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Ben Silverman - Master Innovator? - OnMedea

Ben Silverman - Master Innovator?

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I was at a party once and (G. Gordon) Liddy put his hand over a candle, and he kept it there.  He kept it right in the flame until his flesh was burned.  Somebody said, "What's the trick?"  And Liddy said, "The trick is not minding."
Deep Throat - All The President's Men
ben_silverman.jpgI'm not suggesting by the title of this entry and the above quote that Ben Silverman is as nuts as G. Gordon Liddy.  Far from it.  I personally believe he is too big of a pussy to even come close to burning his hand in a flame.   But there is a certain recklessness (and his bizarre relishing in this recklessness) that makes the comparison apt.  It's almost like he wants you to call him a "hard-partying, womanizing, break the rules kind of guy."  That's his badge of honor.  And it works for most rock stars and even George Clooney - but not Ben.

I know for a fact that a few drugs and a good amount of booze has helped to shape some of the greatest content ever produced.  Can you imagine jazz evolving as it did without the use of drugs?  Can you imagine Hemingway or Faulkner or Fitzgerald writing sober?  Can you imagine the filmmaking of 1970s without any chemicals to get through the long nights?  Luckily we don't have to. 

There have been many successful executives in the past (and some currently) that have partied just as hard - but you don't hear much about their social lives because they do their jobs and hit their numbers.  When you fail, everyone starts looking very closely at how you spend your day.

Success would have saved Mr. Silverman and he would have been allowed to do whatever he wanted.  (And Jeff Zucker probably would have encouraged him to continue to do whatever it was he was doing.)  But he failed.

Ben Silverman was an absolute disaster at NBC.  Practically everything he touched turned to shit (the list of expensive flops is long and you most likely have read about them elsewhere) - and yet, here he is, partying his way to the top of another company. 

BARRY-DILLER-BEN-SILVERMAN-large.jpgIn my opinion, Barry Diller has done his shareholders a great disservice by letting this failure control a $100 million fund to bridge "the gap between traditional television and the internet".  

Sounds like an amazing idea, Barry!  Somebody has got to figure out that puzzle, I suppose.  And based on all the executive talent out there, you picked... Ben Silverman

But, stupid me, I keep forgetting, based on press releases, Ben Silverman is a great innovator and the absolute right man to bridge that 'gap' (right man, that is, if advertisers are ready to party like animals, miss meetings, sleep late and never see a project through to the end).

But let me give credit where credit is due.  Mr. Silverman is a guy who seamlessly integrated advertiser's products into storylines of reality and scripted shows such as The Restaurant and The Biggest Loser.  Wow, was that restaurant cooking with ACTUAL FOOD?  Was that biggest loser drinking a Gatorade?  I'm glad Mr. Silverman came up with the idea to let the biggest losers hydrate themselves.  That's a stroke of genius.  The contestants should be very glad he didn't cut the deal with Starbucks - the biggest losers would have then had to hydrate with Venti Lattes.)

Note to BenEd McMahon sat next to a dog eating Alpo on The Tonight Show and it sold a lot of AlpoCharlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen's ventriloquist puppet) sold a ton of Ex-lax on the radio and he's a freakin' puppet that can't possibly know what it's like to be constipated!  Products sell because people want the products - not because a Ford Truck was seamlessly integrated into a webisode about a cop and a hooker. 

There have been great innovations in advertising (the banner ads to the left, sides and bottom of this blog for one) - but Ben Silverman hasn't come up with one (no matter how hard he tries to say that he has).  Mr. Silverman has obviously gotten very lucky in life and now has $100 million to play with, which will buy a lot of entertainment for himself and his daily girlfriends as he listens to pitches for web series about hot tits and Vegas fraternities.  I wish him all the best trying to sell those to Coke.

Here's a prediction that will beat any tweet that Ryan Seacrest will make today: 

The venture will fail - without fail.  Sorry, Barry.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

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Hollywood Producer said:

this one seems to be more straight forward and not as salacious as Mr. Manka's blog. I'll still check back.

Fred T. said:

Oh my. Since 2009? You've really been at this game a long time. You appear to be a very good looking woman though I can't find any more pictures of you.

Good Riddance said:

I hope you fail!

One you laid off

IAC Watchdog said:

We all would probably give away everything we've got just to have one night like Ben has most nights every week. However, I must agreed - he's going to suck at that job and flush $100 million down the drain. I just hope he spends some of it on stuff that might help the economy.

About Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy - Blogger - OnMedea Jill Kennedy is an Ivy League MBA / refugee from Lehman Brothers.

Manka Bros. (and the Manka Business Channel) hired her (for a very low sum) to cover the world of media (not the world of Medea) in her own words without corporate interference.

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About Medea

Medea Medea was a real bitch from classical mythology - as most famously dramatized by Euripides.

She was a sorceress and wife of Jason, whom she assisted in obtaining the Golden Fleece. When Jason deserted her, she chopped up their children. One could say, Medea acted as rationally as a major media company.


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