Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fighting technological change...with spitballs and a cap pistol

by Don Keith

First, before I begin my rant, I hope you and yours have a wonderful bunch of holidays.

Now, let me once again castigate those who have control of my former medium--broadcast radio--for going to war against a raft full of new high-tech challengers armed only with spitballs and a cap pistol.  As the business is crumbling around them, traditional broadcasters continue to argue among themselves about which "solution" will keep them vibrant and profitable even as the whole business of audio has lapped them and is racing away from them.

Even as they load up the FM band with low-power translator stations to find so-called format niches, even as they buy off phone companies to build in FM receiver chips in their devices, they fail to notice that their former listeners are finding much more compelling audio content coming at them from all directions.  (Same is true for video content and no-clue TV station operators, too, but we won't go there for now.)  Do the radio station operators decide to invest in providing something worth listening to, programming that would make listeners stay with them, even through the commercials that the radio stations themselves say--on the air!--are evil?  ("And now, another long set of hits without commercial interruption...")

But wait.  Commentator and researcher Mark Ramsey says it better than I ever could HERE.

It is well worth the read, whether you care about radio or not.  Here is a brief excerpt if you can't be bothered to click on the link above:

I have often pondered what broadcasters could do if they turned back the clock on the six- or seven-figure investments they made in HD radio and funneled just a portion of that capital expense into the quality of their content.
Which makes your brand more compelling in the face of “fractionalizing attention”? Investments in HD radio? Or investments in superior content? Debates about the “connected car”? Or content that draws people to your brand no matter what channel distributes it? FM chips on mobile phones? Or content that demands to be heard on mobile phones, regardless of the mechanism?
Rapid technological change can be a good thing.  It can also trample into the ground those who don't have the smarts, creativity, or insight to react and take advantage of it.

A bunch of people who hold licenses for radio stations are getting trampled right this very minute.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The end of radio

by Don Keith

Regular followers of this rapidly-changing-technology blog are well aware of my constant harping on the dismal future of broadcast radio...those who still broadcast from a tower on a hill and believe that--because they are there and free--they will never succumb to new technology.  Just in case you have not seen my posts urging broadcasters to wake up and provide content worth seeking out--to use the brands they have established to beat out Pandora, Spotify, and other new competitors--here is a succinct summation of why and how soon over-the-air radio will be graveyard dead.  It comes from marketing guru and visionary Seth Godin:

An end of radio

Eight years ago, I described how city-wide wifi would destroy the business of local radio. Once you have access to a million radio stations online, why would you listen to endless commercials and the top 40?
I realized last week that this has just happened. Not via wifi, but via Bluetooth and the smart phone.
The car-sharing driver (Bluetooth equipped car, with a smart phone, of course) who picked me up the other day was listening to a local radio station. It was almost as if he was smoking a pipe or driving a buggy. With so many podcasts, free downloads and Spotify stations to listen to, why? With traffic, weather and talking maps in your pocket, why wait for the announcer to get around to telling you what you need to know?
The first people to leave the radio audience will be the ones that the advertisers want most. And it will spiral down from there.
Just as newspapers fell off a cliff, radio is about to follow. It's going to happen faster than anyone expects. And of course, it will be replaced by a new thing, a long tail of audio that's similar (but completely different) from what we were looking for from radio all along. And that audience is just waiting for you to create something worth listening to.

(To see more of Seth's thinking go to his blog pagehttp://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/

Is it too late?  Maybe.  I'm afraid that the current owners of most of America's radio stations are not willing to admit there is a problem.  And even if they were, they would consider the solutions to be too expensive and too risky.

They simply don't have the imagination to realize that their current content is no match for the other choices listeners now have.  Or the creativity to put something on their air that would compete.

Sad, sad, sad.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why people don't "love" broadcast radio

by Don Keith

I know some regulars here might grow tired of my continual reference to researcher Mark Ramsey and his comments about what it will take to "fix" traditional, over-the-air radio stations.  However, I can't help it.  The guy just keeps hitting it out of the park (note timely World Series-week baseball reference).

Broadcasters are facing their eventual demise (in my opinion, not necessarily Mark's) because they continue to ignore rapid technological change and how it is affecting their medium, including their very business model.  Affecting it just as it is TV, newspapers, magazines, the movies, and every other source of entertainment, information, and distant companionship.  You see, radio station owner/operators think of themselves as a ubiquitous medium with primarily over-the-air brands that listeners will continue to flock to and enjoy.  They are convinced that people still have allegiance to "radio" and to specific stations and call letters and positions on the AM and FM dial.

Apparently they still don't realize that potential listeners (and potential responders to their advertisers' messages) don't care how they get their entertainment, information and companionship.  There is no loyalty--and practically no awareness--of Rock 107 or The Q.  People just want to be able to find something compelling, creative, fun, interesting, entertaining, and warm, and they will use whatever medium, device or circuit they can locate that reliably delivers what they seek.

Mark's latest post is right on target.  He references an author who insists that a brand must include "love" to be as successful as it can be.  That brand does not have to be a broadcast facility either.  It applies to anyone trying to attract "customers" to a "product."  Call it "love," "warmth," "feeling," or whatever you like but it has to affect a user/customer in some emotional way for it to be successful.

I do know there is no "love" or "emotion" in a radio station that streams the same limited-playlist of music that "customers" can get easier from myriad other sources, has only cold, distant voices repeating meaningless slogans between the songs, clusters commercials into huge blocks that encourage people to hit the button or mouse and go elsewhere, and still believes listeners will flock to them just because they are offering "the biggest and best hits of the 80s, 90s, and today with fewer commercials."

Technological change has made such "safe" and lazy programming/branding--content without "love" or "warmth"--obsolete. There are so many places people can find soul-less content.  Why should they remain loyal or care about or go to any trouble to find and listen to some particular radio station when there are other choices that are equally boring but have no commercials or are easier to access?

Somebody is going to have to break the mold or over-the-air radio will be dead as a hammer.

