NATPE 2011

From Barn To Web To Broadcast TV

Tribune’s Sean Compton and musician Daryl Hall tell NATPE audiences how Live from Daryl’s House went from an artistic brainstorm to his website and then to WGN Chicago. Explains Compton: “There is a certain vibe to it and television needs some of that.”

A little more than three years ago, Daryl Hall started a monthly Web show, featuring the singer making music with other known artists in the barn of his upstate New York house.

Last New Year’s Eve, Live from Daryl’s House, made the leap to TV, airing as a one-hour, late-night special on Tribune’s WGN Chicago.

The special which compiled highlights from Hall’s Web episodes, did well enough that Tribune is weighing whether there will be more in the future — or even a regular latenight spot for the program, Sean Compton, the company’s president of programming, said Tuesday at the NATPE convention in Miami.

“It’s an Internet show we slapped on TV to 78 million homes,” Compton said as part of a panel exploring what it takes for a Web show to make it on TV.

Even without promotion, the fact that Live From Daryl’s House fared as well as it did on TV is a testament to the organically grown program itself, Compton said, adding that TV could use more content like it.

“It makes television cool,” he said. “There is a certain vibe to it and television needs some of that.”


Hall, who was part of the panel, said the idea grew from his desire to create a program featuring great artists and music, and using the Internet as a platform to do that without ceding control to TV executives.

Initially self-funded, and now being helped by an unnamed “underwriter,” Live From Daryl’s House is now shot using state-of-the-art HD cameras and sound equipment, meaning that it’s TV ready.

Though musicians — from Smokey Robinson and Rob Thomas to Train — have been on board throughout, it took awhile for business types to figure out the crux of the show, Hall said.

Now that it’s been up, running and successful for several years, though, the show could be on the brink of being aired on traditional TV and being funded by advertising dollars or sponsors, Hall said.

“We wanted to do something that would transfer beyond the Internet,” Hall said, adding, though, that creating the program from the ground up was crucial in keeping it pure to form.

“We’re dispensing all pretense and showing what musicians do when no one is watching,” Hall said.

Comments (3)

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Toshihiro Tasaki says:

January 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I never thought I’d praise a decision made by the previous WGN/Trib execs, but Live from Daryl’s House was a great New Year’s Eve show. Just guys sitting around making great music. I hope they don’t cheapen it.

Teri Keene says:

January 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I thought Live from Darryl’s House was great! – much, much better than the musical acts on Dick Clark’s NYE special (the only artist worth checking out on Clark’s show was Jennifer Hudson.) Hope there’s more of it.

Shelley Clark says:

January 27, 2011 at 12:33 am

agreed, Trib is willing to take some smart risks and absolutely love the creative and artistry around Daryls house.

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