Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Commercials breaks make TV more fun?

Can this be true? Reader’s Digest is going broke and thinking bankruptcy. Just two years ago, a group of investors paid $2.4 billion for the company, which has offices in 45 countries and publishes 92 magazines. It operates 65 Web sites and sells 68 million books and music or video products every year. And they paid free-lancers fifty bucks if they accepted your “Humor in Uniform” or “Life in these United States.” Allegedly.

These days, nearly 27 percent of people who visit car dealerships convert to used cars. That’s up from the normal 10 percent.

Cube steak is flying out of the meat counters; sales are up 10 percent. Although most often beef, cube steaks can be any kind of meat. And it gets its name not from the shape of the cut but from the surface dimples after the stuff is pounded silly. Don’t call it cube steak in Texas. Hereabouts, it’s chicken fried.

Research can turn up ghastly findings. Two recent studies indicate commercial breaks actually make television viewing more enjoyable. The number crunchers, who like to talk funny, say their data are empirically correct. Further, they claim many of life’s pleasures are made better by well-timed interruptus. I call BS.

Personal privilege: both of us have recovered sufficiently from winter surgeries that we are on the road again with our bicycles. Slow-rolling, to be sure. The first day, we managed only a couple of miles. Our goal is to get our legs, lungs and butts in shape for rides on the Grand Rounds in Minneapolis this spring.


Jeff Hebert said...

I read that the largest drop in consumer spending the last two months was for cars and such, as you'd expect -- you don't buy a new car when you're out of a job.

But the SECOND biggest drop in spending was on food. It's billions and billions of dollars less spent on groceries, which really surprised me.

Anonymous said...

I think had the media been left alone to run its own business, everything would have been fine. It's the investors who came in, borrowed heavily to buy the businesses, and then couldn't service the debt from the revenues that are killing newspapers.

I still think that there's a growing demand for news ... Christian Science Monitor was on to something by dropping the print edition and going all on-line. I pay for two different comics services now and think it's well worth the money as I get my favorite comics and editorial cartoonists. I happy to pay for what I want and that's real news.

Haven't read Readers Digest in about 40 years though ... my grandmother was a faithful subscriber. Sharon

The South Plainsman said...

I call BS on the commercial break business. I TIVO evrything but sports, and watch it later so I can fast forward through the commercials. Won't watch one if I have to sit through them.

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