Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits TMZ: The TV Show!

So I paid another visit to the folks who run what I consider one of the more excellent sites on the Web: TMZ.com.


I had previously posted a piece about the site in May, because I consider it one of the really great content sites on the Internet–using a nice blend of text, video, audio and a laser focus on intense reporting on its topic to yield a whole new kind of media that is Web born and bred.

Here’s my tour of TMZ’s new studio on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, right across from the trendy Hyde club (of course!):

Sure, that topic is to chronicle All Things Britney, Lindsay and Paris, but who cares? What TMZ proves, with its ever-growing audience of millions and millions, is that the Internet requires much more than simply porting of offline content online to succeed.

That kind of stuff has been simply lazy on the part of Hollywood and, really, all traditional media, which still have a very hard time creating new kinds of online content of any lasting kind.

TMZ, to my mind, should be a road map for what works well.

And now, in an interesting move, TMZ’s fare is also on television, with a recently launched syndicated show–heading backward into old media from new media.

Entering the crowded celebrity entertainment television field will doubtlessly be a tougher challenge, and the jury is still out on its success. But I like the chutzpah of TMZ’s efforts.

The brainchild of Harvey Levin and Jim Paratore, who came to the Web from longtime television backgrounds, the site made its bones by breaking stories about the antics of naughty celebs like Mel Gibson, Alec Baldwin and all those girls behaving badly.

Rather than kissing up to the celebrity culture, TMZ’s tougher stance has, well, distinguished it from a lot of others.

TMZ.com is owned by Time Warner. It was launched in 2005 jointly by its Telepictures and AOL units in an unusual–for Time Warner, at least–cooperative effort.

I did video interviews with Levin and Paratore too.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik