Friday, July 18, 2008

Comment on Corporation for Public Media

One big reason Sesame Street is so successful in nearly every medium is that it invests a tremendous amount of money ($9.5 million in 2007) in research--not the kind of research directed toward measuring the audience or telling them what features or characters will draw more eyeballs, but research into the effectiveness of the program in carrying out its mission to educate. In other words, the Sesame Workshop constantly tests its product with an eye toward making it better, not more popular.

In interviews I did with Gary Knell, Joan Ganz Cooney, and others for a recent magazine article and series of blog posts, the prevalent theme wasn't how big their audience was (I had to dig that info up myself), but rather how effectively the various programs have made a difference in children's lives. Their focus is on doing good, not being large. Funny how success rewards that philosophy.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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