November 13, 2012
"Did I really like this particular beer I was seen drinking on the show? Or had I simply been paid to say so?"

In Fighting Mad, chef Anthony Bourdain describes the commercial pressures of making his cooking/travel program, No Reservations, his quest not to create something he didn’t truly believe in, and his rage at executives at the Travel Channel undermining his work and his brand. It’s well worth a read.

This is, of course, not an isolated incident, and I love the fact that Bourdain describes simply but evocatively the world in which he works. He’s not naive, but he’s also not standing for weasely cheap shots of cobbled-together “bonus content” or faked endorsements created to garner additional advertising dollars. Good for him. Given the “brave new world” he describes, television executives are going to have to be more creative, more thoughtful, more innovative, and come up with new solutions that don’t simply ignore the viewing shift that’s taken place over the past twenty or so years, but actually create a brave new future in which they can reach their targets, talent can realize their potential, and the audience (remember them?) isn’t taken for a collective fool.

[Story via Cameron Tonkinwise]