All Politics Ain’t Local, All Politics are Dollars and Cents – Paul S. Maxwell

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
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Comment : Tip O’Neill (he of the all politics is local) was right back in the ‘80s. Not today. Just look at 2014 results.

But enough of that … 2015 is here so I thought I’d make a few predictions -- some serious, some not so. Not to mention that it is only 54 weeks or so until the New Hampshire Presidential Primary! Good news for broadcasters and cable news! Not so much the rest of us. Campaign ads for the 2016 elections will begin on January 5thof this year.

• So, here’s wishing you and yours a most prosperous New Year!

• It’ll take more than just 2015, but real fast broadband will come to the wireless skies as those guys some of my friends call cashcasters will take the money for their spectrum and go online wherever possible. They should then lose retransmission consent … but I wouldn’t bet on that (see headline). And even if they did lose it … well, given the stick-‘em-up culture at ye olde local and national broadcasters, I wonder if they’ll even care. Shout out for our old friend Preston Padden … he scoped this right early on.

• Koch brothers versus net neutrality? One of their political companies organized most of the latest FCC filings against Title II. Why? Because the wimpy media “backs” Title II.

• “Cable” will continue to redefine itself as more than an MVPD (Multichannel Video Provider Distributor) after the successful INTX – the Internet and Television Expo -- replaces the Cable Show this May. Meanwhile, DOCSIS 3.1 will enable cable to deliver much better internet speeds before the year is out.

• Coming soon from Larry Satkowiak and the Cable Center is a thoughtful look at cable’s history organized into three generations … seems to me we’re right at the cusp of the fourth.

• Tablets and larger smartphones will completely replace small (less than 20”) television sets.

• IPTV will dominate distribution and recycling copper will be a big business.

• The “media” (whatever that is) will be blamed for everything … especially by the “media.”

• Anything analog will be a premium product following the reincarnated semi-success of vinyl records.

• How long before Netflix will be in every set-top box?

• Do you really think your customers know their Internet speeds? Giga-what? Just for fun, send an email to and ask him for the Pivot/Telecompetitor research. Eye-opening, but not surprising.

• Articles and arguments about income inequality will subside as most will understand the latest Gilded Age is already upon us … and Studio 54 will re-open encompassing a whole city block in Manhattan. This is known as being ironic.

• CES will be crowded. I went to that for 25 years in a row in Chicago and in Las Vegas. One day I decided it was too crowded and skipped it. Haven’t been back since (of course, I sold my company, too). Look forward to the great trade coverage, though. Gary Shapiro says CEA expects “over 150,000” visitors. Good luck on getting a cab. Eureka Park will feature over 375 startups. CES has absorbed some other big shows along way (a good friend of ours used to call them “the gobblers”) … Hey NCTA, just sayin’.

• With the White House re-discovering that odd island to the east of us, all things Cuban (exceptin’ Mark) will be the new vogue. Hey, maybe I can buy some great Cuban rum! Cuban cigars for Wall Street!

• Ah, Sony. “The Interview” is running in independent or small chain theaters … but blaming Sony for not distributing it via large chain theaters was shortsighted. Here in Colorado we’ve got the horrible example of James Holmes … and the law suits against the theater owner for not anticipating the slaughter. The real problem is who’s responsible for what in the courts. The theater groups – understandably, think about the lawsuits and pointed fingers if something had happened at a showing – blinked, forcing Sony to regroup, which it shall do. There’s a growing problem in America of shutting down opinions and conversations. That’s bad, and un-American. But it isn’t surprising. We’ve almost let mullahs restrain publishing via fatwas; it seems reasonable to kowtow to a dictator now while reestablishing (kind of overdue, though) diplomatic relations with another dictator … just kidding!

“The Revolutionary Evolution of the Media” Continues

A book in progress … how a changing world has made media what it is today … Or, from a grunt to too much connectivity.

Read Chapter 4 Part 2 here. Go here to read it from the beginning.

In an almost 50-year career writing and reporting on media, Paul S. Maxwell started and/or ran some 45-plus publications ranging from CATV Newsweekly to Colorado Magazine to CableVision to Multichannel News to CableFAX and The BRIDGE Suite of daily newsletters and research publications. In between publishing stints, Maxwell served as an advisor and/or consultant to a number of major media companies and media start-ups including running a unit of MCI and managing a partnership of TCI and McGraw-Hill.

Send any and all criticisms, suggestions, rants, threats, corrections, etc. to him at He has a new Web site coming soon!

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