Jeff Jarvis recently wrote a fantastic piece on newsroom consolidation across multiple channels. I'm not sold (on consolidation alone). Consolidation alone will not be the answer.
Channel specific MegaNiche expertise operating in a tight and cohesive infrastructure will be the model for tomorrow's success in both the media production and markter/advertiser worlds. The future of media isn't going to be around consolidation, but multi-channel integration in a channel specific environment.
Multi-media multi-channel success isn't about being a Swiss Army Knife Marketer - but being a dedicated knife, can opener OR corkscrew solution as needed.
While cross platform integration is certainly important from both an advertising and user perspective, I don't believe that users want the same overall experience across multiple channels - rather we want to interact with the media in a manner that is organic to the channel.
For Example: I don't think I would ever want to read my RSS feeds from my TV, but I may a RSS headline feed scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen while I'm watching relevant programming. The TV screen is not technically or sociologically positioned for reading mid-to-long-form text.
On the other end of the spectrum: I don't want my ABC.com video experience to mirror my TV channel experience - on a computer I frequently want a screen-in-screen streaming solution while multitasking - though I do want the option to mirror the full-screen lean-back broadcast experience on demand.
Consolidation isn't about pushing brochure-ware online and it isn't about pushing unwanted or interruptive digital/interactive assets to the television screen. Total content consolidation is like putting a graphically rich piece of video media on the radio. You're just not using the channel appropriately.
Shameless Self-Promotion Insertion: Check out this fantastic write-up on how Digitas (my employer) is working together with our sister-agencies to develop a cross-platform integrated solution that respects the unique challenges and opportunities of each channel.
On That Note: Has anyone out there found a cross-channel media centric company (advertiser or content producer/distributor) that is properly utilizing a multi-media consolidated structure?