Current TV Lays Off 80, Moves to Tradition Programming

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Los Angeles Times

When Al Gore unveiled his youth-oriented cable TV network, he said his ambition was to connect “the Internet generation with television” by creating a channel that would be made up mostly of short-form content supplied by its audience.

After more than four years trying to establish itself as a 21st century channel by and for the people, Current TV announced Wednesday that it was canceling three shows and letting go nearly a quarter of its staff — 80 employees — as a part of a shift toward more traditional programming. David Neuman, the programming president, also stepped down.

Current TV’s retrenchment shows the difficulty of grafting the freewheeling culture and sensibilities that have thrived over the Internet onto established mediums like television, where viewers often expect slickly produced programs and big-name personalities.

At the same time, just as advertisers have shied from supporting websites that feature amateur video, so too they appear no more willing to support user-generated content on TV. More…