To say that I am chuffed by a review of TV News 3.0 in the highly respected Daily Telegraph in London, the UK’s biggest selling serious newspaper, is an understatement. I am actually slightly speechless at the praise the book receives. The paper awards it four stars out of five, saying it is both “wise” and “witty”. Here’s an extract:
“HBO’s Succession has made media empires sexy again. But even in the secondhand glow of the year’s most acclaimed TV drama, with its feuding zillionaires and teetering titans, a “how to” guide to setting up and running your own rolling news network in the streaming era sounds like the ultimate niche read.
Consider that the minimum start-up cost for your home-brewed version of CNN or Sky News is going to be the region of $75 million. The writer of TV News 3.0, Zafar Siddiqi, knows whereof he talks: he has launched four news channels across three continents (CNBC Arabiya, CNBC Pakistan, CNBC Africa and Samaa TV, also in Pakistan).
And if you don’t have that sort of loose change to hand, you’ll have to bend the knee to a parade of oligarchs, institutional investors and bored millionaires theoretically open to splashing cash in your direction. Then, you’ll need to establish a production company, assemble a news-room, and learn how to deal with often flakey and egocentric reporters and anchors.
All that and rolling news has never been especially profitable with the exception of Donald Trump’s favourite, Fox News, in the US. Plus there is the existential challenge posed by the internet and social media (streaming, believes Siddiqi, is ushering news into its “third” era, following on from traditional broadcast and cable). So while Rupert Murdoch or his fictional Succession counterpart Logan Roy might conceivably take a nerdish interest in Siddiqi’s insights and predictions, what’s here for the rest of us?
Happily, Siddiqi is as accomplished a storyteller as he is news executive. TV News 3.0 is a far more ebullient read than its slightly dry title might suggest and brims with anecdotes…”
You can read the rest of the review online here.