20170922

NEWSPRINT

Cordt Schnibben of 'Spiegel Online' reported in 2003, as translated from German to English by Christopher Sultan: "In the last decade, the daily newspaper has largely lost its role in shaping public opinion. Which piece of news penetrates into the public consciousness, and which news is considered scandalous or worth debating, is now the consequence of a rapid back-and-forth between magazines, websites and TV, as well as social media like Facebook (and Twitter) and aggregators like Google.

"Daily newspapers are threatened economically by the Internet, but journalistically even more so. The Internet is creating a kind of counter-public to the classic media by plundering them and depriving them of control and their aura (and) turns readers into participants in the conversation, editors, inspirers and nuisances, schemers and agitators.

"Many readers have turned to the Internet as their most important source of information ... which is why 46 of 332 German newspapers are now (in 2003) charging money for certain articles on their websites (Bild, Hamburger Abendblatt, Lübecker Nachrichten), or for all articles (Die Welt, Badische Zeitung, Saarbrücker Zeitung). In the United States, 450 of 1,380 newspapers now (in 2003) plan to offset the revenue losses of daily newspapers with paid content."

Mathew Ingram of 'Fortune' reported in 2016, "As tempting as it is to re-imagine history, however, it's a virtual certainty that even if most newspapers had focused more of their resources on print and less on digital, the outcome would have been more or less identical. In other words, print newspapers had already been in gradual decline for a decade before the consumer Internet came along, a decline driven primarily by radio and television news."

In 1994, there were as many as 10 prime-time newsmagazines on the air. "Apart from public service and our journalistic merits, the newsmagazines are of real benefit financially to the networks," one newsmagazine producer told the 'Los Angeles Times'. By 1998, programs such as 'Dateline NBC' expanded to as many as 5 nights a week. Warren Littlefield told advertisers at the time, "The value to us (of having several nights of 'Dateline' on the chessboard) is that it gives us flexibility to move strategically to dominance in prime time." In all, newsmagazines occupied 11 hours of the 24 hours in prime time that season on the 3 networks.

As understood, 'Dateline NBC' was also the first program to produce 5 hours of prime-time network programming a week. "I've heard it many times," Neal Shapiro stated. "'News keeps the lights on.'" It was reported newsmagazines cost less to produce than an hour of comedy or drama. It also had fresh programming every week, even through the summer and improved the network's performance in time slots the network wasn't likely to win.

"I know that 'Dateline' is an important franchise to NBC," Neal Shapiro added. "But the cold, hard reality is that successful comedies and dramas make more money than newsmagazines. Newsmagazines start out as counter-programming and, if they do well, they can become hits of their own, like 'PrimeTime Live,' '20/20' and our own newsmagazine.

"We're on 5 nights a week now (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), so as things keep happening, there are stories you want to jump on. We probably do more crashes than any other news show." The 'Los Angeles Times' explained the "crashes" was "the TV news insider's term for the drop-everything-and-get-it-done-preferably-yesterday story."

Bryce Nelson, who was the professor of journalism at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication told the 'Los Angeles Times' in 1998, "I cannot imagine that 'Dateline' will have enormous ratings week after week. Even when '60 Minutes' was on alone, it was hard to get 3 good magazine stories a week. If you try to do this every night, it's going to be very hard to get stories with content."

Mathew Ingram of 'Fortune' continued, "All the Internet did was accelerate and enlarge that drop, by siphoning away the attention of newspaper readers, and then the advertising revenue they depended on for their livelihood. In a little over a decade, the newspaper industry had lost $45 billion in ad revenue. It's no coincidence that during that same period, Google gained about $40 billion in ad revenue, thanks to the development of 'programmatic' ad markets, where ads are bought and sold by algorithms.

"Craigslist and other digital providers also siphoned off real estate and classified revenue. The result of this transition was intense pressure on advertising prices, something that has kept online ad rates orders of magnitude lower than print advertising. Even if newspapers had ignored the web entirely and focused on making their print editions as robust and profitable as possible, both of those trends would still have taken place, and print newspapers would have wound up in the same predicament they are now. The media world has changed. It's just the way evolution works. Ask the music industry."

'Acta Diurna' (Daily Events) was the first newspaper published around 59BC, during the pre-Julian Roman calendar times in Rome. In 1994, 'The New York Times' became the first newspaper to spearhead the digital revolution. John Bonazzo of 'The Observer' reported in 2016, "In 1994, 'The New York Times' had partnered with America Online to launch @times, a digest of the paper's and culture stories. The interface was very basic. So the next year, the paper decided to go all in on digital. The beta version of nytimes.com launched in October 1995, and on January 22, 1996 the website went live to the world."

Peter T. Lewis informed readers at the time, "'The New York Times' begins publishing daily on the World Wide Web today, offering readers around the world immediate access to most of the daily newspaper's contents ... With its entry on the Web, 'The Times' is hoping to become a primary information provider in the computer age and to cut costs for newsprint, delivery and labor. Companies that have established Web-based information sites include television networks, computer companies, on-line information services, magazines and even individuals creating electronic newspapers of their own."

Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of 'The Times' enthused at the time of its launch, "Our site is designed to take full advantage of the evolving capabilities offered by the Internet. We see our role on the Web as being similar to our traditional print role - to act as a thoughtful, unbiased filter and to provide our customers with information they need and can trust."

In 2011, Lord Justice Leveson held a 16-month public inquiry, understood to be the 6th since 1945, into "the culture, practices and ethics of the press" in the UK. The Leveson inquiry heard from 184 witnesses and accepted 42 written submissions at the high court in London. Rupert Murdoch told the Leveson inquiry although the internet represented an "opportunity", he also made the appeal to the government not to "over-regulate".

Rupert Murdoch maintained, "We're dealing in a very complex world with disruptive technologies, and we're suffering at the hand of those, so when it comes to regulation, I just beg for some care. A varied press guarantees democracy and we want democracy rather than autocracy. Every newspaper has had a very good run... It's coming to an end as a result of these disruptive technologies.

"I think we will have both (internet and print news) for quite a while, certainly ten years (to 2022), some people say five (to 2017). I'd be more inclined to say 20 (to 2032), but 20 means very small circulations. I think you have a danger of regulating, putting regulations in place which will mean there will be no press in 10 years (around 2022) to regulate. The fact is, the internet came along, slowly developed as a source of news, and now is absolutely in our space and I think it's been responsible for a lot of loss of circulation."

"Fast-forward to 2016," Dan Kennedy of 'WGBH News' made the observation, "The Internet has shifted the balance of power from publishers to advertisers, who can reach their customers far more efficiently than they could by taking a shot in the dark on expensive print ads. The result, according to the Newspaper Association of America (as reported by the Pew Research Center), is that print ad revenues have fallen from $44.9 billion in 2003 to just $16.4 billion in 2014, while digital ad revenues -$3.5 billion in 2014 - have barely budged since 2006."

As such "newspapers remain utterly reliant on their shrunken print editions for most of their revenues. Twenty years after NYTimes.com staked out its home on the web, newspapers are still the source of most of the public interest. Clay Shirky once said, 'Society doesn't need newspapers. What we need is journalism.' Journalism we need to govern ourselves in a democracy."

