THE MERCHANTS OF COOL
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arrowTodd Cunningham
photo of todd cunningham
Cunningham is MTV Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Planning. He outlines MTV's research efforts to understand teens, including their Ethnography and Sources of Gold studies. He also discusses how MTV seeks out "bleeding edge" youth groups, and why its philosophy is both to lead and reflect youth culture.
Malcolm Gladwellarrow

Gladwell is staff writer for The New Yorker and author of The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. He talks about 'the cool hunt' and cool hunters like Dee Dee Gordon--what explains their rise, what are their talents and what are the challenges they confront with today's marketing-savvy youth.
photo of malcolm gladwell
arrowDee Dee Gordon and Sharon Lee
photo of gordon and lee
Gordon and Lee are co-founders of Look-Look, a research company specializing in youth culture. They talk about how their company searches out teen trendsetters looking for what's cool, the challenges in their quest, and how corporations use the information they gather.
brian gradenarrow

Graden, MTV President of Programming, discusses the differences in today's teenagers and why MTV tries to stay deeply in step with them. And he talks about MTV programs, including racier ones such as "Spring Break" and "Undressed."
photo of brian graden
arrowJimmy Iovine
photo of Jimmy Iovine
Iovine is co-Chairman of Interscope Records which has become hugely successful at signing talents outside of the mainstream. Its artists include Eminem, Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson. He talks about the changes in music, the reasons for the popularity of hip-hop and rap metal, the taste level of today's music, and whether the state of today's culture worries him.
robert mcchesneyarrow

McChesney is a media critic and author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times. He outlines the various threats of media conglomeration and the impact on youth and the country's politics and culture.
photo of robert mcchesney
arrowMark Crispin mIller
photo of mark crispin miller
Crispin Miller is a media analyst and the author of Boxed In: The Culture of TV. In discussing the clout of the major media giants, he outlines the media/cultural changes due to the commercial machine. He also talks about the changes in advertising and tv programming for youth and the general lowering of standards in the culture.
ann powersarrow

Powers is music critic for The New York Times. She discusses MTV and why it's a tool of the music industry . She also evaluates the music artist-as-businessman trend and the impact of commercialism on music.
photo of ann powers
arrowdouglas rushkoff
photo of douglas rushkoff
Rushkoff is a media analyst and the author of several books on media and popular culture. He is the correspondent for FRONTLINE's "The Merchants of Cool."
john seabrookarrow

Seabrook, a writer for The New Yorker, is the author of Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing-The Marketing of Culture. He talks about MTV and how it's an example of the closed feedback loop between culture and marketing. He also discusses the factors that have produced a coarsening of the culture.
arrowdavid sirulnick
photo of david sirulnick
Sirulnick is MTV Executive Vice President of Programming and News. He discusses why "Total Request Live" is representative of MTV's programming philosophy and talks about MTV's standards for its shows.

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