The Coming Media Chaos

Bob Garfield, Ad Age columnist and NPR host,
says broadcast television is gone and traditional media are heading into a
period of chaos.

Broadcast television is gone, according to Bob Garfield, media critic for Ad Age and National Public Radio. Garfield told an audience of public relations professionals at the Bulldog Edition media seminar in New York this week that traditional media are entering into a period of chaos because current models of production, financing and distribution are no longer viable.

Already major advertisers are moving away from broadcast toward various other forms of media and the move will only accelerate as advertisers realize they are paying more and more for less and less. He noted that even the Disney Corporation, which owns a broadcast network, now spends more on other media than on television. He asked rhetorically, “What does that say?”
His answer is a period of chaotic change as new models for supporting media production and distribution shake out. The change that’s underway, as virtually all of us know, is so basic and fundamental that it’s affecting how we live day-to-day. Garfield asks at what point does it become economically impossible to serve fragmented, individualized audiences? How will funding be found to sustain program production when advertisers turn to specialized, targetted media?

The current model is breaking down and the technology driving the change is coming at us faster than the ability of producers and advertising agencies to adapt. Thus, we’ll continue to see a torrent of change. It will affect us in several ways and it will seem chaotic until things shake out.

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