Since the channel's premiere last week, Comcast hasn't been swamped with calls from fans, says Tina Endicott, the cable company's marketing manager for video products. That could be a good sign for the fledgling channel. Typically, Endicott says, "If somebody has feedback and they call, it's to complain."
Designed to bridge the gap between the Internet and television news, Current made its debut Aug. 1. The former vice president and presidential candidate is among its principal investors and has been very involved in the programming. Amid the hype and headlines and appearances, which included "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, Gore has been quick to say Current espouses no political agenda or ideology.
Initially, about 20 million of the 110 million homes nationwide that have cable television will receive the station. Its format involves mixing short, quick-hit segments called "pods" with news just breaking on the Internet. Current TV hopes to be a forum especially for young technology-savvy viewers who also will provide up to 25 percent of its content, thus taking what's meant by "interactive" to a new level. Its programming will feature short segments two to seven minutes long that highlight trends in such topics as employment, technology, spirituality and current events. An Internet-like, on-screen progress bar will show the segment's length.
For now, Chesterfield County subscribers will have to catch Current TV elsewhere. Comcast's Endicott says she hasn't yet learned of what the protocol may be for new launches. Brandon Walters
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