Leslie Moonves's Long Tale
See Lynn Herschberg's profile of Leslie Moonves in this week's Sunday New York Times Magazine. The CBS chief aims to keep ratings up (CBS is now #1) by continuing to develop shows with mass appeal, versus niche shows that can only (but nicely) survive on cable. Reading this article, you get the feeling that Moonves has no choice but to flout the "long tail" (the idea, first advanced by Chris Anderson at Wired, that new distribution channels enable vendors to sell more niche inventory to better defined and segmented audiences) and instead focus on the mass-market hit: that's the nature of the game at the networks. The right tools, for the right task .... But we betcha anything that the folks at Viacom, the CBS corporate parent, are taking more of the, ahem, long view. After all, the CBS mass audience is just another audience (albeit still a huge one).