So How Much Of A Factor Are Ticket Prices?

“It’s a truism in the classical music business that income from ticket sales rarely covers more than 50 percent of the cost of putting on a performance, and our look at some representative Bay Area groups supports that. Given this fact, every organization, regardless of its size or prestige, has to do a lot of fundraising just to break even. But how those prices are determined can still be a mystery to the concert-going public.”

A Musical About Totalitarian North Korea?…

Chorus lines of goose-stepping soldiers and emaciated political prisoners will prance across the stage when “Yoduk Story,” a tear-jerker about a North Korean concentration camp whose name has the resonance of Auschwitz for some Koreans, opens here next month. Among the catchy tunes that South Korean theatergoers might soon be humming are “If I Could Walk Freely” and “All I Want Is Rice.”

High Def Threatens TV’s Stars

“Surely the greatest aesthetic threat to TV news since Technicolor, high-definition television is nearly 10 times sharper than regular television. About 18 million households now have HDTV-ready sets. By next year, that number could be as high as 50 million, according to some industry estimates. In 2009, when most of the broadcast networks are finished converting their news programs to high-def, much of the viewing public will be able to inspect the enamel on Katie Couric’s teeth, if they are so moved.”

Classical Music? Define Your Terms!

“Classical music is the music that has lived on or will live on. The implication here is that there’s lots of other music that hasn’t or won’t live on because it isn’t as good. Contemporary implies having a quality of newness, which is impermanent at best. Once something becomes familiar, by being around for a while and people getting to know it, it can’t really be contemporary anymore. So the more out there and inscrutable the music is to an audience, the longer it can stay contemporary.”

Paramount – A Movie Studio Reinvents

“After years of sedate stability under Sherry Lansing, Paramount has been rebuilt pretty much from the ground up. In less than a year, virtually every division chief has been replaced, some without warning, as happened to production chief Donald DeLine, who found out from friends that he was being replaced when he was in London on a business trip. Countless staffers have been let go after the studio paid $1.6 billion to acquire DreamWorks last December in a selection process that one staffer described as a human bake sale.”

Radio Tries For A Comeback

Traditional radio is going on the offensive to try to “recapture some of the consumer and industry buzz temporarily ceded to satellite radio in the wake of shock jock Stern’s defection to Sirius Satellite Radio. (Oprah Winfrey will be going to Sirius’ larger rival, XM Satellite Radio). Industry observers wonder whether these initial steps by terrestrial radio will be enough to maintain it as a dynamic media business.”

Born To Dance (Literally)

Researchers say some people are genetically engineered to dance. “People are born to dance. They have (other) genes that partially contribute to musical talent, such as coordination, sense of rhythm. However, the genes we studied are more related to the emotional side of dancing — the need and ability to communicate with other people and a spiritual side to their natures that not only enable them to feel the music, but to communicate that feeling to others via dance.”

Current’s Viewer Video – Tougher Than It Seems

Current TV is based on the idea of viewer contribution. “While there’s no question the number of people who can edit videos at home has skyrocketed, Current TV has discovered that the number who can make interesting or watchable “pods” is substantially smaller. To separate the wheat from the chaff, the network uses a Web based “green-lighting” process through which viewers rate each others’ submissions. Videos that rise to the top are put on air and the contributors are paid a fee that starts at $500. That process yields only about 30% of what the network needs to fill its days. The channel fills the rest with commercially-produced or “commissioned” segments about social issues, fashion, and music.”