Time will tell whether Congdon's career arc is an aberration or the direction broadband video will take in the future. Last year will be remembered for the explosion of user-generated content on the digital scene, from viral hubs like YouTube to a million blogs and social-networking pages, all promising to level the playing field in programming like never before.But the established players in video at the TV networks and studios aren't about to be left behind. They are making moves, whether partnering or acquiring dot-com upstarts themselves or co-opting amateur talent like Congdon to maintain mind share. "There are two obvious emerging segments: professional content and user-generated content," says Albert Cheng, executive vp digital media at Disney-ABC Television Group. "It will be interesting to see how they evolve."As the National Television Academy gears up to recognize achievements in Advanced Media at the Consumer Electronics Show (running today-Thursday in Las Vegas) with an … [Read more...] about Strike up the broadband
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A year from Sunday, television for many Americans will cut to black. Analog signals will stop transmitting, older sets will become useless and millions of TV-watching households will simply disappear. At least that's the doomsday scenario confronting the TV industry as a government mandate forces all U.S. stations to convert to digital from the analog signals that have been broadcast on the same frequencies since the 1930s.An estimated 21 million households have TV sets that receive only over-the-air signals, and about 14 million of those homes rely solely on analog TVs, according to Nielsen Media Research. For viewers who don't upgrade to digital-ready TVs or set-top converters, Feb. 18, 2009, will begin with a blank screen instead of a smiling Meredith Vieira. For TV executives, that day could be catastrophic."You could see a 5%-7% drop in the ratings in a heartbeat," says Shelly Palmer, president of the New York branch of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. … [Read more...] about Will the digital transition delete millions of viewers?
More CES coverage:LAS VEGAS -- The Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards went on as planned Monday night at the Consumer Electronics Show, though pending litigation almost forced the show's cancellation.The tech Emmys are awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which is embroiled in a legal feud with the Hollywood-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.NATAS president Peter Price opened the show at the Venetian by saying he was "surprised" that his West Coast colleagues had taken issue with the advanced media technology and video game Emmys that were to be handed out. An arbitration panel found in favor of ATAS last month and ruled that NATAS could only hand out awards for broadband content for genres that fall under its jurisdiction.Price questioned the definition of "genres" in the suit, and the New York-based NATAS appealed the ruling last month. The case is now before a judge in New York, with a ruling expected in the next couple of … [Read more...] about NATAS keeps tech Emmy
Gibney's "Gonzo:" If you're tired of summer popcorn pictures and hungry for a movie for grown-ups, the good news is you're only a few days away from the July 4 launch of "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson." Directed by Alex Gibney (the Oscar-nominated "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and the Tribeca and Chicago film festivals winner "Taxi to the Dark Side"), "Gonzo" is a must-see documentary about the legendary 1960s writer. Thompson is remembered especially for his freewheeling articles about politics and American pop culture in Rolling Stone, The Nation, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine and for his 1972 best-selling novel "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." He created a "gonzo" style of journalism where the reporter became a central figure in the story being reported. It's something we don't see in today's age of political spin and embedded journalists. Johnny Depp, who played the Thompson-based lead role in the 1998 film version of "Fear," narrates … [Read more...] about Commentary: ‘Gonzo’ could put Gibney back in Oscar race
A gargantuan edifice that would take up eight acres of prime Hollywood real estate. A cultural monument that promised to be as transformative as the Walt Disney Concert Hall.Now, though, plans for the Academy's $400 million movie museum are on hold and nobody is certain just when they will be up and running again."This is going to happen," Academy president Sid Ganis says. "It's going to take longer, but we're going to have a world-class museum in Hollywood." But when? Despite a multiyear battle to purchase the land -- bought, as it turns out, at the top of the market -- and despite an investment of about $35 million-plus to date, there is no indication that the museum will go ahead any time soon. For insiders, the whole thing is beginning to seem eerily reminiscent of the last time the Academy explored creating a movie museum, back in the early 1960s, when it bought land near the Hollywood Bowl, hired a famed architect to design it, but saw the project founder because of one sole … [Read more...] about Building Block