Current TV’s ‘Twin Pillar’ Strategy to Gain Relevance

By Alex Weprin 

The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria writes about Current TV, the news network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. Current was originally conceived as a news channel for young people where much of the content came from user generated material.

The network failed to gain traction with viewers and distributors, and has since been undergoing a radical revamping.

While consultant Brian Graden looks to be focusing on the entertainment side of things, Current also has plans to make a larger push for TV news, with a focus on documentaries and investigative reporting, two areas where the cable news channels have dedicated less resources over the last few years.

There will also be a notable holdover from the network’s existing program lineup:

Current TV’s new programming strategy will lean heavily on the spirit of Vanguard, the lone legacy show on the network that’s been able to gain traction, if not among the public at large, then certainly in a subset of political and news influencers.

“Vanguard” was the program which generated news itself, when journalists Euna Lee and  Laura Ling were imprisoned in North Korea last year.Today, the program announced it would be launching a three-part special examining the U.S.-Mexican border starting November 15.

“We are extremely proud of the critical reaction Current TV has received for ‘Vanguard’,” said Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current Media i a statement.  “Despite hundreds of channels, and thousands of offerings, the fact is that Current TV is the only cable network providing this level of in-depth investigative journalism.  We recognize the void in the marketplace for true long form journalism, and know that there is an audience thirsting for this type of programming.”