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Open Mike

8/08/2004 08:00:00 PM Eastern

"The People" Have Brains

Editor: In decrying the network's pullback of convention coverage ["Conventional Minds," 7/19, page 40], B&C
falls under the tendency to assume that "the people" are to be led around like a school of fish. You worry that if the networks don't provide extensive coverage, "the people" won't understand that the election is important. Please.

William Sellers, Los Angeles (Received via e-mail)

Emmy Miscount?

Editor: Your July 19 story, "Emmy Likes HBO a Lot" [page 6] carries a misleading subhead ("For the first time, cable gets more nominations than broadcast nets").

In fact, a TVB analysis of the Emmy list underscores the strength of broadcast television. Ad-supported broadcast programs scored a total of 180 nominations, while ad-supported cable scored a total of 75. To be fair, HBO and its fellow noncommercial premium network Showtime should not be lumped together with ad-supported cable.

If advertisers are looking to put their messages in Emmy-nominated programming, broadcast beats cable's offerings by better than 2 to 1.

Chris Rohrs, President, Television Bureau of Advertising, New York (Received via e-mail)

Those Who Forget the Past…

Editor: In reference to "Speed Up the Switch" [8/2, page 13], Rep. Joe Barton looks too young to remember the '50s, so let me remind him:

When the FCC opened up UHF in 1952, the question of how existing sets would receive the new channels was dealt with quite simply—a $20 converter, made by Blonder-Tongue Labs in Newark, N.J., would modernize all sets. Sure. The UHF debacle, in which more stations failed than succeeded, only ended with the All-Channel Law that went into effect in 1964. Even then, it took years to recover.

Obviously, the good congressman has never read George Santayana or he would never rely on a DTV converter.

Let us not abandon NTSC television just yet.

Barry Friedman, Santa Monica, Calif.

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