Ed Driscoll

Viewers, Employees Of Al Gore's TV Network Becoming More Selective

Yesterday, we quoted British journalist Alastair McKay transcription of a speech Al Gore gave at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in August of 2006, to launch the British premiere of an An Inconvenient Truth. McKay quoted Gore as saying:

“The information ecology defined by the printing press was displaced 40 ears ago in my country by the television, and it’s now so dominant that the average American watches television for four hours and 39 minutes a day. It has a quasi-hypnotic effect and the internet’s a great source of hope and it replicates that meritocracy of ideas but it does not have that hypnotic effect that television has.”

As I wrote yesterday, television certainly had a hypnotic effect on Al — he launched his own little-watched TV channel the year prior to that speech.

And as famed fictitious rock manager Ian Faith would say, just as Current’s viewership isn’t shrinking, it’s merely becoming more selective, so are his channel’s number of employees. Or as Gawker puts it today, “Al Gore’s TV Network Firing 80 People Due to Wild Success:”

Al_Gore_Newsweek_Cover_11-9-09Current Media said it would shed 80 people, confirming earlier reports, and will make its unconventional format more boringly traditional. This might sound bad. But the San Francisco cable network assures us it is evidence of amazing success!

Current announced it will eliminate 80 jobs while shifting away from its trademark short-form video packages and “towards proven 30-60 minute formats” from more outside sources. This would mean less video production in Current’s Bay Area home base, as reported previously by former Valleywagger Jackson West at NBC Bay Area.

Which means everything is totally awesome and on track, according to a Current press release:

This re-organization was not the result of a need to cut costs. Current Media will have its most profitable year. This financial stability will allow the company to re-allocate resources in order to put further emphasis on areas of the business believed to best position Current Media for continued long-term growth.

Financial stability leads to sad job layoffs glorious resource re-allocation, gotcha. More good news: Current journalists no longer have to travel all the way to North Korea to hear propagandist doublespeak!

But if it’s doublespeak you want, there’s always the General Electric-owned NBC:

NBC gives new meaning to the phrase “green screen” next week, spreading a pro-environmental message across five of its prime-time entertainment programs.

30 Rock,” where Al Gore takes a cameo role, leads the way. Environmental themes were also added to the scripts of “The Biggest Loser,” “The Office,” “Heroes” and “Community.”

NBC Universal‘s three-year “green” campaign has largely focused on off-camera issues like making company facilities more eco-friendly. News and information programs have also been enlisted to do stories on environmental issues, but except for one “30 Rock” episode two years ago, the campaign hasn’t touched the prime-time lineup.

Umm, it hasn’t?

As I wrote in January, when GE reported a 46 percent drop in profits:

To quote Mark Steyn’s brilliant essay on previous reports of fresh disaster, “Hey, that’s great news, isn’t it?”

It is according to what GE’s more public representatives have told us.

In November of 2007, one of the conglomerate’s television networks urged us to turn off our lights (manufactured by GE) for the environment. Six months later, Barack Obama surely gave a tingle up the collective leg of one of their other television networks when he told told voters:

“We can’t just keep driving our SUVs, eating whatever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees at all times regardless of whether we live in the tundra or the desert and keep consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources with just 4 percent of the world’s population, and expect the rest of the world to say you just go ahead, we’ll be fine.”

Last month, John Kerry explained how wonderful a slowed economy is for the environment:

Let me emphasize something very strongly as we begin this discussion. The United States has already this year alone achieved a 6 percent reduction in emissions simply because of the downturn in the economy, so we are effectively saying we need to go another 14 percent.

Al and GE are certainly doing their best to help.