Brian McGrory of 'The Boston Globe' told a 'Bates' audience in February 2016, "Journalism is really about life. You can’t give up on print too quickly and you can’t embrace digital too quickly. You need to make a nuanced and sophisticated transition. I don’t think it’s an overstatement to argue that the very foundation of a strong democracy depends on this issue getting fixed. Our print readers are paying top dollar. They are our most hardcore readers, our most faithful readers. We also have to understand that the future of our industry - undoubtedly - is digital."

At one time, "Classified ads were the dirty secret of American journalism" earning around $180 million a year for the newspapers. Enough revenue to hire an "enormous staff" of 540 Globe journalists. Farhad Manjoo of slate.com offered technology followers his analysis of why the Internet of 1996 was almost unrecognizable compared with 2009, "It's 1996, and you're bored. What do you do?

"If you're one of the lucky people with an AOL account, you probably do the same thing you'd do in 2009: Go online. Crank up your modem, wait 20 seconds as you log in, and there you are - 'Welcome.' You check your mail, then spend a few minutes chatting with your AOL buddies about which of you has the funniest screen name (you win, pimpodayear94). Then you load up Internet Explorer, AOL's default Web browser. Now what?

"There's no YouTube, Digg, Huffington Post, or Gawker. There's no Google, Twitter, Facebook, or Wikipedia. A few newspapers and magazines have begun to put their articles online - you can visit 'The New York Times' or 'Time' - and there are a handful of new Web-only publications, including Feed, HotWired, Salon, Suck, Urban Desires, Word, and, launched in June, Slate. But these sites aren't very big, and they don't hold your interest for long.

"People still refer to the new medium by its full name - the World Wide Web - and although you sometimes find interesting stuff here, you're constantly struck by how little there is to do. You rarely linger on the Web; your computer takes about 30 seconds to load each page, and, hey, you're paying for the Internet by the hour. Plus, you're tying up the phone line. Ten minutes after you log in, you shut down your modem.

"You've got other things to do - after all, a new episode of 'Seinfeld' is on … We all know that the Internet has changed radically since the '90s, but there's something dizzying about going back to look at how people spent their time 13 years ago (in 1996). Sifting through old Web pages today is a bit like playing video games from the 1970s; the fun is in considering how awesome people thought they were, despite all that was missing. In 1996, just 20 million American adults had access to the Internet, about as many as subscribe to satellite radio today. The dot-com boom had already begun on Wall Street - Netscape went public in 1995 - but what's striking about the old Web is how unsure everyone seemed to be about what the new medium was for."

Erik Sass of 'Media Post' reported in June 2016, "According to the Census, total US newspaper publishing revenues including advertising and circulation fell 4.4% from $6.51 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $6.22 billion in the first quarter of 2016. US magazine publishers saw total revenues fall from $6.66 billion to $6.36 billion, for a decline of 4.5% over the same period, again across both ads and circulation."

In its 2006 report, 'The Economist' argued, "At their best, newspapers hold governments and companies to account. They usually set the news agenda for the rest of the media. But in the rich world newspapers are now an endangered species. The business of selling words to readers and selling readers to advertisers, which has sustained their role in society, is falling apart. Of all the 'old' media, newspapers have the most to lose from the Internet.

"Circulation has been falling in America, western Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand for decades (elsewhere, sales are rising). But in the past few years the web has hastened the decline. In his book 'The Vanishing Newspaper', Philip Meyer calculates that the first quarter of 2043 will be the moment when newsprint dies in America as the last exhausted reader tosses aside the last crumpled edition. Britons aged between 15 and 24 say they spend almost 30% less time reading national newspapers once they start using the web."

Tony Rogers of 'Thoughtco.' made the conclusion, "Contrary to expectations, many newspapers remain profitable although they no longer have the huge profit margins they did in the 1990s. Years after the digital pundits started predicting the demise of print, newspapers still take significant revenue from print advertising, but it declined from $60 billion to about $20 billion between 2010 and 2015.

"And those who claim that the future of news is online and only online ignore one critical point: Online ad revenue alone just isn’t enough to support most news companies. So online news sites will need an as-yet undiscovered business model to survive. One possibility may be paywalls, which many newspapers and news websites are increasingly using to generate much-needed revenue.

"A Pew Research Center study found that paywalls have been adopted at 450 of the country's 1,380 dailies and they seem to be effective. That study also found that the success of paywalls combined with print subscription and single-copy price increases has led to a stabilization – or, in some cases, even an increase in revenues from circulation. So papers don't have to rely as much as they once did on advertising revenue. Until someone figures out how to make online news sites profitable, newspapers aren't going anywhere."

'The Economist' continued. "The decline of newspapers will not be as harmful to society as some fear. Democracy, remember, has already survived the huge television-led decline in circulation since the 1950s. It has survived as readers have shunned papers and papers have shunned what was in stuffier times thought of as serious news. And it will surely survive the decline to come.

"Classified ads, in particular, are quickly shifting online. Rupert Murdoch, the Beaverbrook of our age, once described them as the industry's rivers of gold - but, as he said last year (in 2005), 'Sometimes rivers dry up.' In Switzerland and the Netherlands newspapers have lost half their classified advertising to the Internet. Having ignored reality for years, newspapers are at last doing something. In order to cut costs, they are already spending less on journalism.

"Many are also trying to attract younger readers by shifting the mix of their stories towards entertainment, lifestyle and subjects that may seem more relevant to people's daily lives than international affairs and politics are. They are trying to create new businesses on-and-offline. And they are investing in free daily papers, which do not use up any of their meagre editorial resources on uncovering political corruption or corporate fraud. So far, this fit of activity looks unlikely to save many of them. Even if it does, it bodes ill for the public role of the Fourth Estate."

20170921

SONS AND DAUGHTERS

Produced by the Grundys for the Australian 7 network, 'Sons and Daughters' had been shown in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, the Azores (Portugal) and New Zealand during the series' original run from 1982 to 1987. Created by Reg Watson, 'Sons and Daughters' had inspired other local productions such as the German version, 'Verbotene Liebe', which Reg Watson also created; the Swedish version 'Skilda Världar' (Worlds Apart) and the Croatian version, 'Zabranjena Ljubva' (Forbidden Love). 

By 1989, 'Fairfax Media' reported other countries such as Angola, the Arabian Gulf, Bahamas, Barbados, Luxembourg, Swaziland and Trinidad had also bought the 'Sons and Daughters' series. In all, 972 episodes were produced. Philip Gerlach of Beyond 2000 group told the press at the time, "With our three commercial stations (Seven, Nine and Ten) and long ratings period (40-week ratings season), our industry is just the most competitive in the world. Australian series average 48 hours of production a year compared with 22 hours in America, so our series are easier to sell because the stations find them much easier to program." 

Rowena Wallace was 34 when she was casted to play Patricia on 'Sons and Daughters' between 1982 and 1985. "Of all the bitchy women I've played Patricia is the bitchiest," Rowena told Prue MacSween in 1982. "She is the most continually divisive character I've ever played and that's simply because of the practicalities of it all. She's on every week, so she is doing it continually. She never lets up and she's more complex … 

"With Patricia you never know what the writers are going to come up with. She is limitless. In fact, I can’t imagine what she’s going to be doing next, but I think I might have to leave the country! She’s not a pleasant woman. She's a very neurotic woman who can't get her life in order, and she has obsesions about things. I understand these things and know they are aspects of human nature that exist in all of us to some degree. We all grapple with them but in her they're larger than life. 

