About EJHill

Thirty years in television production. Living in a midwestern city in the productive custody of his wife and four children (Baby Girl, Marine, Future Tony Winner & Xerox). Unrelenting, unrepentant conservative. Needs a better temperament that equals his photoshop skills. Will probably die broke but believes more in freedom than the welfare state.  

Building a Base

 

To be successful, politicians have to start with a base, a group of like-minded individuals that will be there for you through thick and thin. And then you have to grow that base – or at the very least – present a plausible alternative to your opponent. Donald Trump, the wealthy real estate developer had, and still has, a very unlikely base: poor to lower-middle-class whites and others who feel unrepresented in politics. And that includes over 9 million voters who had checked the box next to Barack Obama’s name just four years earlier.

It seems so improbable. A more astute observer than I totally understands. When he last hosted Saturday Night Live, Dave Chappelle described the situation thusly:

Reflections of a Weak Society?

 

Monday night, with a little over five minutes remaining in the 1st Quarter of the Bills-Bengals game, Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. He was attended by both teams’ trainers and EMTs and was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

The overwhelming opinion of the media and everyone connected with the game is that it could not continue and the the NFL suspended play.

The End of 2022 vs. The End of Me

 

As usual the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year saw a lot of calories enter the house. As we roll, both literally and figuratively, into 2023 the person who is responsible for this will then revert to her natural state of reminding me that I have to lose weight. As the kids scatter to the wind to tackle their own problems I will be left staring at the leftover temptations such as the half dozen Coffee Crisp bars my youngest gave me.

This outrageous confection is a Canadian thing from Nestlé. It’s basically a giant Kit Kat that spent the morning lounging around a Starbucks and is generally unavailable in the US except for some specialty import shops and in Florida where Publix serves the Canadian expat market. That’s not a complaint, mind you, as its unavailability is a good thing for my overall health.

Is the Bottom Falling Out of Sports?

 

Back in September it was rumored that three of the four major professional sports leagues were poised to purchase the faltering regional sports networks (RSN) owned by Sinclair Broadcasting and operating under the name of Bally Sports. A couple of days ago, The New York Post reported that deal is unlikely to happen.

First, a little background: The RSNs were born in the 198os primarily as a joint effort between Cablevision and NBC. They would eventually morph into Fox Sports Net and then would pass through the hands of Disney/ESPN and eventually emerge as Bally Sports. (There were other entities involved along the way such as Liberty Media/Prime Ticket but those are the basics.)

In the beginning, their primary competition were local broadcasters – mostly independent stations who could accommodate a schedule of games without worrying about bumping network programming. In most markets, pro teams had an over-the-air home and a cable home. Then the cable nets decided they wanted the whole slate and pushed the local broadcaster out of the picture. In turn, they were more than happy to pass the costs of the increasing rights fees to the cable companies and they happily passed it on to consumers. But the consumers started to object, especially those that weren’t interested in watching and therefore had no need to pay higher bills.

Disney Awakens?

 

Eight days ago I wrote a post about The Walt Disney Company hitting the rocks of the reality of their chosen politics. Sunday night, that reality came to head as the company’s Board of Directors met and ousted CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with his predecessor, Bob Iger.

I’m not a big fan of Iger, but this is a plus for Disney shareholders. If you own any shares of the House of Mouse, this should please you. If I were him, I’d be on the phone with the Governor of Florida sooner than later.

Disney Crashing Against the Rocks of Reality

 

I was with Disney during some of their business ventures that were real doozies. Remember ESPN Mobile? That blew up after 13 months in 2005.

ESPN3D? High cost and absolutely no demand. And when I say no demand, I mean the audience was so minuscule A.C. Nielsen couldn’t even measure it. Still, they threw money down that rabbit hole for three years.

I watched as a lot of friends at the network got blown out. Every two years and always around Father’s Day, ESPN would go through massive layoffs.

About Last Night

 

I made no bold predictions about the midterms, but I do feel vindicated in one sense. I have repeatedly made the argument on these pages, both in posts and especially in the comments, that the past is dead. Just like Marley. Deader than a doornail.

If you predicated any thoughts about the election with, “Well, the last time these numbers looked like this THAT happened…” Nope. It’s all irrelevant.

