Triumph and Erosion in the American Media and Entertainment Industries

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How did the American media and entertainment industries decline from their global ascendancy after World War II to their present condition of instability and uncertainty? How will trends in the delivery of information affect their future? These are some of the questions Steinbock asks in this comprehensive, thoroughly researched analysis. Starting with a description of shifts in the U.S. economy and ending with the coming revolution in U.S. media and entertainment-attributable to government policies, strategic alliances, and technological convergence- Steinbock's book is no less than a Baedeker to all facets of these interlocked industries, and a provocative critique to their stengths and weaknesses in the world economy. Media and entertainment professionals will find Steinbock's views challenging and cautionary. For academics in schools of communication, the book will be a necessary source of history, data, and analysis.

In the mid-1980s, America lost its global economic leadership. The information revolution has added to uncertainty. Despite the coming electronic superhighways, the future remains clouded in the American media and entertainment industries. Steinbock's comprehensive, thoroughly researched analysis is no less than a Baedeker to all facets of these interlocked industries, and a provocative critique of their strengths and weaknesses in the world economy. The book opens with a discussion of the American economy and its macro-affects on media and entertainment, vis-a-vis the twin deficit, a stock market dominated by institutional investors, troubled banking industry, deregulation and antitrust policies, as well as the fourth national mergers and acquisition wave.

In Part I, Steinbock looks at broadcasting (tv, radio) and cable (basic and pay, pay-per-view, home shopping), exploring the former's winding fortunes and the latter's consolidation. Then, he moves to examine the Hollywood studios and talent agencies and their market multiplication: theatrical exhibition, home video and syndication, theme parks, toys, video games, licensed merchandise, record and music industry, newspapers, magazines, and books, as well as interactive multimedia, from CD-ROM to virtual reality. Each industry analysis inludes a full section devoted to all major corporate players, from networks (Capital Cities/ABC, General Electric/NBC, Loews Corp./CBS) and cable operators (TCI, Viacom, Turner) to the studios (Time Warner, Paramount, Disney, News Corp., Sony, and Matsushita). In Part II, Steinbock discusses the coming electronic superhighways and government-initiated policies that have already had a significant impact on strategic alliances (direct broadcast satellites, computers, Baby Bells, and long distance carriers). The book concludes with an assessment of how the technological, economic, and political convergence is dramatically remolding the media, entertainment, computer, and telco industries, not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.

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