Sorry.  I just don't see it changing.  It's a shame.  The very entities that once owned the hearts (and ears) of its customers are ignoring the obvious and have already squandered the huge advantage they once held.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Finally, a dose of reality

by Don Keith

Regular visitors know I often rag on  some of the radio-broadcasting trade newsletters who do their best to put a positive spin on even the worst news.  This is especially true when it comes to how rapidly changing technology and consumer demand have affected their previous monopoly on the automobile dashboard.

An article today in INSIDE RADIO, though, seems to actually acknowledge reality, admitting folks may be punching something else on their car radios besides "AM" or "FM:"

Fresh insights intoconnected car streaming.
More than one-third of Americans driving a car with a next generation dashboard regularly listen to streamed audio while behind the wheel. That’s according to a new report from Nielsen. The bottom line: if consumers have a digital dashboard system, there’s a good chance they’re listening to something other than broadcast radio at least some of the time.

Soon almost all cars on the road will have that "next generation dashboard," and the percentage of users who will opt for something other than "the biggest hits of the 80s, 90s and today" will climb well north of 33%.

What do broadcasters do to stem the tide?  Certainly not waste time and energy lobbying Congress to require FM tuners in cell phones.  Or barter precious ad time to cell phone makers to bribe them to include such a device.  Or give out more and more tiny-powered FM translators to AM station owners to further clutter the FM band with bad programming in a useless effort to save AM.

How about putting something on all those stations that would compel listeners to come back?  Or to choose not to leave in the first place?

Streaming the same songs everyone else is, Satanizing commercial content, being as bland and boring as possible, investing more money, time, and thought into cell phone FM tuners than in creative, innovative programming?  Continue that path and see how long radio broadcasting is a viable business model.

Or how long before NOBODY is listening.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Compound ignorance

by Don Keith

Regular followers of this blog know that I occasionally deviate from its stated aim of considering rapid technological change and its effect on media, society and even my hobby of choice, amateur radio.  Sometimes that deviation veers to politics.

Regular followers also know my own political leanings are mondo-complicated.  I am a flaming human rights liberal, an almost-reactionary fiscal conservative, and one who believes a large central government may have all our best interests at heart but is structurally incapable of doing things well.  I favor reasonable regulation, more dispersed government that is closer to the people, a strong reliance on the profit motive in business, and the freedom of mankind to do what it wants so long as those actions don't interfere with the freedoms and rights of others.

Today, an article from the web site of the Mises Institute caught my attention.  I reproduce it below for your consideration:

by Gary Galles 

People are generally aware of the positive power of compound interest when deferring consumption in favor of productive investments. But more important when it comes to public policy is the destructive power of compound ignorance.

According to John Rector, “Compound ignorance is the type of ignorance in which we are not aware that we are not aware.” It arises when “we don’t realize what we don’t know.” In government, however, such “unknown unknowns” often lead to untrammeled confidence among politicians, despite the certainty of error. Compound ignorance is put on display every time a “progressive” wants to turn still more individual decisions over to political processes and government bureaucrats. Blithely unaware of the immense blind spots of what they don’t know for productive social cooperation, they believe they are taking decisions from the uninformed and giving them to experts. But they have it backwards. Such expansions of government dictation actually move choices from the relevant experts, with appropriate incentives to act on that expertise, to those far less informed and facing far worse incentives.

The social costs of compound ignorance grows with government’s reach. And its many recent expansions, along with the many failures (e.g., healthcare.gov) and crises (from the VA to the IRS) that have accompanied it, illustrate that it has been taken to a new level.

Such scandals reflect the compound ignorance that separates political promises from what it takes to actually deliver on them.

The current version of that shell game typically starts with a presidential commitment, delivered with solemnity to convey “I really mean it.” But all responsibility for backing the words up (from “you can keep your doctor” to promises of cost savings to assertions that they will be the most open administration ever) is immediately swept from his teleprompter into the lap of some cabinet secretary or administrator. Then, when the promises turn out to be empty or unattainable, his delegated expert starts taking heat. There is a period of expressing confidence in their competence (which amounts to confidence that by picking the right administrator, circles can be squared), combined with efforts to focus attention elsewhere. But then political heat picks up. When it becomes worrisome, the administration expresses anger at the failure (which implies surprise) and determination to fix it. That is then demonstrated by bringing in a new fixer to replace their predecessor, transformed into the scapegoat. The president is thereby kept from ever having to put forward how he would do what he promises, firewalled from political blame, even when the multiple scandals allegedly discovered by watching the news demonstrate a compound ignorance that guarantees failure to know enough to deliver.

Obamacare’s enactment offered a good example of unwarranted confidence in the face of massive unknown unknowns. While Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” was widely lampooned (including a poster of her with the caption, “Ignorance: It’s not just bliss anymore. It’s policy”), the fact that Congress was forced to vote on what was not even available for reading creates an even higher order of ignorance — they could not even know what they were “deliberating” on, much less the degree to which it would be hamstrung by compound ignorance.

Such compounded compound ignorance offers a warning to every American to consider more carefully how frequently government “expertise” can actually make them better off by taking their resources and substituting its determinations for theirs. That is the crucial issue, as every other government act requires harming some, which is an odd way to advance anything that, with a straight face, could be called the general welfare. Unfortunately, in every area in which our desires and willing tradeoffs differ substantially, by far the most common case, such shifts inherently take decisions away from the only ones who know the details about their goals, desires, skills, alternatives, and other circumstances to make them the relevant experts.

Voluntary market arrangements incorporate the highly varied, yet overlapping, knowledge of all participants, each expert in their array of circumstances of time and place, even when the vast majority knows virtually nothing at all about them. Such specialization in knowledge and tasks that most are ignorant of, coordinated by markets is, in fact, the primary source of advancing civilization. It allows effective social cooperation even in the face of compound ignorance and constant change.

