For us, the phrase "Media Summit" suggests the pinnacle of human communications. Sadly, however, that pinnacle was not reached at McGraw-Hill’s Media Summit in New York last week, when persistent A/V problems turned the conference into a comedy of glitches.
During the keynote address by InterActiveCorp. CEO Barry Diller, the video feed in the overspill room froze repeatedly, often for several painful seconds. The stuttering video made it look like Diller was doing the robot dance. And the audience groaned as the audio and video seized up just after he remarked about "symbiosis between audio and video."
Throughout a "Television 2.0" session for an audience of a few hundred, some panelists’ microphones were so quiet that only those in the front could hear—despite cries of "We can’t hear you!" Even fewer could hear the questions from the floor, since no microphone was provided. Bored media types began tapping on their BlackBerrys before leaving altogether.
And that’s not all. You couldn’t hear at "Enhanced Advertising" or the keynote roundtable. Rupert Murdoch’s mike cut out five minutes into his presentation, prompting a roadie to jump onstage and rewire the News Corp. boss.
A rep from Digital Hollywood, which produced the show, blames "static electricity" for problems at one panel. Otherwise, he says, all went as expected: "Par for the course."