Rocketboom Loses Star Video Blogger

Prominent video blogger Amanda Congdon, host of the comedic news and commentary show Rocketboom, has left the company, she and show producer Andrew Scott Baron said Wednesday.

On her personal blog, Amanda Unboomed, Congdon--hailed as the video blogosphere's first break-out star--posted a video giving her side of the departure. "Apparently, my partner, Andrew Baron, is no longer interested in being my partner, and since he owns 51 percent of Rocketboom, and I own 49 percent of Rocketboom, that's just something I'm going to have to live with," she said.

But Baron said that Congdon left the show over a dispute about a move to Los Angeles. "We wanted her to get to L.A. to pursue her personal opportunities as soon as possible, because that's what she always wanted, but her demand to move this week without waiting any longer, and without justification--e.g., she has not mentioned any business that she has engaged in personally that requires her to be there this week or this month--and without an adequate proposal for a plan, we were unable to uproot Rocketboom from NYC at this time," he wrote in an e-mail.



Baron said that Rocketboom will produce a new episode of the show on July 10 with an interim host, while the company looks for a replacement for Congdon.

Rocketboom had garnered some level of success in attracting ad dollars, albeit through an unusual process--the company auctioned off a week of ad space on eBay, eventually selling it for $40,000.

According to new media strategist B.L. Ochman, losing Congdon is a huge blow to the show, which was essentially built around her personality. "That's like Barnes leaving Noble," she said. "She, being the face of it, and he being the behind-the-stage part of it. Whether he owns 51 or 52 or 90 percent, he's not the visible part of the duo. I'm sure she's going to land really very well--I wouldn't be worried about her, I'd be worried about him."

And already the blogosphere is buzzing about Congdon's next possible berth. Blogger baron Jason Calacanis posted an open letter to the Rocketboom star, offering her a position as the face of AOL's new Netscape collaborative news service. "Do your daily report for Netscape and we'll pay you whatever you need to get paid and you can own all of the rights to your video forever," he wrote. "You're a star baby, it's time to be treated like one."

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