In contrast, when government fiat overrides that process, compound stupidity replaces coordinated knowledge. Inherently insufficient experts who don’t know enough to say “I don’t know enough” then demonstrate that they have been raised to a level beyond their incompetence. Government does ever more of what it cannot do well, but can do very badly. And since, as Friedrich Hayek noted, “The more civilized we become, the more relatively ignorant must each individual be of the facts on which the working of civilization depends,” the price society pays is beyond comprehension. 

Your thoughts are welcomed.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Please help me understand YOUR Federal Communications Commission

by Don Keith

Article in today's broadcasting trade press:

FCC deals AMs a setback on translator moves.
Waivers won’t bring relief for AMs after FCC rejects Tell City plan. It may have been the most closely watched waiver request in a generation because of its potential impact on AM radio. But despite popular support among broadcasters, the FCC has rejected the so-called Tell City waiver request that would potentially have given AM operators more flexibility in buying FM translators and moving them into their markets.
So, can someone in the broadcasting biz--and especially operators of AM-band stations--please help me understand how giving AM licensees first dibs on FM translators will, in any way, help AM radio to survive?

Please.  Tell me how it helps to:

  • Put current programming that is already being ignored on AM in a simulcast on FM.  So much of what passes for programming down there is stations simply riding syndication from a satellite.
  • Put more translators on an FM band that is already becoming cluttered due to all those "digital 2" translators, low-power FMs, and a serious lack of FCC enforcement of first-, second-, and third-adjacent channel protection for existing signals.
  • Give AM operators something else they can't sell to advertisers because there are no listeners to respond to their ads.
Seems to me there are better ways to give some relief to AM, including forgetting protecting clear channels at night, being less severe on directional patterns, and finally getting serious about the atrocious amount of electrical noise that is polluting the spectrum.

But even with that, I believe it is already too little too late for the AM band.  That chunk of spectrum will be a nice addition to the 160-meter amateur radio band in less than a decade.  And we hams will assure there are more people listening to stations between 540 and 1700 at that time than there is now in most markets.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are women better writers than men?

by Don Keith

OK, maybe you have not been pondering the point of whether one sex makes for better writers than the other, but the folks at a site called Grammerly decided to do some research on the subject.  Their "info-graph" is below.

You may have to enlarge the graphic to see the small print.

Just as interesting to me as the conclusions of the Grammerly folks is the fact that there is a website that specializes in checking and correcting your writing.  Is it better than Microsoft Word's fussy grammar correction?  A feature that literally drives me to distraction?

I don't know.  But in listening to folks talk and reading a great deal...especially on a particular local "newspaper" website...the need is there.  Oh, yes, the need is there!

Regardless the gender of the writer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What? A newspaper that is actually INCREASING circulation?

by Don Keith

Regular followers of this rant know that I have criticized long and hard the silly moves being made by traditional newspapers (and other media, for that matter!) to attempt to overcome major technologically-driven changes in how people consume media.  My favorite target is The Birmingham News, which continues to shoot themselves in the foot as they attempt to cut their way to prosperity and rely on a clunky, cluttered web presence (www.al.com) to meet the shift in users to a digital platform.

Well, in a recent blog post, media researcher and all-around bright guy Mark Ramsey takes a look at one newspaper that seems to be doing it right.  And it is an entity that many said was doomed, partly because it was a printed newspaper and partly because it was a hybrid local/"national? publication.  But mostly because a digital guy bought the dying paper and would surely run it the rest of the way into the ground.

Read on:

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been the owner of the Washington Post for a year, and while his experiment at the Post remains a work in progress, the brand is experiencing the highest digital traffic in its history and is even modestly increasing print circulation in a time when most newspaper brands are continuing to suffer steep declines.

1. Bezos is playing for the long term
Bezos is famous for putting long-term growth ahead of short-term financial pressures. Indeed, there would be no Amazon.com without this thinking style.  That doesn’t mean you should ignore the day-to-day financial demands of your balance sheet and your stockholders. But it does mean that you can’t create a long-term future in disruptive times one financial quarter and one round of layoffs at a time. It’s cliché, but true: You can’t shrink your way to success.

2. Bezos is investing in the brand
Bezos has added some 60 new editorial staff at a time when newspapers across the country are only cutting staff.  If you want someone to pay attention to your brand – to care about it – you had better give them more to pay attention to and care about, not less.

3. Bezos has launched a number of innovative initiatives
GigaOm writes:  [Editor-in-chief Marty] Baron gave credit to PostEverything and Storyline, as well as growth at other Post features and blogs such as Wonkblog (whose creator Ezra Klein left to start what eventually became Vox), along with new ventures such as The Morning Mix, and verticals devoted to health, science and sports.

4. Bezos has put great emphasis on digital, both strategically and in terms of hiring
Many of the new editorial hires were specifically for the brand’s digital platform.
Editor-in-chief Baron, from Capital New York:  In order to achieve those goals, we think we need to hire people who are fundamentally digital. They’ve sort of grown up in the digital world, they’ve written primarily for digital platforms, and that’s what we’ve been looking for. Our view is that the web is a different medium, and it calls for a different form of storytelling. These are all people who are experienced in that form of storytelling, and in many instances it’s second-nature for them, and that’s their primary form of expression. We need more of that, we want more of that.

So the Bezos recipe sums up to this: Focus on the long term, invest in the brand, take risks by experimenting with new initiatives, and see the world the way today’s digital consumer sees her world.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Books are old technology? Ask James Patterson if there is still gold in publishing

by Don Keith

I've posted multiple times about how rapidly changing technology has affected some media much more than others.  That is especially true of two media in which I have more than a passing interest: broadcast radio and book publishing.  I'm a former radio broadcaster and I have published more than two dozen books.

Well, I keep hearing that nobody reads anymore.  With all the audio and video choices, why bother turning the pages of a paper book or flipping the simulated pages of an e-book?  Apparently plenty of people still turn off Facebook or Netflix or Pandora and curl up with a good book, whether it's on ground-up trees or in an electronic device.

