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Family Ways II

February 14, 1993

Terry Pristin's cover story "Hollywood's Family Ways" (Jan. 31) totally missed the point in identifying the negative effect nepotism has on the movies and TV shows we see.

Nepotism is one segment of the "old boys network" that runs this industry. What this inbreeding does is pass a failed corporate culture from generation to generation with no incentive to adapt to today's new competitive realities and improve the product. (Unless this is addressed, you can bring in all the minorities and women you want, but all they will do is turn out more of the same old failed product.)

This is easiest to see in TV, where 20 years ago there were only three viewer options--the networks. But now there are four networks, strong independent stations, first-run syndication, cable, home video, etc. Yet the thinking that goes into new programs has not changed to reflect this new competitive environment, which is why more than 90% of all new programs fail.

What nepotism and the old boys network do is keep out new thinking that can correct the easily correctable fatal flaw permeating the developmental process that creates movies and TV shows. While this correction will benefit moviegoers, TV viewers and stockholders, the old boys network perceives it as a threat: a threat to them drawing high salaries, satisfying their out-of-control egos and giving millions of the stockholders' dollars to their friends and relatives.

C. RICHARD KAJELYN

Encino

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