"I couldn't cope with being a woman like her – it would be exhausting and very sad. Her mind must be in terrible turmoil at times … God we talk about her as if she really exists … I would imagine that the writers are very aware of this … and they have said something to me which indicates that she is not going to get away with it forever, that she will get her comeuppance." 

Reg Grundy was described as "Australia’s first international TV mogul." Brian Walsh of Foxtel told Andrew Fenton of 'News Corp' in 2016, "When Reg was building his company it was really game on, you could literally go to the US, look at a show and bring the tape home and do your own interpretation. They were pretty wild days in television in Australia. We were so isolated I don’t think the Americans were even awake to the fact of what was happening." 

Bevan Lee added, "I think he was always ahead of the curve. We lived in a world where no one conceived our TV would sell overseas but he did." Andrew Fenton informed readers, "A key part of Grundy’s success were the innovative, high volume, low cost production techniques they'd developed in Australia." An hour of 'Sons and Daughters' was said to have costed around $A80,000 to produce.

Andrew Brooke elaborated, "It was absolutely a (taking) coal to Newcastle situation. An Australian producer, selling a US show back to the US — you'd tell them they were dreaming but Reg made it happen. The Americans were astounded at quality of production and couldn't understand how we did that. No one knew how to make 5 episodes a week of drama (in prime time)." 

The American daytime soap operas were said to have inspired the series 'Class of '74'. Brian Walsh recalled, "What Grundy did was lift that idea and move it to prime time. That was the beginning of strip programming as we know it now, with 'Neighbours' and 'Home and Away' becoming very popular. At the time it was quite a breakthrough."

Don Battye was the executive producer on 'Sons and Daughters' and 'Neighbours'. Anthony Hayward of Scotland's national newspaper, 'The Scotsman' reported in 2016, "Generally, Battye stuck to a tried-and-tested formula by employing a team of scriptwriters reflecting both young and old attitudes and rarely allowing the soap ('Neighbours') to veer into melodrama."

Tim Hughes told the press, "He (Reg Grundy) had a saying, that we were 'internationally parochial'. In every country he opened up he'd be local, adapt the format or the scripts to suit the country and hire local actors." Peter Pinne recounted in 2016, "The theme from 'Sons and Daughters', which we wrote in one hour, was the most popular song Don (Battye) and I ever wrote. It's been recorded many times, and heard around the world. One Sunday afternoon when I was living in Santiago, Chile, in the '90s, the TV was on in another room and I suddenly heard the theme playing. I rushed into to see it and there was Rowena Wallace – speaking Spanish!"

20170919

TELEVISION

In the 1993 pilot movie, 'Staying Afloat', Larry Hagman played Alexander Turnbull Hollingsworth III, a disinherited playboy with a passion for money and the high life. Set in Palm Beach, Florida, "I thought Dallas was rich, but Palm Beach is something else. There are $10 million houses with $10 million yachts out back - hundreds of properties like that. I asked about one of these 35-year-old billionaires who wasn't home. 'Well, he comes down about one week a year,' I was told." 

The 'Chicago Tribune' understood the boat was the key to Larry Hagman's character, "I've got the greatest bloody boat for this show. We fought and we fought over the boat we'd use. They kept coming up with these $10 million all-white all-plastic look-alikes. I wanted something like Franklin D. Roosevelt's yacht. The insurance company kept saying, 'What if it catches fire?' I said, 'What is this 'if' (bleep)? You're iffing us out of the business. 

"I'm gonna start my own political party - WGAS. Who Gives a (bleep). Besides WGAS, I'm promoting a group called PMS. The Protect the Mosquito Society. Mosquitoes are God's creatures just as much as whales or spotted owls. It'll cost you $10,000 to join the PMS, but the money will go to research to mate the large slow Alaska mosquito with the small fast Panama one. So I'm waiting for your check." 

As Alexander Turnbull Hollingsworth III, Larry Hagman noted, "All my life I've written checks for a living. Now the money has run out. I need to find a way to support myself, my yacht, my manservant and my cat. I have this teensy tax problem. I say: 'Tax problem? I haven't paid taxes in years.' So the gummint says they'll whittle down my problem if I work for them. I'm not too smart, but working for the gummint you don't have to be too smart." 

In the movie, a Justice Department agent (played by Gregg Henry) presented the government's (or gummint) offer to subsidize Alexander Turnbull Hollingsworth III's continual lifestyle, if in exchange he served as an informant on crimes within the upper class. In explaining the relevance of the movie 'Staying Afloat' had to modern times, Larry Hagman told the 'Tribune Media Services', "He is having to do something for the first time in his life, and a lot of people in our society now (in 1993) are having to start over again.

"They have to retrain and find something else to do, and the work force is getting younger and younger. Older people are going to have to find some way of functioning, maybe through service to the community. We can all use some new input into what life is all about, but I don’t want to get too serious (with the show). I just want to keep it light and amusing."

As the star and executive producer of 'Staying Afloat', Larry Hagman told the 'Chicago Tribune', "Sometimes they (NBC and TriStar Television) forget I'm a producer too. They say, 'It's our policy not to discuss actors' performances when there's an actor present.' I said, 'Well, don't forget I'm a producer. If one other producer is there, I have to be there.' I love working on location in Florida (Fort Lauderdale) where we're out from under the thumbs of the 7-year-olds running the network. Some of them said to me, 'Hey you're a pretty funny guy - you should do a comedy.' Yeah, like they never saw 'I Dream of Jeannie' (1965-1970)."

Claire Yarlett of 'The Colbys' played Lauren. However Larry Hagman insisted the characters should not be romantically involved in order to keep fans tuned in, "When Jeannie and the master got married, everybody lost interest. So it was kind of non-consummated after all, they lived in the same house, in the same rooms for 4 years, and the 5th year they got married. So, I think the non-consummation is much more fun, as long as you have that sexual energy going."

The 'Sun Sentinel' understood, "NBC is spending more than $3 million on this two-hour movie, the pilot for a planned series beginning this winter (January 1994)." Although Larry Hagman preferred to do 6 two-hour movies of 'Staying Afloat' a year. In making 'Staying Afloat', Larry Hagman recounted, "(It's a balance between) trying to get what I want and what they (Tri-Star Television) think we should have. I would like a certain amount of class to this. There's always compromise, but they (producers Albert S. Ruddy and Gray Frederickson) have backed me, and they're quite supportive in the taste that we're all trying to get on the show."

As producer, Larry Hagman remarked, "Producers seem to work all the time. As an actor, you just come on and do your job and you’re off. You go home and have dinner, but producers are always on the phone; some catastrophe is always happening. (On 'Staying Afloat') we lost two of the houses we were going to shoot in, just two days before we (found another one). It was barren, so they had to decorate it within 24 hours. (Resolving such dilemmas) kind of makes it fun for me, but it's awfully hard on the people I work with."

Had 'Staying Afloat' became the one-hour midseason weekly series, Larry Hagman was considering directing, "Directors get terrific residuals. You get $20,000 for rebroadcast on top of the $30,000 you get for doing it, and all you are is a traffic cop. I'm going to tell Carroll O'Connor (in 2 episodes of 'In the Heat of the Night') how to act? You know those dreams you have that are so vivid, you can almost direct them? That's when I do my creative stuff."

