Category: The Last Word

Farewell to the “Imperfect Servant”

After surviving a countless string of battles, from his wartime imprisonment to his many political conflicts, Senator John McCain succumbed last week to the one fight we’re all destined to lose. In looking for ways to honor McCain in the…

How Big Is Too Big?

It looks like the proposed acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T is going to sail through. And that is bad for all of us. A little background: Technically, the deal is known as a “vertical merger,” where the two parties…

What Business Are We In, Anyway?

Whenever I run across an article like the one by Linda Coss in this issue [“Marketing Growth Hacking,” SMRN 6/7/2018], I wonder whether some readers will think that I’ve missed the mark, because the article has very little to do…

I Love Big-Signal AM Stations. They Have To Go.

In our May 24, 2018 issue we ran an article by Dan Neil, “Road Trip After Dark,” about listening to distant AM stations at night; it brought back a flood of memories. My very first DXing, as a very young kid in Cedar Rapids,…

Still Hope

From a reader: I just read your opinion on Net Neutrality; I agree. I am very conservative but the Net is a common carrier, just a different technology from hard-wired cable. Interesting—the Senate voted to overturn the FCC ; there…

Rewriting History

Well, despite the best efforts of a lot of people to compel Congress to overturn the FCC ruling on Net Neutrality, the big communications companies will get their way on June 11. AT&T and Comcast have been very up front…

Small Market Salvation

How Our Street-Smart Skills Would Save iHeart IHeartMedia filed two things with the SEC on the same day this week. In one filing, the company explained that they’d decided not to make about $60 million in interest payments to its…

Pai Under Fire

When a pair of Democratic legislators first accused Ajit Pai of championing certain rule changes to benefit his friends at Sinclair, we were skeptical. Chairman Pai is smart and ambitious, but I don’t believe he’s duplicitous. As so many words…

Money to Burn

The base rate for a commercial in the Super Bowl is North of $5 million. The cost to produce an ad can easily top $1 million. What do you get for your six mil? Pretty good reach—the U.S. audience for…

When Passion Turns to Violence

It’s no secret that I have been stumping very hard for the reinstatement of the net neutrality rules, and how much I disagree with the FCC chairman on this issue. However, the revelation that this highly-controversial issue has subjected Mr.…