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Will the Old Guard Step Down?
From Left: Senior VP of Client Insights at Nielsen Dounia Turrill, President of Defy Media Keith Richman, MTV’s President of Programming Suzanne Daniels, and President of ABC Family Tom Ascheim and Co-Editor and Chief of Variety Magazine Andrew Wallenstein.

Will the Old Guard Step Down?

With smartphones, tablets, smart watches and more do you really need a television?

This question and more were discussed Thursday at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editor and Chief of Variety Magazine, moderated the Panel: “Catching the Eye of Generation Y.”

The panel participants included Wallenstein, MTV’s President of Programming Suzanne Daniels, Senior VP of Client Insights at Nielsen Dounia Turrill, Keith Richman, President of DEFY Media and President of ABC Family Tom Ascheim.

After a preview of new seasons from both MTV and ABC Family Wallenstein took the kid gloves off and got down to business.

Wallenstein fired the first shot by asking Daniels and Ascheim how much it costs to produce episodes of their programs. Daniels replied “our cheapest episode can be 160,00 our most expensive episode is $2 million.”

While those figures are drops in the bucket for a network like MTV, content produced at Defy Media can be produced at “hundreds to mere thousands,” according to Richman.

This is a large price gap, with the same or more amount of viewers, consuming content at Defy more than MTV and ABC Family.

With this shift in viewers Defy is able to attract millennials at a fraction of the cost. Its seems that the top brass at ABC and MTV should be asking “Y.”

This poses the question: Do the people in charge really have a grasp on what’s going on in the world of media consumption with millennials?

Are they hiding behind their titles, gathering input from their children, to  create strategies in a market they could possibly not fully understand?

Daniels and Ascheim both admit to asking their children for understanding with social media and new platforms for media consumption.

With that being said, it may be time for their respective networks to call for their resignation or reassignment. Daniels is 49-years-old and  Ascheim is in his 40s as well. How long can they keep up in a hare’s race, when they are moving at a turtle’s pace.

Even though it’s highly unlikely these two executives will step down, questions should be asked. These middle age corporate figureheads are making decisions and determining what you watch on television.

Isn’t it time for a change, it’s time to start asking “Y.”


About Mitchell Gaddis

Mitchell Gaddis' dream job would be working for Warner Brothers in a corporate setting producing programing content.

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