Fred Silverman, who ran each of the three broadcast networks over the course of the 1970s, is trying his hand at programming on the internet. His production company will launch Blip City, which is billed as “the world’s biggest live-video get together,” next month.
Reached for comment, Silverman declined to elaborate on his new project, citing a publicity strategy set for the last week of the year. But the site’s purpose is evident from the profile it is starting to build on Facebook, Twitter and various job boards where it is seeking staffers.
Not to be confused with Blip.tv or Blippy.com, Blip City is something like Stickam.com in its intent to build a social network out of users who would live-stream content on subjects as varied as pets and music to offering a personal shopper for online retail. “This site will rock the entertainment world in the areas of mobile, online, TV and celebrity,” according to a job posting on a University of Southern California website.
It’s an unlikely project for Silverman, who is a TV-industry legend for having presided over iconic series including All in the Family, Charlie’s Angels and The Waltons. He had a Midas-like ability to pick hits atop successive runs at CBS (NYSE: CBS) and ABC; (NYSE: DIS) though his stint at NBC (NYSE: GE) wasn’t as successful, he ended up picking many shows before leaving that network that bore fruit in the 1980s. Over the course of that decade, his eponymous production company produced yet more hits, including Diagnosis Murder and Perry Mason.
The llve-streaming marketplace has exploded this year, with sites like Ustream, Justin.tv and Livestream experiencing astronomical growth. While their size is not on par with the likes of YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG), they are scaling at a far faster rate as they build more sophisticated businesses heavy on mobile apps and self-publishing.
We’ll check back in with Silverman when he’s ready to talk about Blip City in detail, but in the meantime, check out this segment of the TV Guide Network series “Square Off” in which yours truly co-interviewed Silverman back in 2007 (begins at 17:25 mark).