Thursday, January 11, 2007

Eye Care

CBS' Les Moonves is getting with the program, tearing it up at CES in Vegas....

"There's no such thing as old or new media anymore; we're just media.... Whether 'programming' means 'CSI' or 'C++,' we're all playing on the same big digital field."

Among the initiatives he's announcing is bringing Star Trek to Second Life, where there will be some sort of Entreprise mock-up. OK. Hoping to catch the viral buzz that amateur videos are finding through YouTube, CBS has also teamed up with Sling Box to create a "Clip and Sling" product that will enable viewers to send network clips far and wide.

Moonves also introduced YouTube's Chad Hurley. They announced a joint contest in which viewers will be invited to make a 15 second video on any subject. They winning entry will be shown during the Superbowl.

Some of this will work, some won't. But CBS is certainly in there pitching.

Colbert Reporting

Comedy Central's Steve Colbert gets it. He is quickly turning his phenomenal television show into a media brand. In a column in Mediapost's TV Board, Manning Field gives a rundown...

For those who don't know, here is what TV host Stephen Colbert has done:

1) Understanding his audience and the You Tube creative community, Colbert filmed an action sequence behind a green screen, and then issued a challenge to his viewers to edit in a background. I don't know how many entries there were in this challenge, but it was huge. Colbert understood his audience and engaged with them on their terms. Go check it out in You Tube or

2) Colbert has created an alternate set of "facts," repurposing the "Wiki" idea. Just Google it. It's both hysterical and extremely smart.

3) Some central European country was having an Internet vote to determine whom to name a bridge after. After Colbert asked his viewers to vote for him, he got the largest number--millions--of entries. He lost the rights to the bridge name on a technicality, but he was very effective at using his television show to drive online behavior.

The Collapase of Paper, Continued

In a stunning announcement, E.W. Scripps has announced that it may spin of its newspaper operations -- it currently owns newspapers in 18 markets -- in an effort to unlock what it sees as the true value in the company's stock. Joseph NeCastro, Scripps EVP of finance and administration, said that, "Newspapers are much more troubled.... It's hard to call the bottom." Newspapers now account for just 29% of Scripps revenues. Growth in recent years has come from cable properties like HGTV and the Food Network.