The Internet Killed TV, Too


There has been a nationwide, slow, unstoppable erosion of local studio
production that continues today. Kid shows were the first to go,
studio-audience talk shows soon followed, even simply produced cooking
shows were axed. Stations have been bought up by big companies and the
bottom line has become a station manager’s bottom line if he or she is
to retain the position. Today’s studio production almost totally is
automated. Dehumanized. No camera operators, minimal lighting and
sound, fewer stagehands, fewer engineers, and practically no one but a
lone “director” operating a remote control board that switches the
cameras to about three basic shots. Profits dictate and the ledger’s
bottom line has taken the heart out of locally produced programs.


7 thoughts on “The Internet Killed TV, Too

  1. And oddly enough, I’ve long since quit watching commercial television. We watched the Olympics, and it’s almost shocking to see the crazy stuff that advertisers think I will want to buy.
    PBS is semi-ok — nature shows in HDTV are fun.

  2. They dropped Saturday cartoons – so why would kids watch them? Kids dropped the network to watch cable.
    Of course, folks are getting cable with 200 stations of nothing.
    If cable doesn’t do it, DVD rental services now deliver streaming video.
    So last time I was sick, did I watch the daytime network TV or did I look for something I really wanted to see???

  3. Television was always better when you were a kid.
    Network TV does suck, but there is still plenty of good stuff. Realistically, how can the Networks compete with cable? Cable can essentially do anything it wants, with no mandates and relatively little censorship. Plus, they only need to produce 10-13 shows, instead of 18-24 shows as a season. That can really impact the quality.

  4. I’m trying to conjure up a quote from Clifford Antone I read in the Austin Chronicle decades ago. Business was slowing up at his well-known music joint, Antone’s. Something about people needing to “stop renting goddamn videos” and get out of the house to see live music. I don’t remember the exact quote but I think of it every time I hear about some technology “killing” something else.
    So it goes. He had a live music club in Austin until he died in 2006, so I guess the videotape stranglehold didn’t succeed.

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