Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits NATPE in Las Vegas


I am back in Sin City to appear on a panel at the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) conference here today, along with former Walt Disney head Michael Eisner, former Viacom head Jonathan Dolgen and Dmitry Shapiro, founder and CIO of Veoh.

Titled “Possibilities and Perils of Internet TV,” it should be an interesting discussion, since I think it is all peril at this point with very little to show in the possibility column.

While there have been a lot of attempts to create Internet TV–and by this I don’t mean delivering traditional television via IP–most of what is out there is repurposed professional content that Hollywood hopes we will think is newfangled and, via easy-to-post user-generated material, a more massive version of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

In other words, bad Web programs and a whole lot of videos of cats on skateboards. As for profits from all this: Not so much.

Nonetheless, the television industry is changing dramatically. With the backdrop of the writers’ strike, the situation is even more volatile, as viewers migrate away from the network model and toward, well, who knows?

Both Eisner and Dolgen are investors in Veoh–one of the many online video services out there, this one aimed at professional content. And Eisner has been dabbling in the new media content space to mixed results.

I wrote about Eisner back in November when he jumped on the Blame-Steve-Jobs bandwagon, saying Apple was to blame for Hollywood’s woes.

Said Eisner–whose tense relationship with Jobs was well known–then: “[Movie and television studios] make deals with Steve Jobs, who takes them to the cleaners. They make all these kinds of things, and who’s making money? Apple! They should get a piece of Apple. If I was a union, I’d be striking up wherever he is.”

I will be sure to ask him about that comment.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work