Remembering Roger Ebert

Remembering Roger Ebert

***Roger Ebert had an agenda full of projects when he passed away last week at age 70. One of them: launching a Kickstarter campaign for a weekly TV series comeback. If Ebert saw crowdfunding as a way to bring TV programming about, you better believe many others do. We’ll never see what Ebert could have accomplished with Kickstarter behind him. I’m sure we will see the fruits of others who pursue the same course, or similar avenues such as equity crowdfunding, which the Securities & Exchange Commission is putting the final ground rules on. Let’s be clear: crowdfunding of any kind does not guarantee success – how good a TV program is in quality and how it lands with audiences remains the factors for that. What crowdfunding does is open the pipeline wider for people determined to cause the next generation of TV, whether programs, networks, technology or interactive applications. The process also may force venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators and accelerators to open their attitudes and join in.

***With more than a month to go before the 2013 parade of upfront events concludes, we have a few absentees yet to chime in: ABC Family, TV One, NickMom (the combo primetime/late-night portion of Nick Jr.), Sundance Channel, Outdoor Channel, Azteca America and Estrella TV – all in the spotlight of recent years. What say you?

***A few more upfront event questions…Where are all the multicast networks from Bounce TV to Antenna TV? Will Esquire Network (the soon-to-be former G4) make a splash later this month when it debuts? What’s up with Sean Combs’ Revolt, now looking to debut this July, and El Rey Network from Robert Rodriguez, due January 2014? Where’s Byron Allen and his collection of high-definition networks, Marc Cuban’s AXS and Al Jazeera America?

***Lazy public relations at Google continues to hamper Google TV’s progress. Electronics Web retailer Newegg launched a shopping service with Google TV where users can purchase gear 24/7. If you didn’t see Newegg’s own announcement on this news, you didn’t know period, because Google TV didn’t even offer a blog post on its Web site on the retailer’s behalf. Offering no ability to stand behind your own product or support services standing with you hurts Google TV no end, especially amid news that big developments are anticipated next month during Google’s annual i/O developers conference in Silicon Valley. Time for Google to jolt its PR into permanent overdrive for Google TV–including a developments demo for press and public in NY and LA.

***Congratulations to Women 2.0 for launching monthly Founder Friday events in Chicago and Detroit this month. This organization and its ability to fuel accomplishments by female entrepreneurs worldwide, plus the possibility of lending next-generation TV venture-leading women valuable networking and contacts, continues to make strides. Not so welcome: imposing fees for its FF NY and San Francisco events while all other events are free, and limiting press coverage of its Pitch conferences. Please reverse course on both counts, Women 2.0. More access, not less, creates the foundation for more success.

About Simon Applebaum

Simon Applebaum hosts and produces Tomorrow Will Be Televised, the radio program all about TV. The program runs live Mondays and Fridays at 3 p.m. Eastern time, noon Pacific on BlogTalk Radio (, with replays at



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