Remember those?

      I also asked this question repeatedly:
      “Exactly what do I have to do to get ready?”

      Of course I never received any answer from anyone.

      Eight years ago we were told that most of our work will be for the web, OK? So what.
      100% of my work today is on the web, as well as on TV and who knows where else. I have even seen it on one of those electronic billboards while driving home one day.
      That’s great, now my clients can spread the cost of hiring me over several revenue generating platforms making my rates much more affordable.

      Did I do anything extra to get ready for this “new revolution” like you guys call it? Not a thing. I continued doing whatever I’ve been doing for the last 40 years and that’s giving my client the very best quality of work and the very best quality of service that I possibly can.

      You guys will have to start to understand that what we say here is amusing and let me practice my writing, otherwise is meaningless. The only thing that count in this business is what clients think and want. If we can meet that demand we have a job, a real job, if not then might as well keep dreaming of what might happen in the future.

      And just to answers those that thinks that I’m from time gone by, I own and operate every piece of the latest technology that is on the market. Stuff that Michael and most of his followers wouldn’t have a clue of what it is or what it does, again, it’s only important if clients know, and they do, and they pay extremely well for any kind of technology that I use for them.

      And all this in spite Michael’s & disciples projections that I’ll be out of business within a few years. This was 8 years ago to be precise. My business has tripled since Michael made those projections. Not just mine, every freelancer that I work with is experiencing the same growth.

      That a major difference from being out of business. BTW, most of those Michael disciples who made those projections and were supposed to be the future of this business are nowhere to be found now, gone and so are their web sites.

      And do you remember all the projections that were made eight years ago about the future of this business? The unlimited earning potential of the web?

      What happen to those guys

    • Free does not pay the bills.

      I do not care how easy you describe it is to create content. To create watchable content takes hours of work and practice. To get paid for that work takes a combination of business sense, marketability, work ethic and luck.

      The equipment may be easier to operate. It may be cheaper than it was 10 years ago, but the amount of time it takes to produce good content takes hours. How many hours do you think it takes to produce a 1:20 PKG? Two, three, five?

      As much as love working in Broadcast TV or producing content, I will never do it for free; not for the amount of work it takes to go on the air or on the web. Not for getting up at O-Dark-Thirty in the morning, and not for meals or credit. I work for cold,hard cash.

      Eric, you offer an interesting paradigm. One can produce content, no matter what the quality, and starve with hope that one day they will get their big break from some major media corporation. This sounds a lot like being a musician or an actor. The difference is that you don’t necessarily need money to act or an expensive musical instrument to play. That is model that is being described to me.

      Eric, there was a reason why I didn’t attend film school. I prefer to work, not wait tables to make ends meet. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a waiter as it is an honorable profession. But it’s not for me.

      So, could anyone here show me and example of this model working? Why would Google, or Apple want to pay me to produce video content when they can partner with an established brand like HGTV or Discovery?

      • Brendan
        Google or Apple would want to partner with you for the same reason that Random House would want to partner with you if you were a writer. They are looking ofr content. New content. Interesting content. HGTV or Discovery don’t create content. They hire production companies in NY or LA (or Canada in the case of HGTV) to produce their content and to come up with the ideas. Watch the credits at the end of HGTV – Edelman or PieTown. Why not you? HGTV and Discovery are not creators of content, they are platforms for publishing and distribution. Google and Apple (and others) believe (and with good reason) that they can become those platforms – and why not? And as this explosion of platforms is taking place, so too is an explosion in the number of people who can create and deliver content. As I noted previously, being a cameraman is no longer going to be a job. However, being a content creator is certainly going to be one – and providing content to a very wide range of potential platforms (and at a very wide range of income from zero Youtube to a great deal more). There are even people making feature films for very low budgets using DSLRs. It’s a whole new world. But the price we are going to pay for the new world is that the old world will increasingly continue to contract and disappear. This is normal. Unpleasant for some, but normal.

  10. “Google or Apple would want to partner with you for the same reason that Random House would want to partner with you if you were a writer.”

    Michael, again with the writers thing? Is that you that don’t understand the difference or are you hoping that nobody else understand?

    Once again, with a five hundred dollars investment in a small computer and a printer I can create the most elaborate production, I can be everywhere I can imagine. I can drive my imaginary Ferrari Testarossa in front of the Montecarlo casino even if the only thing I can afford is a moped. Get the point?

