Profile: Steven Rosenbaum

Feb 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and CEO of BNNtv.com and its subsidiary CameraPlanet.com, which launched in May. CameraPlanet.com is a multichannel Internet-based television network where the viewer is also the storyteller.
Background: Mr. Rosenbaum founded his independent television production company, then named BNN, in 1983. The company is responsible for such projects as “MTV News Unfiltered,” “Inside Story” (A&E) and “Class of 2000” (CBS News).
About CameraPlanet: “A lot of what we do is pan for gold. We get hundreds of story submissions, and we get thousands of hours of videotape, and then we go, `Let’s see, hmm, there’s one!’ And what results is video that is distinctly different than what we can shoot as professional storytellers-much more personal, much more intimate, much more revealing. And CameraPlanet’s whole mission is about being the collecting point for video of that kind.”
Current projects: “[The video] is all broadcast on the Web today. But as of NATPE [in January], we have announced a television show called `CameraPlanet TV,’ which will premiere in the fall. Our decision was to focus almost entirely on worldwide clearances, assuming that the U.S. market would come around. So we’re presently negotiating deals in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Australia and France, and we expect those deals to close in the next month or two.”
Interest in reality TV: “It used to be that people’s pride was based on [being] a professional. That’s really shifting-now the importance is about fame. People are smart, and when you see someone who’s on `Survivor’ end up on a Chap Stick commercial, you don’t have to be a math major to figure out they probably had an improved quality of life and certainly economic standing from where they were to where they are.”