Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Editorial Limits On CNET Not Atypical

There has been a lot of buzz about CNET's Best CES Award; specifically, that their corporate parent, CBS, decided to intercede on the process due to their legal issues with the recipient, Dish Network and the Hopper. More interesting was that the decision went all the way to the top of the organization.  "News of the top office's involvement in the award snafu was reported Monday by the technology news site The Verge."

While we all wish that editorial lived independent from the economics, the truth is that this type of involvement is not so unusual.  Look no further then newspapers and TV and the effect editorial has on the advertising side of the decision.  How many times has an article, news story, or even a TV show been pulled because of the effect on advertising revenue.  Wasn't it just a couple years ago that History Channel decided to not air their Kennedy Miniseries.  While it eventually found another distribution partner, History made an economic decision over editorial.

Sure CNET was prevented from awarding their prize to the Hopper.  Still, they will be awarded by others.  And all this media still gives them the same accolades that they would have received even if they had won the award.  The overriding issue though still remains.  Editorial issues are never made in a vacuum.  The bigger the company, the more risk they face.  And at the intersection of editorial and economics, editorial rarely wins.

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