Forbes Magazine is out with their report on how much the best-paid authors make and, frankly, the haul is breathtaking.  And that correlates to plenty of copies of books being sold, whether in printed or electronic form.  No surprise to those who are aware that James Patterson leads the ranking with more than three times the income of number two.  Of course, he now has a small army of "co-authors" cranking out so many books it's hard to keep track of them all.  He averages releasing a book a month with his name on it.  But somebody obviously is.  Keeping track and buying them, whether they have time to read them all or not.

By the way, in case you are wondering, my income from writing books is similar to Mr. Patterson's...if you move that decimal point many, many places to the left!

(Another by the way:  I was actually under consideration to be a "co-author" with the late Tom Clancy.  I had always heard he paid his "co-authors" a flat $1,000,000 per book.  Here is another example of needing to move the decimal point many places to the left to be accurate.  Still, I was thinking about accepting the job if offered just to have the opportunity to work with Mr. Clancy.

Still, if Mr. Patterson is reading this, I could probably do a darn good "co-authoring" job on his genre of book, too!)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Desperate times call for desperate measures

by Don Keith N4KC

In the face of unprecedented assault from rapidly changing technology, broadcast radio has resorted to many desperate tactics lately.  Unfortunately, the most common defense is to cut every possible expense and do little more than stream music or "ride the satellite," running piped-in syndicated programming for most of the day.  None of this seems to be working.  Listenership and revenue are down, down, down.

Recently, a Canadian radio station, CKMP in Calgary, Alberta, did something even more drastic.  In order to make the claim that they played more songs than any of the streaming services (such as Pandora)--even with the commercials the station has to run--they simply edited each of the songs they played so they were all about 90 seconds long.

That's right.  They cut the songs by about 50% so they could play more of them!

OK, there was a time when stations did similar goofy stuff.  Some broadcasters used to speed up the songs a bit so they could play an extra one or two per hour.  In some cases, that also caused the same songs on other stations to sound a bit slow and lackluster.  Even so, listeners eventually noticed the songs sounded as if they were being sung by the Chipmunks and revolted.

Well, that is about what happened in Calgary.  Artists and record labels were the first to call foul.  They wanted the songs aired the way they created them.  I'm not sure that protest would have been enough, since stations are desperate enough to ignore any party that does not keep a rating book or carry a listening-measurement device.  But then listeners let them know how crazy the idea was.  They, too, wanted to hear all of their favorite songs, not just the half of them that the station decided they would play.

Three weeks into the experiment, the station gave up.

What's next?  To what lengths will desperate broadcasters go to try to save the medium from its demise?

One thing you can bet on: it will not involve putting better and more compelling content on their air.  That costs money, takes creativity, and requires a willingness to take a risk.

Those are three commodities sorely lacking in traditional broadcasting these days.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A dose of common sense, please

by Don Keith

Allow me to delve just a bit into politics this time around.  I became embroiled recently in--of all things--a debate over the dangers of government-mandated minimum wages on--of all places--an online forum devoted to self-publishing.

Then, just in the nick of time, I ran across this article, which does a good job--in my opinion--of dealing with that and similar subjects.

