Will Cable TV Peak? (In 2009?)

A media analyst predicts that cable TV’s inroads on capturing audience from broadcast networks will peak by 2009, collectively attracting about 57% of prime-time viewers. That’s up from 53% in 2004 and 43% in 2000. But that will be it, he says, unless cable networks choose to cut profit margins by ramping up spending for programming.”

Shorting The Short Story

You can’t make a living as a writer of short stories. “Oddly, though, you can still make a pretty good living by teaching other people how to write short stories. The form survives – and even thrives, in a forced, hothouse sort of way – because it has become the instructional medium of choice in most of our writing programs. The majority of people who enroll in these programs want to be novelists, but novels don’t lend themselves very readily to the workshop format, and so would-be novelists these days spend at least part of their apprenticeship working on stories.”

Customers Accuse Book Stores With Bias

Customers of Barnes & Noble and Borders are complaining that the anti-John Kerry book “Unfit for Command,” has been hard to find in the stores. And they’re charging the stores with political bias against the book. The stores say they just haven’t been able to keep up with demands. The book, which went on sale Aug. 11 with a first printing of 85,000, will have 550,000 copies in print by next week, according to Regnery Publishing.

Canadian National Looks For Bridge Funding

The National Ballet of Canada is looking for money to ease its transition into a new theate three years from now. “The opera and the ballet companies had been equal partners in the previous attempt to build an opera/ballet house — the $311 million Moishe Safdie folly that was cancelled in 1990. This time around, the ballet company decided the stakes were too high, and it preferred to invest its money in improving the company and creating new work rather than putting up its limited available dollars into bricks and mortar.That’s how the ballet company wound up being the chief tenant rather than co-owner of the new performing arts centre.”

Leon Fleisher’s Unlikely Cure

Pianist Leon Fliesher is back playing with two hands. The cure for the ailment that robbed him of the use of his right hand for so many years? Rolfing and botox. “Fleisher’s more specific medical crusade concerns what lies beneath his carpal tunnel syndrome, which is focal dystonia: His brain sends unwanted signals that leave his fingers involuntarily contracting. A specific form of rolfing, administered twice a month, gives his muscles the elasticity to perform better and to take in the effects of the botox, which erects a barrier to the unwanted contraction messages from the brain.”

Colleges Find Download Alternatives

Telling college students no to download music isn’t a winning strategy. So universities have been looking for alternatives to illegal downloads. “Over the past year, schools have started using legal music download services, tried various technologies to block peer-to-peer traffic and beefed up education efforts and this work has helped address the problem.”

Florida’s New Orchestra

The Florida Philharmonic is no more, but South Florida has a new orchestr – the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia. “The 29-member chamber orchestra will be made up almost entirely of former Florida Philharmonic Orchestra members. The ensemble is slated to present five concerts in the 2005-06 season.”

Fear For Condition Of Munch Paintings

Not much progress in the Munch painting theft. The Oslo museum had had plans to upgrade security, but those plans hadn’t been carried out. Meanwhile, witnesses say the thieves treated the paintings with violence as they were stealing them: “I saw the robbers kick, wrench and hit the paintings in order to loosen them from the frame. They didn’t treat the paintings well and unfortunately I believe that the odds are high that the pictures were damaged or destroyed.”