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My two cents.

My Two Cents

You can appreciate the fact that this lingering recession in the entertainment business is upsetting, to say the least. Show biz loves inflation!

Why are we in this mess?

Opinions abound, so here's my two cents.

First, let's take on the film sector. So far, all the blame seems to be placed squarely on the filmmaker's shoulders. But, what about the exhibitors? These people still expect that the "product" fill their expensive seats, no matter what the conditions of these seats are.

Could Cheap John Stores, for example, sell something as unessential and expensive as a bottle of Liz Taylor's White Diamonds? Probably not, but Bloomingdale's certainly can! See the metaphor?

Now let's analyze the broadcasting industry. Television managers tend to justify their predicaments on the high cost of programming, a poor advertising environment and the increasing competition.

But, picture, if you will, the poor viewer being bombarded with thousands of programs a day, when he only has time for a few shows that he painstakingly has to search for.

Successful newspaper editors have discovered that their job is not only to present the news, but also to make the right selection of news. In other words, they say to the reader: "We have selected for you what our experience says you should know."

It should be similar for television viewers. It is impossible to sort through each station schedule. Therefore, the programmer should say to the viewer: "Today you shouldn't miss this show," and not hype a list of 30 or so selections per day.

Then, let's look at home video. Better yet, let's take the home video viewer. Today, when he or she goes to the video store, it seems that there is little interest in past theatrical releases and uncertainty about movies that didn't receive theatrical exposure. But, among the many video programs the viewer has never heard of, there are bound to be a few jewels. Why then doesn't the video store owner promote those titles locally, as a theater exhibitor would? A few distributors are even experimenting with paying the theaters to show their movies, thinking that theatrical exposure could translate into better home video and television sales.

The fact remains that the public's attitude is changing. I don't have to tell you this, but the infrastructure we're working with is the same old one.

Forget talk about adapting. It's time to push for drastic changes! Dom Serafini
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:effect of recession on entertainment business
Author:Serafini, Dom
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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