Monday, September 22, 2014

Comforted by false reality

A New York Times article, The Surprisingly Large Cost of Telling Small Lies, quotes a successful English business person about the need to confront truths, even uncomfortable ones,
"...telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you over-report a metric, under-report a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it."
Troy Reeb, VP of Global News and Station Operations, prefers living in false reality because today, he said on Global's BC1,
"As viewership has fragmented across multiple specialty channels, and across online viewing, the ability of advertising alone to support local news has been really challenged. It doesn't mean that local news isn't still really popular; we still have as big a audiences for the BC Newshour as we ever have."
Shall we explore the numbers?

In the seventies, CBC had been the TV news leader in Vancouver. However, in 1977, BCTV made assignment editor Keith Bradbury assistant to news director Cameron Bell and, leading an extraordinary team, the two men remade Vancouver's news scene. When Bell left BCTV a dozen years later, ratings showed 625,000 - about one in five British Columbians - watched BCTV's daily News Hour. In 1989, The Province newspaper wrote,
"No newscast in Canada - including Ontario's populous golden triangle - gets the viewers like Newshour. Extrapolating the numbers nationally, Newshour ratings would demolish even The National."
If 20% of BC residents watched BCTV's successor today, Global's News Hour would have more than 900,000 viewers. Instead, the steadily declining viewer count is now closer to 300,000, less than half the peak per capita rate.

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  1. In BC, the government and their corporate masters pay a surprisingly small cost for telling large lies. Global BC is one of the reasons.




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