    In video you have to show it, you have to be there. To be successful you have to know writing because writing gives you the flow of the story. To create quality videos you need talent and talent to succeed needs money, this is why every one of your VJ style productions have failed on all fronts.

    You can take a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink. Or you can send a bunch of people with cameras to the most exotic places on earth and still fail when it comes to creating a watchable video programs, like your “5Takes” series as a good example.

    “They are looking ofr content. New content. Interesting content. HGTV or Discovery don’t create content. They hire production companies in NY or LA (or Canada in the case of HGTV) to produce their content and to come up with the ideas. Watch the credits at the end of HGTV – Edelman or PieTown. Why not you? HGTV and Discovery are not creators of content, they are platforms for publishing and distribution. Google and Apple (and others) believe (and with good reason) that they can become those platforms – and why not?”

    “Why not you” you ask. Have you any idea of how many proposals HGTV and discovery get from “content creators”? And the same goes for any other cable channel. Most cable channels do not produce their own programs, they all rely on outside established talents and production companies to come up with ideas of programs that made the channel successful. On the contrary of what you’ve been preaching MONEY IS NOT A CONCERN quality is, viewers approval is. Broadcasters even have focus groups to see if the idea will be accepted. If the response is positive, and believe me, they reject 100 times more show that they accept, they’ll have that show sold out to advertisers and sponsors before the ink is even dried on the contract.

    Cable channels are not interested in one program, they want and need an ongoing series of programs, they are looking to build long lasting working relations. Look at the Travel Channel, the most successful of their programs have been running for years. The Samantha Brown travel shows have been running on the TC for almost 14 years.

    “And as this explosion of platforms is taking place, so too is an explosion in the number of people who can create and deliver content”

    Again with the explosion thing Michael? Haven’t you had enough? You’ve been saying this for years. Yes, the explosion has happened, but you and your followers were nowhere near it. Successful web sites have been using conventional productions, and BTW, most of the successful web site are extension of existing broadcasters or cable stations and the reason that they are successful is because they share costs with their TV programs but also offer and generate additional revenue and multi platforms to heir existing clients. Again look at alexa.com and see the numbers on the food show that started this thread and then look at the number of the Food Network, the same who according to you “their days are numbered”. I guess viewers did not read your posts.

    “As I noted previously, being a cameraman is no longer going to be a job.”

    I will add this one to my collection of: “Rosenblum Foolish and Ridiculous Statements”. A collection that’s getting bigger by the day.

    Michael, have you any idea of who the best content creators are?

    Writers.

    That’s it, the same writers that write the same scripts that you’ve been calling a waste of time. That BTW it’s another of your statements for my collection.

    Good programs is a team effort, “the jack of all trades” principles applies to home repairs handymen but has always failed in productions, and let me explain why considering that you have never been anywhere close to a real production and have no clue of what’s going on, although you love to talk about it.

    The word “talent” is easy to say but very hard to find. A good and successful writer all he (she) wants to do is write. He has an idea and he sits in front of his computer anytime he gets the creative juices flowing. He wants no part of scheduling a production, making arrangement, worrying about budgeting, creative camera composition, worrying if the lighting is correct, learning how to read a vectorscope to make sure the camera is set correctly, and the list goes on. All he wants to do is write. And by writing I also mean a lot of research.

    The official title of what you refer as a cameraman is Director of Photography. A cameraman is the one that operates hard cameras at sport events. I think you should know the difference if you insist in talking about it. The difference is that a “cameraman” has no control over the image while a DP has full responsibility on the creation of the image.

    A producer main responsibility varies depending on the size of production but a producer’s main responsibility is to make sure that everything run smoothly, on schedule and on budget.

    A production is a team work, a collection of talents where everyone brings a number of skills to the table.

    The most fatal mistake that amateurs make when they get into this business is “not to think teamwork” they all thinks that they can do it all themselves, and the most successful outcome of this type of narrow minded is “youtube”

    “Google or Apple would want to partner with you for the same reason that Random House would want to partner with you if you were a writer.”

    Do you seriously believe that Google and Apple would even consider partnering with any type of production that have failed everywhere it was shown? Believe it or not, you did them a great service. You already did the research for them, whatever you did it didn’t work, viewers rejected it. Those who gave you a chance to do it your way lost tons of money. As far as business goes if it didn’t make any money and lost a lot, the issue is close. That goes for everything not just videos.

