“But I have to tell you, the biggest objection to [regulation] has come from the fact that The Washington Post would go out of business if Kaplan went out of business.....,” Roberts said with a chuckle. “Because The Washington Post money all comes from Kaplan.....”
--'Learning From For-Profits ' IHE, 11/8/10 Jack Stripling
One possible future for higher ed is as part of the portfolio of media company holdings. Tomorrow, you and I may find ourselves doing the same things we do today (developing courses, teaching, bugging librarians, whatever) - but with our paychecks coming from one of the big six. The big six?
According to freepress.net  (any feedback on this source) - the big six include:
- General Electric. 2009 revenues $157 billion.
- Walt Disney. 2009 revenues $36.1 billion.
- News Corp. 2009 revenues $30.4 billion.
- TimeWarner. 2009 revenues $25.8 billion.
- Viacom. 2009 revenues $13.6 billion.
These media conglomerates have holdings in the following (curated list) of platforms:
TV: NBC, Telemundo, Bravo, USA, ABC, ESPN, Disney, SOAPnet, A&E, Lifetime, Fox, National Geographic, FX, CNN, CW, HBO, Cinemax, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, Comedy Central.
Publishing: Barrons, SmartMoney, The Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, The New York Post, MarketWatch, Dow Jones Newswire, Marvel Comics, HarperCollins, DC Comics, MAD Magazine, People, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Business 2.0, Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Cottage Living,
Film: NBC Universal, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Fox Films, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, New Line, Castle Rock, Paramount.
Internet: NBC.com, CNBC.com, ivillage.com, hulu.com, espn360.cm, iparenting.com, myspace, AOL, CNN.com, CNNMoney.com, People.com, TMZ.com, thedailyshow.com, colbertnation.com, spiketv.com, ifilm.com, CBS.com, sportsline.com, CNet.com, last.fm, mp3.com
Why should education be missing from the lineup of TV, publishing, film, and internet? Education is complementary to other information industries. Many of the technologies and competencies embedded in media companies will translate to developing and delivering higher ed services.
If we understand that the growth in higher ed will mostly be outside of the U.S. (India, China, Brazil, etc. etc.), then the strong brand and existing international presence of the big six will be a huge asset.
Walt Disney University has sort of nice ring to it.