Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bob Barker - American Icon and Host Of "Price Is Right" Retires - Video

I now know I've been around a bit when this happens. I have grown up with Bob Barker, patted myself on the back for rightly guessing a price, dreaming that I was the winner of the showcase, and drolling over the Price Is Right girls. Well, the last part of that remains, but Barker, the real symbol of the show and an American icon, has retired. Here's an article by E! Online and selected YouTube Clips to celebrate Bob Barker.

Bob Barker Retiring
by Natalie Finn - E!Online

Tue, 31 Oct 2006 06:44:50 PM PST

The price isn't going to be quite as right come next June.

Bob Barker announced Tuesday he will retire in 2007 after 50 years in television, 35 of which he spent as the host of The Price Is Right.

"I will be 83 years old on Dec. 12, and I've decided to retire while I'm still young," the famed daytime personality told the Associated Press. "I've gone on and on to this ancient age because I've enjoyed it. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm going to miss it."

While Barker has considered hanging it up for the past 10 years, he said he's been having too much fun to walk away for good, but he figured reaching his golden anniversary was an "appropriate" time.

"I'm just reaching the age where the constant effort to be there and do the show physically is a lot for me," he said, sounding a bit like another TV icon who announced his intention to slow down after half a century on the air, 60 Minutes' Mike Wallace.
Barker had a mild stroke in May 2002 and had prostate surgery six weeks later—none of which caused him to miss a show, mind you.

Since The Price Is Right premiered Sept. 4, 1972, with Barker enticing people for the first time to "come on down," he has only missed three episodes (back in 1974). The longest running game show on the air is currently on in two half-hour installments every weekday, with the later one averaging 5.5 million viewers a day, per Nielsen Media Research.

"We knew this day would come, but that doesn't make it any easier," CBS Corp. president Leslie Moonves said in a statement. "Bob Barker is a daytime legend, an entertainment icon and one of the most beloved television personalities of our time."

The former Miss Universe and Miss USA Pageant host got his start in radio before being discovered by eventual This Is Your Life host Ralph Edwards, who said he liked the sound of Barker's voice. Barker went on to host the TV game show Truth or Consequences from 1956 until 1975, overlapping with Price for a few years.

A CBS spokesperson told Reuters that Price will go on after Barker's departure, but "it's premature to discuss any transition plans right now. Our focus now will be giving Bob a proper sendoff." A CBS prime-time special celebrating the man is also in the works, he said.

Barker's advice for whomever signs on to replace him is this: Memorize everything.

"The games have to be just like riding a bicycle," he said, referring to the show's numerous pricing games (80 at last count) in which contestants make bids to win larger prizes, like cars and trips.

"Then he will be relaxed enough to have fun with the audience—to get the laughs with his contestants and make the show more than just straight games—to make it a lot of fun."

Well, Barker should know.

While the silver-haired emcee has always had a smile for his studio audience and millions of at-home viewers, it wasn't too long ago that Barker was accused of enjoying his hosting duties a little too much.

Comedy Central Cips Still On YouTube - Deal In the Works

Whew! Seeing Comedy Central clips was one of the best aspects of a visit to YouTube. Give it to Chad and the gang over there at YouTube for being the consumate deal makers.

Viacom Sticks with YouTube - Red Herring

Despite copyright violations, clips from Comedy Central stay on video-sharing site.
October 31, 2006

Fake news fans can still get their fix on YouTube—for now. Shorter clips from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will remain on the video-sharing site, a spokesperson for Viacom said Tuesday. The move hints that Google and Viacom are searching for a way to make money from the site’s popularity.

A formal agreement between YouTube’s parent company, Google, and Viacom, has not been announced. But Viacom’s interest in profiting from the popularity of its content on YouTube is evident in a statement issued by the company on Monday.

“We want our audiences to be able to access our programming on every platform and we're interested in having it live on all forms of distribution in ways that protect our talented artists, our loyal customers and our passionate audiences,” Viacom said in a statement sent to Red Herring by spokesperson Jeremy Zweig.

As of Tuesday, a search on YouTube for “The Daily Show” yielded 2,705 videos. A search for “Colbert” produced 2,328 clips. YouTube said it would not comment on the matter.

On Friday, Viacom requested that YouTube remove Comedy Central content, as well as programming from VHI, MTV, BET and Nickelodeon, from its site due to copyright violations.

Comedy Central has its own website, Motherload, where viewers can watch clips of shows with pre-roll commercials. Comedy Central also sells episodes of many of its top shows, including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, for $1.99 a pop via Apple's iTunes Store.

Many analysts have speculated that without illegally-uploaded content, like the clips from Comedy Central, YouTube may not be able to hang on to its audience. “There is a big risk there for YouTube in terms of its current status as the unchallenged number one site for sharing this kind of video,” said Joe Laszlo, an analyst with Jupiter Research.

YouTube struck a content-sharing deal with broadcast network NBC this summer (see Now Playing: YouTube, NBC). More recently, CBS, Showtime, and CSTV partnered with YouTube to provide short form video clips from shows including CSI, Survivor, and CBS Evening News. YouTube will share any revenue from ads placed next to CBS content uploaded by YouTube users with CBS, and CBS will have the right to remove such content from the site.

More content-licensing deals like those inked with NBC and CBS are likely to emerge, too. Negotiating and deal brokering stepped into high gear following Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in October (see GooTube Feeding Frenzy).

“I think we’ll see a lot of this kind of activity where companies may threaten to sue one day and end up happy partners the next,” said Mr. Laszlo. “All of the major media companies are still feeling their way.”

Will Yahoo Buy AOL?

I ran accross an article in Fortune Magazine, and linked to here at the title of this post, annoucing that Yahoo!'s been flirting with AOL over the possible action of aquisition of the web portal.

I know AOL has its enemies but I really don't think being eaten by Yahoo!'s the best answer for the company's woes. Indeed, I think it should fashion itself as an alternative to AOL. It's already doing that, but I think AOL should keep up the work. My feeling is that Yahoo!'s lost it's creative drive and has become a giant bureaucracy. AOL would just make it a bigger one.