Television

On The Media

Bezos Buys the Washington Post, and Why Jerks Make the Best TV, and More

Friday, August 09, 2013

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post, the story of the (incredibly) difficult men behind the golden age of television, and a mysterious TV network from the past you probably don't know existed.

On The Media

Voice of America

Friday, July 19, 2013

We are often reminded of the privileges we enjoy as Americans, but here's one thing we can't do on native soil - tune in to Voice of America. The U.S. government radio station that was created as a propaganda tool during World War II was prohibited from broadcasting at home. In an interview that originally aired in 2003, Brooke talks to lifetime VOA staffer Alan Heil about his book Voice of America: A History.

Matmos - Y.T.T.E.

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On The Media

I want my slow TV!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation has been creating some of the world's slowest TV - shows like a 7 hour train ride or 18 hours of salmon fishing. Norwegian audiences are loving it. Brooke speaks with Rune Moklebust of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation about why he thinks so-called "boring TV" is actually quite exciting.

Nina Rota - Il Casanova di Federico Fellini 

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On The Media

Warm Feelings for a Cold War

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In her book “The Future of Nostalgia,” Svetlana Boym reminds readers that nostalgia was originally a medical condition. The word was coined by Swiss doctor Johannes Hofer in the late 17th century. He used it to describe a debilitating disease that plagued its victims with depression, obsessive thoughts of returning home, and hallucinations of scenes from their homeland and the voices of distant loved ones. Populations especially at risk of contracting nostalgia included displaced workers, students from foreign lands, and of particular concern, soldiers fighting abroad. Boym explains that “[i]t was unclear at first what was to be done with the afflicted soldiers who loved their motherland so much that they never wanted to leave it, or for that matter to die for it.”

Today, of course, nostalgia is no longer a battlefield illness. Instead, curiously, nostalgia manifests itself among many Americans as a longing for wartime.

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On The Media

Reality TV is Even Faker Than You Think

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reality TV — the very institution that has saved the medium by delivering high ratings at low cost — has also pretty much defiled the culture in all the obvious ways. What is perhaps less than obvious is how manufactured and unspontaneous it all is. To understand the reality behind the unreality of reality TV, we spoke to a former producer of such fare. The anonymous producer tells Bob about some of the elaborate staging and scripting he participated in while helping produce these shows.

 

Dwight Twilley Band - TV

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On The Media

The Television Show!

Friday, December 28, 2012

An update to On the Media's look at the world of television, originally aired in May, including how the industry is coping with changing consumer habits, the future of the communal viewing experience, and reality TV's reality problem.

On The Media

TV Hijackers

Friday, December 28, 2012

On a Sunday evening in the late 1980s, two or more unknown men hijacked the signal for two Chicago area TV stations. They broadcast a spooky, subversive, disturbing message — twice. Brooke talks to Bohus Blahut, a Chicago broadcaster, who saw the broadcast and was unable to forget it. 

 

Doctor Who Theme - Delia Derbyshire/Ron Grainer

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On The Media

How We Watch TV

Friday, December 28, 2012

There are a lot of ways to watch TV: free streaming online, via a traditional cable or satellite package, paying for services like Hulu Plus, etc. But the TV industry makes vastly different amounts of money depending on how you choose to watch. We invited Peter Kafka, media reporter for the website All Things Digital, to play the part of a moustache-twirling cable baron, and explain which of our staffers have viewing habits he can support, and why.


Earle Hagen and Herbert W. Spencer - The Fishin' Hole

Red Foley - Television

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On The Media

Chaos Scenario Revisitied

Friday, December 28, 2012

Back in 2005, Bob explained his Chaos Scenario about the future of media — including TV.  Now, he reflects back on predictions he made and the status of television viewing today.

 

The Who - Baba O'Riley

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On The Media

Will We Ever Watch TV Together Again?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Web TV services, DVRs, and on-demand TV encourage us to ignore the broadcast schedule and watch at our convenience. So what will become of the experience of watching the same show at the same time as your friends? Bob sits down with David Carr, media critic at the New York Times, and Matt Zoller Seitz, New York magazine's TV critic, to see if the water cooler will evolve or perish.

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On The Media

When is it OK to Spoil?

