While Ben “Margins Not Ratings” Silverman’s plan to raise profits while losing ratings at NBC has thus far been met with mixed success, the Times reports this morning that such a strategy may not be as hilariously unfeasible as it once seemed — American Idol’s doing it! Despite a loss of about five million viewers since its 2006 peak, the show’s revenues have ballooned to $96 million last year from $67 million two years ago, and profit margins have increased to 77 percent from 69 percent. And how did Idol mange to accomplish such a thing? Through the pursuit of Silvermanian tactics like product placement, brand-extending licensing deals, and merchandising. We would hate to have seen the look on poor Ben Silverman’s face today as this article was read aloud to him by an assistant.