NBC's Offensive, CNBC's Losses & The Crisis at Condé

cityfile · 08/05/09 01:06PM

• NBC is pulling out all the stops to promote Jay Leno's new show. Don't believe it? Try this out for size: "In early September, NBC will even adopt a portion of Interstate 10 in California to reiterate Mr. Leno's time slot." [NYT]
• Notwithstanding the Leno blitz, NBC is still looking to cut its budget. [NYT]
• No one cares about CNBC these days, in case you haven't noticed. [Slate]
• More on troubles at Condé Nast (revenues may fall by as much as $350 million this year), and the recent round of receptionist-purging. [NYP, NYO]
• The lobbyist scandal goes on. A couple of days after it was revealed that MSNBC's Richard Wolffe is now working for a lobbying firm comes the news that CNN's Bill Schneider has signed up with a D.C. think tank. [HuffPo]
• Related: Wolffe has another Obama-related book in the works. [TNR]
• Experts say the prognosis for BusinessWeek is not good. [DailyFinance]
• As you might expect, the mood has been very upbeat at CurrentTV today now that Laura Ling and Euna Lee have returned from North Korea. [NYT]

NBC's Win/Loss, Maxim's New Boss & Bonnie's New Gig

cityfile · 07/17/09 01:55PM

• Bad news for NBC Universal: second-quarter profits dropped by 41%. [MW]
• Good news for NBC News: Susan Boyle's first in-depth TV interview will take place with Meredith Vieira on the Today show next Wednesday. [NYT]
• Alpha Media, the company that owns Maxim (and used to own Blender and Stuff)—and which was sold to Steve Rattner's Quadrangle Group in 2007—has changed hands again: Steve Feinberg's Cerberus now runs the show. [NYP]
• Rumor has it Pamela Fiori may be leaving Town & Country. [P6]
Bonnie Fuller is taking over Hollywood Life, the website controlled by Jay Penske, who owns Movieline and recently bought out Nikki Finke. [NYT]
• More Finke: Days after the LA Times ran an article on Hollywood's most powerful blogger comes pretty much the same piece in the NY Times. [NYT]
• All that bad press for CNBC a few months ago must have refocused the network on the things that matter, right? Nope. [Gawker, Zero Hedge]

More Work, Less Pay & No Free Newspapers

cityfile · 04/14/09 12:28PM

• Hachette is cutting salaries and asking staff to work overtime. Fun! [Gawker]
• Amazon is blaming an "embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error" for the dropping the sales rankings of thousands of gay and lesbian books. [AFP]
• Bravo has picked up four new shows, including one produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and another by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. [THR, THR]
• NBC's Boston affiliate, WHDH, has backed down from its threat to skip Jay Leno's new 10pm show when it debuts this fall. [B&C]
• Marriott will no longer automatically provide guests with a free copy of USA Today or the Journal. You're gonna have to ask for it from now on. [E&P]

Al Gore Just Outsourced Your Job To Twitter

Ryan Tate · 11/11/08 10:05PM

Current, the bizarre TV channel co-founded by Al Gore, laid off 60 staff last night. Supposedly the hippies in the San Francisco headquarters office are being shoved aside in favor of the bloodsuckers in Los Angeles. But even the survivors better watch their backs, because a company statement makes it sound like they might eventually be replaced by the robots and RSS feeds that fueled Current's awful, awful election-night coverage:

Current TV's official body count: 30 gone, 30 shuffled

Paul Boutin · 11/11/08 05:40PM

This just in: Current TV's director of public relations sent us an email designed to be printed in its entirety. (Thanks for that. Since Valleywag fired everyone else, I spend way too much time editing.) Current didn't just cut staff, they reshuffled a couple dozen employees. Instead of the economy, Current blames "a new, innovative programming strategy." That's gotta make everyone feel better. A tipster tells us, "The few spared [in San Francisco] are being made to choose between unemployment or a move to L.A." Here's the statement:

Current TV cuts 32 or more

Paul Boutin · 11/11/08 02:44PM

Current, the cable channel and user-generated-video website backed by Joel Hyatt and Al Gore, is laying people off. "My wife works in the LA office (at least for now!)," emails a tipster. "At least 10 gone from there...." No word from Current's San Francisco headquarters yet, but you know where to send it. Update: A tipster says 32 have been cut from the San Francisco office. "'Bloodbath' is the word being used!" he adds.

More Losses, More Layoffs

cityfile · 11/11/08 02:34PM

It was another down day on Wall Street. The Dow fell 176 points, or 2 percent, and both the S&P and Nasdaq shed 2.2 percent. Naturally, a handful of companies announced a round of fresh layoffs: As many as 60 employees of Condé Nast's Internet division were reportedly let go; an estimated 20 percent of CurrentTV's staff were given notice; the law firm of White & Case announced plans to shed 3 percent of its staff; and Time Inc. bosses in New York are now reportedly planning to lay off lots of European staffers, too. Oh, and don't bother looking for a job if you've already lost yours: Online job sites are reporting that new listings have hit a new low.

