The Digital Village

Galaxy Guide Author in Hi-Tech Media Venture

by Matt Baker

Douglas Adams, the creator of Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, has joined three former Central TV executives and a founding partner in Wired magazine, to form a new cross-media production, design and development outfit dedicated to exploiting the potential of new digital technology.

Robbie Stamp, former Central TV special projects executive, who conceived The Digital Village (TDV), has brought in Central Productions' former commercial director, Mary Glanville, and Richard Creasey, former controller of factual programmes for both Central and Meridian, alongside Adams.

Other TDV partners are investment banker Ian Charles Stewart, who helped set up Wired, and literary agent Ed Victor, who represents Adams.

Stamp and Glanville will be the executive directors of TDV, while all partners will hold stakes in the company of varying sizes.

Stamp insisted that while TDV would undertake conventional TV productions, its efforts would be equally concentrated on other mediums including designing and producing on-line services and CD-ROMs and hybrids of the two. Projects will be developed to suit all mediums individually and equally rather than developed for one and spun-off to others as an afterthought.

Adams said he believed one of TDV's strengths would be the diverse skills of the company's founding parnters, with his own extensive background in writing and computers and others' experience in rights negotiations, production, multimedia and fund raising.

TDV has no plans to invest in kit and build a facility, but will hire equipment, crews and creatives on a project-by-project basis. Stamp said, however, that a computer network and a database of images, ideas and information would be one of the company's core assets.

Glanville said one of TDV's priorities would be to explore the economics of using new digital technology to produce low-cost, high-volume programming targetted at new cable and satellite niche channels. Its outlook will be global rather than UK and it is keen to form joint ventures with other outfits.

The company has a number of projects and ventures close to fruition, but has so far refused to disclose details.

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(c) 1998 The Digital Village