As the entertainment world sheds a tear over the coming departure of Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart, Ross Levinsohn, former Yahoo interim CEO and board member of multiple of media companies, sees a potential opportunity. He says someone should pay Stewart a $100 million a year to bring the show direct to viewers.
Levinsohn told The Halftime Report's Scott Wapner, "We are at a tipping point for Millennials in the media business."
Levinsohn suggests going direct to consumers with a 50 cent per show subscription would easily give Stewart the revenue he needs to produce it even before factoring in advertising and other revenue streams. "You can build an entire business around this man," Levinsohn said.
This coming after Levinsohn released the following note on Facebook yesterday:
Jon Stewart stepping down as host of The Daily Show is paramount to Walter Cronkite stepping down from CBS News.
He is to a generation, the oracle of truth. While certainly left leaning, he always exposed fraud for fraud and called out those who needed it most, with a wry smile and raised eyebrow.
He is complicated - a genius and the best communicator of his generation and I for one will miss him nightly.
That said, he HAS to do a new version of his show for this generation the way it could and should be done --direct to consumers. He could raise any amount of money to do it and it would be an historic movement, in the way Howard Stern moving to Sirius was a decade ago.
Stewart has the following to shape an industry and I sure hope he pushes the envelope. He's too big a talent to sit on the sidelines too long and he can make an industry change.
I'd pay him $100m a year to go direct and give him equity in his own version of what Viacom is today.
Anyone with me??
So, Is Jon Stewart the $100 million man?