Up against the comedy series, 'Step By Step' starring Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers and the  Barbara Walters show '20/20', 'Staying Afloat' attracted 13.7 million viewers (9.5% households ratings and 17% audience share). Larry Hagman lamented, "When I came into the business, if the heads of the network liked an idea for a show, they'd say, 'Do 26 of them.' Those days are gone. These young bucks coming up with no experience, they're not committed to anything and nothing gets done."

Speaking to reporter Janis Froelich about the idea for the project 'Staying Afloat', Larry Hagman mentioned, "'Dallas' came on at a time (in 1979) when there was a very substantial recession, and people seemed to go for the money and the cars, and all the wonderful things that money can buy. And here we are, 15 years later (in 1993), back in the same situation. And I think people are ready for that. (However) I will not be wearing cowboy boots under my sailing togs. J.R is really the kind of guy who could run the oil business from the ground up, and he knew it backwards and forwards. And the character I'm playing now has no business and has never worked a day in his life."

On reflection, Larry Hagman told the 'Chicago Tribune', "I'm 62 now (in November 1993). I'm old enough to remember when 62 was old. I work now because it's fun. 'Staying Afloat' doesn't pay like 'Dallas' did. The character I play is the most important to me, followed by the location, and the money comes last. What do I need with more money, for God's sake?

"I have an apartment in New York, a ranch in Santa Fe (New Mexico), a castle in Ojai outside of L.A., a beach house in Malibu and thinking of buying a place in Santa Monica. I've been everywhere. I already do hunting and fishing. I fly. I ride my Harley. I like to dabble." In his 20th-floor apartment looking over Central Park and the Upper East Side, Larry Hagman told 'New York Newsday', "I could afford the best hotels in the world for the rest of my life for what this thing costs. The taxes are like $40,000 a year. But Mrs. Hagman wanted a pied a terre in New York."

Born in a $6,000 one bathroom house on an unpaved street in Dallas in 1923, Aaron Spelling had risen to become TV's most prolific producer in the Guinness Book of World Records. The youngest of 5 children of Pearl and David Spelling, Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants, Aaron Spelling had been responsible for 3,000 episodes or 4,220 hours of television over 5 decades which required 6 months to see back to back.

In reruns, it equated to 8,000 hours of domestic syndication and 18,000 hours internationally ('Beverly Hills, 90210' was shown in 90 countries; 'Melrose Place' in 80 countries). "We'd been thinking about doing a continuous drama set in high school for some time," Jamie Kellner of Fox recalled. "And we had this young writer, Darren Star, but our fear was that it would skew too young, so we brought in Aaron."

"Aaron really believes he's performing a service with his shows," one former colleague told the press, "that he is giving people an escape from the misery of their lives." As Aaron Spelling reminded, "We never know what entertainment does, how it affects people, but I bet if you went down the street and asked people - not in Beverly Hills - but ethnic groups, who can't afford to go to the theater, can't even afford HBO, 'What does television mean in your life?' you'd be shocked at the answer."

His wealth was estimated at $310 million in 1994. Sumner Redstone of Viacom declared, "To the rest of the world, he was the most prolific creator on TV for our times, and maybe for all times." Lee Gabler argued Aaron Spelling's shows "are more than entertainment. They have become part of the fabric of popular culture." The 'Los Angeles Times' noted, "He recognizes what the networks and studios have long known - that TV is software, able to generate streams of revenue far beyond a single night's airing."

Merrill Lynch media analyst, Jessica Reif observed, "Spelling is a cash cow." One former partner made the point, "Aaron loves to take credit for all his shows, but look at the credits. Not one of them says 'Created by Aaron Spelling.' But we aren't supposed to complain, because this is the man who made us all fabulously wealthy." After spending 18 years putting the network ABC on the map, Aaron Spelling turned his attention to Fox and WB in the 1990s.

Of those shows, TV analyst Betsy Frank of Zenith Media pointed out, "Spelling still has no real network penetration. He remains most successful developing programming for young, youth-oriented networks like Fox and the WB." Don Ohlmeyer of NBC expressed, "Drama is what Aaron does best, but dramas are tricky for networks today (in the 1990s) because they take time to find their audience. Fox has the luxury of being able to live with a 10 share, something that a major network can't."

In 1986, Aaron Spelling took Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. public. By 1996, "The truth is, the company has grown and grown. I have this stupid worry that shareholders bought stock because of me, people who pay my salary. But the stock price? That bothers the hell out of me." At the time, Aaron Spelling successfully renewed a 2-year contract with the new season's program orders totalling 400 hours, "That is more hours than in any year of our history."

Douglas Cramer acknowledged, "Aaron has a legendary instinct for what the public wants to see." Jamie Kellner of the WB Television Network added, "It's more than storytelling; there's a look that Aaron gets with his shows. It's the glamor, the fashion, the detail that audiences, especially women, love. What Aaron does really well is that whole wealthy-family thing."

As a holding company, 'The Los Angeles Times' reported Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. also had programming from Worldvision - the company's in-house distributorship once owned by ABC - as well as Republic Pictures, a vast library of pre-1974 NBC series as well as such films as 'It's a Wonderful Life' and 'Basic Instinct'.

Ten years after 'Paper Dolls' went off the air in 1984, Aaron Spelling launched 'Models Inc.' in 1994. Up against 'Roseanne' and 'Dateline NBC', 'Models Inc.' attracted between 9 million and 11 million viewers each Wednesday night. Although such numbers were considered poor ratings in the US, 'Models Inc.' continued to sell in France as the series teetered on the brink of cancellation. John Ryan of Worldvision believed, "With Spelling, broadcasters know they are buying a brand name."

Linda Gray played Hillary Michaels, CEO/owner of the Los Angeles modeling agency, Models Inc. In casting Linda Gray, Aaron Spelling offered, "Every show must have a quarterback - like John Forsythe was on 'Dynasty' - and Linda is an immediate quarterback." It was understood Linda Gray brought "marquee value to the series and its network".

"I had no idea what to expect when fame came (in 1978 on 'Dallas')," Linda Gray confessed. "There wasn't a class you could take. And we were working so hard, being a celebrity didn't really take over. Nobody knows these kids (her co-stars) . . . yet. But they know me. I'm the one up for criticism. When I went to read for 'Models' . . . people who don't really know me that well were saying things like 'A new series - what are you doing? You know how much work that will be?' But I knew it must be my time to be out there again."

In playing Hillary, Linda suggested, "I'll say something about my character with just a look. When the kids on the set come up to me and ask 'What happens?' (if the show is a hit), I tell them, 'It's your own journey.'" E. Duke Vincent maintained, "Any television show starts with a concept, and if you don't have a story you don't have anything, but probably the most important thing in television is casting, and that's where he's king. Aaron has been the king of casting for the 28 years I have been working with him, and for the 15 years before he even knew me."

Michael Idato reported in 2005, "In more spritely days, Aaron Spelling was famous for wandering down the driveway of his 123-room estate on Mapleton Drive in the exclusive Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air to wave at the busloads of tourists who came to see what the media called 'the house that Dynasty built'." Aaron Spelling stated in 1994, "They're the fans, and they're the people that built that house. I know that sounds very corny, and I'm sorry, but I mean it." Producer Jonathan Levin concluded, "Those are the people he makes shows for and that lies at the heart of why he has well-constructed shows. He has asked himself what ordinary hard-working people want out of television. And he has come up with a formula that has worked for many, many decades."

