NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Yudkovitz, Martin


(212) 456-6366





Course Meetings

R, 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Tisch T-UC21

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:  January 26, February 16
    Class on February 2 will be a double length class from 6:30 to 9 pm (with a break in the middle), please see course announcements.


Course Description and Learning Goals

The course is designed to provide an overview of the entertainment and media business.  It will help establish framework for understanding the dynamics of the entertainment, media and technology industries, and their intersecting points.  The course covers recent trends and activities in key sectors of the entertainment universe and their implications for all elements of the industry value chain, including: movies, home video, television, cable and DTH, publishing, advertising, and music trends and activities.  The course will explore concepts, frameworks, models, and analyze industry data that apply across entertainment revenue stream spectrum including licensing, sponsorships and promotion.


Course Outline

DATE                                                             TOPIC                                                            READINGS & ASSIGNMENTS


1/26  (1)

The Media Business

Chapter 2

2/2    (2)

The Media Business

Chapter 5

2/9    (3)

The Media Business

Chapter 6 / 1st Written Magazine Report Due

2/16  (4)

Class will not meet


2/23  (5)

Movie Industry

Chapter 12

3/1    (6)

Television Industry

Chapter 13 / 2nd Written Magazine Report Due

3/8    (7)


Chapter 15

3/22  (8)

The Internet

Chapter 14 / TWDC Case Study Due

3/29  (9)

Music & Radio

Chapter 10 (pp 337-356)

Chapter 11 (pp 389-398)

4/5    (10)

Print & Publishing

Chapter 8 (pp 271-294)

Chapter 9 (pp 305-315) / 3rd Written Magazine Report Due

4/12  (11)

Project Discussions


4/19  (12)

Project Presentations

Group Project Term Paper Due

4/26  (13)

Project Presentations


5/3  (14)

Project Presentations



Required Course Materials

Case:     “Media Today,” 4thEdition, by Joseph Turow, Routledge Publishing

Hollywood Reporter or Variety

Harvard Case on The Walt Disney Company (TWDC)  -

The Walt Disney Company:  The Entertainment King                                        9-701-035


Assessment Components


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 that 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.  Assigning grades that reward excellence and reflect differences in performance is important to ensuring the integrity of our curriculum.

In general, students in this elective course can expect a grading distribution where about 40% of students will receive A’s for excellent work and the remainder will receive B’s for good or very good work.  In the event that a student performs only adequately or below, he or she can expect to receive a C or lower.

Note that the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well each of you actually performs in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation.  Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted.  You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course



In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience.  You 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.





You will locate a copy of the entertainment industry trade magazine, The Hollywood Reporter or Variety – known as the film, television, cable and theater bible.  Please write a one-page (3-5 paragraph) summary and analysis on an article that has appeared in your magazine copy on a change to a TV content, TV distribution or Digital Media Player.  JUST GIVE US THE KEY TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE STORY.  7 STUDENTS WILL BE ASKED TO QUICKLY GIVE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THEIR PAPERS in the next class. 

In addition to the 3 magazine article reports, there will be 1 case study reading and a written report of 2 pages (maximum 2.5 pages) answering the “case questions” below.



Questions for The Walt Disney Company Case

  1. Why has Disney been so successful for so long?
  2. What did Michael Eisner do to rejuvenate Disney?  Specifically, how did he increase net income in the first four years?
  3. Has Disney diversified too far in recent years?
  4. Where did the Management of Creativity change under Eisner?
  5. How would you assess the job Bob Iger is doing?  (You will need to do some research to answer this question)

                           Case or Assignment                                                                                 Due Date


Hollywood Reporter / Variety

February 9, 2012

Hollywood Reporter / Variety

March 1, 2012

Hollywood Reporter / Variety

April 5, 2012

Harvard Case – TWDC

March 22, 2012





The entertainment and media industry is made up of more than 10 sectors.  We will cover several of them in this class in great detail from an institutional perspective.  In addition, we will examine sources of subsidiary revenue, including merchandising, licensing and branded integration.  This is primarily a survey course. 

