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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Some 'Darts and Laurels' to Current Goings-On in the Home Video Industry

20 Feb, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Doing a little pre-Spring cleaning over the Presidents' Day Weekend, I came across an old copy of the Columbia Journalism Review and a column called "Darts and Laurels," in which examples of bad journalism (plagiarism, misquotes, slated reporting) get darts and examples of good journalism (stories about poor old people with no heat in winter, cockroaches in restaurants, and so on) are awarded laurels.

I'm going to steal this idea for today's column and award some darts and laurels of my own to current goings-on in the home video industry.

*A LAUREL to Columbia TriStar and the other studios that are labeling their youth-oriented DVD movies as being playable on Sony's new PlayStation 2 video game console. The industry is buzzing with talk of "convergence," but it sure helps if we let the consumer in on it as well.

*A DART to Buena Vista for continuing to tout a movie's availability "on video and DVD." DVD is video. So is VHS. Most of the other studios are getting it right -- and we know this is just a terrible oversight.

*A LAUREL to all those smart retailers out there who are transitioning from VHS to DVD. It's great to find someone actually being pro-active for a change.

*A DART to Blockbuster for those stupid billboards touting the fact that while consumers can either buy or rent DVDs at its stores, "renting is better." It's part of Big Blue's campaign for a rental window, which would lead to consumers no longer being able to buy new DVD releases for $20. Where are those truth in advertising laws when you need them?

*A LAUREL to all the great employees of Major Video Concepts who lost their jobs in recent weeks as a result of their firm's sale to Ingram Entertainment. I've worked with many of you over the years, I've spoken at your trade shows, and I have been very impressed with your talent, your creativity and most of all your dedication to your retail clients. Hopefully you'll all end up somewhere -- the video industry can't afford too many more brain drains.

*A DART to the handful of independent retailers who are urging me to help start an "anti-video-on-demand" movement. I'd be happy to -- right after my horse-drawn carriage drops me off at the anti-internal combustion engine rally.

Now it's your turn, readers. Send me your candidates for "darts and laurels," and I'll print a selection of the best in an upcoming column.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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