Indeed. The vertical integration of the media conglomerates, the incestuous subsuming and cross-promoting of each other's entities and doo-dads, is the corporate smoke blown out the ass of the people's airwaves. And if the execs can shave a couple points here and there and get their incompetent nephew a gofer credit at someone else's expense, well, if you don't like it there's thirty other people who'll blow Harvey Weinstein in a Sunset Strip phone booth for the opportunity.
Read the whole thing, it's pretty excellent. These studio weasels are shameless; they'll try to fuck anything that stops moving long enough, whether you're the newest schmuck off the bus or Peter Jackson. I still agree with Fake Steve that the content producers (the writers) would be doing themselves an enormous favor by getting a jump on the new model.
Look, I get why writers for well-crafted ensembles such as 30 Rock or The Office, or any of the nightly talk shows, would try to hold their ground and protect their nut. But if you're a fuckin' reality hack, what do you have to lose, really, except that sense of embarrassment that follows you around like a brown cloud. "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a writer for Dancing with the Stars." It's like recording wocka-wocka vamps for porn channels and telling everyone you're a "musician".
Anyway, Rogers' basic point rings true -- it's a business run by unethical, nepotistic sharks, and the little fish need whatever protection they can get. And of course the corporations are in a much better negotiating position -- they've got shows in the can, and they can ride this out for longer.
But it could also be the signal of a shift, a potential disintermediation of one or even both sides. People have a lot of alternatives, and the proliferation of cheap-ass copycat shows indicates that they're looking for knuckle-shuffle distractions over entertainment they give a shit about. This is particularly true for their money demo, who have X-boxes, iPhones, and all sorts of shit to channel their ADHD spans into. It's very self-defeating, it seems.
Of course, I don't have enough profound knowledge about what makes the business or its customers tick; I have no fucking clue how movies such as Fred Claus or Transformers even get made, much less who over the age of seven watches them. Marketing is not my strong suit.
But I can spot a trend from time to time, and this one seems ripe for the running. It's another hollowed-out dinosaur production-revenue model, accelerating its own change, and probably substantial loss of market share.