What would happen if a few people weren’t dragging the rest of us down?

Media Using “Political Polarization” in their Business Plans

I read a recent article in one of the business trade magazines about a large media company’s annual call with Wall Street regarding their potential acquisition of another media company.

For the uninitiated, these calls are meant to provide some guidance to big Wall Street firms about the company’s strategy and growth prospects. The headline was the enormous revenue potential this legacy (broadcast TV) company expected to make over the next several years. But what caught my eye, as is usual, was the quote from the CEO in the article –


– And in an investor presentation Jan. 12, the company said that political advertising is driven by the “polarized political environment” is a “near and long-term organic growth driver” for the company.” –
Profiteering off of polarization? – I’m not sure making money from “political polarization” is a responsible (or patriotic, much less moral) “organic” strategy for any media company – let alone one that is trying to acquire another company requiring FCC approval?
We need media to heal, not further divide for profit’s sake.
I heard the term “Hate Industrial Complex” for the first time in a recent 60 Minutes interview from the head of Storycorps.Storycorps took it upon themselves to try and address the bitter divide in this country that has been festering for a while but ratcheted up dramatically in 2016 and then again in 2020-21.

Despite Storycorp’s recent efforts, “One Small Step” which I wholeheartedly support, it’s a bit like spitting in the ocean.
Our American hate culture shows no signs of abating.
There’s money in conflict. Social media taught us that. There are ratings in hate. Cable television showed us that.
Now broadcasters want in on the gravy train? As a multi-decade veteran and vociferous supporter of the broadcasting business, I am distraught.
Remember back to school, the folks who would scream “fight, fight, fight” at the first sign of an argument or disagreement between two classmates? That is the state of our media today. Except instead of a thirst for blood, it’s a thirst for dollars, at any cost apparently, even if it destroys our democracy.
It appears to depend on the “goodwill” of our media “leaders” is simple folly. They’ve gotten so big, so unreachable, so caught up in the batter for dominance any hint of morality or “doing the right thing” only applies if large sums of money are involved.
They are as lost in their lust for profits as the head of any drug cartel, human trafficking organization, or Russian Oligarch exploiting the climate for short-term personal gain. “Show me the money, to hell with the cost.”
Maybe someday, peace and love will be as profitable as hate and disinformation. Until then, it’s up to us to save ourselves, by ourselves, apparently.




Official blog of Robert G. Rose. Opinions are my own. Whose else would they be?

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Don’t Drag Me Down is the personal blog of Robert G. Rose, a U.S. based media veteran and entrepreneur who writes about wrongs, slights, incompetence, corporate greed and more, he observes in his everyday life.

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