In his career, Tom Rogers has overseen countless TV channels, hundreds magazines and thousands of websites. Now he just wants to run one channel – your channel.

Ask the TiVo CEO and president to see the future of media and he’ll tell you clearly – personalization, something which will forever break the editorial control of Big Media and the tyranny of choice.

“That control has developed over time from a handful of broadcast networks, to some cable channels, to a ton of cable channels and video on demand, to TV Everywhere, to streaming services, to the wild world of web video,” Rogers tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

“But it’s going to go much further than that. The piece of that I think’s going to become a much bigger factor … is the personalization through filtering of relevance from all kinds of data inputs.”

Media personalization has been talked about for years. In 1995, digital media soothsayer Nicholas Negroponte described what he called “The Daily Me“: “Imagine a future in which your interface agent can read every newswire and newspaper and catch every TV and radio broadcast on the planet, and then construct a personalized summary.”

In truth, personaliaztion, even in digital media, has not come very far, with most consumers still reading or watching packages of channels or stories curated for them by providers.

Rogers sees a sea-change coming, however. “We’ll know what you’re viewing habits are, what critics you most follow, what your friends and family recommend to you, what you’re specialized hobbies and interests are, and we’ll know what’s buzzy in the areas your care most amount,” he says.

“We capture all that data and are able to put together a highly filtered dashboard of all the things you would care about in a world of infinite choice, filtered down to your personal choice and tastes. Any time that you’re interested in watching television … the personalization of that experience will give you something complete control.”

Trained as an attorney, Rogers was once senior counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance Subcommittee, where he drafted telecoms law including the 1984 Cable Franchise Policy and Communications Act.

Later an NBC executive for several years, he founded CNBC and the MSNBC joint venture, as well as helping to form National Geographic Channel and Court TV. After that, Rogers was CEO of diversified targeted media group Primedia.

Now he hopes to bring the world of TV and video, no matter what the source, together. “Infinite choice meets personalisation, and the ability to tame exactly what you want to get your arms around,” he says.

“That’s an exciting thing for your people to get involved with. Everybody thinks we’ve hit the new frontier and that it’s going to stabilise. It’s never going to stabilise. It’s constantly going to be in motion. New innovators will constantly change the approach to how this is done.”


This is segment is part of Beet.TV’s “Media Revolutionaries,” a 50-part series of interviews with key innovators and leaders in the media, technology and advertising industries, sponsored by Xaxis and Microsoft. Xaxis is a unit of WPP.

Rogers was interviewed  for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.