Finally, a CEO who can both dish it out and take it

Presentation1Allow me to begin by saying I think Dish President & CEO Joe Clayton belongs right alongside Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin in the pantheon of greatest inventors of all time.

In case you're in the dark, Clayton's company, Dish Network, invented the AutoHop Ad-Skipper. In effect, it enables TV viewers to erase commercials from the face of the earth. In my book, that's akin to ending world hunger.

As one might expect, though, Clayton is seen as the antichrist by ad agencies and mainstream broadcast networks alike. Recently, in fact, CBS CEO Les Moonves threatened Clayton, saying he would remove The Tiffany Network's content from The Dish Network. What a bully!

But, was the DaVinci of Da Dish cowed? Did he curl up in a ball and plead, “Oh, Mr. Moonves, sir, please don't take away my CBS!” Au contraire mon frère. Clayton responded with a right hook to the jaw of the CBS potentate that would put smiles on the faces of the late Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Smokin' Joe Frazier, respectively.

Clayton said, “Give the consumer a better experience and everybody wins. The fast-forward button didn't kill the television business." Zing!

And, of course, Clayton is right. The mindless pap that masquerades as prime-time programming nowadays is what's killing TV. And, the commercials that help pay the freight for the vast wasteland that is prime-time TV are just as bad.

Clayton's defiance displays more than courage. It shows he's willing to put his money where his mouth is by sustaining the huge hit that the loss of ALL CBS programming would cause. But, that's what also makes him such a rare breed.

This world needs a whole lot more Clayton and a whole lot less Moonves. We need leaders who, like Clayton, can both dish it out and take it. Now, where DID I leave my ad-skipper?

5 thoughts on “Finally, a CEO who can both dish it out and take it

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Gil. I totally agree. Commercials are the bane of my existence. And, with rare exception, prime-time TV content is a disaster.

  3. Joe is right on every point! Look at the long list of troubles the recording industry went through because they refused to keep up with consumer trends and expectations. I have a Hopper and I love the features but I don’t see what the fuss is about. DISH didn’t reinvent the wheel, they just made things that we all use DVRs for a little easier to do. If Mr. Moonve’s had a little more consumer insight, he would know that people don’t have time to sit through 20 minutes of commercials for every hour of TV. Personally, I use Auto Hop because I only get 3 or 4 hours a week to watch TV, so I would prefer that time to be used for my shows.

  4. Clayton is throwing a Hail Mary not a right hook. Can one app save a company…DISH TV stinks. DIRECTv beats it up in the number of channels it delivers and price. I don’t mind fast forwarding past the commercials via my DVR. Might be too late for DISH…I see a merger with the killer app going to the winner.