Inexpert Analysis – Happy Hour Todcast

by Tony Russo
contributing media professional

As media professionals, my co-host Todd DeHart and I are kind of expected to have a working knowledge of a little bit of everything. In deference to that expectation we pretend that we do, even to ourselves.

In order to get grip on the flow of the conversation you’ll have to tune in to the Todcast — instructions are available in the closing paragraph — but from NASCAR we moved to a rather informed discussion about the inevitable demise of cable.

It’s too easy to slam the horror that is the reality show, as well as the horror of their continued popularity and prevalence. But what is interesting is the likelihood that within my lifetime — absent a disease or lightning strike — we will have ala carte television.

Reality television is ubiquitous because it is really cheap. But in an ala carte model, how much would you pay each week to keep up with the Kardashians or to laugh along with the Two-and-a-Half men laugh track.

It’s kind of an exciting time in that way. Just as with real estate, we’re in an entertainment buyer’s market and that bodes well for people willing to pay for quality. As a few examples, we spoke about the relative success of the Kevin Smith movie Red State, the home run comedian Louis C.K. hit when he sold and produced his last stand up feature and Public Television’s near invulnerability as their Downton Abbey series gains more and wider attention.

SOPA and PIPA were floated ostensibly because of piracy that costs the movie industry money. What really costs the movie and television industry money is the fact that people don’t want to pay for consistently substandard products. Billions of dollars or not, Transformers is going to come home to roost. Really, it already has.

Feel free to join us 6 p.m. each Tuesday for the Happy Hour Todcast at Burley Oak Brewery. If something tragic keeps you from coming out, you can always check out the resulting recording Thursday afternoon by subscribing on iTunes. Just type GCFL into the search bar at the iTunes store to subscribe. Fair warning before you listen: Put on your irony hats, kids. It’s all in good clean fun.

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