Television Today and Tomorrow: It Won't Be What You Think

Gene F. Jankowski, Author, David C. Fuchs, Author
Gene F. Jankowski, Author, David C. Fuchs, Author Oxford University Press, USA $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-19-507487-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Jankowski, former president and chairman of the CBS Broadcast Group, and Fuchs, a former senior v-p there, here present a comprehensive history of TV, new developments in the industry, and what they predict the future holds: network TV will better than hold its own. They point out that cable TV ``began life as a reception improver, not a maker of products.'' They also demonstrate that CBS's and NBC's ventures into cable have been unsuccessful and a drain on their resources. Network balance sheets are examined, showing why, in 1991-92, ABC finished third in the ratings but made a profit, while CBS was rated first yet had a loss. We also learn that news programs such as 60 Minutes and 20-20 are popular with producers because of their low production costs; the importance of NFL football, whose defection devastated CBS, which lost many affiliates to the fledgling Fox network; and why Fox has had a bigger competitive impact on the other networks than all of cable combined. FCC regulations are scrutinized, as well as the impact of PBS and whether television remains a ``vast wasteland.'' This textbook on how TV works will appeal most to those involved in the industry. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
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