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March 20, 2008


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For as much hell as I've given WKRN and local media in general for Not Getting It, I do sympathize with their situation.

At the end of the day, these stations are businesses with salaries to pay. VV was no doubt a valuable asset, but to whom? Clearly it wasn't valuable to WKRN, because it wasn't making them money.

Monetizing things that are new and nebulously valuable to a community without alienating that same community is tough. It's easy for me to rip on WKRN for their decisions, but consider if you were the one making the decisions. What was the answer for them? Ads plastered all over? (The advertising model is a decreasing win, these days). A subscription model that alienates/loses probably half the userbase? I'm not sure what the answer was..

There probably definitely was and is a viable model there, but it's not what that can be underwritten by a corporate-owned local station facing budget cuts and bottom lines that subsist on traditional, old-school, dying media.

It clearly wasn't the best decision, as it's clear that in the "evolve or die" dichotomy, WKRN has chosen "die" -- but I can sympathize with the difficulty of the situation. Change is never easy, particularly when real people's salaries and livelihoods are on the line.

Agreed completely. It's too bad that Young Broadcasting is tanking so hard, because what Sechrist started there had all the roots of something fantastic. As much as I dig my blog job here, it wasn't born of the same supreme passion and vision that Sechrist brought to the table. What was seeded there blossomed and then was cut down. There really was no other choice considering the challenges, but I still consider it tragic.

Part of me thinks that ACK should go out on his own.. Server space is cheap. It would take a lot less advertising and/or subscriptions or whatever to cover the overhead of one person than it does to cover the overhead of a large TV station trying it..

He's got a dedicated readership already, and they'd be a lot less alienated by attempts to solicit donations, have ads foisted on them, or to subscribe, since they know that he's doing it to make a living and keep the site up as opposed to lining the pocket of a corporate behemoth..

Not an easy task though..

If my suspicions are correct what may be next could be very similar to that. With a little financial backing to make things easier.

Again, just a hunch.

Please drop by KRON and give them the finger for killing VV please.

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