Broadcast TV’s reduced role made clear in fall presentations

They never even made it onto the stage.

There were constant reminders of the diminished influence of broadcast television networks this past week, when entertainment companies Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal and Fox hawked their upcoming wares to advertisers in flashy New York presentations.

None was more glaring than the fact that Craig Erwich and Kelly Kahl, chiefs of the ABC and CBS entertainment divisions, watched from the sidelines. Erwich was replaced by a boss with broader responsibilities, and NBC doesn’t even have an entertainment president; instead, there’s an executive who oversees several networks and streaming.

Broadcasters once owned the week, revealing their fall schedules to much fanfare. They’re now almost afterthoughts in bloated presentations where the action is now in streaming, and in the coming shakeout over how advertising will invade that format.

Yet with their plans, ABC, CBS and NBC — Fox didn’t even bother to release a fall schedule — show they clearly know their new place in the entertainment world.

“How do you not recognize reality?” said Garth Ancier, former entertainment president at NBC and Fox. “All of the networks are basically recognizing reality with their schedules. They’re not saying, ‘we’re going to build the audience back.’”

By DAVID BAUDER and LYNN ELBER – AP News