The End Of TV
What the Leno/Matt Lauer drama is really about, via Ace of Spades:
The Tonight Show used to be a cash bonanza for NBC -- $150 million in profits, per year. Now it's down to $30-40 million. Even though Leno is still the ratings champ, they're dumping him anyway, in a cost-cutting move.Yes, and the old networks missed their chance to get on board. It's kind of sad, but they only have themselves to blame.
Networks didn't used to do that. They used to be flush enough with money that these things could be negotiated. (Johnny Carson wound up working just 4 nights a week to make his huge contract deal work out for everyone.) But do to declining importance and fewer viewers, they now have to just let top rated guys go.
TV networks are in serious trouble. There is no chance they won't remain major players -- they have a lot of expertise tied up in contracts. And institutions tend to continue on.
But Amazon is going to get into the TV production game, and Netflix already did. Meanwhile cable continues to cut into networks' ratings-- where it was once unthinkable that cable stations could beat the mighty networks, it now happens from time to time.
It will happen more.