As National Geographic’s content converges
on a single digital device,
John Fahey will discover that his grand Brand strategy —
high road in the Magazine, low road on TV —
is dishonest and unsustainable.


  • cdwidea

    Looks like some good shows

    • “To inspire people to care about the planet”

      • cdwidea

        I’m inspired to watch, that’s all commercial TV really needs to do.

        • Dissident in ancient Rome: “But Emperor, should we really be feeding Christians to the lions? It doesn’t seem like the right or responsible thing to do.”

          Nero: “I’m inspired to watch, and so are my countrymen, and that’s all that commercial entertainment really needs to do.”

          • cdwidea

            That’s exactly the same thing, of course, not hyperbolic at all.

          • My point is that David Lyle & John Fahey have a responsibility that extends beyond putting stuff on TV that people are inspired to watch.

            Take the case of Meet the Hutterites. It was a ratings success, despite the fact that NGC clearly was in breach of contract. David Lyle participated in a conference call last fall, and promised the Hutterite elders that he was shocked (shocked!) by what had happened during the production, and he promised to look into the matter further and report back. Since then, silence. Oh… and that Hutterite “reality” series then went global, appearing on National Geographic Channels around the world.

            The Hutterites weren’t literally fed to the lions, but they were clearly sacrificed — and lied to — to keep the masses entertained.

            Call it hyperbole if you want. But be sure to also call the Hutterites, who are still waiting by their phone for David Lyle’s reply. You can tell them what you told me: “I’m inspired to watch, that’s all commercial TV really needs to do.”

          • cdwidea

            Will do, happy to share that message! The hutterites aren’t completely innocent here. They knew more than you seem to think about what they were getting into. I’m not supporting what was done – but not going to simply take one side at face value either.

          • “They knew more than you seem to think about what they were getting into.”

            Such as?

          • cdwidea

            well, let’s see. They signed a contract, they agreed to do the scenes they were contracted for, they received money. I, unlike you it would seem, don’t think they are idiots. They knew they were making a TV show. I’m not giving NG free reign on this, all I’m saying is that it takes 2 to tango. They are not innocent bystanders in this process and they should have crowed earlier.

          • You’re right, they should have sounded the alarm earlier. But I think it’s safe to say that the people who participated didn’t fully grasp how TV production — esp video editing — really works. So yes, it takes 2 to tango, but the organization leading the dance — the one whose name was bandied about up front to increase the Hutterites’ confidence in the production — were not trustworthy.

            Also, David Lyle told the Hutterite elders back in September that he would investigate what happened, and respond. It’s now June, and he’s done nothing except the shuttle the show over to NGC International, where the Hutterites can be humiliated on a global stage. Very classy.

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