I was struck by an article in today’s online edition of Ad Age about the Republican field’s dissatisfaction with CNBC’s mishandling of their recent debate. The author, Ad Age’s “media guy” Simon Dumenco, notes that outsider candidates Trump and Carson feel it’s time to tell the networks how things will be run, rather than the other way around. And if the networks are not amenable, then go with alternative media instead. Then networks can either arrange to air the streamed content or not. Per Dumenco, Trump and Carson don’t really much care either way.
As Dumenco sees it, these outsider candidates are such hot content creators in their own way, they see the nets as having little to offer. He cites the ongoing loss of newspaper subscribers, to which I would add the ongoing erosion in cable subscribers and the long-term ratings decline for the nets as evidence that America today gets its news in other ways. From MSNBC and Colbert on the left to Fox News and Breitbart on the right, it is clear that “silent” America is voting with its eyeballs and ears, steering a course away from the pundits and commentators of the past, who are now seen as biased purveyors of pre-packaged points of view.
The right and the left are quite well represented in today’s media bastions.
But while both Democrats and Republicans suffer continuing long-term losses in party affiliation, Independents are on the rise. In January of this year, Gallup reported that a new record of 43% of Americans now identify as independents. Democrats were at 30% (down from 31 the prior year), Republicans at 26% (up from 25).
So where are the TRULY mainstream media, the media in the center of things? This looks to me like a vastly underserved market, ripe for some entrepreneurial startup activity that has deep pockets. We need a “Central Broadcasting Company.”
Here’s the link for the Ad Age article: http://adage.com/article/the-media-guy/politicians-fire-media/301175/?utm_source=mediaworks&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1447103209