Preview of Your Coming Attractions

When I retired after 40 years of writing columns for the San Jose Mercury News, I figured I'd said about all I could say. Wrong. I've realized that at age 76, I'm about 10 years older than the oldest baby boomers, who are now turning 66. My very average body has had a lot of experiences in those 10 years. I've learned a lot that could be helpful to people just starting on that same path -- what to do, what to avoid, what to keep an eye on.. Consider me your canary-in-the-coalmine for the boomer generation. Tune in regularly for the heads-up advice.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Making News

     Did you watch the network news last night? Odds are that you did. You’re a Baby Boomer. That’s what Baby Boomers do.
     How do I know that? It’s not just me. Lots of people know what you watch. It’s just that most of them are in advertising.
     You’re a big market, you know. The biggest single demographic group in the country. Advertisers want to reach you. They research you like crazy. That’s how they know Baby Boomers watch network news shows. You can tell that they know by looking at the commercials.
     Have erectile dysfunction? They have a product for that. Is your cholesterol running high? They have a product for that. Heartburn acting up? They have a product for that. In fact, if there’s any medical condition that’s likely to affect an aging population, they have a product for that. And it’s advertised regularly on the network news shows.
     You don’t see many commercials there for acne remedies or diaper services or SAT testing. Those are advertised online or on the cable channels where the younger people are getting their information, such as it is, about the world. They’re not watching network news, at least not in large enough numbers to make advertisers salivate.
     Want to have your network news without being reminded constantly that you’re getting older? TiVo the shows and zap through the commercials. There really aren’t many other options. As Walter Cronkite – yes, you know who he was – would have said, “And that’s the way it is.”    

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