Open Mike - Broadcasting & Cable

Open Mike

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Tweaking EEO

Editor: I read with interest Bill McConnell's article "Broadcasters Split on EEO Rules" (1/27, p.19).

As the president of Filcro Media Staffing, a broadcasting executive-search firm, I find quite a few holes in the new regulations and wish to bring a few points to everyone's attention from our perspective.

The posting of all jobs:
When a strategic or key management change is proposed, competitively, it is quite often not to the hiring company's advantage to publicize their efforts.

Why should Fox be made aware of a strategic business plan being implemented at Viacom by way of hiring a new EVP? It would seem to me that mandatory announcements in any form pertaining to strategic hiring are to the detriment of everyone in the industry, big or small!

Public firing:
If an executive is not performing appropriately, it is quite often the practice to identify a replacement prior to letting the executive go. This "confidentiality" afforded the non-performing executive and the company could be eliminated, causing firms and executives to endure unwarranted public exposure to what is a very private and at times humiliating experience.

EEO:
The spirit of EEO and the FCC's accomplishments are admirable. Our industry is better today because of it. I do, however, believe that the present regulations need adjustment to deal with the realities of the media industry in the 21st century.

Tony Filson, president, Filcro Media Staffing, New York

Stop HDTV

Please stop, or help stop, the forcing of widescreen HDTV format down our throats!

I did not buy a 50-inch television to have 35% of the screen sit blank.

I do have digital cable. The picture is great. It is as good as watching a DVD.

I for one do not need any higher resolution. I don't have a problem with digital, it is the widescreen HDTV format that I think is big mistake. People are being forced to watch the widescreen format even though they don't have a high-definition set.

Why are the commercials being shown this way? It is clear many of them were not shot this way as heads are routinely cut off. If I were a company purchasing advertising time, I would not want the widescreen format as the commercials are too small on standard-size sets.

I have more than one television in my home. I will eventually be looking for cheap digital converters that expand the picture. I do not intend to buy new expensive widescreen TVs that show less total picture area for a given set size.

This is all about powerful Hollywood lobbyists and big companies that stand to make billions on a forced conversion and not what is good for the public. I hope you will help stop it.

G. Ed Piers, Houston, Texas

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