    Partnership means that they have to dish out money too and they are too damn wise to put money into something there was no success but only failures. You can be sure that Google and Apple will not want to do anything on the cheap and risking to become part of another failure. They will partner with someone who already have a proven track record in creating programs.

    There’s only one purpose for a business to be in business, and that’s to make money. Investors buy shares in a company for one reason only, and that’s to get a profitable return.

    • Dear Nino
      Well… AOL.
      As it turns out, AOL is one of my clients!
      Do you know what our project is with them?
      To train all of their staff to create content on their own.
      That’s their plan!
      They have 1600 employees now (down quite a good deal from when they were able to buy Time/Warner with stock!), and their CEO’s plan is for them to become ‘online video content creators’. And how are they going to do it? (Do I even have to tell you?)
      http://www.rosenblumtv.com/2009/12/aol-goes-vj/

      In the meantime, here’s a link to more successes from Pomplemoose – you know, that couple who make music videos from their home:

      http://blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2010/11/pomplamoose_turns_its_talents.php

      • “Dear Nino
Well… AOL.
As it turns out, AOL is one of my clients!
Do you know what our project is with them?
To train all of their staff to create content on their own.
That’s their plan!
They have 1600 employees now (down quite a good deal from when they were able to buy Time/Warner with stock!), and their CEO’s plan is for them to become ‘online video content creators’. And how are they going to do it? (Do I even have to tell you?)”

        I don’t think you have to tell me, it speaks for itself. If that was me I wouldn’t go around bragging about it. It would appear that if they are seeking partnership with an established production company they don’t think much of your results and don’t believe in any revenue generating potential that they could be getting from you. Again, your track record on these sort of things isn’t really one to write home about it.

        Getting everyone to understand the fundamental of video is not the same as creating revenue generating programs. This is why you never created a revenue generating program. You are telling others how to do it based on your knowledge and subsequently they are not generating any revenue either.

        “In the meantime, here’s a link to more successes from Pomplemoose – you know, that couple who make music videos from their home:”

        Once again Michael, you are taking credit for something that you have nothing to do with it.

        The success of Pomplemoose isnt’ video, is singing.

        And you are again agreeing with what I’ve been telling you for years. Video in itself is useless, it’s a medium to promote something else. The number one reason that a photographer becomes successful is because he places the purpose of that video ahead of himself. And he does that by using all his skill in serving clients to the full extent of their needs.

        As I always said, in this capitalistic society unless someone is paying for it or is generating some sort of revenue, video is useless and worthless. If nobody is willing to dish out money it means that it has no value to anyone.

        This video that you’ve been talking is not successful because of the video, is successful because the persons in it have other talents and use video to broadcast those talents.

        That’s a major difference from the story telling that you’ve been preaching.

        Tomorrow I will be doing an interview for ESPN that’s probably one of the most important if not the most important of the year. Four cameras and a crew of 8, and probably a budget of 20K. I’m in charge of the photography and my responsibility is to make it look the best I can.

        It will take us about five hours to make it look good. The interview will last only about 15 minutes and they’ll use maybe five.

        Yet, I have nothing to do with the content and I doubt that anyone will know the effort that I’m putting into, that’s my job and it is a job BTW, one that pays very well. The public would notice however if there’s no photographic effort to make the set up look good because the public is accustomed to see quality.

        The first thing that the public see when they turn to a channel is the photography, they don’t know about the content yet. If the photography is good enough and appealing will attract their interest and they will stay on that channel, hopefully the content is as good as the photography, otherwise they’ll keep on surfing channels.

        You keep talking about cost, well, there’s nothing more expensive than a cheap program that nobody wants to see and is not generating any revenue.

        This is what I mean about team work. Many talents and many skills coming together for one single purpose, and that’s generating revenue.

        This is one of the reasons that your 5Takes shows failed, beautiful and exotic sceneries that all ended up looking like crappy backyard.

        • Dear Nino
          I don’t know why you keep referring back to 5Takes.
          It ran for four seaons.
          That’s 13 shows a year for four years at $250k per show.
          You can do the math.
          I will take an original season and three more years of renewals any day of the week.

