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Twitter frees broadcasters

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • March 7, 2011

I’m not from the media industry. But I’ve come to learn that, in the jargon of the experts, a broadcaster is in fact not the network distributing the news. It is the person with the news.


For example, NBC is not a broadcaster, it is simply a channel. Conan O-Brien is a broadcaster.


The difference has only become apparent with the advent of Twitter. Why?


Because for the first time in history, the real broadcasters have the power. Until now, the networks have had a monopoly on distribution, and hence been perceived as the broadcasters. And the networks are run by executives. And the executives are not broadcasters. They’re politicians and businessmen. They have vested interests in managing the information that is distributed over their networks.


Twitter has changed all that. Conan proved that. When his show was shoved aside to accommodate Jay Leno, he complained. The network execs did what they always do. Ignored him.


So Conan resigned.


One year later he has 2,5million Twitter followers, and has been offered a $45million contract with ABC.


Who has the power nowadays? The network or the broadcaster?