Networks Eyeing Increased Web Traffic Should Post More Shows Online

If television networks want to drive more traffic to their websites, they should post more full-length episodes of their programming online, and do so sooner, rather than focusing on superfluous marketing gimmicks. In the DVR and TiVo age, when many viewers simply fast-forward through commercials, providing full-length programs on networks’ websites with limited commercial interruptions has a better chance of keeping viewers focused on the advertising. As someone who regularly finds himself catching up with certain programs on the network’s websites, I have noticed that because the commercial breaks are rather short (often between 15 and 45 seconds), I am exposed to more advertising. Also holding my attention on the commercials is the fact that I cannot channel surf during the breaks. Simply put, by delivering shows in an environment that eliminates most distractions from an advertiser’s message, networks can increase exposure to both their programs and their revenue sources.

Timely posting of shows to networks’ websites also helps, as I often need to catch up with a previous episode before a new one airs.

Flipper’s Ric O’Barry Reveals Japanese Dolphin Slaughter

In the forthcoming documentary The Cove (, Ric O’Barry reveals a horrifying, secretive tradition in Japan. O’Barry, who trained the five dolphins used to film the 1960’s TV show Flipper, is now an animal rights activist focused on freeing dolphins from captivity and preventing their abuse.

As he discussed on WBUR’s Here and Now (“Flipper’s Trainer, Now Dolphin Activist”), following his experience with the dolphins trained for Flipper, O’Barry realized that these animals, being predominantly auditory animals, cannot thrive in the concrete environments that typically house them. Since the death of the original Flipper, which O’Barry witnessed, he has worked tirelessly, and often outside the law, to protect dolphins. O’Barry has been both arrested and sued, but neither could dissuade him from his passion. Because of his dedication and perseverance, he and a team captured rather horrifying footage that became the documentary The Cove. The film reveals an annual ritual in the Japanese town of Taiji which sees young female dolphins auctioned off to willing buyers while thousands of unwanted dolphins are killed for their meat. This meat, high in many toxins including mercury, is sold to the Japanese public without their knowledge of its health hazards. The subject matter is horrifying to be sure, but I look forward to seeing the film. A PG-13 trailer is available at

In support of the film, a new awareness site was created at The site includes a message from Ric O’Barry, as well as information on getting involved in the fight against dolphin and whale slaughter.

The Human Firecracker

John Fletcher, or “Ghengis [sic] John the Human Firecracker,” regularly dons a firecracker-laden suit and sets himself alight to raise money for charity, but as he reveals to The Wall Street Journal, after roughly 12,000 performances involving nearly 300,000 firecrackers, the show may soon come to an end.

Check out Carrie Porter’s article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, “When You Perform in a Firecracker Suit, Every Show Ends With a Bang.”

Brokaw to Host ‘Meet the Press’

In the wake of Tim Russert’s passing, many have wondered who could take his place as moderator of “Meet the Press,” the longest running program in the history of broadcast media. Large shoes to fill, to say the least. NBC has announced that starting next Sunday, June 29, Tom Brokaw will host the show, continuing through the November election. The show will continue to air from NBC’s Washington, DC studios.

Source:NBC’s Tom Brokaw to Moderate ‘Meet the Press’ through election,”

A Great American Icon Is Lost

Yesterday, another great American was lost to heart disease, barely a week after a heart attack claimed the life of newsman Tim Russert. George Carlin, 71, died Sunday evening of heart failure at a Santa Monica hospital after complaining of chest pain earlier in the day. Carlin, best known for his “Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV,” got his start in the 1960s on the Tonight Show with Jack Parr and went on to later host the first episode of Saturday Night Live. In the 1970s he abandonded his mild-mannered comedy and took to more biting comedy that he is known for today, earning him the distinction of “Dean of Counterculture Comedy.” His “Seven Words” skit also led to a Supreme Court ruling affirming the government’s power to restrict certain offensive speech. On Tuesday, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that George Carlin would receive the 11th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. During his roughly four decade career, he produced 23 comedy albums and 14 HBO specials, and had appeared as recently as June 15.


We’re Getting Closer

For all of those readers out there with Sirius or XM satellite radio service, The Wall Street Journal this morning reported that the FCC is circulating a draft of its final decision. According to the article, found here, the draft indicates approval of the merger. The FCC was the final regulatory body left to bless the merger, after the Department of Justice approved it earlier this year. While not unexpected, given the DOJ approval, this is certainly welcome news nonetheless for both subscribers and shareholders alike. As both, I have been eargerly awaiting a final decision, particularly because I currently have Sirius and would love to have Major League Baseball on my satellite radio.