Best Business Commentary
November 6, 2007
“In corporate America, it may be time to retire the phrase ‘heir apparent,’” says Louise Story in The New York Times. It used to be that “grooming a successor was a job requirement of a chief executive and a priority for a company’s board,” but no more. CEOs often “ax their heir apparents rather than groom them” these days, and potential successors sometimes get tired of waiting and move on. This is especially true in banking—neither Citigroup nor Merrill Lynch had a successor in place when their CEOs departed in the last week. But markets hate uncertainty, and as the banks look outside for new leadership, investors will “continue to punish the companies until chiefs are appointed.”
TV news can’t tell the difference between “relevance” and reality, and “I blame ‘Murphy Brown,’” says Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times. Fictional newscaster Brown talked about “real newsmakers” as if they were “characters on her sitcom,” and the real newsmakers have played along ever since. Today, the only people who watch “real” network news are “on the AARP’s mailing list.” Younger viewers watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and “believe that they can deduce what’s going on in the real world from jokes on a fake newscast.” TV news should aim for younger viewers, but not “at the expense of reality.”
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