Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HOTT News Developing Show to Compete with 60 Minutes

Lee Roger Hodgson, Developer of Programming for HOTT News, plans to take on 60 Minutes. Hodgson grew up watching 60 Minutes and has profound respect for the show. "Ed Bradley was my hero growing up," said Hodgson, "He was an outstanding journalist." But Hodgson believes the show needs a serious tweak, and that's where HOTT News enters the fray. Hodgson envisons a thirty minute show with shorter segments. Tentatively, the program is called 30 Minutes. Hodgson explained what he has in mind: "The premise is that sixty minutes is just too long. So why not cut it in half? We're thinking four segments, each of them slightly over seven minutes in length. Fast and fun, baby! And no commercial breaks. Instead, the occasional advertisement will scroll at the bottom of the screen. We're also toying with the idea of our correspondents occasionally wearing corporate logos for a revenue stream."

I asked Hodgson if investigative journalism would be the key feature of 30 Minutes. "Absolutely not," he said without blinking. "No no no no no. No. We plan to take the investigative journalism out of investigative journalism. I mean, maybe a correspondent will be able to slip a piece of investigative journalism by us once in a while. But ultimately, we regard investigative journalism as a thing of the past."

So what does Hodgson have in mind? And if it's not investigative journalism, how does he expect 30 Minutes to compete with 60 Minutes? "Did you see Anderson Cooper's interview of Michael Phelps?" Hodgson asked. "That was brilliant! Cooper palling around with Phelps, the two of them playing a video game. That was inspiring television. You won't find a television executive who wasn't impressed by that. I won't kid you, that's exactly the kind of thing we want to do. Infotainment. What the world needs now is more infotainment. We believe that's the direction 60 Minutes is heading. Believe me, we won't be out-infoentertained by 60 Minutes!

So there you have it: 30 Minutes will offer short segments of infotainment without commercial breaks. Sounds to me like 60 Minutes will soon have a serious competitor to confront.

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