The following is a collection of semi-coherent thoughts that are based on mildly -educated speculation. It includes some critical statements about the exulted trio, Ernesto Schmitt, and the B/R. Your mileage may vary.
On the Exulted Trio of Clarkson, Hammond, and May
I know we, for the most part, loved the second iteration of Top Gear. For me I think the sweetspot were seasons five through eighteen. It was a solid mix of great filmwork, nerd-level information, and comedy. The early seasons were a bit awkward and obviously underfunded* and the later seasons seemed like a cash grab as their international star power grew. The Grand Tour seems like it could go either way.
*This gives me hope for Top Gear
With this in mind, I would ask that you keep an objective or even skeptical perspective with regards to their endorsement of the car worlds newest form of social media and content platform.
I am more cynical than most.
On Ernesto Schmitt & 21st Century Fox
Ernesto Schmitt is a “tech entrepreneur” with a strong background in the media distribution industry. This includes both traditional and nontraditional video distribution as well as working in the music industry. The second part their is key, as the music industry is notorious for making executives tons of money and devaluing their content creators.
Schmitt is also an alumnus of Boston Consulting Group, which (regardless of your political views) is extremely proficient at producing executives with a focus on profitability.
One should expect that Schmitt was hired to do what he has done in the past. Furthermore, there should be some pressure from Fox and
the Grand Tour W. Chump & Sons Limited to turn a relatively small investment into a large evaluation and an eventual buyout, especially while their popularity is at or near its peak.
On the Bleacher Report
B/R should be a shining example of content oversaturation and a lack of editorial oversight. I encourage everyone to read this post on Deadspin from 2014:
Draw your own conclusions based on the similarities and differences, while keeping in mind that the internet economy has changed a lot since the early days of B/R. Even though I find him to be insufferable, in addition to being an excellent journalist, Wes Siler lays out the GMG model in several posts, the first of which is linked below.
Full disclosure: I have no desire to go to Drivetribe even for the social aspects rather than the dream of journalistic accolades, but I’d imagine that has more to do with the time I spend on Oppo and how that has dwindled as life gets more complicated. I’ve made my investment here and whatever happens to Kinja in the future, I’m not sure I want to attempt to replicate what we have here anywhere else.
I’d love to hear opinions from all sides, for, against, or indifferent.