Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another Op'nin', Another Show

It was around 1999 or so when I got to witness a great old-media-meets-new-media moment: I'm in Mike Wallace's office trying to talk to him about something, but he's distracted by the brand new "personal computing" device just installed on his desk. Don Hewitt walks by. Mike calls him in. "So, lookit, Don, this is what I was saying. Now you move this arrow right here, up to this word here, the underlined one? Click! And there you go..." He's just clicked on a link, causing the window to change from one page to another.

Hewitt shakes his head and turns toward the door. "These fuckin' things scare the shit outta me," he says, hurrying off.

Click ahead to 2007, and suddenly I'm not the only one making the leap from a 15-million viewers-per-week television show to a dinky-assed website read by a few dozen friends and relatives:

The media guru who brought us 60 Minutes has a new idea: Take a miniversion of the regular ratings leader to the Internet and target the most-sought-after spending group, affluent college kids. "I look around and I see an awful lot of corporations that stay out of television news because they can't reach the demographic they want," CBS newsman Don Hewitt tells us. "So I'm trying to reach it for them."

He's got a platform: CBS's U-Wire, the college press Internet site...

It'll be fast, peppy and brief, he says. And to show how tightly his finger is pressed upon the pulse of America's young people...

[Hewitt says the site already has] a name: "Anything Goes, as in Cole Porter's Anything Goes."

Fucking. Genius. If anything can pull today's college kids away from their goldfish-eating contests or their 20-guys-in-a-phonebooth tomfoolery, and get them to pay attention to the headlines, it's Cole Porter! Effective Immediately, "Burro Hall" (an awful pun on our former subway stop) will be changing its name to "Now You're On the Trolley!"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frank,

Tell more Mike Wallace stories. I'd also like another one with Don Hewitt cursing as he storms down the hallway. Why is "Burro Hall' a pun? Please explain.

Burro Hall said...

Because it's spelled the same way forwards and backwards, franker.

Anonymous said...

Buh?