The first time ABC news anchor Sam Donaldson saw the stop-and-go video stream of a news correspondent, he wondered what his network was getting him into online.
Doing his keynote at Streaming Media East last week, Donaldson recalled his reaction: Miming the stop-action nature of streaming, he said he asked superiors, "That's the future? A lot of people think I'm an idiot, but I'm not that much of an idiot."
But he's adjusted, and his 12:30 p.m. daily streaming show, Sam Donaldson at ABCnews.com, shifted from his initial impulse to interview politicos like Trent Lott to instead talk with MTV personality Carson Daly and Internet honchos like Cisco's John Chambers.
"If you've seen me [on-air], you've seen a certain viciousness, a certain meanness." Online, "I can have a great time, because nobody in my shop is watching."
His most difficult Web interview: Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Donaldson trod a fine line between "obsequious brownnoser" and "nailing him to the wall to the point where the check doesn't come next week."