20170916

OLYMPICS

At the Sporting d'Ete club in Monte Carlo, Monaco back in September 1993, the 88 voting members of the International Olympic Committee began casting secret ballots. 'The New York Times' reported, "Beijing (China) led after each of the first three rounds. In the first round, Istanbul (Turkey) with least votes was eliminated, then Berlin (Germany) and finally Manchester (England). In the end, Sydney (Australia) defeated Beijing by 45 to 43 votes in the fourth and final voting round to be the site of the millennium Games. 

"As a large multicultural city, Sydney already has many of the urban and sporting facilities needed to hold the 2000 Games. But a new Olympic village housing all athletes will be built, while all sporting venues will be within 30 minutes' travel time of the village. Of the 36 venues that will be needed, 20 already exist, although an 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium is among those that await construction." 

'Fairfax Media' reported at the time, "In Monte Carlo, champagne corks popped as hundreds of flag-waving Australians began celebrating the win. In Sydney, tens of thousands who had gathered at Circular Quay in the early hours to hear the announcement were joined by thousands more who streamed out of homes, hotels and clubs to form an enormous street party. 

"Sydney's Games, to run from September 16 to October 1, are certain to become known as the Millennium Games. They will be the biggest event in the city's history, attracting 15,000 athletes and officials from as many as 200 countries, an estimated 250,000 visitors, and a television audience comprising two-thirds of the world's population." In all, there were 10,651 athletes (4,069 women, 6,582 men) from 199 countries competing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in 300 events (comprised of 36 different sports). The media totaled 16,033 (5,298 written press, 10,735 broadcasters). Volunteers totaled 46,967.  

Rod McGeoch who was the chief executive of the Sydney 2000 Olympic bid told 'Fox Sports' in 2015, "Sydney was the beginning of the critical role of government. Make governments have a separate budget and infrastructure budget and leave us just running the event. After that the Olympic movement said 'That's the way to do this. Let's not get caught paying for bloody stadiums which you use for 50 years. Let's not get caught paying for that out of a 16-day budget."

It was understood Greece's government made a loss of around $US14 billion for the Athens 2004 Games. Rod McGeoch told 'Fox Sports', "Athens didn't understand the temporary venue solutions and got forced by sport into building venues. You build a permanent taekwondo venue, beach volleyball venue and they're never used again. Every sport will try to get a permanent venue out of an Olympics and governments need to stand up to them and say 'You don't need that.'

"We spent $US20 million (on the Sydney bid) and won. Berlin against us spent $US75 million and got five votes out of 93. I am told on very good authority that for Tokyo 2020, Tokyo spent $US160 million on the bid. Istanbul spent $US55million (on its fifth bid in six Summer Olympics). As a result of that, there's suddenly a complete nervousness on the part of cities about bidding.

"If you add the cost of bidding and the cost of hosting the games, people are really starting to say 'now wait a minute.' There is an enormous amount of misunderstanding about how you manage to host a Games. I actually like advising governments, because they can be frightened out of, what I think for wealthy countries, is a perfectly achievable assignment."

At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, IBM was the primary IT supplier. Belinda Goldsmith of rediff.com was in Sydney back in August 2000 reported, "Sydney is being heralded as the first 'Internet Olympics' due to the explosion in Net use since 1996 with 275 million Internet users globally now (in 2000) compared to 40 million four years ago (in 1996). The Sydney Olympics is expected to be the biggest test yet for the Internet. It will show how the web copes when a worldwide audience plugs in at the same time and in many different languages."

'The Independent Online' reported in 2000, "To ensure results and other information is available instantly to millions of internet users around the world, IBM has established a global network of massive caching centers linked using sophisticated load-balancing technology. Designed to cope with an expected traffic level of around one billion page views, the infrastructure is larger than any previously used for a sporting event.

"Working alongside IBM for the past six years (1995-2000) has been Australia's national telecommunications company, Telstra. Telstra has established a complete communications infrastructure covering all Olympic sites, with high-capacity links to the outside world. Dubbed the Millennium Network, it comprises fixed, mobile and radio networks, as well as a series of high-speed fibre optic rings that circle Sydney, linking all 36 Olympic venues and a central control room.

"Telstra has installed a sophisticated monitoring system that will alert engineers to any problems on the entire network during the Games. Linked to a mapping application, the system can pinpoint cable breaks or malfunctioning equipment to within a few metres. The role of Telstra's network is particularly critical as it will carry all video and audio coverage to audiences around the globe.

"The company has also constructed what has become the densest mobile network anywhere on the planet, designed to cope with more than 600,000 extra users. In particularly busy areas, such as the Olympic Stadium and the central city area, a new technology will be used that allows multiple callers to share a single frequency channel. Also involved in designing and building the infrastructure for the Sydney Games have been other IT partners including Fuji Xerox, Samsung and Swatch.

"Despite it being the most wired games ever conducted, Fuji Xerox has been busy installing a printing infrastructure covering all sites. It is anticipated that during the 16 days of competition, more than 30 million pages will be printed. All content will be extracted from the IBM results system and fed to printers as required. Swiss watch company Swatch has installed timing equipment at each venue that feeds information directly into the IBM results computers. All systems have undergone rigorous testing and back-ups are in place to ensure reliability. Once the flame is extinguished on 1 October (2000), much of the infrastructure will be removed. The result of six years of toil will - it is hoped - have done its job."

With Sydney 9 hours ahead of London and 13 hours ahead of New York, the official Olympic website (www.olympics.com) reportedly attracted 7.2 billion visitors during the first 10 days of competition. In contrast, NBC's primetime coverage of the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games drew an average audience of 23.2 million viewers over 10 individual telecasts.

Craig Lowder of IBM believed the time difference between Sydney and Europe and the United States encouraged fans seeking news and real-time results to log on to the Internet rather than wait for delayed television broadcasts. According to IBM, one of the most popular features of the official website was the downloadable IBM Real-Time Scoreboards. Over 1.6 million scoreboards were downloaded and 58.3 million sports results requested.

Traffic to www.olympics.com for the 2000 Sydney Games eventually surpassed the number of hits received by previous Olympics websites powered by IBM. The 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan attracted 634 million hits from around the world and the 1996 Atlanta Games attracted 187 million hits. Paul Holmes also reported in 2001, "In addition, IBM’s FanMail website (ibm.com/fanmail) logged over 350,000 personal messages from fans in 200 countries to Olympic athletes competing in Sydney. The official Sydney Games website set several world records. During the Games, the site logged 11.3 billion total hits and attracted 8.7 million unique users. In one day, the site logged a record 683 million hits." 

On reflection in 2008, Glyn Moody told Olympics fans, "In 1996 the World Wide Web was truly in its very early stages. The Olympics took place less than a year after Netscape went public, which many consider the key event marking the transition of the Internet from a research network used primarily by the technical community to the commercial behemoth that it went on to become. The new World Wide Web had the feeling of magic, but, in 1996, it was pretty primitive magic. 

