Conan O’Brien Discusses His Digital Side

In the upcoming issue of Fortune, Conan O’Brien talks about his departure from NBC (because he hasn’t talked about it enough – sorry, feuding millionaires don’t interest FishbowlNY) and how he’s moved from TV to being a multimedia brand.

In the piece by Douglas Alden Warshaw, O’Brien says that when he initially signed up for Twitter, NBC wasn’t happy, and he thought that was fantastic news. “Tell them I would be thrilled if they shut down my Twitter account,” he recalled saying. “I’d love it if that got out. You think PR’s been bad up till now? Wait till you take away my Twitter account.”

O’Brien also explains how he decided to start a second company, called Team Coco, to help spread his influence online. TBS funds part of the expenses and shares any profits received. The company, consisting of eight people, attempts to get O’Brien’s content to as many people as possible. O’Brien says this is the way TV shows can be successful:

‘A lot of television executives still have the idea that a show is something everybody watches,’ O’Brien says using an old-fashioned voice:  Let’s gather around the TV set and watch it, and then let’s talk about it with all our friends at work tomorrow. Well, your friends didn’t watch the same show that you did, and they also didn’t watch it at the same time.’ And it no longer bothers O’Brien if that’s the case with his show. As long as they’re consuming it, any time, any place will do.

O’Brien certainly grasps the importance of the online world, and even though he’s got plenty of fans, this dedication will only help his cause. Think about Jimmy Fallon, the other late night host who fully embraces the Internet – his show seems to be carried by his influence online. TV and the Internet are made for each other, and it’s good to see people finally realizing that.