In a recent speech of which Politico claims absolutely energized the “Progressive” left, Elizabeth Warren laid out her so-called 11 Commandments of Progressivism.
In what follows, I will first give Warren’s “commandment,” and then explain how each so-called commandment cannot be implemented without official state violence and coercion. I emphasize that I am not going to use hyperbole or paint Warren in a false light. I’m sure she is a nice person when one meets her. My point is not that Warren is nice or nasty, but rather that she espouses a political economy that is based on political favors for some coupled with fierce intolerance toward many.
The 11 Commandments:
1. We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.
For all of the financial misconduct that we have seen from Wall Street, the problem isn’t a lack of regulation or a dearth of enforcement. No, the problem is that Wall Street is linked at the hip to the federal government and to the Federal Reserve System, which then uses Wall Street as a mechanism to pump cheap money into the system. At the same time, the state then protects Wall Street firms from the consequences that occur when investments in the financial bubbles the Fed creates fail.
Progressive Populists like Warren claim to abhor the tax-funded bailouts, but they don’t object to the inflationary actions of the Fed, nor do they call for a halt to the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and K Street. Yes, they might complain about the relationship, but at no time has Warren or any of her ilk ever called for a severing of the ties between Washington and Wall Street.
What Warren actually is saying is this: We want the state to have an even greater role in directing investments and determining the outcomes, and when the outcomes invariably fail — as we can expect central planning to do — then we demand ever more of the same. The results may be economically disastrous, but they provide marvelous political theater.
Warren never will endorse free markets on Wall Street — and neither will Wall Street, which I believe to be instructive. Nothing would provide better discipline for the markets than free markets, but Warren is not interested in market discipline; she is interested in the markets being forced to provide outcomes that violate economic laws, and then demanding even more government coercion when disasters inevitably occur.
2. We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.
Warren obviously is referring to the fact that not all scientists believe we are in the middle of catastrophic global warming — and that makes her mad. In fact, it makes Warren so angry that she wants the state to intimidate scientists that don’t go along with Washington’s pre-determined “scientific” outcomes.
One does not “believe in” or “not believe in” science. Science is not — or should not be — a deity. Science is about using certain consistent methods to ascertain and test various theories about the natural world. It also is about determining probabilities for certain, repeatable events and it should never be hijacked by politicians for their own uses.
If Warren truly did “believe” in science, then she would have no objection to scientists like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry explaining in public forums — without harassment — why they believe the current fears that Warren promotes about “climate change” are overblown. You see, in real science, the “discussion” never is over. Skepticism is the very heart of the scientific method, something that the “discussion-is-over” people like Warren refuse to hear.
What Warren means is that governments should fund scientific research, and that the research should reflect what politicians like Warren want it to reflect. America’s current obesity crisis, for example, is linked directly to government bullying of scientists almost forty years ago, forcing them to accept the government’s “new” nutrition standards, including the government’s “war on fat,” which has been disastrous.
3. We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.
I am no expert on “net neutrality,” but I don’t think that Warren is much interested in protecting the interests and rights of ordinary individuals who use the Internet, as she remains strangely silent on illegal spying done by the CIA and NSA which does absolutely nothing to protect ordinary citizens.
4. We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.
Translation: If you are willing to work for pay that is below what the government demands you be given, then you are breaking the law. And what about those people whose productivity does not match what Warren believes the minimum wage should be? They are out of luck.
What Warren does not say is that the original purpose for imposing the minimum wage was never about getting people out of poverty. Instead, Progressives wanted to ensure that certain groups of people, blacks and Eastern Europeans living in the USA, would be priced out of the labor market. Given the unemployment rate for black teenagers in this country is at an all-time-high, one just might think that the Progressive strategy has worked very well.
It is the business owners that Warren so despises who have to foot the bill of increased labor costs, and if they cannot, then the business closes, but Warren would of course not lose a dime. Lest one thinks she has any respect for entrepreneurs and people who have invested, worked, and risked their own finances in order to start and maintain businesses, Warren has this to say, according to Progressive columnist E.J. Dionne:
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she said. “Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” It was all part of “the underlying social contract,” she said, a phrase politicians don’t typically use.
Entrepreneurs, in Warren-speak, are social and economic parasites that should get no credit at all for anything. They just take advantage of government services and business success comes almost automatically and the entrepreneurs then extract wealth from the community via profits.
5. We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.
When I was fifteen years old, I worked at a tourist attraction near Chattanooga called Rock City. No one — including the politicians — believed that I should have been making enough to live on my own. Likewise, the vast majority of fast food workers are not people trying to live independently; they are earning money to help pay for their expenses, save for college, make car payments, and the like.
First, Warren does not even understand what we mean by jobs and wages. A “job” is the application of labor to the creation of either a producer’s good or a consumer’s good. A wage is the payment given to the owner of the labor services for that particular service. It is nothing more than that.
Second, by insisting wrongly that employment is essentially a welfare scheme, Warren disconnects labor from production. To use a Marxian term, she endorses alienation as a labor doctrine in which the worker is alienated from any realities regarding his or her job. According to Warren, the job is nothing more than an income stream to the worker, with the stream having no connection at all with the value of what the worker produces.
If we were to take the reality — based upon laws of economics — of Warren’s statement, we get this: “If you are willing to work for less than what the state declares to be a ‘living wage,’ you will not be permitted to work at all, and should you seek employment without permission from the state, we will treat you like a criminal.” Unfortunately, in Warren’s new order, there would be lots of labor criminals, people working off-the-books and ultimately marginalized people turning toward the fringe occupations that the state declares to be illegal.
6. We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.
Student loan burdens are becoming greater, but perhaps we need to ask why that is so instead of telling students that someone else — often someone not privileged to have had a college education — will foot their bills. If pushed hard enough, I suspect that Warren would agree with fellow leftists that college should be both tuition-free and relatively open-accessed. Furthermore, in their minds, that should be no problem. (I have spoken to enough faculty members where I teach to know that a lot of leftist Democrats believe that colleges should not charge tuition or anything else, period.)
At the very least, it would seem, Warren believes that individuals that rack up large education debts should not fully have to pay those debts, with the payments, instead, falling to the taxpayers, and even though it is quite clear that the personal “profits” from a college education tend to be privatized. Like the Wall Street firms and other crony capitalist outfits, Warren now wants an entire country in which certain politically-favored groups (and firms) find their profits privatized, but their losses socialized, and paid for by everyone else.
7. We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.
Interestingly, while shilling for increases in these things (which, as always, are covered fully by taxpayers who will be forced to supply the “dignity” to others), Warren is not willing to afford “dignity” to entrepreneurs who saved, took big risks, and took chances with their lives to provide goods and services for the benefit of consumers.
8. We believe — I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014 — we believe in equal pay for equal work.
Warren is not speaking of payment for men and women who do the same job in a market setting. In fact, there is a lot of evidence that shows that single women tend to outearn single men.
No, Warren is speaking of a term called “comparable worth,” in which government authorities determine the “equality” of jobs. Such a process is utterly politicized, so what Warren really means is that the state will determine the so-called worth of a job, and then force employers to pay accordingly.
9. We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.
If Warren meant getting the state out of the marriage business, I would support her point here. However, judging from all of her rhetoric, what she means is that everyone else should be forced to accept her definition of marriage, and anyone who does not will be fined or even arrested for holding onto dissenting views.
Warren constantly agitates for a thoroughly politicized society in which the state decides what is valuable, what is “legitimate,” and what kind of thinking should be permitted. When former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich this year was forced out because he had contributed some money to a “man-and-woman” marriage initiative in California in 2008, it sent a clear and chilling message to workplaces everywhere in the US: the only thing that matters is politics.
It didn’t matter that Eich was a major player in helping develop the Internet and his skills will be sorely missed. No, the Elizabeth Warrens of this world care only about a person’s political views. (Maybe that is one reason Warren has expressed such hatred of successful entrepreneurs: they succeed outside of political ideology.)
10. We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.
Because the current immigration situation is a hot-button item that I would prefer not to touch, given I can see arguments on both sides, I only will say that Warren’s vision of unlimited immigration into an absolute welfare state would be a disaster. Warren has shown no proclivity to putting any limits on welfarism, and given her political record, I believe she sees new immigrants as a source of political support exchanged for welfare benefits.
11. And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!
The Hobby Lobby decision was quite limited, and the implications of the decision certainly did not call for the totally unhinged reaction Warren and others had. The US Supreme Court did not prevent anyone from receiving birth control devices or anything else. All it said was that there were four kinds of devices or chemical compounds which abortion opponents call abortifacients that certain employers could be exempt from providing free of charge for employees.
It does not prohibit Hobby Lobby employees from purchasing those particular chemicals or devices; the decision only says that Hobby Lobby does not have to pay for them, given the religious nature of the company’s owners and the fact that it is a tightly-held corporation.

