Weekend News Chum

A few items noted over the weekend:

  • From the “It keeps going, and going, and going… Someone just blow the damn thing up!” Department: It is the 20th anniversary of the Engergizer Bunny. Introduced in 1989, it has become iconic, representing the ability to hang in there and keep going. The ad agency DDB Needham Worldwide Inc. came up with the idea of the drum-beating bunny. In a recent advertising-related study, 95% of respondents were aware of the bunny. AdAge.com has named it one of the top 10 advertising icons. And in 2006, the Oxford English Dictionary defined the Energizer Bunny as “a persistent or indefatigable person or phenomenon.” Icons that last that long are rare (but do exist).
  • From the “Go VTC Your Grandmother” Department: Do you know who the biggest users of webcams are? Grandparents. According to the NY Times, Video calling, long anticipated by science fiction, is filtering into everyday use. And two demographic groups not particularly known for being high-tech are among the earliest adopters: Toddlers and grandparents.
  • From the “Arrrr. Oyyyyy. Arrrr. Oyyyyy.” Department: The LA Times has an interesting book review: “Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean”. Yup, just like the conversos, there is another avenue used by folks fleeing the inquisition: piracy. Quite an interesting review, matey.
  • From the “From the Desert to the Sea…” Department: A generation from now, people will watch Mary Tyler Moore and not even get the joke of Ted Baxter. That’s because the notion of a high-paid lead anchor on the local news is going away. Across the country, local TV are facing an economic slump and a severe advertising downturn, they are cutting costs drastically…. and veteran anchors, with their expensive contracts, seem to be shouldering a disproportionate share of the cutbacks. When station managers are forced to make cuts, hefty anchor salaries are a tempting target. I remember the days of the long-time local anchors in Los Angeles, and the best we have left is Paul Moyers or Colleen Williams (which aren’t much). Our network anchors cut their teeth on local news (I remember Tom Brokaw as a local in LA), so I think this will be a loss.

As I said, just some random articles that caught my eye.