A big perk to living in New York City is that there are a lot of career-related activities. The Newhouse NYC students discuss all the lessons they have learned from these events.
On October 1, the Newhouse in NYC students took a very Instagram-able trip to the Facebook/Instagram offices.
Bruce Perlmutter and Wendy Wilson are Newhouse in NYC's newest professors.
By Casey Russell
It’s no secret that the way Americans consume media content has drastically changed since the dawn of the digital age. Netflix reigns supreme over the legacy broadcast corporations, social media has replaced the newsstand as the number one source for news, and publishers are furiously trying to adapt to a landscape whose topography shifted from a flat prairie to a steep mountain.
That was the subject of conversation for Thursday, April 19’s Newhouse NYC panel at Syracuse University’s Fisher Center in midtown Manhattan. Ed Bleier (‘51), former Warner Bros. president and former ABC senior executive, invited his longtime friend Alan Wurtzel, former president of NBC Research, to speak about the changing media landscape and what that means for content and distribution.
The talk, titled “Fighting for the Future: Must Content and Distribution Be Combined?,” gathered a crowd of about 50 people. Attendees included current Newhouse NYC students, guests of the panelists, and NYC-based Syracuse University and Newhouse alumni.
While Bleier attended Syracuse University, he wrote for the Syracuse Herald Journal and worked for several radio stations. During the summers, he was a copyboy for ABC News, and quickly rose through the ranks. By the 1960s, he was a senior executive at the media company and oversaw ABC’s first block of Saturday morning cartoons, including Warner Bros. famed Looney Tunes franchise.
As president of Warner Bros., Bleier was part of the teams that created MTV, Nickelodeon, TMC, and other household-name cable TV stations.
One of Wurtzel’s biggest accomplishments as president of NBC Research was developing a new method to measure an individual viewer’s exposure across multiple platforms to any given TV program, called Total Audience Measurement Index, or TAMi. Although he retired last year, he still stays involved with NBC Research as a senior advisor.
Wurtzel attended Oberlin College as an undergraduate and then received a J.D. from Yale University. Though not a Newhouse grad, he became an honorary Orange alumni when he presented at the panel.
Kicking off the panel by sharing data about today’s content consumption, Wurtzel explained that even a large percentage of older survey responders, who generally tend to be more technophobic, feel comfortable accessing their favorite programs online. His data also showed that older people feel that the way they consume television has changed over the past five years.
Bleier and Wurtzel carried on an hour-long dialogue about the changing media landscape before opening up for questions.
“The problem is not finding new ideas, it’s abandoning the old ones,” Bleier said referencing traditional media practices, both in business and in content creation.
For young media professionals on the cusp of entering the workforce, the fact that time-tested content distribution models are evolving is an assuring reminder of the power recent graduates can have in a new world.
“Someone’s got to do the job and it might as well be you,” Wurtzel said.