Friday, December 28, 2012

People who watch TV when it actually airs and blab about it online can ruin it for those of us who watch shows at our leisure. Their excited Twitter chatter about the great twist in last night’s Mad Men is frustrating if you haven’t yet watched last night’s Mad Men. New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum is a prolific tweeter who began grappling with this problem after Twitter users complained about a phenomenon they called "Nussbombing." She talks to Brooke about her evolving system of spoiler etiquette.

 

Big Joe Turner - TV Mama

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On The Media

Why TV Is So Good Right Now

Friday, December 28, 2012

One of the surprising side effects of the upheavals in the TV industry’s business model is that, for now, we’re actually living in a golden age of scripted television. Television networks have found that one of the few predictable ways to build an audience is to create content that’s really, really good. Alan Sepinwall covers TV for Hitfix.com and is the author of the new book The Revolution Was Televised. He tells Bob about the unlikely path that led us to this TV renaissance.

 

Battles - White Electric (Shabazz Palaces Remix)

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On The Media

Interviewing Kids In the Wake of a Tragedy

Friday, December 21, 2012

A lot of criticism was leveled at the press for interviewing the child survivors of the Newtown school shooting in its immediate aftermath. Bob talks to WABC-TV reporter Bill Ritter about whether it's ever appropriate to interview a child in the moments after a disaster of this nature, and whether the very act of interviewing a child could contribute to the childrens' trauma.

Emiliana Torrini- Dead Duck

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On The Media

TURNING DOWN LOUD COMMERCIALS

Friday, December 21, 2012

In 2010, Congress passed the Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation Act, also known as the CALM Act, which would keep television commercials from being louder than the programs they sponsor. The law finally went into effect last week. In an interview originally aired in 2010, the Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson explains to Bob why regulators haven't been able to turn down the volume of commercials until now.

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On The Media

The NFL and Player Concussion

Friday, December 07, 2012

In the past two years, seven former NFL players have killed themselves, and in each case, many argued that depression and dementia brought on by job-related concussions were to blame. The pressure is on the NFL to better protect its players, and the league is defending itself by running public service announcements during games. Bob talks to NFL Chief Marketing Officer Mark Waller about the campaign.

Acid Pauli - Mst

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On The Media

Fight or Flight

Friday, August 31, 2012

This summer has seen a host of natural disasters, from wildfires across the U.S. to Hurricane Isaac. Back in 2009, while wildfires burned in Los Angeles, Brooke spoke with LA Times then-media reporter James Rainey about how the wildfires were unfolding for him in his backyard and on his television screen.

Peter Gabriel - Down To Earth

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On The Media

On Max Headroom

Friday, May 25, 2012

This week OTM reflects on a night twenty five years ago when two Chicago television stations' broadcasts were interrupted by the someone posing as the fictional computer generated host “Max Headroom.” But of all the faces available to hide behind, why Max Headroom's? What was it about a disembodied computer program that appealed to the Chicago signal hijacker?

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On The Media

TV Hijackers

Friday, May 25, 2012

On a Sunday evening in the late 1980's, two or more unknown men hijacked the signal for two Chicago area TV stations. They broadcast a spooky, subversive, disturbing message -- twice. Brooke talks to Bohus Blahut, a Chicago broadcaster, who saw the broadcast and was unable to forget it. 

 

Doctor Who Theme - Delia Derbyshire/Ron Grainer

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On The Media

Will We Ever Watch TV Together Again?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Web TV services, DVRs, and on-demand TV encourage us to ignore the broadcast schedule and watch at our convenience. So what will become of the experience of watching the same show at the same time as your friends? Bob sits down with David Carr, media critic at the New York Times and Matt Zoller Seitz, New York magazine's TV critic, to see if the water cooler will evolve or perish.

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On The Media

Is Online-Only TV Ready For Prime Time?

Friday, May 25, 2012

This year the Upfronts - the model that was once used by television channels to sell advertising and show off their slate of shows - was passed to a new platform – online.  Digital programmers held the first ever event to show off their online programming, called the Newfronts.  Bob talks to Sahil Patel, reporter for the online trade publication Cynopsis, about what the brave new world of online-only TV holds in store.

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