What's the worst way to deal with a shrinking customer base? Why, cut back on what you offer, so that it chases away more customers and forces you to cut back even more, which . . . Sounds really stupid when it's put that way, doesn't it? But that's what everybody does, the Nothing But Crap network being the latest example:
A terrible fall season at NBC is forcing the network to consider scaling back the number of hours it airs programming, Chief Executive Jeff Zucker told an investor conference Monday.
While NBC will continue to fund the creation of pilots, Zucker told analysts at a media investor conference sponsored by UBS that NBC is considering cutting the number of hours or perhaps even the number of nights it provides programming.
"Can we continue to program 22 hours of prime-time? Three of our competitors don't. Can we afford to program seven nights a week? One of our competitors doesn't," Zucker said. "All of these questions have to be on the table. And we are actively looking at all of those questions.
I don't know what they're going to cut and what they're going to keep, but considering what's there now and what my tastes are, I doubt. This is NBC starting on the long (or maybe not so long) slide into irrelevance and then into broadcast history. There are just too many choices there already competing for my entertainment attention, and there are going to be even more. You don't stay in the game by trying to charge ever more for offering ever less.
Trust me, I work for a newspaper, so I know what I'm talking about.