So the big bad Wolf has been shown the exit door. Is the house of Viacom truly made of bricks or did the Wolf just not blow hard enough? Or maybe the Wolf is already living in the brick house, disguised as Mr. Redstone?
Regardless of what anyone thinks of Mssrs. Wolf and Redstone, the challenges confronting big media may be beyond any single individual to solve. This requires a wholesale shakeup of the entire industry. MTV is a bellwether example. I just want to make three points.
Boom and bust cycles are healthy. This is the first major downturn for an industry which has solved its problems through waves of consolidation. MTV in particular has ridden its 20-year wave of success by continuously innovating content, but not its business model.
Creative enterprises must stay close to the consumer. How did MTV miss the CGM opportunity if it succeeded in staying close to the consumer? It's not a matter of content; CGM represents an inversion of control over content selection. Consumer-generated content actually means consumer-selected content. If consumers are picking, then what's the point of paying all the geniuses in the top jobs?
Challenges with new business models are not going to be solved by experts in the old business models. As old media companies re-circulate the same failed executives from prior administrations, Google will continue to outmaneuver and out-think the incumbents. N.B. Yahoo has brought old-media execs to run new media - you be the judge of the results.