After the Media Apocalypse: Rex Sorgatz

Media entrepreneur and New York resident Rex Sorgatz hates LA.

But (in a twisted little Dec, 21st, 2011 piece he wrote for Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab) Rex Sorgatz predicts "LA is the Future."

Sorgatz's logic?

The current media system is broken. Tied to old production, distribution and revenue models - the bloated legacy 20th Century media businesses are about to implode.

"[W]hen that happens, the fallout for the LA-based television industry will be catastrophic. It will make the print media collapse of the past decade look like Legos. I predict over half of [the] 1,600 cable channels will disappear. Sure, they’ll try to recreate themselves on YouTube or via other online mechanisms, but that industry is already too bloated to realize that it needs to do more than shave costs by 10 percent — it needs to move an entire decimal to the left. Maybe twice. When the collapse hits, capital will rush out of the traditional entertainment industry faster than you can say “Lehman Brothers.”"

Why then does Rex Sorgatz say "LA is the Future?"

Basically, Rex Sorgatz is betting that the vacuum after the collapse will attract new ideas and players.

Rex Sorgatz predicts that entrepreneurs - many of them from outside the old Hollywood system - with knowledge of social sharing technology, new revenue models, a gift for aggregation and distribution, etc. "will be poised for this moment [with] the cash, the talent, and the creative culture to seize it."

In other words, LA will become the new land of opportunity - just as soon as the Old World of Hollywood is blasted into dust and blown away.

It may be hyperbolic (and wishful thinking by someone whose cable bill currently runs over $200 per month) but Rex Sorgatz may have a point, sometimes it takes a forest fire to clear the ground for new growth.

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