"To begin with, the vast majority of people accessing the Web at the time were doing so over slow dial-up modems with bandwidths of 56 kilobits per second or less. Only at work, if you were lucky, did you have access to faster broadband speeds. It wasn't until years later that broadband usage in the home became commonplace. As we were planning the IT infrastructure for the Olympics website, hardware was not an issue. 

"But the software for web servers was quite immature. Netscape's web software was the most widely used in those days, and while it was adequate for small workloads, its scalability was suspect. We could not use it. Instead, we used the open source Apache Server as the basic web server, and custom built the extensions needed to support its content, applications and other capabilities. 

"We were pretty sure that the Atlanta Olympics website was the largest such web project anyone had undertaken so far. Because it was all so new, we did not know how many people would come to our website and what features they would use once they got there. We were well aware of the considerable risks inherent in doing such a complex, new project on such a global stage. 

"We knew, for example, that beyond a certain number of users, the response time would start to degrade, and if sufficiently stressed beyond its capabilities, the system could become unstable and crash. Our Olympics website worked quite well, except for some unduly slow response times when traffic got very heavy. Overall, the site handled 187 million hits – that is, individual pieces of information served to users. We learned a lot about the requirements for building and operating large, complex websites. All in all, it was a very successful experiment."

20170915

OLYMPICS

Sports science and high-tech Internet revolutionized the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, changing the way people viewed the Olympics and the way the Games were run. For the 2 million spectators and an estimated 3 billion viewers around the world, 'The Christian Science Monitor' reported, "The Internet served as their virtual ticket and data base with up-to-the-minute results as well as background, context, and color."

'Popular Mechanics' reported, "Perhaps most groundbreaking for those Atlanta Games, which marked the 100th anniversary of the Olympics' modern inception, was the advent of the Internet." In April 1995, www.atlanta.olympic.org went online, built by IBM which was one of the sponsors of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Available to some 150,000 on-site users, the website, "the most accessible and efficient Olympic Games in history" provided live start lists during the Games, as well as results medal standings, still images from the field of play at competition venues, access to Info '96 databases for information on competition rules, athlete profiles, photos, team information, news, and history.

'Popular Mechanics' continued, "Before the Games, the website would be used primarily for ticket sales." Scott Anderson of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games informed buyers in 1995, "Tickets are plentiful (11 million to be issued), affordable and easy to buy. Customers can browse through the (48-page) brochure and (542) session schedule in the comfort of their own home. There are no lines to wait in and no impossible deadlines to meet. Just send us (the mail-order forms) your selections in the first 60 days (from May 1, 1995) to have the best chance of getting the tickets you want most."

'The Los Angeles Times' learnt, "Buyers will be limited to 16 tickets for 'preferred' sessions - those events spectators most want to see - and are encouraged to list two alternate sessions for every preferred session. There is a limit of four tickets an order for high-demand events, and a limit of two tickets an order for opening and closing ceremonies. Payment is required at the time of ordering, by check or Visa card. Opening and closing ceremonies cost $200, $400, and $600. Prices to athletic events range from $6 to $250. All ticket prices in the brochure include sales tax. There is a $1 fee for each preferred ticket requested, and a $15 processing fee for the total order."

'Popular Mechanics' continued, "IBM, which produced the official website, used a touchscreen-based, no-mouse, no-keyboard system, altered to look like an onscreen notebook, to put up-to-the-minute stats in the hands of television announcers and Web engineers. More expansive than that Commentator Information System, though, was Info '96, an exhaustive information network accessible only by athletes, coaches, staff and VIPs. Not only did it post results for all Olympic events, but it also included bios and addresses for all the athletes, an email system and a searchable directory."

'The New York Times' reported in 1996, "IBM had invested $80 million to be a worldwide Olympic sponsor and the lead 'technology integrator' of this year's Games. IBM also has agreements with the International Olympic Committee to be the lead technology sponsor for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia."

The most talked-about "Info 96" was the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games' internal information system. Of the initial false start, Jeff Cross of IBM reminded at the time, "This is the largest sporting event in the world - equivalent to a NASA space shot or two Super Bowls a day for 17 days. There are some legitimate start-up problems that people are working 24 hours a day to address."

From the outset, the chairman of IBM, Louis V. Gerstner Jr., had told shareholders in April 1996, "Half the world's population will be watching. We both have a lot on the line. It's a chance for your city (Atlanta) and our company (IBM) to show their very best on a world stage. I don't need to tell you there's an element of risk in stepping onto that stage."

Roger McNamee of Integral Capital Partners added, "It's an amazingly ambitious goal to provide all of this information in real time to the whole world. That said, dropping your shorts in front of the entire world is significantly more embarassing than doing it privately." IBM, as understood, spent some $20 million to $30 million in advertising to promote "Lotus Notes as a solution for system integration and integration with the World Wide Web" or "Lotus Notes' abilities to interface with the outside world." 'The Christian Science Monitor' understood at the time http://www.atlanta.olympic.org was expecting around 250,000 virtual visitors per day once the 1996 Centennial Games commenced.

"Sport plays one of the most significant roles in everyday life of people around the world," 'The Sport Journal' noted in 2005. "Today, sport has not only become great entertainment, occupation and lifestyle, but solid business as well. Nowadays, Olympic Games have become one of the most large-scale and profitable global media events. NBC paid the sum of $3.5 billion to receive the right to transmit 5 Olympic Games for the period of 2000-2008.

"The Olympic Games is the global arena for the best athletes in the world and a venue for unity and cooperation of people around the globe. Today's Olympics is one of the most popular and most watched events in the world. At 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Coca Cola was the second leading advertiser having spent $29,875,000 on promotion of its drinks. At 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Coca Cola spent $73,645,900 on promotion, becoming the leading advertiser of the Games and making Olympics its biggest and most important event in promotional company."

Dr Jacques Rogge of the International Olympic Committee pointed out, "Without the support of the business community, without its technology, expertise, people, services, products, telecommunications, its financing – the Olympic Games could not and cannot happen. Without this support, the athletes cannot compete and achieve their very best in the world's best sporting event."

"We like to think of people in front of their TVs with a laptop on their lap," Maria Battaglia of IBM told the press in 1996. The media presence at the 1996 event totaled 15,108 (5,695 written press, 9,413 broadcasters). There were 10,318 athletes (3,512 women, 6,806 men) from 197 countries competing in 271 events (comprised 37 sports disciplines being hosted at 31 venues). Volunteers totaled 47,466. 

20170913

OLYMPICS

The ancient Olympics, as understood, were held every 4 years, during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. The Games were banned after 393AD by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire. Some 1,500 years later, French baron, Pierre de Coubertin fought to resurrect the Games, arguing the nation’s lack of physical education for the masses led to his nation defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 spearheaded by Otto von Bismarck. 

The first modern Olympics was held in Athens in 1896. Following the fall of Constantinople (present day Istanbul) in 1453, Greece was under the control of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It was explained, "The Ottoman state was a theocracy and its political system was based on hierarchy with the Sultan at the top, having absolute divine rights." It wasn't until 1829, Greece was recognized as an independent state after the Greek Revolution of 1821 (also known as War of Independence) which brought 400 years of Ottoman occupation to an end. 

The assassination of Kapodistrias in Nafplion was said to have paved the way for Bavarian Prince Otto to become King of Greece - until 1862, when he was reportedly "exiled for ignoring the Greek Constitution. The next king was Danish, King George I who ruled the country for 50 years and brought stability and a new Constitution which specified the monarchic powers." 

Sonia O’Sullivan of 'The Irish Times' told readers in 2016, "Atlanta – the mere mention of it stirs up some strange memories for me. It was a time in my life when nothing went to plan, and it's hard even thinking back because so many of the details are still fuzzy, or else erased from my mind completely. I had to park so much of what happened in Atlanta because that was my way of moving on, not that I didn't learn a lot from that time. It was a slow process, but I eventually accepted it, locked up so many of those memories, and then threw away the key."

"Twenty summers ago," Kabir Sehgal told 'Fortune' readers in 2016, "my sister and I had the experience of a lifetime. We ran the Olympic torch in Atlanta, Georgia, she passing it to me on July 18, the day before the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Because my family was involved in helping the city win the bid to host the games, not only were we afforded this unique opportunity but got to see the inner-workings of how the games were organized.

"While these games were formative for me as a young person, they were also transformational for Atlanta … Indeed, Atlanta’s Olympics were mostly privately funded, profitable, and made a positive and lasting economic impact. Atlanta’s 1996 games had local buy-in from the beginning. That’s because the dream to host the games didn’t originate from a government official but private citizen, real estate lawyer Billy Payne, in 1987.

"He went around the city, drumming up support for the games, eventually enlisting the help of then-mayor Andrew Young. Atlanta’s bid for the games cost $7.3 million, which was the least among all but one of the finalist cities like Athens and Melbourne, and most of the funds came from corporations and private citizens … As a matter of civic pride, local companies added a section to their bills so that customers could 'opt in' to fund the city’s Olympic bid.

"Because it was a locally-inspired and led initiative, Atlantans took pride and arguably helped win the games with their 'y'all come back now' Southern hospitality … When Atlanta won the bid in 1990 to host the Olympics, I was in elementary school, and my teacher had turned on 'ABC News' with Peter Jennings, who was delivering the news. 'We won', exclaimed my teacher and classmates, as we jumped in the air. People outside started to honk their horns outside with glee.

"Because the bid was privately conceived and funded, the games were never perceived as a 'top down' idea of policy makers, but a 'bottom up' grassroots movement. 'The real legacy of the games is that the people of Atlanta felt for themselves the legacy of possibility. We can do anything we set our minds to,' Payne said following the games … Atlanta’s 1996 games cost about $1.7 billion.

"While government funds were used for infrastructure improvements, much of the capital came from the private sector: Corporate sponsorships added more than $540 million to the coffers; ticket revenue generated more than $420 million; and television rights were sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, Centennial Olympic Park, which replaced a downtrodden area, has become a crown jewel of Atlanta, and it was funded with $75 million in private donations.

"The games also resulted in a $10 million profit. Even though there wasn’t a material uptick in economic activity during the games, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce assessed that the Olympics generated $5.14 billion of impact. And the games were an amazing branding initiative, as billions around the world watched the games. Before the games, people confused Atlanta with Atlantic City. Not anymore."

Back in 2012, Maria Michta described village life to followers as she experienced during the 2012 Summer Games, "Olympic Village is much more of a laid back, subdued college campus kind of feel where the dress code is athletic casual and everyone has enormous 'school' pride … Once inside you can view the athlete living quarters, walk around, perhaps be lucky to catch a glimpse of someone famous and of course take a tourist picture under the giant Olympic rings.

"If you were planning on eating in the dining hall be ready to shell out 20 pounds for the largest cafeteria style buffet you will ever witness. The McDonalds in the Village is free all day all the time to the athletes. Other than that its a place to call home for about 2 weeks, a place to come back to after training sessions, a places to gab with one another between events while watching on TV fellow teammates and countrymen compete, it’s a place to 'relax' while nervously contemplating one's upcoming performance.

"In addition to eating, the cafeteria serves as a social gathering where if one chooses you can meet with other teammates, countrymen, or anyone from any team from any country. The easiest way to start a congo (conversation) is by swapping pins. Almost every country gives their athletes pins that represent their country and or event at the Games.

"The purpose is to trade one's pins with other athletes from all over the world. I have thoroughly enjoyed the pin swapping aspect and have pins from about 26 different countries! I also have a few from other USA Teams such as gymnastics! Pins are a big thing here at the Olympic Games and it's not just athletes in the Village but spectators and staff workers too that get in on the pin trading action. Also various IOC Olympic Games Partners and Sponsors give out their pins to the athletes and spectators alike.

"Aside from sleeping, eating, and trading pins there is not much else to do in the Village. Then there is an athlete lounge that has some more TVs, couches, computers and even pool tables. They also have a life size jenga and other games that athletes can play. At the Powerade Bar you can get free drinks (that is Powerade or water). Oops I almost forgot one more thing you can do here in the Village: Laundry! Well actually the athletes themselves don’t have to actually do the wash, nope they spoil us and do it for us, for free! I have already had three loads of my stuff washed here. They wash and dry it automatically which means some of the nice athletic gear I got will have to wait to go home to wash, can’t go ruining my new clothes in the dryer!

"The exciting stuff is really what’s unfolding around the park at the venues. It’s the goals scored, the points earned, the landings stuck, the jumps cleared, it’s the save made or the one that got by, the head to head battles, the behind the scenes smiles, waves, and tears, it’s the anthems played, the medals hung, the flags raised, those are the moments that make the Olympics, that’s where all the real action, excitement, and drama is!"

20170912

OLYMPICS

On September 16, 1990, the International Olympic Committee met in Tokyo, Japan to vote for the site to host the 1996 Summer Olympics - the centennial games of the modern Olympic era. Six cities were competing: Atlanta (USA), Melbourne (Australia), Toronto (Canada), Belgrade (the former Yugoslavia), Manchester (England) and Athens (Greece). Athens was a sentimental favorite being the birthplace of the modern Games and the first city to host the modern Olympics back in 1896.

As understood, a city must receive a majority - 44 of 86 votes - in the balloting to win their bid. It was clarified if no candidate received that much support, the city gaining the fewest votes would be eliminated and the ballots recast. The process would continue until 2 candidates remained or a majority had been achieved. The winner therefore, it was said, may have to survive 5 rounds of voting.

Athens and Atlanta finished first and second on most of the ballots. Belgrade was eliminated on the first ballot, followed by Manchester on the second, Melbourne on the third, and Toronto on the fourth. On the fifth and final ballot by the IOC, Atlanta received 51 votes to 35 for Athens. It was mentioned many of Toronto's votes went to Atlanta, resulting in the victory margin.

'The Washington Post' learnt, "Geography was another problem for Athens, because the 1992 Games (summer in Barcelona, winter in Albertville, France) and the 1994 Winter Games (Lillehammer, Norway) will be held in Europe." Atlanta was "supported by a unified, broad-based coalition of business, political and civil rights leaders", reportedly spent $7.3 million on a 2-year campaign that made it only the third US city to host the Summer Olympics. St. Louis first hosted in 1904 and Los Angeles (1932, 1984). Athens spent $25 million on its bid, said to be more than any of the other cities. "Only Belgrade, with a budget of less than $1 million, spent less than Atlanta's $7.3 million," 'The Los Angeles Times' noted.

