Al Gore launches TV channel for young viewers; mentions Apple Macs

“Al Gore has a plan for luring the Internet generation back to television: make it more participatory by having viewers contribute their own video,” Beth Fouhy reports for The Associated Press. “The former vice president and longtime Internet champion joined investors Monday to announce the creation of “Current,” a cable TV channel that will target younger viewers with a blend of news, culture and viewer-produced video. Gore will serve as chairman of the board of the new venture, which will be based in San Francisco.”

“He and Joel Hyatt, the founder of Hyatt Legal Services who will serve as Current’s chief executive, assembled an investment team that paid $70 million last year to acquire the Newsworld International channel from Vivendi International,” Fouhy reports. “The channel, to launch Aug. 1, will remain privately financed and initially will be available in 19 million cable-subscriber homes. Central to their strategy is inviting Current’s viewers to supply their own video content and helping them produce it using editing tools that Current will make available on its Web site. That video eventually will comprise more than half the programming seen on the channel.”

“Gore said his interest in the venture stemmed from a frustration that television, because of the high cost of cameras, studios and production, had long been a ‘one-way’ medium dominated by large media companies. Innovations in digital video have put those tools in the hands of young people, he said. ‘The $100,000 television camera has become a $3,000 high-definition camera, and the $250,000 editing console has become a $1,000 Apple computer program,’ Gore said. ‘The five-person crew can be one young woman in her twenties with something the size of a handbag,'” Fouhy reports.

“Gore, who narrowly lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, has publicly complained about the number of conservative voices dominating the airwaves,” Fouhy reports. “Yet he insisted that Current will have no political agenda. ‘We have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel or the TV version of Air America,’ Gore said, referring to the fledgling liberal radio network. ‘It is not in any way an ideological, much less partisan point of view in any respect. It will have the point of view of the young generation.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good for Apple Board member Gore to work in the Apple reference. It’s a nice little cross-promotion and a free mention for Apple in thousands of outlets that will syndicate this story in coming days.

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27 Comments

  1. Good for him. I hope this works. No matter what your political persuasion, as far as the media is concerned, more is better — anything to break the current trend towards hegemony.

    I like the idea of viewer-produced segments, too. It could be a television version of Wikipedia. (It could also be an anarchic free-for-all, so we’ll see…)

    Ironically, my MDN “magic word” is “choice.” I like it.

  2. Yes, no doubt there will be many people who will bash Mr. Gore because he’s a Democrat, but I can BET you he knows and are friends with more high powered and influential Republicans than the VAST majority of people who’ll post here. Just because it suits the current need of the party for people to be divisive, that doesn’t mean that they lower themselves to that same level!

  3. the number of conservative voices on the airwaves? In my humble opinion there are way more liberals with talk shows than conservatives. Usually talking about bleeding heart crap anyway.

  4. “And now, start the political bashing!”

    Forget the politics, the guy is just plain boring. Not exactly the kind of dynamic PR presence you associate with Apple.

    magic word british. Just like me 😀

  5. “Innovations in digital video have put those tools in the hands of young people, he said. ‘The $100,000 television camera has become a $3,000 high-definition camera, and the $250,000 editing console has become a $1,000 Apple computer program,’ Gore said.”

    In other words, this new TV channel is going to hire lots of underpaid students to make lots of crappy, amateur video snippets that one can already avoid on lots of internet sites….

  6. “the number of conservative voices on the airwaves? In my humble opinion there are way more liberals with talk shows than conservatives. Usually talking about bleeding heart crap anyway.”

    Oh geez… here we go.

    Name ONE liberal TV talk show host. The closest you might get would be MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, a moderate.

    On the other hand, you’ve got: Hannity, O’Reilly, Scarborough, Miller, Savage, Matthews, Buchanan, and the entire crew of “balanced” anchors at FOX.

    The “liberal media” meme might’ve been true a decade ago. It certainly isn’t any longer. Heck, even CNN is right of center these days (once decried as the “Clinton News Network” is looking like the 700 Club — witness their wall-to-wall coverage of the Terri Schiavo story and the Pope Deathwatchâ„¢.)

    I’m sorry, (and I know this isn’t the place for it, but, you know, YOU started it), but the only place you’ll find true old-school “liberal” media is on 60 Minutes. Ugh.

  7. Anger Monkey: “the number of conservative voices on the airwaves? In my humble opinion there are way more liberals with talk shows than conservatives.”

    That’s because the conservatives in this country have moved so far to the right that anyone to the left of Robert Novak looks “liberal” to them.

  8. Gore: “bored” member

    C´mon, people, what has all Gore ever done anything that turned into a success?

    What has he done for Apple?

    This channel will be dead in a year…or kept alive until the next Presidential elections, just to promote Democrat causes to the young -who don´t vote, and the plug pulled when Rudy is crowned next President. (Sorry Hillary.)

  9. Man, the libs jump right in to defend Al Gore from attacks by… well… nobody. Take it easy! I think it’s rather far-seeing of old Al to be involved in a channel with viewer-produced spots. Maybe he’ll find his niche there. At least we cons won’t have to listen to him try and talk about politics anymore. If he promotes macs, I may even come to – well – tolerate him…

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