Wired lauds Current TV for copying CNN

Melissa Gira Grant · 09/29/08 09:00PM

Click to view
Current TV's Twitter-enhanced live feed of the Obama/McCain debate on Friday "broke new ground," according to Wired blogger Sarah Lai Stirland. But it's been nearly a month since the September 8 premiere of CNN's Rick Sanchez Direct, in which Sanchez turns the camera on Twitter for the modern version of man-on-the-street quotes. How it works: You add Rick. He adds you back. You then tweet live during his show. He may pullquote you, or run the live stream onscreen. Sanchez, currently following nearly 18,000 people, already drew attention for his live tweet-reading during Hurricane Gustav, when Twitterers filed reported facts to millions of viewers.Current and Twitter's debate stream was interesting, but not new. Mashable and VentureBeat covered the launch of Sanchez's show three weeks ago, noting that CNN's arrival had forced Twitter's management to exempt Sanchez, like Robert Scoble, from their usual limit on the number of feeds one user could follow. If you thought Current's lazy stream of debate tweets was hot, watch the above compilation of the always-slighty-overexuberant Sanchez: "My Twitterboard's about to explode." (Video by 23/6)

Al Gore's Twitter account still a secret

Jackson West · 09/29/08 09:00AM

So Al Gore, who cofounded Current TV, promised to have a Twitter account by Saturday. It's Monday, and the algore and albertgore account don't look anything like they're being maintained by the former American vice president and current free marketeer. If you find him under shouldawon00 or some other catchy handle, do let us know. I couldn't find anything from his wife Tipper, either — tipper is a Twitter bot for calculating tips, and tippergore doesn't exist. And it's for shame. Because how fun would it be if they really embraced the medium, instead of just showing up to press the flesh at staged events? Below, pure speculation as to what we all have to look forward to.

Al Gore Invites You To Heckle The Debates Via Twitter

Ryan Tate · 09/26/08 03:10AM

You know what's really needed at a presidential debate on delicate foreign policy matters and capital markets paralyzed by their own complexity? Random internet heckling via Twitter! Or at least that's what Al Gore's cable network Current believes. Why not turn on Current, if you get it, and fire up Twitter, if you're into it, during the debates, if you're home, and enjoy seeing your 140-character tweets superimposed on Barack Obama as he debates a plastic skeleton. This will save our politics from being subsumed by the celebrity-industrial complex and maybe briefly forestall the rapidly accelerating collapse of our society. Sort of like good old Al Gore himself!

Indiana Jones and the Fair-Use Ruling of Doom

wagcurious · 06/05/08 02:00PM

YouTube was a breeze. Though they insist you should "not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself," they also explain the "fair use" exception to this rule, in detail. They do, however, leave budding filmmakers with this warning, "if the copyright owner disagrees with your interpretation of fair use, the copyright owner may choose to resolve the dispute in court". YouTube knows a thing or two about being dragged into court. But being a sport, they allowed my upload to go live.

What does Mashable's Pete Cashmore do? Al Gore funds an investigation

Owen Thomas · 05/02/08 05:20PM

I've long been fascinated with the ubiquitous gladhandery of Pete Cashmore, the 22-year-old founder of Mashable. And I've been meaning to ask Cashmore what, exactly, he does. Al Gore's cable channel, Current, has saved me the awkward moment. As a video clip shows, Cashmore talks on his cell phone, takes cabs, and meets with Internet luminaries. He claims that this process helps Mashable "get the news." For example? He interviewed Bebo founder Michael Birch days before the company's $850 million sale to AOL. Did his facetime land him the scoop? No. For that matter, Cashmore really hasn't written anything for Mashable in ages. Understandably. Appearing to be a blogger is a full-time job. The full clip:

Ha Ha, Your Medium Is Dying: Mocking Financial Magazine Videos

Nick Douglas · 04/01/08 08:57PM

Ha ha, your medium is dying! Financial-news print outlets seeking relevance have added video to their web sites. But their work is pretty much the opposite of YouTube gold. Brett Erlich, apparently just this guy who loves web videos, makes fun of the work of the Journal, Forbes, and Fortune on this criminally underwatched Current TV segment.

Choire · 10/31/07 05:11PM

One of Al Gore's boys from Current TV got waterboarded. I'd issue a disclaimer about the video but really any of you who've ever set foot in a leather bar (which is most of you!) have seen much worse. [HuffPo]