The $1.6 billion Centennial Olympic Games held in the "Cinderella city" of the New South in 1996 was "the most important event in the history of Atlanta, Georgia" and "the largest and most important event of the 20th century," Billy Payne, the chief organizer, stated. On September 18, 1990, Juan Antonio Samaranch announced, "The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of…Atlanta." IOC vice president Richard Pound of Montreal told the press, "We got to the point where we had to decide, in the centennial year, whether we were going to look back or look forward. We decided that what we were really doing in 1996 was launching our second century."

From the outset, the Centennial Olympic Games would be privately financed by the Atlanta organizing committee. As understood, "The money comes from broadcast rights, corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandising." Billy Payne spoke to 'Sports Illustrated' at the time, "It has now been nearly nine years (dating back to February 8, 1987) since I first had that which is still described as the crazy idea. Nine years since I came to believe that the United States could do great justice and great service to the Olympic movement at this most important time in its history, the only movement in the world that brings people together for a common and singular purpose under a common set of rules." 

'Sports Illustrated' reported, "Because officials at every level of government had made it clear that an Atlanta-based Olympics would be staged without government underwriting, Payne claimed that he would raise the estimated $1.6 billion the city would need through the support of corporations and other private-sector sources." Six years before "the curtain goes up and Atlanta steps upon the international stage," 'The New York Times' reported, "Twenty sponsors paid up to $40 million apiece to become Olympic 'partners'.

"NBC wrote the largest corporate check, paying $456 million for American television rights. McDonald's is one of eight corporations that has anted up at least $40 million for a 'partners' sponsorship. McDonald's has also struck a deal with NBC, which will televise the 1996 Summer Games, to be the sole restaurant advertiser on Olympic telecasts."

The $1.6 billion were spent on construction projects, from Olympic venues such as the Centennial Olympic Park, 3 Concourse E at the Atlanta airport international (at a cost of $305 million), 4 Centennial Olympic Stadium (including the 85,000-seat Olympic stadium), 5 Georgia International Horse Park, 6 Clayton County International Park, 7 Olympic Aquatic Center, 8 Stone Mountain Tennis Center (at a cost of $22 million) to the 2 Olympic Village (at a cost of $200 million) housing the 10,318 athletes from 197 countries, 5,000 coaches and officials, 15,000 journalists and 2 million spectators. Harvey Newman told Associated Press in 2011 the 1996 Centennial Olympics had "certainly put Atlanta on the map as a place to be taken seriously among cities throughout the world."

Aramark Corporation was contracted to supply food created "550 ethnically diverse nutritional recipes for the menu." It was reported "there was an official dining hall - a 75,000 square-foot tent with a 3,500 seat capacity. For athletes from the 197 countries who could not eat in the Dining Hall, special Olympic Lunch Boxes would be provided and transported to competition sites in refrigerated trucks. Approximately 50,000 box lunches were prepared."

By September 1994, McDonald's disclosed it would "operate six of its fast-food restaurants at the Olympic Village during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, serving 7,500 nutritional meals a day during the Games and feeding 15,000 athletes, coaches and officials. World-class athletes generally subscribe to a diet low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, featuring fruits, vegetables, pasta, whole grains, fish and chicken. For those who want to skip fast food, a cafeteria-style restaurant service will provide the bulk of food to Olympians, Atlanta officials said."

Chris Campbell, a freestyle wrestler who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics told 'The New York Times', "If McDonald's doesn't help out the Olympic movement, we don't get to compete at the level we need to. We're not like most countries, where the government pays for its athletes. Our government doesn't pay a dime. It's got to come from the commercial standpoint."

'The Los Angeles Times' reported in 2002, "Three times since the 1980s - Summer Games at Los Angeles in 1984 and Atlanta in 1996, and Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 - the US has played host to the Olympics. Each time the organizing committee has finished in the black. The L.A. Games registered a $232.5-million surplus. Forty percent of that money went to the Amateur Athletic Foundation, which has since given out millions in grants to youth and community sports activities.

"The 1996 Atlanta Olympics ended with a slight surplus, about $10 million. Atlanta's legacy, however, includes a stadium built for the Games and then reconfigured afterward for baseball, both at organizing committee expense. The 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City generated a whopping $56-million overall surplus, testament to first-rate organizational and logistical plans and a vivid reminder of the financial possibilities inherent in staging the Games in the United States. The net surplus, $40 million, will be divided two ways. Most of the money, $30 million, will go to the nonprofit Utah Athletic Foundation, which oversees facilities built for the Salt Lake Games. The rest, $10 million, goes to the US Olympic Committee."

The 1976 Montreal Games went into public debt of $1 billion. Unlike L.A., which used existing facilities and accumulated a surplus of $232.5 million, Atlanta had to construct 10 new competition venues and refurbish several others. Dick Pound believed, "Revenues should pay for the party, not the banquet hall." Donald Katz reported before the start of the 1996 Games, "The business side of the Summer Olympics has changed mightily since 1976, when the Montreal organizing committee garnered revenues from sponsors and licensed suppliers totaling only $7 million. The organization (for the 1996 Games) is still short of the recently revised $1.6 billion required to meet projected costs, but that deficit is slated to disappear with the continued sale of 11 million tickets and other items.

"As soon as Payne's marketers began pitching costly Olympic associations in corner offices around the world, a global business recession set in. But Payne's troops talked 30 billion-dollar corporations into lending executives and technicians to ACOG or donating goods and/or ponying up between $10 million and $60 million apiece to be domestic Olympic 'partners' and 'sponsors'. A total of 125 companies signed up to be product licensees. By the time the Games begin next July 19, more than 70,000 full-time employees and volunteers (more than three times the size of the workforce at Delta Airlines, the largest private employer in Georgia) will be working for ACOG and Payne."

Maureen Feighan told 'The Detroit News' readers in August 2016, "Nearly 20 years ago to the day, I worked in the main dining hall at Olympic Village during the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta. Call it destiny or good luck, a friend had a brother who worked for Aramark, the food service provider at the '96 Olympics. They were looking for college students to work in the main dining hall.

"I was one of thousands hired to serve food in Atlanta. My job: serve up cafeteria-style food to the best athletes from across the world. I've always been a huge fan of the Olympics, but to see athletes up close and personal was something else entirely. I marveled at the tiny gymnasts from China and the bulky wrestlers from Russia. Surprisingly, hot dogs were hugely popular in 1996.

"We served up more hot dogs – without buns – than any other food. And while most of the big name athletes didn't eat in the main dining hall, a few did. Dishing up dinner for tennis star Monica Seles, it took all the self-control I had to not set down my serving spoon and ask for an autograph. I never saw an Olympic medal up close during my time in Atlanta, but I saw something else that was golden: McDonald's golden arches.

"McDonald's, a longtime Olympic sponsor, had set up shop in one corner of the main dining hall so athletes could get their fix of McNuggets, fries or Quarter Pounders at any meal. McDonald's bridged cultural divides in a way I’ve never seen before. It brought together athletes from different sports, ethnicities and cultures. It was a reminder that we're all more alike than we are different. And it made these superhumans seem so much more real."

Professor Zhao Jinlin told Florida International University in 2014, "When I heard Atlanta was going to host the 1996 Olympics my reaction immediately was one day in the future China is going to host the Olympics. As a strategy, I have to squeeze in there and learn. Maybe one day my motherland will ask, ‘does anyone know anything about this?’ And I will be able to say I can help."

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