        • And, as for Pomplemoose, it exactly makes my point.
          Shooting video is not a job.
          Video is a tool to drive other businesses.
          I don’t see them hiring a ‘professional’ videographer.
          they don’t need one.
          It would be crazy in this day and age.
          And it’s the videos on Youtube that got them the deal.
          This is exactly the kind of thing that AOL wants to do.. and about a dozen other clients.
          Anyone can make this stuff with a little training.
          Anyone.

  11. “Dear Nino
I don’t know why you keep referring back to 5Takes.
It ran for four seaons.”
    

    Could it be that it’s the only work that you have ever shown as your own production? Countless people have been asking you for years to show some work that you did, but that was it. In this business you are only as good as your last job and credibility doesn’t come from talking, comes from showing your work, this is a visual business not a debate society.

    Would you prefer that I talk about your other venture? Like the “What’s your trip”?

    Or, if you want to talk success on the web, how about CitizenNews?

    “That’s 13 shows a year for four years at $250k per show.
    You can do the math.
I will take an original season and three more years of renewals any day of the week.”

    And that was it for you, you know that it will never happen again. You haven’t had another show since.
    You made money but the Travel Channel didn’t, our job is to make money for our clients, in turn clients hire us. Those BTW are referred to as “jobs”.

    Take my word, if that show was profitable it would still be on. The last of those episode was shown at 2am and at 10am on Sunday morning, and that’s all, no other times. That’s the graveyard of broadcasting and be assured that whatever you really got paid for the Travel Channel got nothing in return.

    Also you might want to point out that all those VJ that worked on those shows didn’t get any pay at all. I’m sure that they’ll be glad to hear that you made a bundle at their expenses. I guess you’re right, for your standards it isn’t a job. Did you say “screw them” to them too?

    You nailed the coffin on any chance of VJ to make it to TV. Those shows were so bad that no cable channel will ever give VJ generated programs another chance. It could have been good if somebody with knowledge of programming was in charge.

    
“And, as for Pomplemoose, it exactly makes my point.
Shooting video is not a job.
Video is a tool to drive other businesses.
I don’t see them hiring a ‘professional’ videographer.
they don’t need one.
It would be crazy in this day and age.
And it’s the videos on Youtube that got them the deal.
This is exactly the kind of thing that AOL wants to do.. and about a dozen other clients.
Anyone can make this stuff with a little training.
Anyone.”

    Isn’t this exactly what I said above?
    “Once I month I get hired to give a talk to chamber of commerce membership meeting about the importance of using video to market their businesses. I teach marketing not video. Video is a medium to achieve something, like a printed brochure is, a billboard or a radio ads. I talk to them about the element necessary to compose a video and what to expect if they either hire somebody or if they decide to do it themselves. If they are smart enough to run a business they can learn to do something as elementary as elementary video. I tell them what they need and where to find it. I will not offend their intelligence by telling them about the hand that cut carrots. I don’t want them to thinks that I’m stupid by thinking that they are stupid. I teach the logic of what to look for and how to understand it, and I can tell them all this in minutes.”

    Aren’t you drifting from the topic of this thread, how about the “Food Channel days are numbered?” what happen to those?

    Indeed video can be used in many and many ways. But in al your post in the last 8 years everyone of them is about making money as “JOBS” This “is no job” is another of your excuses to justify why nobody has been making any money money with your teaching.

    Also on Youtube there are millions of other self created videos to promote whatever talent the maker has, and for each success story there are millions that got nowhere.

    Will you now go on your NYVS and tell all those guys that it isn’t a job? That now according to you whatever they pay to learn will not earn them any money. Are you going to tell them that unless they start taking singing lessons there’s no money to be made.

    If you don’t I will.

  12. Don’t want to get involved in Nino’s private dispute with Michael, but wanted to clarify one point. I was the GM of the Travel Channel 2005-2009 and commissioned 5 Takes. It was pioneering, and so imperfect, but profitable despite it’s relatively small audiences because it hit a very valuable, young demographic and created content at relatively lo-cost for multiple platforms which enabled us to offer integrated ad sales packages. We stopped the series because we wanted to concentrate on producing a more consistent programing offer to an older audience; 5 Takes today – in the age of widespread wifi, facebook, Skype, gps, MeetUp,iPhones etc – is still a compelling concept for the right channel.

