This is unusual: Wall Street analysts typically pump CEOs for financial numbers when they hold quarterly conference calls to discuss the latest earnings reports. But as Big Media companies gear up for their announcements, BTIG’s Richard Greenfield says this morning that investors need “a better understanding of how management teams of the leading media companies evaluate the potential impact/risks to their businesses” following the horrific shootings in Newtown. Citizens and policy makers are debating whether movies, TV shows and video games contribute to a culture of violence. Greenfield says he doesn’t see an “immediate threat” to Big Media revenues and profits. Still, he wants CEOs to address three issues: Do they believe violent media are part of the problem, and would they participate in a third party, cross industry study of a possible connection? What are the chances that the government will increase regulations on TV content, and are they OK with that? And do they believe that advertisers might boycott violent shows? Although gruesome programs such as The Walking Dead, Criminal Minds and Sons Of Anarchy are popular, Greenfield recalls how grassroots uprisings like the one last year to oppose Hollywood’s proposals to limit Internet piracy can “rapidly change corporate behavior.”
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