Mel Reveals the “Magic”

Mel Karmazin. Mention that name to a broadcaster or business pundit and you’ll trigger a vast array of words, phrases, and emotions, many I won’t say here (mostly to avoid triggering of any parental controls on your browser). Brilliant, bastard, visionary, cheapskate, anger, respect, love, hate…are just a few of the words that might be associated with Mel. I myself arrived at CBS Radio just after Mel left and the “burn the furniture” era (supposedly) ended. The phrase that is probably the most consistent across the board would probably be “outspoken”.

In this December 30, 2009 interview with Charlie Rose, the former CEO of CBS and current CEO of XM Sirius Satellite Radio, as well as the man responsible for making Howard Stern (second only to Howard himself) insanely wealthy, commented on many issues that face the media business today. But, in his outspoken style, he also reveals the “magic” ingredient of the business model for what is now known as “traditional” media and why it no longer works.

You can see the full interview by clicking here and entering the word “Karmazin” in the search box. Sorry, but Charlie hasn’t made this video shareable as of this writing.) You can also get a copy of the transcript. [Read more…]

Feeling Not So Free at SXSW

In the last day or two, as I began to gather my thoughts and feelings about my trip to SXSWi and my planned posts, I had a terrible nagging feeling. One nagging feeling that wasn’t allowing me to write, post video, share some stories, or generally gush about what an incredible trip this had been.

So before I can share those posts, I need to share this one…

I’ll start by saying that there are some incredibly smart, talented and creative peopleĀ  in the interactive space. Many of whom were scurrying about the Convention Center and streets of Austin this past week. Seriously, if you think that it’s just a bunch of Star Wars fanatics in black t-shirts trying to get to the next level of World of Warcraft or design the next fart noise app for the iPhone, you are mistaken. OK, there are some…but in general these are people that have not only imagined miraculous systems, applications, and tools but they have built the damn things! Many have poured time, money and energy into wondrous systems and services that help you and I access information and communicate with each other in places and ways never seen before.

Now here’s the thing…we’re asking them to not charge us for it? “Thanks for quitting your job, mortgaging the house and living on Ramen noodles. I’ll use the heck out of this (insert web service or app here) to better my business/life. What? It’s going to cost me $10 a year? Oh. Never mind.”

Such is the model of the business of free. This nagging feeling, this little rain cloud on the horizon of this new
world that I’ve fallen in love with, was precipitated by the final
keynote session featuring entrepreneur and marketer Guy Kawasaki and
Wired editor Chris Anderson, author of the forthcoming book “Free”. The
fire was further stoked by a post forwarded to me by my Minnov8
colleague, Graeme Thickins.

[Read more…]