Can You Ever Have Your Cake And Eat it Too?

Y’know, those old folk sayings– corny, trite, hooked in yesteryear? They last for a reason. They put the finger on an enduring human truth. Here’s the above adage about greed being played out today in a 3D media frenzy.

Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien were the cakes and NBC was the greedy and ill-fated owner/consumer.

How did they get into such a mess?  It started with evaluating their once and future audiences. “Jay’s OK now but 5 years from now? Gotta move the older guy and advance a younger one to capture those 18-49ers. (the prime TV market targets).”

NBC decides “We can have it all. Let’s make Conan the Prince of Wales. Then, owning Leno, we let the king slowly peter out and slip Conan right onto that throne, not missing a beat. And we even keep Leno too, in a new time slot. We can have it all (the cake, that is)!” So what happened? Jay kept doing fine with his mixed-age market. Conan fit in with his slotted audience too, but not with the other one.

The cake-eaters in the front office ate too much too fast. TV watchers knew what they liked. And didn’t. Leno and O’Brien fit into people’s needs exactly where they were. And those prophets in the front office? They need to borrow from another adage–“pull their heads out of the sand.”  Then go downstairs and find out how folks really think and act.  And boy, have they got the generations all wrong! More about them next time.



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