Eisner: Give Sarah Palin a talk show

Online video hub Veoh put on a mini-conference yesterday in New York that would have been fun to attend, if only to hear former Disney head Michael Eisner make some of these comments in person:

  • “At ABC, we started America’s Funniest Home Videos — so this isn’t the first era to watch a man get hit in the groin with a bat.”
  • “Most of the studio video is repurposed, like Hulu. It makes NBC and News Corp feel like they’re doing something — I’m not sure it’s the right thing, but they’re doing it well.”
  • “South Park is a radio show, basically.”
  • “Appointment TV is gone. Targeted audiences are here to stay. If you can make an interactive commercial, that would be the way to go.”
  • “Mass audiences are still possible, even on the internet. If I were at ABC, I’d sign up Palin and put her on a show the day after she loses the election. With that wink, she can go a long way.”
  • “The most interesting thing to me about the Katie Couric video, was not the interview, but the comments on it.”

As a guy who has his hands in all sorts of online video pies, including attempts to create online sitcoms such as Prom Queen through an entertainment company called Vuguru, Eisner’s opinion is worth paying attention to. To echo his comment about Hulu, these may not be the right things to do, but at least he’s doing them well, and he’s experimenting. Eisner also seems to recognize that the secret to online video isn’t just repurposing TV content like Hulu is doing, but that “it’s about discovery, it’s about community, it’s about interactivity.”

Comments like “South Park is a radio show” also get you thinking about what is important about a show — is the animation what makes SP funny, or the audio? The same thing with the comment about how the most interesting aspect of the Katie Couric video was the comments, and how those could be commercialized. That shows a guy who is thinking creatively about where online media is going. And for what it’s worth, I think Sarah Palin would make a great talk-show host. Better than a VP.

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