Touting quality of quantity, former “old media” newsman Dan Rather sat down for a live one-hour interview with Larry King on CNN tonight offering a candid look at his recent departure from CBS and promoting his move to join Mark Cuban at HDNet, where he will be seen by far fewer people. Yesterday Cuban and Rather officially unveiled the new weekly “Dan Rather Reports” series and tonight on CNN, Rather added that his deal with Cuban also includes funding for two docs per year and an ability to offer input on movie projects. Rather, who will have complete control over his show, also said in the interview that he is interested in pursuing some sort of Internet venture. And when asked about his view of TV news in a future being shaped by web and blog news and information, he acknowledged that while the way people get their news is changing, there will always be a place for traditional TV news.
Listening to Rather tonight on CNN, as he praised the HDTV future and talked about his mentor Edward R. Murrow, I recalled a moment at the opening night of the New York Film Festival back in September which kicked off with “Good Night, and Good Luck.” At the Tavern on the Green after-party, as Diane Reeves belted out “TV Is The Thing This Year” (from the film’s soundtrack), an indie film insider leaned over to me joking that the song should be re-titled ‘HDTV is the thing this year’, in honor of the film’s executive producer Cuban, backer of HDNet.