Jeff Jarvis (thumb in foreground) takes the job….
Just finished the opening session at RTNDA here in Vegas.
I gotta say this for RTNDA – they are grappling with digital, online and VJ issues up front. The entire opening session (attended by perhaps 500 people, hard to tell), was entirely devoted to ‘the revolution’.
Overall, the panel, hosted by CNN’s Miles O’Brien, went pretty well. On board, Terry Heaton from AR&D; Zadi Diaz from Smashface Productions, Amanda Congdon, who used to do Rocketboom and now is with ABC News; and Elizabeth Osder who was, until yesterday apparently, with Yahoo News. It was, for an opening session, a very “new media” group.
Miles O’Brien is now the technology reporter for CNN, and did a stellar job of video linking his kids into the conference via laptop for some live chat. In the course of doing that, he graphically answered the question he started the session with: are the networks dead? He had just done a live remote for zero cost – no truck, no satellite, no cameraman, no producer, no nobody… except, him, his kids and a laptop or two. Pretty much end of discussion.
Zadi made the point futher by opening her ‘books’ to public scrutiny. She does her own online TV show, or perhaps even TV network (take a look, its pretty good). O’Brien asked her the cost of producing her show? “About $2000. That’s not per show… that’s the cost of all the equipment to get online. Total investment. And she gets, (if I got this right), 50,000 hits a day. That, I am pretty sure, is more than MSNBC daytime rating.
So here was the future staring the RTNDA square in the face. And pretty graphic and unavoidable.
How will they respond?
When they asked each of us what our advice to conventional networks would be, mine was ‘burn it to the ground’. That was, I think, met with tepid applause and nervous laughter. However…. lots of requests for biz cards afterwards. We’ll see…
Meanwhile, when asked how best to fix current broadcasters, I proffered that for Katie Couric’s $14 million salary (apparently not enough to write your own blogs), CBS News could hire 100 of the best journalists in the world, equip them with small cameras (as Jeff Jarvis was using, seated just off stage in foreground), and make the best digital newscasts on the planet. I pointed to Jarvis with his small camera.
In response, he gave me the ‘thumbs up’, (I think it was his thumb), indicating either he would jump at the job… or he wanted more money. Not sure.