Media Briefing for Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30th, 2006

Negative effects from playing violent video games linger in the brain well after they are played, according to a new study. Reuters reports the study, conducted by the Indiana School of medicine Study in Indianapolis, focused on teenagers aged 13 to 17 using a violent military video game, and the resulting emotional and other ramifications.

The AT&T — Bell South merger now pending before the FCC may be the biggest telecommunications deal ever in U.S. history. Top members of the FCC met this week to discuss this complicated deal, and other cases. But the public was not invited. Associated Press reports that while details about this case have been scare for the public, the FCC briefed a small group of investors from Banc of America L.L.C.>

The hosts of this week’s public forum in Seattle on media consolidation oppose further consolidation. The Seattle Times says the two Democratic FCC commissioners are hosting the hearing, and one is urging the public to ‘take control of your media.”

BBC World News originally was brought to the United States by WLIW21 and is now available on PBS stations and on cable systems across the nation. Its audience is continuing to rise and it is now challenging American cable news channels, in the United States, according to Media Bulletin.

American English is different than British English, and it is sayings and phrases often derived from television and media that help define American English. The New York Daily News reports that the cable TV network TV Land is offering a special focus on American English, and the shows they derive from, in December. TV Land Will feature the 100 greatest quotes and catchphrases from American TV during the week starting December 11. Associated Press recalls some include “What’s The Way it Is? from Walter Cronkite, “I?m Not A Crook? from Richard Nixon and “I Want My MTV.”

Nielsen is pushing ahead for its plan to offer ratings for commercials on television. Until now, ratings services have only offered ratings for entire programs or quarter hours, during which commercials appear. Now viewership for the commercials themselves will be rated, according to Reuters which says this service should begin in early 2007.

Google is canceling a service it has offered the last 4 years, in which people may pose a question, and a team of researchers then offer a helpful answer. This is done for a fee. The New York Times says that Yahoo has been offered a similar service for free. Associated Press reports the notice of the service shutdown was posted online.

There are many choices available to the consumer, with the convergence of television, radio and the internet. The choices can be complicated and intimidating, so marketers are trying to make the experience more ‘touchy feely?, according to the New York Times which reports people are now being invited in to try out new products and see how they work, at their own pace. Meanwhile Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Himowitz is blaming the consumer electronics industry for turning a simple device, HDTV, into one of extreme complication, confusing consumers unnecessarily. Here is his report in the Sun.

Even with so many television and radio choices bombarding consumers, there is a market for HD radio receivers. With HD radio, existing FM stations are able to offer as many as 5 additional channels of music or other formats. Special receivers are required. While specific figures are not yet available, anecdotal evidence shows the HD receivers are moving off the shelves, according to Radiolink magazine.

Usually the question is posed, ?how can it be so expensive?? Now, the question is ?how can it be so inexpensive?? The computer industry is focusing on a nonprofit project called One-Laptop-Per-Child which aims to offer a laptop for every child in the third world. The New York Times says that among other things, a way was found to cut the cost of a laptop screen from $100 to $40.

Online retailers are watching you. What you pay when buying items online may depend on your gender, your geographic location, what time of day you order, whether you are an AOL subscriber, and even what searches you make on Google, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For generations the 11 p.m. newscasts have been mainstays at WRC channel 4 NBC, WJLA channel 7 ABC and WUSA channel 9 CBS. Now, the latest ratings show a major drop in viewership for these late night newscasts. The Washington Post reports.

Clear Channel Communications? consolidation of radio, with ownership of 1,200 of the most powerful FM and AM stations in the nation, has been well chronicled. But there is also concern that Clear Channel’s network of live music venues and concert halls may squeeze out local venues. The Washington Post reports a proposed Clear Channel music hall to be known as the House of Blues in the city of Washington is raising concern.