The late Erwin Ephron, a true industry legend and giant, wrote the words below as the introduction to A Short History of the Upfront in 2003 for the original Jack Myers Report fax newsletter. Because Erwin’s description of the Upfront remains not only relevant, but essential reading today for all those navigating these tumultuous times in our industry, I’ve republished it without revision at MediaVillage.com.
Erwin wrote, "If he were composing today, Vivaldi would write a fifth season, The New TV Season. Fatter than Summer, brisker than Fall, more turbulent than Winter. A time of year punctuated by that two-week crescendo called the Upfront. Last year close to $8 billion prime time dollars committed in weeks, at prices up 8-to-15%, in a recession. With the next Upfront a few weeks away, it's well to ask how did this monster come to be and how has it survived its useful life? A Spring Upfront made sense when there was a new TV season each Fall, but not now when new shows are dribbled-in across the year."
I welcome your insights, comments and tributes to Erwin, which I will publish in a future report.
Download the original article by Erwin below.