Why Tim Goodman could be wrong about Al Gore

SF Chronicle’s TV critic Tim Goodman skewers Al Gore’s purchase of INDTV today: “Gore has bought himself an obscure cable news channel, and he’s going to program it for people in their 20s. Apparently he hasn’t been watching “The Daily Show” of late or, for that matter, any of the dumb answers young people give Jay Leno on a weekly basis to really simple questions.”
Goodman goes on to wonder why Gore thinks he can create a compelling news channel when so many others have failed to attract an 180-24 year old audience. His arguments are well-argued, but ultimately wrong.
What can help make Gore successful?
1) Bob Pittman: the man who helped create MTV.
2) MTV itself: time for an alternative aka market extension
3) Leveraging Digital media–if any new product needed a smart digital media strategy, this is the one. If you don’t get what digital living and persistent connections mean in this age group, you are dead.
4) Understanding the audience: If Gore and his team are really smart (and I don’t know if they get this or not) they will pay careful attention to the face their potential audience is really distinctive in both behavior and outlook from their 30-something predecessors.
They will build a network and companion products that start from the following premises:
a) It’s all about me. I am command central for all media choices (this is their audience talking)
b) It’s all about my friends. What can I do with this info you’re giving me?
c) I am in a hurry. Make it fast and boil it down.
d) Do you have any idea who I am? If you did you’d reflect my perspectives and you’d provide the data on more platforms that just a cable station, you think I have the time to sit around and watch?
5) Disaffection: Do you think young people like being lectured by media that doesn’t get their concerns–or being sent endless booty shows?
Will a great new youth network happen? It could. For now it’s Gore and Hyatt’s game to win–or lose.