With TBS now holding two comedy festivals, they need somebody to handle the production of them. Hence this listing. A couple of interesting passages from the job description:
Collaborate with Los Angeles-based originals group to develop and produce television programming for national network, VOD, broadband and wireless.
Create and lead business development plan to expand revenue sources for these properties (example scenarios: DVD sales, tours).
Which suggests to me that my earlier suggestion that TBS plans to compete with Comedy Central in stand-up might be accurate. It certainly says that TBS sees this fest closer to the business than Comedy Central currently does with its South Beach festival, which, to my knowledge, has not produced any programming or DVDs.
Couple this with Just For Laughs, which is co-producing the Chicago Very Funny Festival, stating frankly that they want to be on American TV. Add in that many stand-up specials are now independently produced and then marketed to networks (primarily Comedy Central, but also Showtime). A lot of these comics may now have another player, an apparently ambitious one, bidding for them.
My only question: how much have network execs learned from the 80s boom, where stand-up became comically ubiquitous at the expense of quality? Good to have a new player. Let’s hope they’re a smart one.