Media Exclusive: Layoffs On Tap at Current TV

Last Updated Nov 10, 2008 9:24 PM EST

Two sources confirm to me tonight that CurrentTV, Al Gore's bold venture into user-generated-content (UGC) for TV, is going to announce layoffs Tuesday in both its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices.

According to these sources, the company's top-level execs spent the weekend discussing which staffers to lay off. Apparently, there is tension between the northern office, which houses both the senior management group and the post-production staff, and the southern-based studio and ad sales units.

(So what else is new? Every media organization I've ever worked in has had tension between its SF and the LA bureaus. This is California, after all.)

As part of the impending transition at CurrentTV, one source says the company is going to drop its shorter UGC videos in favor of the more traditional 30 minute programs that have long dominated television programming across all channels.

First of all, given how fresh these rumors are, I cannot yet analyze what they may mean in the larger sense of the evolving balance inside media between UGC and professional journalism. Secondly, if what I am reporting turns out to NOT be true, I will return to this topic tomorrow.

On the other hand, if we are right, please remember that you read it first here at Bnet!

  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.