Pass the Remote … er, the Mouse

By Diane Haddad Premium

With entire TV networks devoted to golf, poker and shipwrecks, it was just a matter of time before someone started a genealogy channel. Last fall, media producer Marcy Brown and genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak launched the independent media company Roots Television <>. Only this is TV you watch on the Internet.

Programs — both original and licensed — look similar to what you might see on the tube, but they’re aired in 3- to 8-minute chunks. Family Tree Magazine contributing editor Sharon DeBartolo Carmack interviews genealogy authors for Roots Books, a man recounts discovering his true identity through Y-DNA testing, and genealogist/comedian Jordan Auslander (aka Heir Jordan) yuks it up about the five stages of genealogy. You’ll also find how-to footage, storytellers’ recollections, episodes of PBS’ “Ancestors” series and more.

Despite minimal publicity of its launch Sept. 25, Roots Television’s premiere drew viewers from five continents in the first 24 hours. Eventually, you’ll be able to download shows to watch on your regular TV (if it’s networked to a computer) and other devices. Programs are free, though at press time, producers were considering a pay-per-view option.
 From the February 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.