The ESPN contract gives Silver the power to hire people, to bring in more numbers on a variety of topics and analyze them deeply, and to have that analysis written up under his direction, on his label. Silver himself will become a TV star, appearing on ESPN, on ABC during election seasons, and perhaps on other Disney properties where appropriate.
Silver's success proves something important. Being a talking head isn't that big a skill. Even if you have a face for radio and a voice for print, as I do, as Silver does, you can learn to accept pancake makeup and talk toward a camera in something resembling English.
When I was at Medill it was very easy to tell the TV majors from the magazine majors. The magazine majors dressed like students. The TV majors dressed like they were on TV.
Silver's success blows those categories away. Anyone can be a TV star and, if you want to make a success in journalism, TV is a skill set you have to acquire. And the leaders in this field will no longer be just the "journalists" who take paychecks and climb the corporate ladder. They will be the entrepreneurial bloggers who invent themselves, and in so doing re-invent the trade.
At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.