19 novembro 2004


Springtime of the Moguls: Beware. Today's media-titans-to-be aren't fire-breathing barbarians but cheerful, civilized guys
The moguls have raised a generation quite unlike themselves-and now the personality of their business, its main motivations, possibly its entire reason for being, are in play. [...]
If the theme of the last generation was to manage growth - corporate growth as well as the worldwide demand for ever more media diversion - the theme of this new generation has been (and will be) to manage decline. The media center doesn't hold: the fall of the networks, the collapse of the 30-second spot, the commodification of news, the breakdown of distribution monopolies, and audiences everywhere stealing whatever can be stolen. [...]
After all, the share price of each media colossus is stuck in amber. From an investor's standpoint, all these companies are dogs. The usual strategy by which a mogul would move an immovable share price is to do a big deal. But there's nothing left to buy. The only alternative then is to sell - but moguls are not, by temperament, sellers, and you can't sell if the only buyers are your competitors.
Hence... the new paradigm. [...]
So what happens when reasonable, logical, sane, not unnaturally greedy, not too glamour-struck, generally mature (mature enough - or tired enough - not to want to conquer the world anew), strictly accountable (nobody here is going to have boards or shareholders in the palm of their hands) men find themselves in charge of a world made out of ego, greed, grandiosity, and lack of accountability?
Possibly, they let it fall apart
(By Michael Wolff, a two-time National Magazine Award winner. His book "Autumn of the Moguls", which surveys, in part, the increasing obsolescence of those at the helm of media empires, comes out in paperback this month)

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