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Gore and Hyatt Unveil Plans for Current

Apr 4, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt gave National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention reporters a first look at their start-up cable venture at their San Francisco headquarters Monday.

The network, now called Current (formerly INdTV), utilizes a unique programming model in which young amateur filmmakers and video bloggers contribute short-form content on subjects ranging from civil strife in the Sudan to urban trends such as roof jumping. The videos are presented throughout the day by a multicultural blend of hosts in an MTV-style format. The network was variously described as a “Tapas bar for young adults,” “a network for the Internet generation” and “a video iPod.”

During a well-choreographed presentation, founders Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt said Current will launch Aug. 1 in 19 million homes, including on DirecTV and in some Time Warner and Comcast households. Mr. Hyatt said the network is exploring the idea of viewers not only creating the programming, but also shooting advertisements.

“The television medium has been largely a one-way medium,” Mr. Gore said. “But over the last few years the $100,000 television camera has become a $3,000 high-definition camera.”

The content shown to reporters lacked the ideological slant that many assumed Mr. Gore’s network would carry. “We have no interest in being a … TV version of Air America,” he said, referring to the left-leaning radio network. “[We want] to engage in the dialogue of democracy.”