    The fact is you will struggle to get a traditional US production companies to generate international series, including casting, working on a 7 day turn-around for less than $350-400k a show. When your costs are lower your point of profitability is lower too.

  13. Pat, your loyalty and friendship to Michael is admirable, a bit misguided maybe but still admirable.

    Let me start by telling you that there’s nothing personal between Michael and me, I kind of admire what he has been doing. I’ve been an advocate for the advancement of professionalism in this business for over 40 years. I have been facing the Michael Rosenblums of this industry since the day I started in January of 1970. And believe me, there have been plenty of Rosenblums over the years that attempted to exploit my profession for their obscene profits. The reason that now they get more traction is because of the web.

    I’m not an union advocate, I believe in advancement thru education and by offering clients a better service and a better quality product. I’ve been encouraging this across the many professional forums on the web.

    This thread my give you a better picture of my mission
    http://www.b-roll.net/forum/showthread.php?t=26513

    In my 41 years in this business I have dealt with hundreds of TV executives and the only reason that I’m not one of them is because I never wanted to be one of them. Creating images was what I wanted to do all my life and materialistic stuff, like money, was never important to me. As long as I earn enough to provide a good living for my family is sufficient for me. So please don’t make the same mistake as Michael keeps making, and that’s to classified creative people in this professional a second class citizens good only to be exploited.

    With all my dealing with TV executives in my long career I have still to see anyone admitting of making wrong programming decisions, somehow they always manage to come up with a silver lining.

    I have no doubt that at some point and at the very beginning the 5Takes show was profitable, it was something new that got old very fast. This is television and nobody gives up something profitable. Perhaps the show didn’t fit the customary programs that the TC has been creating, but this is a copycat business, if the show was as profitable as you are saying it was Michael would have been all over other cable companies boasting about the profitability and trying to get the show on other networks, and if as profitable as you say it was we would have dozens of similar copycat shows running everywhere.

    The fact that the 5Takes style of programming was never recreated on any cable or broadcasting network and basically was born and died on the TC isn’t difficult to assume that it wasn’t as profitable as you say it was. Now, if you are considering that those shows gave birth to the very profitable TC Academy, then yes indeed, it was well worth.

    Also let’s not forget that the people that created that show did not get paid, they did it for the pure benefit of the TC and Rosenblum revenue. If I didn’t have a conscience and my goal was to exploit people to work for me for free I would be the richest man on earth.

    Also there was the other TC similar venture, “What’s your trip” the show that never was, even thou there were promos made by Bourdain and Zimmer and a lots of noises from Rosenblum, then all went silent.

    Now let’s tackle the infamous production costs that appears to be the epicenter of all these controversies and according to you and Rosenblum is the biggest problem that programmers are facing today.

    I also do crewing and budgeting for crewing, so I’m well aware of what it takes to create productions of any size.

    It so happens that about 12 years ago I worked in many capacities on a series for the TC that is still running today. The reason that I left was that as the series started to gain success I was asked to extend my travel time and my personal policy is not to be away from my family for longer than a week on each assignment.

    Those shows were organized like clockwork. Be assured that if you had to pay those who produced the 5Takes, even if paid at the poverty wages that Rosenblum pays his people today, the 5Takes production costs would have been substantially higher than some of the shows that have been running on the TC for over a decade.

    And BTW, a few years ago I had the same conversation with Michael about show budgeting and the obscene cost of producing TV shows. I was trying to figure where the money goes. As I’ll shows you next, they don’t go into production. Somewhere along the way there’s some obscene profits being made that has been driving the industry into the ground. Yet all the cuts are being targeted toward the production end thus destroying the quality of the shows and making a bad problem even worse.

    That’s management at its very worst.

    Michael of course did not have an answer.

    So let see it.

    Michael claims that you paid him $250.000 each for those shows.
    Would you or Michael care to break down the costs so we can analyze them and see where the money are being spent? I don’t think so.

    You also said that it costs cable company between $350,000 and $400,000 to produce a single episode.

    Considering that we are talking about the TC, lets see what it would cost to produce today those shows that I worked on 12 years ago for the TC. Keep in mind that newer technology is expediting many phases of production thus resulting in more effective costs.