Closing Arguments

 

This is Ron DeSantis’ closing ad for Florida.

Has Twitter Changed?

 

When I was producing The Roth Effect, Carol Roth and I were both stumped by the reaction. Or should I say, lack of a reaction, to most of our shows. Here was a woman who was on television constantly and had a decent following on Twitter (160K+ followers) and yet the show languished just north of 3,000 downloads every week.

She tweeted about it, her guests tweeted about it, and nothing seemed to work. Occasionally though she would get a DM or reply to one of her Tweets and the gist of it was always the same, “You have a podcast? When did that start?”

Shadowbanning and throttling the distribution of Tweets based on keywords has long been suspected. Without the code that does it, it remains an unprovable charge. After Elon Musk fired several top executives last week, his team of software engineers went in and locked the system. He has 44 billion reasons for that, not the least of which is to see if Twitter’s former management misrepresented anything during the purchase period.

Member Post

 

Sometimes I get so caught up in working for Ricochet I don’t take time to do Ricochet. Oh, sure, I’m good for the snide hit-and-run remark in the comments, but to sit down and write an extended post? Not so much. I’ve pretty much hit the limit of trying to explain the logic of the […]

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Are You Ready For Some PAY Football?

 

How much would you be willing to pay to be the exclusive home to an NFL game? How about $67M per game? When you break it down, that’s what Amazon Prime is paying the league for its package of Thursday Night Football that debuted Thursday Night.

I expect the coverage to be unremarkable. Amazon has done nothing but hire broadcast network veterans to run the show. For everyone to get comfortable with each other, they’ve been taping practice games for weeks. Will there be moments that Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit step on each other? Maybe. But the only wildcard in this pack is the production truck itself. While it comes from one of the leading providers of remote facilities, Game Creek Video, it’s brand new. And brand new anything that complicated comes with surprises. That’s why Bezos paid for all those practice games.

The real question is will the audience be able to find it? Your benchmark will be $16.4 million, that’s the combined numbers between the Fox/NFL Network simulcast of the same package last season. Interestingly, Amazon is only promising advertisers 75% of that, around 12M per game. (For perspective, the worst draw in the NFL – a matchup between two losing teams late in the season draws around 4M on a Sunday afternoon.)

The Past, Present and Future of the Monarchy

 

Toby Young (Photo:Shutterstock)

It was just after 6:30 in the evening as news spread that Her Majesty the Queen had passed at age 96. Toby Young, the English journalist and co-host of Ricochet’s London Calling podcast was in a crowded restaurant, ready to head off to an event for the Free Speech Union. He heard it from another patron. “An elderly woman, at the nearby table, just reached over and touched my arm to tell me… and that sort of thing never happens in this country. So, that tells you something about the impact of the news and what it means to people.”

Member Post

 

This past weekend was “Parents Weekend” at the USMMA. We got the full tour of the campus, some of the worst institutional food I’ve ever had the misfortune to eat and the boy delighted the old man by inviting him to pin his “sea chicken” badge on him at halftime of the football game where […]

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My Personal Rebrand

 

“Imitation is the sincerest form of television,” said radio satirist Fred Allen. In that vein I am contemplating changing my handle so that I can get in on the cutting edge of media today. Introducing EJHill+.

What will be coming from EJHill+? Not much more or different, really. But I’ve got 1,300 posts in the can and hundreds of photoshops. “But all of that stuff is obsolete and dated,” you say. Of course it is, but we know that value is all in the presentation. To begin with, this obsolescence will never be referred to. No, no, no. This is the stuff from The Vault. Everyone knows only valuables are kept in The Vault. It has to be important. I mean, it’s both italicized and trademarked.

Last One Standing

 

This morning I went to a funeral of a woman I hardly knew. Her son is my best friend and one of the most honorable men I know. I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit for him and it was certainly no burden to take the time today to pay respects to the good woman that raised him.

His mom was 89 and had outlived her friends and her long-ago co-workers. That left just the immediate family, my wife and I, and two other acquaintances. In a world where thousands show up for the funerals of assorted thugs and criminals,  Mrs. T was remanded to God with very little notice. It was a scene that is probably played out thousands of times per day: Quiet, dignified goodbyes for quiet, dignified people.