What to Expect When Trying to Sell a TV Show

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3rd October

Last night, Pat Younge, former head of The Travel Channel, former Chief Creative Officer at The BBC dropped by for dinner.

Since we had him as a kind of captive, we got him to answer a few basic questions on what he looked for when he was buying or commissioning programming.

These days, he is also running his own production company, the London based Sugar Films — so he has been on ‘both sides’ of the table.

I think you will find his remarks most useful:

Originally posted on

The 40-Minute Film School

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3rd October

On October 12th, I am going to engage in an interesting experiment.

I am going to teach a room full of people to be what I would call ‘video literate’ and do it in 40 minutes.

(I may run 5 minutes over).

This is, admittedly, something of a stunt, but I am also doing it to prove a point.

In today’s Washington Post, there is a very disturbing article about senior citizens who are going to have to work until they die.  They are in their 70s and cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors for minimum wage, and they will do so apparently until they die, because they have not saved a dime for retirement.

How did this happen?

A lot of it happened, I think, becasue parents essentially bankrupted themselvs to send their children to college.

Today, a university degree, (pretty much any private university) can cost as … Read More »

Newspaper Death March

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3rd October

After a 40 year run, The Wall Street Journal announced that it will stop publishing its European and Asian editions.

It’s hardly as surprise, following the News Corp’s announcement that the international editions posted losses of $643 million this year.

Well, the news that papers are in trouble is hardly news.  They have been in trouble since Craig Newmark first launched Craig’s List in 1995, and initiated the ever continuing process of the Internet striping away advertising revenue from papers.

Today, Craigslit has been supplanted by Google and Facebook. Last year, Google and Facebook together grab an eye-watering 99% of all online advertising growth.  The handwriting is on the wall, if not printed in the paper.

As well, readership for papers continue to fall of. Pretty much no one under the age of 30 reads a paper, and certainly does not buy one. The prospects here are poor.

If … Read More »

Humans of New York Pivots to Video

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3rd October

Humans of New York, a Facebook page by photographer Brandon Stanton, has just pivoted to video with the start of a weekly show on Facebook Watch.

Earlier this month, Facebook launched a new section of its site called Watch. The section is a new video hub on Facebook with shows that you can watch. The new section is not for just any video that anyone wants to put up, but rather like a Facebook TV channel with on demand content just a click away. Facebook has teamed up with some of its most popular creators to pivot into the world of video. One of those partners in this first roll out is Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Humans of New York.

Brandon’s story is an amazing and inspiring one. Brandon started, only a few years ago, as an amateur photographer. He created a Facebook Page … Read More »

The CJR is Wrong.. and Right

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3rd October


The Columbia Journalism Review, a highly praised and excellent print publication that reviews the world of journalism yesterday published a piece by Heidi Moore entitled The Secret Cost of Pivoting to Video.

As print publications move online, it is almost inevitable they they also move into the world of video.  This can be done right or it can be done wrong.  For most print publications, it is done wrong, and at both considerable cost and low revenue in the long run.

Ms. Moore does a very good job of explaining how the online advertising revenue world is being eviscerated by the likes of Facebook and Google.  She also explains the motivation for print to enter the world of video, (which I think is inevitable for anyone who wants to survive in the online environment).

The issue, as with all journalism, is the … Read More »

Real Life Explorers And A Video Camera

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3rd October

Real life explorer Ed Stafford is having a good run on The Discovery Channel, the FT reports.

The former British Army officer spent 860 days walking the entire length of the Amazon river, and filmed the whole thing himself. As you can imagine, it made for a remarkable series – one that Discovery Channel jumped on.

He was self-filming for a future documentary and uploading video blogs. “It was such an old-school expedition but we were essentially broadcasting it live,” he says. “At one point we uploaded a video on running out of food before we’d actually managed to find any. That gave me a kick.”

This stands in sharp contract to quote “Reality TV Shows” like Bear Grylls, who takes along crews, directors, lunch…

Given the criticism aimed at Bear Grylls for staying in hotels, using safety consultants and full film crews, there … Read More »

Carnival of Journalism – For Whom Do We Report News?

6th February

I am delighted to see that the long dormant Carnival of Journalism has been brought back to life.

This month’s topic is “Regardless of how we present our stories to our audiences — online, on-air, or in print — do we truly take them into consideration?”

Journalism is, first and foremost, a business.

This might not make for the best journalism, but considering the alternative, which is bankruptcy and silence, it is the best possible option.

Without income there is no journalism. Income must come first, journalism must come second. No readers, no viewers, no revenue – no newspaper, not TV news, no journalism at all. So, as with most things in life, journalism is a compromise.

The primary task of any journalistic institution is to stay alive, and hopefully, to grow and expand. you only do this by offering content that the viewer or the reader wants to see. … Read More »

The Press Conference In The Age of Twitter…And Trump

16th January

and now, the news…

A few months ago, I left a package in the overhead compartment on a Delta Flight.

You know how it is. You arrive, you scramble to get off the plane, and then, in the taxi, you realize, ‘where is the package? It’s in the overhead’.

When I got home, I called Delta. I gave them the flight number and the seat number and I assumed they would find the package with little trouble. They said they would call back.

They never did.

Days went by. I made lots of calls. Nothing.

Then, I tweeted @Delta about how bad the customer service was. How they could not find my package. About how terrible Delta was. I kept tweeting. I also added #Delta, just for good measure.

Amazingly, after about 6 or 7 tweets, Delta called me. The package had been found!

That Twitter thing really … Read More »

Here is How to Defeat Donald Trump

12th January

Since he first descended his golden escalator in Trump Tower on June 16th, 2015 (a day that will live in infamy), people have been underestimating Donald Trump, much to their misfortune.

One by one he plowed through 16 other candidates for the Republican nomination and then went on to decimate an extremely well funded and well organized Hillary Clinton to win the Presidency, much to everyone’s amazement.

He turned out to be a master of the ‘new media’, using it to bypass newspapers and television, or using his outrageous statements to garner an estimated $2 billion worth of free press.

Now, the question for the Democratic Party (and many Republicans) is how to defeat him.

Needless to say, the Democrats will start scrambling for a white knight who can come to the rescue, or perhaps a Watergate-like, well researched scandal that will bring him … Read More »

MOTHERLAND – A New TV Series For 2017

7th January

image courtesy Wikicommons


On the heels of the success of House of Cards on HBO, the cable news channels (and the networks) have  launched their own drama series – MOTHERLAND.

Like House of Cards and Homeland, it is a political thriller.

The first seasons, which I have just screened, could become another Breaking Bad, even it the plot line is a bit over the top and requires a serious suspension of disbelief.

The series opens at the inauguration of a TV Reality Star as the President of the United States. (Already I find this almost impossible to buy into, but let’s go with it).

No one in the country can believe that this TV star, (who has the attention span of a gnat and a self-absorbed ego the size of Texas), has been elected, but strangely, defying all odds, he has.

Cut to Moscow, where the … Read More »

Michael's Blog

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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