It’s 1929 all over again….
At this moment the Dow is dropping into the 8,000 range, down from over 14,000 a year ago.
Globally we are headed for a recession or worse.
And the media companies are starting to shed jobs like crazy. It’t only the beginning.
Local TV stations are cutting staffs. Newspapers from The NY Times to the LA Times are cutting their staff.
This will only continue.
The good news, if there is any, is that in economic hard times, people watch more TV… and now, online video.
(They have nothing else to do, frankly).
Radio, the web of the 1920s – a technological revolution in content creation and delivery, boomed between 1929 and 1939.
How do you prepare yourself for the sure to come hard times?
One way is to make yourself as indispensable to management as possible. One way to do that is to be able to do as many jobs as possible in the process of ‘content creation’ – content being the lifeblood of media, and the last place to get cut. Surely, when the scythe comes out, those who can shoot, cut, edit, write and produce content on their own are less likely to go than those who can only do one of those tasks.
If a broadcaster (or webcaster) can put content on the air on or line with fewer people on the payroll, that is what they are going to do.
And encouragingly, (at least so far), cutbacks at newspapers and magazines going to video online have not cut their online video staffs. They are, at least at this moment, a seeming lifeline for newspapers and magazines to a better future, and they seem to be holding sacrosanct. Particularly if the cost of producing that video is as low as possible.
There is no question that there are hard times coming.
Cost cutting is no longer an abstraction. Radical cost cutting.
It is going to become very very real.