Get Me to the Budget Meeting on Time

by Norman Horowitz

To clarify and elaborate on my slightly controversial previous post: In my own experience, I have wondered why organizations have confused an angry executive with an effective one.

Reflecting on my own career, the least effective executives were those who found it necessary to exhibit anger and rage to their subordinates and claim that it’s an effective management style. I experienced several of these people and concluded that they had not a clue as to how to manage anything, so they hid it under the facade of “Boy, am I tough!”
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Here’s what I’ve tried to do in my life and am on the lookout for managements who subscribe to the following:   Continue reading “Get Me to the Budget Meeting on Time”

Fred Silverman vs. Newton Minow

Today, Norman is addressing the 50th anniversary (May 9) of FCC Chairman Netwon Minow’s famous “vaste wasteland” speech:

When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.

But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

Now for the rebuttal by Norman Horowitz:   Continue reading “Fred Silverman vs. Newton Minow”

After All, Someone Needs to Get the Job Done

by Norman Horowitz

I am the product of the industry in which I have worked for 50+ years. In fact, the only insight I can bring to anything is not based on my intellect, but rather on my experiences in life in general, as well as the Air Force and the business of television.

I grew up watching my father run his small dress manufacturing business at 1385 Broadway in New York. To me, he was to me the ultimate operating executive in that he knew everything he needed to know to run his business. Everyone who worked for him had a job to do (including my Dad). He had no “formal” business training, yet he ran a profitable business for many years.

My career in the entertainment industry started as a part-time, minimum-wage shipping clerk and messenger for the editorial department of Screen Gems Television in New York. In the intervening years, I became a functioning operating and sales executive. Although I’ve had many staff positions in the intervening years, I’m still an operating guy.   Continue reading “After All, Someone Needs to Get the Job Done”