Ever since the first time I did an interview for Amber MacArthur I've been in love. Smart, sassy, insightful and knowledgeable about what's going on online, and the effects of the online on the offline world. Leave it to the bright lights - or should I say dim bulbs - at Rogers to deep six Webnation, Amber's show on CityTV, and her spots on CityNews International. Of course, Amber can still be seen and heard on commandN, her now two-year-old 'netcast. And that, of course, is Rogers's problem.
In a comment posted to blogTO, a "senior Rogers exec" named Kevin Bartus argues Rogers's position: "For us to really get behind something, it [a weblog] has to tip in above 100K at some point. Keep in mind that internally everything fights for attention with stalwarts like Sportsnet.ca, CityNews.ca, 680News, Chatelaine, Maclean's, etc. And that's not even counting the ISP, Cable and Wireless groups, which are organizationally separate."
See what I mean? Completely clueless as to what Amber does and how she does it. Despite protestations that "we're investing pretty heavily in the web," they simply don't understand that the Internet is not broadcast as in few-to-many; it is all about being Ubiquitously Connected and (therefore) Pervasively Proximate - in other words, many-to-whoever. It is all about being able to bypass the large content conglomerates, not to necessarily reach hundreds of thousands of viewers (which means conventional broadcast advertising revenues), but rather being able to reach the hundreds of people who are specifically looking for YOU, but don't necessarily know it yet. For Rogers, this might translate into crossover viewership and subsequent revenue - TechTV (another new Rogers property) which also formerly hosted Amber's show is another right place, making a wrong decision.
Having dealt with a Rogers senior exec myself, and sharing stories out of school with people who consult to Rogers senior execs, I can definitely say that they are not the brightest lights in the Canadian business marquee. The company may be successful based on their sheer marketing aggressiveness (been the target of some of that, too). But that doesn't mean they understand the cultural and societal changes stemming from UCaPP that will render them obsolescent.
Good luck AmberMac. Love ya, babe!
[Technorati tags: amber macarthur | rogers | citytv | webnation]