    First about the production schedule and workflow. 12 years ago we produced a hour long show in five days; leisurely, enjoyably and without any mad rush. Apparently we did a good job as the series is still running today

    A producer/director travel to the location about a week before the crew arrive. He/she makes all the contact, scout locations, create a shooting script and make all the necessary arrangements. Also keep in minds that at times there were several crews working on different episodes around the country or the world. The talent/host was spending one or two days at each location, taping the needed appearance on camera then flying to the next location while the crews continued creating the remainders of the shows.

    When crew arrive it goes directly to work. Every shot is well planned and the show moves along like a well oiled machine.

    And here are the costs, these are based on six days allowing for travel time too.

    Crew= DP/soundtech with equipment @ $1700 per day x6 = $10,200
    Producer @ $400 per day x6 = $2400
    Grip (hired local) @ $250 per day x 6= $1,500
    Air travel for 3 @ $800 each = $2,400
    Per diem for 3 @ $50 per day $ 900
    Car rental, 2 suv @ $80 per day plus taxes $ 1,000 (est.)
    Hotel for 3 @ $300 per day= $1,800

    Scouting 1 week @ S400 per day $ 2,800
    Hotel, 7 nights @ $100 = $700
    Per Diem @ $50 = $350.00
    Car rental @ $50 per day $ 350.00

    Editing 10 days @ $400 per day = $4,000
    Voice over, $2,000

    Extras:

    Travel and expenses for talent (if needed) not included.
    Graphics and animation if needed not included.

    Here you have it Pat, of course this is without seeing any specs, but b ased on what we did for the TC 12 years ago I could deliver a 1 hour show to you for a production cost of apx. $ 28,500.

    This is a huge difference between the $350/400,000 that you claim as being the costs, or even the “economical” $ 250,000 that you paid Michael. Somebody along the way is making some obscene profits. Profits and self serving management decisions is dragging this business into the ground. Yet, yours and Michael’s solution is to reduce those production costs that would have a minimum impact on the overall costs, even thou those cost cutting decisions will surely effect the quality of the product, and apparently those management decisions are fine, as long as those ungodly profits remain untouched.

    Let me give a typical example, and this is right up your your alley as this was a BBC job in Florida.

    I was asked to crew a job with 3 crews. I was able to find an available crew local but the other available were substandard to meet the client’s needs. The only solution was to bring in two crew from out of town, but that would add overnight accommodations. Please note that here in Florida I can get a good room in a chain hotel for $80 per night.

    The producer and director told me that overnight accommodation were not on the budget and settled for a substandard crews. Please note that both producer and directors stayed at the Ritz-Carlton at $380 per night.

    Same situation two months later, same director and producer. This time they really want good crews, not the previous crews. Again there was no budget for overnight accommodations. Producer and director again at the Ritz.

    So this time instead of paying for a hotel and for per diem they approved 4 hours of travel overtime and 240 miles charges for each of the 3 days shoot.

    Additional costs per day:

    4 hours OT pre day $540
    240 miles @0.50 = $120
    Total daily = $ 660.00

    So the producer approved an additional $660 per day instead of approving an additional $130 per day.

    Needless to say that the crews paid for their own room and charged for the overtime and mileage netting an additional $530 per day.

    I could fill a book with this type of stupid management decisions that have been screwing up this business, and in spite of the economy these decision are still being made.

  14. Well Gentlemen?

    For years you’ve been claiming that costs of productions are to high and need to be brought down, yet as I showed you with real number, the REAL costs to deliver a one hour show are less than ten percent of what you are paying for a show.

    So this begs for the question:

    WHERE’S THE MONEY GOING?

    Not in production that’s for sure.

    I understand that groups dining in the finest restaurants in Paris can be expensive, but perhaps a more moderate indulgence from management might just be the answer to maintain successful quality programming?

    I can tell you that a spinach and grilled shrimps salad at Applebees for $9.99 is very healthy and very good too. And the difference in price from those French chefs creations might be the difference between using a picture quality camera vs. a toy one with no picture quality on a TV productions, after all, if you really care about this business, shouldn’t picture quality be a priority that supersede a delicious meal?

  15. NEVER MINE THE FOOD CHANNEL , WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE TRASHY REALITY SHOWS POPPING OUT SOME QUALITY (FOOD CHANNEL) IS BETTER THAN NONE

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Every day Michael Rosenblum blogs about the latest developments in the world of video and the media as well as future trends in technology and equipment.



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