In the 6-21-04 Ad Age, Randall Rothenberg identified the Achilles heel of our large media companies:
The lack of good information, coupled with inertia, ensures that money keeps flowing to CNN, Newsweek, and the New York Times.
Our entire media-spindustrial infrastructure is undergirded by what I called the "Knowability Paradox." The less we know about how advertising and the media works, the more advertising and media there are.
The closer we come to being able to measure not only the real size but the exact composition of the audience, the more we subvert mass media owners's ability to persuade marketers that black, if not white, is at least very gray.
The media business model rests on the foundation of customer ignorance. It is dangerously unstable because it frequently places media companies at odds with their customers (the big advertisers). The customers want more and better information; media companies fear that better information will hurt advertising revenue.