Please understand what Warren is saying: the owners of Hobby Lobby have no rights. They are not people; only those with views similar to Elizabeth Warren have rights. 

Okay, it's not strictly about rapid technological change, but I feel better now, having made this excellent rebuttal available on my little blog.

Feel free to agree or disagree.  Just, please, be logical, cite and document research, and avoid emotional diatribes.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Someone please help me understand

by Don Keith N4KC

Maybe someone can explain something to me.  Article in an industry email newsletter today:

Pai seeks deeper AM radio fixes.
FCC commissioner Ajit Pai yesterday renewed his call for moving forward on proposed quick fixes to help AM radio. During a meeting with Ohio broadcasters, he said elimination of the so-called ratchet rule and setting an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters top his list.

Now, how will allowing more AM broadcasters to put up FM translators re-broadcasting their AM programming help save the AM band?

Okay, so maybe it allows them to make enough money to keep their AM transmitter on the air, but it also clutters up the FM band, puts more marginal signals there that will drive even more listeners to alternative audio sources, and opens things up to even more abuse.

Abuse?  Having big-market/multiple-station owners putting sham AM stations on the air just to be able to re-broadcast them on FM is abuse.  So is using so-called HD2 channel audio to program a translator.  Neither leads to greater use of stations on the AM broadcast band.

Please, someone, tell me where I am missing how this plan is the salvation of AM radio.  And tell me why AM even needs to be saved if the marketplace has already determined it is no longer needed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Self-serving research example of the day

by Don Keith N4KC

Here we go again with using research studies to back up a self-serving point of view.  You can bet that if you surveyed 1,000 ostriches and asked if they felt they had a better view of what was going on with their heads in the sand, you would get a majority who would answer, "Yes."  Otherwise, you would probably never hear about the study in the first place.

The latest is reported by our old friends at INSIDE RADIO, who would have been telling buggy whip manufacturers that all was well with their industry until the very last one closed shop.

This one--by some outfit named NuVoodoo Media--determines that 62% of new members of Pandora continue to listen to traditional over-the-air radio at least a half hour a day.  Well, huzzah and hurrah!

We have no idea how the questions were worded, nor do we have any input on the demographic breakout of this "study."  But did it occur to the researchers (or to those in broadcasting who seem to think this signals that people who listen to streaming media actually listen more to AM/FM than they did before, as the article's title implies) that there is a rational explanation for these results.

Few yet have the ability (or data credits) to listen to streaming audio in their vehicles, though many more will soon.  If their daily commute is a half hour each way in a car, and they want to listen to audio, it has to be AM/FM...or CD or audio book or whatever...but you can bet most of that is AM/FM.
There's your 30 minutes a day for Pandora users right there.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The future of advertising

by Don Keith N4KC

The way advertisers attempt to reach and influence potential customers has been basically the same since the first newspaper ad.  The first radio ad was a 15-minute "infomercial" for a housing development on Staten Island.  Not long after the first TV station signed on the air, we had our first "We'll be right back after these words from our sponsors."

Display ads in print, spot announcements on radio and TV, "showings" of billboards...these were how companies tried to create brand awareness and direct response.  That has all been changing rapidly in the last decade.

An article from one of my news sources today:

Twitter is targeting ad dollars spent on Facebook with an upcoming pricing model change that moves from any interaction with ads to allow advertisers to specify which action they wish to pay for, such as downloading an application. The fee structure is likely to boost ad prices as target audiences receive more attention and Twitter can appeal to small and midsized businesses, 

With the advent of the Internet, Google, and social media, creators of goods and services have a whole new way of reaching potential customers...and paying for it.  No longer are they limited to running a schedule of commercial announcements--30- or 60-second commercials on radio or TV, all clustered together in what the industry calls a "spot break."  You know, when you can run to the kitchen and fix a sandwich.  Or hit the button on the car radio to see if another station is playing music.  Or, more likely today, when you can hit the "Skip" button on the remote control and get past the commercials entirely.

No, today advertisers can purchase and pay for actual response.  If someone sees an ad on a web site and clicks on it or does a search and clicks on a link, then the advertiser pays a small fee.  If nobody does anything, the advertiser owes nothing.  That is called "pay-per-click," and in the case of Google and other search engines, it is called "search."  You can pay Google for clicks, too.  That's what those first three or four results at the top of the page and the stack of links down the right side of the search result page are: ads in which the advertiser owes nothing unless you click on the link.  But they are ads that only show up if the searcher is looking for something relevant to what they were looking for.

You know how you have to sit through those Viagra commercials whether you have an interest or not?  Or have to hear that shouting car dealer ad on the radio whether or not you are in the market for a car?  The ads you see on Google only appear if you are searching for something that the Google algorithms deem are relevant.  And if you visit a web site for, say, a new Toyota truck, you will suddenly begin to see ads everywhere for Toyota trucks and local dealerships.  But unlike radio or TV where time is linear, you can ignore the ads on those web sites if you want to.  Or you can click and learn more...and that is when the advertiser pays for you, not when you just see and ignore the ad.

It is even possible for advertisers to purchase "pay-per-lead" ads, meaning the company owes nothing unless the person who clicks on the link costs the advertiser nothing unless he or she submits a "more info" request.

With spot advertising, businesses are paying for ears and eyeballs as determined by ratings surveys.  If the ad works and they sell product--which sometimes happens--the advertiser is happy.  If not, tough.  "It must have been bad creative," the media say.  Or, "You didn't spend enough money.  Let's go again and double the investment."

With pay-per-lead, pay-per-click, search and even more exotic ways of digital advertising, companies now can still reach potential buyers with their messages, but, in many, many cases, they only pay for those who actually respond.

And that is the future of advertising.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Friends in high places

by Don Keith N4KC

Nothing heavy this time.  In fact, just a quick post to let everyone know that my friend (and the subject of my latest book, MATTIE C.'s BOY), Shelley Stewart, will be speaking to the National Book Club Convention in Atlanta this weekend.  Everyone...and I mean EVERYONE...should hear Shelley's message.

