HBO To Close Comedy Site

    July 27, 2007

HBO comedy Web site "This Just In" will be closing down at the end of August, numerous sources are reporting.

The comedy site was a joint venture between HBO and AOL and featured humor blogs and videos.

On why the site never really took off Om Malik of NewTeeVee writes, "The big media, especially Time Warner (my former employer) is a tad clueless about this new video revolution. With a studio mentality, management by consensus and a bonus-driven culture, they are waddling in a world that moves at light speed."

Variety reports that some of the problems with the failed venture were a confusing site layout and a lack of marketing exposure.

The Globe and Mail offers a couple of reasons why This Just In did not fair well. "As one NBC executive admitted when the network shut down its InnerTube site, which was supposed to compete with YouTube — This Just In might as well have changed its URL to ""

The most basic of reasons the site did not do well was because it was not funny.

"Examples abound of just how generally clueless network executives are, and how flinging money and press releases at something doesn’t amount to much in the world of online video: Come on down, — one of the most expensive, and yet almost criminally un-funny, sites you will ever see."

"And then there’s, which features Saturday Night Live star Will Farrell. Why does it work? Because it’s funny, that’s why."