In order to gain a more detailed understanding, the assignment or team project will require more research, analysis and an understanding of the sub-segments of these sectors.  Technology has had an incredible impact on classic media and has enhanced the distribution options for most, if not all, content.  Consolidation and convergence have become the mantra of most E&M businesses.  Along with the shock waves of acquisitions in the new media space has come re-alignment of organizations as disparate as NBC and Time Warner, including the phenomenon of unbundling, as companies shed lackluster divisions to make way for new investments.

In order for us to understand this phenomenon, we need to analyze the companies, their parts and the importance of these within the sectors in which they operate.  The entertainment and media industry is once again on the verge of considerable change.


TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT    Due ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­April 19, 2012

A 20 page paper, double-spaced with bibliography (please not just web listings) and any exhibits or graphs you want to include. 

The paper will be graded on the basis of content, clarity, grammar, spelling, organization, and analytical and innovative thinking.  Where material has be excerpted, footnotes must be used.

Four to five members (maximum) allowed for each team.  The general categories from which companies will be selected are listed below.  Each team will select one important and/or interesting company to analyze.  If you choose a large conglomerate, you will focus your paper on just 2 or 3 divisions of the company, with only an overview of the entire company for context.  There are many single product companies in the media and entertainment industries.

You will have some time during the first three classes to shift between teams and then maintain that position through the balance of the term.


FEATURE FILM                                                   ANIMATION

BROADCAST TV & LOCAL                              CABLE BASIC

CABLE PREMIUM                                             DIRECT TO THE HOME SATELLITE TV

SPORTS CABLE                                                   DIGITAL MEDIA CONTENT

CASINOS                                                              MUSIC LABELS



The table of contents for every term paper must include a brief background on the sector, select one important company in the sector for development, what are the core competencies of the company, strength and weaknesses, list and examine the competition (major three or four companies in the sector), its growth potential, its digital prospects, its challenges, its management leadership team and a recent successful business move or recent unsuccessful one. 

Here is a purely illustrative way to organize the paper:

1-2 pages – executive summary

2 pages on the background of the sector

3 pages on the company selected for analysis

2 pages on top/leading competitors (no more than four companies) in the sector

2 pages on the executives or top players in the leading companies

4 pages on the strengths, weaknesses, growth potential and challenges facing the company

2 pages on the impact of technology within the company

2-3 pages future trends

Plus charts, graphs, bibliography



The class will break up into groups of 4 to 5 students, with each group focusing on one of the major media and entertainment companies.  I will provide a template for the group analyses that each team will complete.  The group will analyze the company’s most recent annual report, plus recent news releases, analyst reports and other publically available documents to develop a presentation on the company.  Each group must take a position on the company’s strategy and growth potential over the next 3-5 years and defend that position but also point out challenges.  Some of the key questions to be addressed include:

Every member of the team must present a section of the group presentation and each member will be graded on a combination of the group presentation and the presentation of his/her individual section.



All papers are to be typed, double-spaced.  Length-

It is recommended that you follow a basic proposal or report format or a style book to present your work in a polished an professional manner.

Please take time to organize your work so that it is clear and concise.  Your opening statement should be an introduction which states what your objective is and what you’re  going to discuss.  The main body should present your findings in a logical and straight-forward way.  Summarize your findings or recommendations at the end in a conclusion.  Break up your work into subheadings

Make sure that your work is proofread and edited.  You should ask a friend, colleague, or co-worker to help you with this.  Your final draft should be free of errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar; having someone else proofread is the most effective way to do this. 

Some of you may want to use your work as a tool to help you in your career planning.  This can be a very persuasive “ calling card.”  It’s well worth your time to develop this assignment into something you can use beyond this course. 

Your assignment is expected to reflect your understanding and comprehension of the material covered in this course.  This includes all the readings, supplementary handouts, and the lectures.  Most of the detailed information concerning the various aspects of the course curriculum are contained in the extensive readings provided.  Your assignment should represent the cumulative work product of this course and incorporate that information. 

The assignments are due as noted on the syllabus attached.  If, for any reason, you are unable to submit it on that day, you will have to make arrangements to send to me directly.  The university imposes a very tight deadline as to when the final grades are due, usually within a few days after the final.  Assignments submitted to me via fax will not be accepted.


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