Tom Freston: Where is the media headed?

Question: Where is the media headed?

Tom Freston: Oh, I mean that’s hard to say. There’s so many fingers now on the pulse. A lot of people, they choose to have their finger just on a little piece of the pulse, a little piece of the market. And you know most people seem to be doing a pretty good job. I don’t see anybody going out of business. I mean you can look at who’s got the best movies; who’s got the best TV shows; who’s got the hottest Internet sites. It kind of moves around from time to time. I mean are there people out there who are exceptional and head and shoulders above others at the moment?You know in the major media world it’s sort of fungible. It’s hard to say there’s any runaway thing. A few years ago you could have said in the TV world that, “Boy, HBO really had it nailed,” when they had the Sopranos, and Sex in the City, and Larry David and so forth. They had, like, the killer lineup. I mean that’s sort of waned a bit, you know. It used to be NBC on television had all the big hits. That sort of moves around. It’s hard to stay on top all the time. I’d be hard pressed to say that there’s somebody now who’s that head and shoulders above the others. News Corp seems to be doing a good job on the digital front in terms of the major media companies. But I think each of the big companies has something they can feel good about. A lot of them run them as portfolios. I mean I might be down with some of my channels at the moment, but other ones are doing pretty good on average . . . in fairly decent shape, which is one of the reasons why a big media company is fairly hard to beat in the end, because they do have a portfolio approach knowing you’re in a creative business. You can’t always be hitting it. But if I’ve got 10, 20 products on average – you know sort of like a mutual fund – I’m probably gonna, you know, have pretty decent performance.

Recorded On: 7/6/07

Everyone has their fingers on the pulse, Freston says.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less