Over at UpstartTV We are working to create independent, TV-style programming and we want out first shows to concentrate on Senate races in CT and OH.  Aside from the fact that those races will be great to watch, we have chosen to focus on campaign shows first because these shows can make a real impact.  

Think of it as DeanTV, except instead of being run by a campaign and focusing on a single candidate it will be run by an independent group (us) and will focus on the whole campaign.  We will show ALL the candidates speaking and having those priceless little personal off-the-cuff interactions that make you fall in love, instead of just one (did anyone else actual watch DeanTV?).  But our shows will be more then that.  They will be the story of our people in the field, our community, and the campaigns across the country embracing, adapting to, or rejecting citizens media.  Our shows will show the campaigns like they really are, like it or not.
Just wanted to let my favorite scoop blogs know what’s up.  Crossposted at dKos, MyDDand Mydd

That felt good to get out.  Now onto some useful details.  We are looking for someone in Ohio and Connecticut to follow the campaigns around, make friends, ask questions, produce a 10 to 15 minute show each week (along with any other interesting/useful footage), and keep an active blog on our site.  The blog will be the place where the community can discus, make suggestions, and pass along questions to ask the candidates.  We are very open about the format of these shows, and the blog will be the place to work out the details and problems and find the right balance for this medium.  As for the video, it has to be good quality, and the show needs to be recognizable as show and not some random video.  And when we talk about independent, we mean it like independent film, top quality stuff with a budget, and not independent like public access TV.  We’ve got a business plan that will produce the budget if you can cover the top quality part.  

To make this kind of commitment reasonable, we will be guaranteeing a small stipend for expenses, and will be sending 75% of the ad revenue from the show directly to its creator.  We are marketing a 15-30 second commercial before each show, which will produce between $10 and $20 per thousand views for the contributor.  So the right people can make these shows very successful.  We picked CT and OH to launch the project with because they are shaping up to be two of the most exciting races in the country  and because we hope to expand this project to other states/races, we will need the example set by these first shows.  After that, and with the profits produced by these and other large market shows, we will be able to expand to cover more Senate, and hopefully House races, and create an honest alternative to the standard campaign coverage.

A lot will happen between now and the 2006 elections.  We want to be there, on the ground, to document it and ask the real questions.  I believe this is the next step, one way or another, and I encourage anyone interested in creating a show, campaign or otherwise, to get in contact with me at rob@upstarttv.com, and everyone else to comment below or at our site.  Thanks in advance for your time and your thought.  There’s no contribution like brain power.    

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