NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Shapiro, Evan






Course Meetings

W, 3:30pm to 4:45pm

Tisch T-UC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

The class will give an overview of the history of the medium, with a primary focus on the evolution of “television” from 3 broadcast networks, to a multichannel universe, to today’s personally driven multiplatform, tv-everywhere experience.  Specifically, we will dissect how new technology has changed how television is distributed, consumed, measured and produced; and explore several ways the medium will evolve over the decade ahead.

By the end of this course, students should have strong working knowledge of the how the television business evolved to its current state, and some idea of where it might head.


Required Course Materials

Desperate Networks, Bill Carter (2006)

The Television Will Be Revolutionized, Amanda D. Lotz (2008)

Cynopsis (daily)

David Carr (NY Times, weekly)

MediaPost (daily)

OTF Assignments: reading assigned based on current events in the industry


Assessment Components

Preparation/Reading*                                      20%

Class Participation*                                        30%

Individual Assignment #1                                25%

Group Assignment #2                                     25%


*Note: These are not typos.  50% of your grade will be based on your preparation for each class, and your ability to contribute to class discussion with questions or thoughts on the content and subject.  Come prepared and ready to discuss.


Course Outline

Class 1             “My Life In Television”


Class 2             Television 101: What is Television?


Class 3             Television and Technology


Class 4             The Economics & Ownership Of Television


Class 5             Breaking the Bottleneck: The Changing Distribution Norms of Television


Class 6             MAD MEN:  The Latent Economics of Television Advertising


Class 7             The Recount:  How changes in Measurement changes Television


Class 8            CASE STUDY:  SEX & THE CITY (and the premium cable model)


Class 9             CASE STUDY: BRAVO (and the importance of Brand)


Class 10           CASE STUDY: The IFC Network Re-Brand


Class 11           CASE STUDY: AMC (Mad Men to Walking Dead)


Class 12           Building a Post-Network Channel from the Ground Up


Class 13           ASSIGNMENT #2: Group Presentations

Presentations to Industry Expert Panel


Assignment 1


Propose the specific changes in the industry (since the end of the “mutli channel era”, as identified by Lotz) that have had the most significant impact on the industry and the larger culture over the past decade.  Support your thesis with research, and suggest ways these factors may continue to effect television over the next decade.

10-20 pages, (double spaced, 1” margins) including:

Full annotated bibliography

Footnotes or end notes


Assignment 2


A group project – ten students per group – where each “team” will synthesize the information, discussions, reading and case studies from the semester into a cohesive proposal for “INNOVATION X” – a new innovation in any television discipline (programming, marketing, advertising, distribution or even a new network, or the revamping of an existing channel) that capitalizes on changes to the medium over past 20 years.  This presentation should be developed as a “pitch” (powerpoint, video, other presentation formats) and will be presented to a panel of industry experts for their feedback and judgment.  Each team member is expected to contribute to the presentation, and each student’s contributions should be as clearly delineated as possible.

Each presentation (15 minutes MAX) should be supported by as much research necessary to prove the viability of the team’s concept.  “Innovation X” should be ambitious, but not a ‘blue-sky’ work of fiction.

In-Class Presentation (powerpoint, keynote, video, hand outs or other presentation formats)

All research must sourced

Presentation must be handed in on a flash drive, which will not be returned.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges  as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well  you actually perform in this course.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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