Interesting article in the WSJ regarding the evolution of the mass media:

And this week, titans of media acknowledged the possibility that when the economy finally recovers, advertising dollars may never return to major media outlets in full force as the rise of the Internet leaves audiences increasingly fragmented and less accessible to mass marketing.

For example, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger told analysts Tuesday that some of the entertainment empire’s businesses, like its broadcast television network, are feeling ‘signs of secular change as competition for people’s time is increasing and the abundance of choice is allowing consumers to be more selective.’

Mr. Iger’s comments raised eyebrows because he was suggesting that something more than just the worldwide economic downturn was behind Disney’s 32% drop in fiscal first-quarter earnings and 8.2% revenue slide. Media stocks, like other industries, are at multiyear lows, but Mr. Iger’s comments — echoed by others — indicate the challenges facing media companies.

‘We don’t believe the changes we are seeing in consumer behavior can all be attributed to a weak economy, and we feel it is important for us to address them as more than just cyclical issues,’ Mr. Iger said.”