There’s an old adage (I think) that says out of chaos comes opportunity. I believe it’s the first cousin to the empty confidence booster that posits when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I know of two examples in the media world where disasters were turned into media gold. I will try not to digress.
In 1980, shortly after I moved to Seattle to be a TV critic at a local newspaper, Mount St. Helens erupted. One local TV station, KIRO-TV, which was lagging in the ratings, was able to scoop its competition by securing a helicopter and providing the best in depth, on-the-scene coverage of the tragedy. On the heels of that effort, KIRO became the top local news station, a place it held for many years.
According to Wikipedia and other sources, on November 8, 1979 just 4 days after the Iran hostage crisis, ABC News head Roone Arledge opportunity to compete against NBC’s iconic “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” by updating Americans on the latest news from Iran. Originally the show was called: “The Iran Crisis—America Held Hostage: Day xxx” where xxx represented each day Iranians held hostage the occupants of the U.S. Embassy Teheran. At first, new anchor Frank Reynolds, hosted the special report but was soon replaced by ABC News’s State Department Correspondent (and Alfred E. Newman look-alike) Ted Koppel. The program was renamed Nightline and became must-see viewing for avid news consumers.
As a result of the bitter 2007 Writers Guild Strike, a new idea was born: Strike.TV. Strike.TV has launched its network of programming, featuring original HD Web videos from popular Hollywood creators. The company currently has over forty original Web series and shorts, which encompass a wide variety of genres that will roll out daily. The content will be supported by advertising revenue
According to its founders, not only is Strike.TV “a statement about the independence that the Web medium brings to the creators, but it’s also a direct response to the maturing tastes of the online audience who consistently seek high-quality entertainment on the Internet. We now have one community built around the theme of independence; one where tremendous storytellers can entertain and where a global audience can watch content that rivals that on TV and in theaters, anytime and anywhere, for free.”
As a tribute to its origins the first three months of ad revenue profits, with help from partners BitGravity and Episodic, will be donated to the Entertainment Assistance Program (EAP) of The Actors Fund. The Actors Fund is a national organization that assists everyone – and not just actors – who works in theatre, film, TV, music, dance, radio and opera in times of need, crisis or transition.
Below is one of Strike.TV’s shows, “Global Warming.” Please be advised some of the content and advertising is not suitable for young viewers.