Larry Kramer is the chairman of the board of directors at The Street and a member of the boards of directors at Gannett. He is also an adjunct professor of media management at the Newhouse school, and was invited to have a seminar and discuss his view on media business in New York City. In fact, Larry Kramer is one of the professionals invited in the course ICC 683. ICC 683 is an intensive discussion of the application of new media management principles to modern communication practice held in New York City.
During his presentation, Kramer mainly talked about the changes in the media industry, and how he turned a legacy media company like CBS into a digitally-focused one. One interesting story was about building an entrepreneurial business inside a traditional company. He mentioned one of the strategies he used for CBS — to put all the college basketball online so that wherever the customers lived, they could watch the games they want. The problem with the traditional media is that customers cannot watch all of the games they want, as several games are on at the same time.
When it comes to the people resisting the new ideas, he concluded that it was essential to the complaints of other people in his field, even if they did not share his entrepreneurial spirit. Their complaints can still be useful to truly understand how the audience is responding to these changes.
Larry mentioned that it was also key to listen to consumers. He believed this was the major change in the media industry. Consumers have much more control nowadays, and not just in media. The reason for the success of companies like Amazon and eBay, Larry said, is that they also understand what customers want.
Larry’s last big takeaway was this: “Is everything content? Yes!” says Larry.
In Larry’s opinion, every product is now a media experience. There is no longer specific catalog of what can be sold on the internet and what can’t because what consumers buy is not a product, but an experience. Even the most seemingly non-media product should have its media layers, which is not optional but essential.
With the successful career life and unique version of the media business, Larry Kramer gave the students much inspiration on how to understand the principles of media.