See more here: http://blog.al.com/press-releases/2014/08/national_book_club_conference.html 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Rapidly changing technology? One of my publishers finally catches up!

by Don Keith N4KC

rolling thunder NASCAR books by Don Keith

 I suppose there is some irony there.  I blog about rapid technological change, and especially how it affects media (such as book publishing!).  Yet some of my more successful books have--until very recently--remained available only in good, old-fashioned mass market paperback and audio formats.  Well, Tor, one of the major publishers, notified me a while back that they were finally--after more than 15 years!--releasing the ROLLING THUNDER STOCKCAR RACING SERIES novels (co-written with Kent Wright) as e-books.

Thank you, Tor!  Truth is, ebooks had not really come about yet when Kent and I did the books, and publishers are still not that gung-ho about releasing older material, even in e-book, which actually costs very little to do.  We are pleased the publisher believes enough in the material to to do.  Now, can they find a new audience?  Obviously, Kent and I, as well as the publisher, hope so.  We sold quite a few paperbacks and audio books, and got great reviews and comments.  The series is written on an adult level but are perfectly acceptable for readers of all ages.

Librarians and teachers were especially excited about the books since the subject of NASCAR racing might attract kids who were not fans of reading.  And the writing is such that they might encounter some metaphor, simile, foreshadowing, character development, and other literary devices without realizing it.

Plus the books are just a lot of fun!  Fun while tracing the history of one of America's most popular sports using fictional characters but with "appearances" by some of racing's best-known names.

So we are thankful that technology has allowed the ROLLING THUNDER books to be available again in a format that might allow others to take a ride--at almost 200 miles per hour!--with our characters.

Here is the press release that tells more and gives a link to a web page that gives more info about the books:

* * *   NEWS RELEASE * * *
July 24, 2014


The very popular ROLLING THUNDER STOCKCAR RACING SERIES novels have now been released as e-books for all types of digital devices.  Each of the books was well received, both by readers and critics, when originally released in paperback by Tor Books and as audio books by DH Audio.  However, until now they have not been available in digital formats.

While written on an adult level, this series of exciting books by award-winning and best-selling author Don Keith and NASCAR expert Kent Wright are perfectly suitable for younger readers.  It is not necessary to read the books in any particular order either.  Each work stands on its own.  The stories are based on real characters and actual events in the history of racing, from the whiskey-hauling days in Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina to the slick, new speedways of today. Many of the actual, real-life legends of the sport make "appearances" in the books.

The authors have tried to place readers right there in the cockpit of a 700-horsepower racecar!  Peter Golenbock, the co-editor of THE STOCKCAR RACING ENCYCLOPEDIA, says, "The ROLLING THUNDER novels do exactly what they promise to do: put the reader in the pits, behind the scenes, in the cockpit of a racecar, but they also give a compelling look at the personal side of big-time racing. Mostly, though, they are simply great stories about truly interesting people.”

In addition, the books earned high praise from teachers and librarians because they encouraged many younger readers who would not usually be interested in reading to explore these novels.

To learn more about this ground-breaking…and ground-shaking!...series, go to:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Another sign that everything has changed

By Don Keith N4KC

If anyone is still not convinced that a sea change has taken place in how consumers get their television--thanks in part to technological change--just look at the Emmy nominations, announced this morning (July 10, 2014).   (In case you didn't see them, I have included most of the major awards below.)

Traditional over-the-air networks are hard to find on the list, and even then, most of the nominations going to the "tower on the hill" gang are to PBS.  Instead, most of the kudos for best this-and-that go to everything from HBO to Netflix. This tells us two things:  1) People don't care where they get their video...over the air, cable/satellite, Internet, and, 2) The folks producing truly unique programming content do not hold FCC licenses or own towers.

Here's one more bit of proof: the only categories in which traditional networks dominate are those labeled "Reality."  I know they have their fans and viewers, but these, to me, are the least unique and creative categories of all.

Scroll through the nominations.  See how often Netflix, HBO, FX and AMC pop up.  Then look for CBS, ABC, Fox or NBC.

