Sometimes even I get tired of repeating myself – but I have to. The big media, especially Time Warner (my former employer) is a tad clueless about this new video revolution. With a studio mentality, management by consensus and a bonus-driven culture, they are waddling in a world that moves at light speed. So what’s bringing on this latest rant?
HBO plans to shut down This Just In, an online comedy site it had established last year. It was seen as a source of development pipeline. The irony is that the destination site didn’t even get to celebrate its first anniversary, which kind of shows that HBO didn’t really have its heart in it.
The channel was a JV with AOL (a company that is owned by Time Warner.) It is hardly a surprise, This Just In failed to take off. I tried to find a link to the site on HBO.com, and wasn’t really surprised to not be able to find it. Of course, when you get there, the comic relief is hard to find.
From this report in Variety, the site seems to be a victim of classic Hollywood ego-death match. Some executives left early on, having realized that the site wasn’t going anywhere.
Former Icebox CEO Steve Sanford was brought in to run the site, which offered a mix of celebrity riffs and goofy videos from assorted standup comics. ….Sanford reportedly left the site several months ago.
HBO is said to be working on a broadband site focused on delivering on-demand programming in partnership with its cable partners. I fully expect HBO/TW to bumble their way through the online video world, as they did in the early days of the Internet.