Reuters has published an article looking at the current and future leadership of big media companies such as AOL Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, and others. These companies all have an aging leadership that is nearing retirement, and according to Reuters, itis comparative young bloods like Steve Jobs that are ripe to move into these companies. From the article:
Waiting in the wings are executives who have been making their mark in entertainment and technology.
Those who could see their stars keep rising include MTV Networks Chief Tom Freston, Steve Burke, president of cable TVis Comcast Corp. and Jeff Bewkes, who was recently elevated to a top deputy spot at AOL Time Warner.
Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer Inc. and Pixar Animation Studios Inc, is also a contender for a top job in the sector, media insiders said.
Industry watchers said these young executives have a strong knowledge of digital technology and its impact on media in the Internet age that is so critical to the future.
The emergence of high-speed Internet access, digital music and video downloads and piracy, mean that executives with technology expertise will be in demand.
A cadre of qualified names has emerged, including Appleis Jobs, Yahoo Inc.is Chief Operating Officer Dan Rosensweig and new America Online head Jon Miller.
"The Internet has not gone away. It is still going to be an extremely important vehicle of distributing content and, therefore, individuals that come from the technology sector like Steve Jobs are going to be extremely attractive to large entertainment and media companies," Unger said.
This is particularly interesting in light of the different stance that Steve Jobs has on issues such as piracy and personal responsibility. Appleis CEO has gone on record as saying that users should be free to make digital copies of music that they legally own, and that his company trusted its users to be responsible.
This is in marked contrast to the stance of big media, which says that they should be in control of where consumers use their products. This reaction has been characterized by many as an old-guard reactionary position, even as Big Media itself says its very survival is threatened.
There is no indication from Steve Jobs or Apple about whether or not he would be interested in a heading a media company, though rumors to that effect have surfaced in the past.
There is much more information on the subject in the full article from Reuters.