I rest my case.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Louie • FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions
Modern Family • ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Orange Is The New Black • Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix
Silicon Valley • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment
Veep • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions
Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Bryan Cranston as Walter White
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Jon Hamm as Don Draper
The Newsroom • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Woody Harrelson as Martin Hart
True Detective • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Fox 21, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison
House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Robin Wright as Claire Underwood
Masters of Sex • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Sony Pictures Television, Round Two Productions, Timberman/Beverly Productions Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson
Scandal • ABC • ABC Studios
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Dancing On The Edge • Starz • Ruby Film and Television in association with Endgame Entertainment and Playground Creative England and Lip Sync Productions
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo
Luther • BBC America • A BBC and BBC America co-production
Idris Elba as John Luther
The Normal Heart • HBO • HBO Films in association with Plan B Entertainment, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy Productions Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks
Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece) • PBS • Hartswood West for BBC/Cymru Wales in co-production with Masterpiece
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Jessica Lange as Fiona Goode
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Goode Foxx
Burton And Taylor • BBC America • A BBC Drama Production co-produced with BBC America
Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor
Return To Zero • Lifetime • Cannonball Productions
Minnie Driver as Maggie Royal
The Spoils Of Babylon • IFC • Funny or Die for IFC
Kristen Wiig as Cynthia Morehouse
The Trip To Bountiful • Lifetime • Ostar Productions
Cicely Tyson as Carrie Watts
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
Derek • Netflix • Derek Productions Ltd. for Netflix
Ricky Gervais as Derek
Episodes • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Hat Trick Productions, Crane Klarik Productions
Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc
House Of Lies • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Crescendo Productions, Totally Commercial Films, Refugee Productions, Matthew Carnahan Circus Products
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan
Louie • FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions
Louis C.K. as Louie
Shameless • Showtime • Showtime Presents, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros. Television
William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Girls • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath
Mike & Molly • CBS • Bonanza Productions, Inc. in association with Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. and Warner Bros. Television Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn
Nurse Jackie • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Lionsgate Television, Jackson Group Entertainment, A Caryn Mandabach Production, Clyde Phillips Productions
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton
Orange Is The New Black • Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix
Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman
Parks and Recreation • NBC • Deedle-Dee Productions, Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Television
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Veep • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race • CBS • WorldRace Productions, Inc.
Bertram van Munster, Executive Producer Elise Doganieri, Executive Producer
Jerry Bruckheimer, Executive Producer Jonathan Littman, Executive Producer Mark Vertullo, Executive Producer
Dan Coffie, Co-Executive Producer Giselle Parets, Co-Executive Producer Matt Schmidt, Co-Executive Producer Patrick Cariaga, Co-Executive Producer Phil Keoghan, Co-Executive Producer Michael Norton, Supervising Producer Darren Bunkley, Supervising Producer Neil Jahss, Supervising Producer Micheal DiMaggio, Supervising Producer Chad Baron, Senior Producer
Vanessa Abugho Ballesteros, Senior Producer
Dancing With The Stars • ABC • BBC Worldwide Productions
Conrad Green, Executive Producer Joe Sungkur, Executive Producer
Ashley Edens-Shaffer, Executive Producer Deena Katz, Supervising Producer
Tara West-Margolis, Supervising Producer Daniel Martin, Supervising Producer
Peter Hebri, Senior Producer
Ashley Shea Landers, Senior Producer Megan Wade, Producer
Ryan Goble, Producer
Project Runway • Lifetime • The Weinstein Company, Bunim/Murray Productions and Full Picture Entertainment
Harvey Weinstein, Executive Producer Bob Weinstein, Executive Producer Meryl Poster, Executive Producer Jonathan Murray, Executive Producer Sara Rea, Executive Producer
Heidi Klum, Executive Producer Jane Cha, Executive Producer Desiree Gruber, Executive Producer Rob Sharenow, Executive Producer Gena McCarthy, Executive Producer David Hillman, Executive Producer
Barbara Schneeweiss, Executive Producer Gil Goldschein, Co-Executive Producer Teri Weideman, Co-Executive Producer Rebecca Taylor Henning, Senior Producer Tim Gunn, Producer
Sasha Alpert, Producer
So You Think You Can Dance • FOX • Dick Clark Productions, Inc. in association with 19 Entertainment
Barry Adelman, Executive Producer Simon Fuller, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe, Executive Producer Jeff Thacker, Co-Executive Producer James Breen, Co-Executive Producer
Zoe Brown, Senior Supervising Producer Dan Sacks, Senior Supervising Producer Adam Cooper, Supervising Producer Mike Deffina, Senior Producer
Colleen Wagner, Senior Producer Matt Kinsey, Producer
Jensen Moon, Producer
Top Chef • Bravo • Magical Elves for Bravo
Dan Cutforth, Executive Producer Jane Lipsitz, Executive Producer Casey Kriley, Executive Producer Hillary Olsen, Executive Producer Tara Siener, Executive Producer Tom Colicchio, Executive Producer Padma Lakshmi, Executive Producer Erica Ross, Co-Executive Producer
Doneen Arquines, Co-Executive Producer Shealan Spencer, Co-Executive Producer Christian Homlish, Supervising Producer Blake Davis, Supervising Producer
Wade Sheeler, Supervising Producer Ivan Oyco, Senior Producer
The Voice • NBC • Mark Burnett’s One Three Inc. and Talpa Media USA in association with Warner Horizon Television
Mark Burnett, Executive Producer John De Mol, Executive Producer Audrey Morrissey, Executive Producer Stijn Bakkers, Executive Producer Lee Metzger, Executive Producer Chad Hines, Co-Executive Producer Nicolle Yaron, Co-Executive Producer
Amanda Zucker, Co-Executive Producer Mike Yurchuk, Co-Executive Producer Jim Roush, Co-Executive Producer
Kyra Thompson, Supervising Producer May Johnson, Senior Producer
Teddy Valenti, Senior Producer Ashley Baumann, Producer Carson Daly, Producer
Keith Dinielli, Producer Barton Kimball, Producer Kyley Tucker, Producer Brittany Martin, Producer
Outstanding Miniseries
American Horror Story: Coven • FX Networks • 20th Century Fox Television
Bonnie & Clyde • Lifetime • Sony Pictures Television
Fargo • FX Networks • MGM and FX Productions
Luther • BBC America • A BBC and BBC America co-production
Treme • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Blown Deadline Productions
The White Queen • Starz • Starz presents in association with Company Pictures (an All 3 Media Company) and Playground Entertainment
Outstanding Television Movie
Killing Kennedy • National Geographic Channel • Scott Free Productions for National Geographic Channels
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight • HBO • HBO
The Normal Heart • HBO • HBO Films in association with Plan B Entertainment, Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy Productions
Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece) • PBS • Hartswood West for BBC/Cymru Wales in co-production with Masterpiece
The Trip To Bountiful • Lifetime • Ostar Productions
Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central • Hello Doggie, Inc. with Busboy Productions and Spartina Productions
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central • Central Productions, LLC
Jimmy Kimmel Live • ABC • ABC Studios in association with Jackhole Industries
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bill Maher Productions and Brad Grey Television
Saturday Night Live • NBC • SNL Studios in association with Universal Television and Broadway Video
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon • NBC • Universal Television and Broadway Video Films in association with Rainmark Films and Sakura Films
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Josh Charles as Will Gardner
Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Fox 21, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson
Ray Donovan • Showtime • Showtime Presents, The Mark Gordon Company, Bider Sweet
Jon Voight as Mickey Donovan
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Anna Gunn as Skyler White
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal
Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates
Game Of Thrones • HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
The Good Wife • CBS • Eye Productions in association with Scott Free Productions and King Size Productions
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris