OMG! Perez Hilton Sells Out!

Posted on July 15, 2007
Filed Under OMG! Old Media is Dying! |

Mark another victory for “old media.” Celebrity gossip guru and prominent blogger Perez Hilton has announced that he is making the move to television. Yes, the self-proclaimed Queen of All Media will have his own television show on VH1 starting in September. VH1, of course, is owned by MTV Networks, which is a division of Viacom. Therefore some blogging purists will likely consider Perez to be the ultimate sellout.

Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I have been stating for some time now that the recruitment of successful online personalities by Hollywood will only continue to increase and that when the black limo of Hollywood pulls up, most will be willing to hop in and take a ride because being on television or the big screen still represents the pinnacle of success for talented individuals (and a way for these individuals to make a decent living doing what they love). Dealing with Hollywood is not selling out; it’s the smart thing to do. It’s really no different than accepting a promotion at work.

One of the interesting things about Perez Hilton’s TV deal is that Perez is a blogger, not a vlogger. Perez’s subject matter (celebrity gossip) lends itself well to a television “makeover” and while I don’t expect to see television offers for Michael Arrington or Om Malik, it does indicate that bloggers focusing on mainstream, marketable topics can expand past the world of blogs.

In other old media news, it’s worth noting that United Talent Agency, one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies, last week announced that it has started a “ministudio for digital entertainment from established actors, directors and others” with advertising agency Spot Runner. 60Frames Entertainment has $3.5 million in funding and will produce professional content specifically designed for the Internet, distribute it across multiple Internet services and sell ads to advertisers who are currently weary of advertising on user-generated videos. As I have made clear, I believe that most user-generated content is lacking and that quality, professional content is still king. If 60Frames Entertainment can leverage its relationships to produce quality content, it looks like a winner to me. Vuguru, a similar venture started by Michael Eisner, created the 80 episode Internet drama Prom Queen, so it’s clear that Internet-focused production is starting to get some serious attention in Hollywood.

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