Tuesday, March 24, 2009

more for the spank tank

According to this piece in Advertising Age, Jon Stewart's next target for an on-air spanking should be Sumner Redstone, who runs not only Comedy Central's parent company, Viacom, but CBS Corp as well.

(Can't remember Stewart's blistering attack on CNBC's Cramer? Go here.)

The story, by Simon Dumenco, does a great job of skewering the news media execs who with one hand still rake in the big bucks -- much like our friends at AIG -- while with the other, they continue to decimate the ranks of journalists who are the one who actually produce the product.

From Dumenco's piece:

... I'd like to see something a bit more courageous than, say, Jon Stewart bitch-slapping Jim Cramer and CNBC. Shooting fish in a barrel -- another media company's fish -- is great sport and even better TV, but what I'd really like to see, now that the media has collectively consecrated the fake news of the "Daily Show" as realer and more truthful than the real news, is Stewart going ballistic on, say, the guys upstairs: Sumner Redstone and the clowns who have been helping him "run" his media companies.

Redstone, after all, is the ultimate boss of not only the fake news but some real news, too. His ironically named National Amusements controls both Viacom (Comedy Central's parent company) and CBS Corp. Ask the gang at nickel-and-dimed CBS News how they feel about Redstone's leadership.

And let's do the arithmetic on how billionaire Redstone has further enriched himself and his executive ranks while making value-destroying decisions. In its most recent report on Sumner's compensation, covering 2007, BusinessWeek calculated that he pulled in nearly $10 mil; I can't wait for the 2008 numbers to get tallied. Go back a couple years to 2005, when Redstone was still sticking with his brilliant plan to have Les Moonves and Tom Freston co-run Viacom as co-prezzies/co-COOs (before he split the company in two). In that year Redstone pulled down $56 million, and Moonves and Freston pulled down $52 million each. And let's not forget that when Freston got iced out in 2006, he scored a $59 million severance package.

In the bizarro world of American big media, it's no wonder there's no money left for journalism anymore.



1 comment:

tk said...

This is just one more (as if we needed it) example of how Little journalists are respected, even by those who employ them.