So much for the Internet capitalizing on the writers' strike: TV Guide has just cancelled its first ever Online Video Awards.
The publishing and cable TV company said this was due to the
writers strike -- it didn't want to appear insensitive
. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise,
since TV Guide is a proponent of traditional TV. A special two-hour TV show would have run on TV Guide Network.
No doubt TV Guide would have trouble getting high-powered stars to appear --
the same talent who is backing those union writers. Events like these are all about marketing and appearances -- lots of appearances.
In trade and consumer ads, TV Guide touted nominees
like webisodes of Jerry Seinfeld's special visit on "30 Rock," along with webisodes of "The Office," and "Monk." The awards had
many categories, from original Web drama series to TV reality webisodes.
Still, some experts might say TV Guide wasn't giving the Internet all its due -- even if it nominated Michael
Eisner's "Prom Queen," which ran this summer on MySpace and other online venues and drew 15 million views.
To many, TV Guide's effort could be looked as a way to glom onto the Internet
world that, in some quarters, professes to be very anti-traditional TV. But because of the writers' strike, it now decided to take a pass. Some would say, "What does that have to do with it?
The bigger question has to do with whether traditional TV writers will be tomorrow's new digital TV writers. Surely, those 12,000 union writers can construct a story. Does that matter?
The irony, of course, is writers are striking because of being left out of getting any meaningful money when their work runs on digital platforms.
In that regard, if TV Guide
resurrects the event next year, I'd vote for a 15-second clip of a TV writer on strike skateboarding and bouncing off a Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Paramount, Walt Disney Co. or Sony sign