Media future

If Zell owned Lou Grant's paper...

Lou Grant characters
A scenario as imagined by Joe Flint, the former WSJ, Entertainment Weekly and Variety reporter who is now director of industry programs at the Paley Center for Media. It helps if you watched "Lou Grant," the CBS drama starring Ed Asner as city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune that aired from 1977 to 1982.

For starters, there is a lot of waste at the fictional Los Angeles Tribune. There are three senior editor types on the showóLou Grant, Charlie Hume, and Art Donovan. They all seem to duplicate each other and, I'll be honest, I can't figure out what Art does other than wear three-piece suits and make the occasional wisecrack. He's gone....

I've also been looking at Rossi's expenses. Sure he's a hot-shot investigative reporter, but does he have to keep meeting sources in parking lots? For starters, that's so All The President's Men, and secondly, if he's not going to bother validating while he's there, then we're not covering his costs anymore.

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There is also going to be a bigger focus on our web operation. Rossi should be blogging. The web is where our future is, even if we are giving away product we used to make money on. It's about traffic, and the dollars will follow.

And finally, much of the cast on the old Lou Grant wasn't exactly...attractive. We're going after the 18-34 demographicóis it too much to ask that our stars have more hair and less paunch?

Asner won two Emmys and Nancy Marchand (pre-Sopranos) won four portraying the Tribune's owner Margaret Pynchon.


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