Al Gore's Current Media files for IPO

Youth-oriented cable network, which focuses on user-submitted news and documentary content, is aiming for a $100 million initial public offering.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
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Current Media, the youth-oriented cable channel founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, has filed for a $100 million initial public offering.

The company aims to trade under the Nasdaq symbol CRTM; neither share prices nor number of shares have been disclosed.

Acknowledging that it has "a history of losses," relies on an "unproven media model," and had an accumulated deficit of $31.9 million at the end of 2007, Current Media is nevertheless pushing forward in the hopes that it will be able to better cover expenses as a public company. Revenues for 2007 were $63.7 million.

Current.com, relaunched in October 2007. current.com

According to Current Media's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the network reaches 51 million households in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Founded in 2005, when Gore and Hyatt purchased the News World International channel for $70.9 million, the Current TV network focuses on "independent" news coverage and documentary programming, much of which is submitted in 3- to 7-minute "pods" created by viewers.

Current also operates the Current.com site, which it relaunched last October, where all of the "pods" are available for streaming on-demand along with Digg-style social-news content. One of Current Media's stated goals is to better monetize the site, as well as to expand to "new platforms" (read: mobile) and more international regions.

Current Media's underwriters, as disclosed in the SEC filing, are Lehman Brothers, JPMorgan Chase, and Pacific Crest Securities.