Graham Media’s SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Catherine Badalamente is pivoting quickly to deal with the new realities of coronavirus-era broadcasting, but she saw disruption on the horizon before that. She says digital platforms like OTT and NextGen TV offer some of the best hedges against future disruption, if only legacy salespeople can finally get on side.
OTT and revived TV membership models were among the highlights of a local digital advertising conference that just managed to sneak in under the coronavirus wire.
With the streaming-only The News At 9, Graham-owned KSAT in San Antonio is playing with the boundaries of a traditional newscast, blowing open the time constraints of traditional packages and going bold with deep dives and different presentation formats.
The station group adds chief innovation officer to Catherine Badalamente’s title of vice president. Said Graham CEO Emily Barr: “Under Catherine’s leadership, the Graham Digital team has nurtured and developed our web and mobile sites, overseen the growth of significant digital revenue and developed industry-leading applications and have been recognized by a slew of industry experts.”
Major groups keep experimenting, looking to find the best ways to use Facebook and YouTube, both to expand their brands and eventually generate some revenue.
Digital executives from Nexstar, Tegna, Graham Media and Raycom will discuss the challenges of integrating digital news production and distribution into traditional television newsroom workflow at the sixth annual NewsTECHForum conference in New York on Dec. 11-12.
Allowing original content to live entirely on other platforms has spread through online publishing with locomotive force. Some broadcasters are experimenting with it, but many worry it will erode traffic to their own websites and apps after spending years cultivating it.
With the Detroit Free Press publishing the No. 1 local news site in the city, news-producing affiliates WDIV (NBC), WXYZ (ABC) and WJBK (Fox) are investing heavily in their digital platforms to secure core audiences while drawing newcomers. “We are trying to be the No. 1 sites, and we are trying to figure out what the secret sauce is to do that,” says Catherine Badalamente, VP of digital media for Graham Media, which owns WDIV. “That is 100% of my goal.”
Project Identity has the station group’s digital team collecting more data about online and mobile subscribers with a plan to use it to better target content and advertising. Digital VP Catharine Badalamente says her team is benefiting from a closer relationship with Trove, formerly WaPo Labs, which used to spend most of its R&D time on the newspaper but now is firmly focused on the local TV group.
TV stations aren’t investing enough in digital, according to Catherine Badalamente, VP of digital at Post-Newsweek Stations. In her opinion, stations had better get their act together fast, with newspapers readying their own video efforts to invade TV’s home turf. “You don’t have to go out and buy a $15,000 camera anymore. That means that everyone is on a level playing field. If they put resources behind it, they can be a true competitor to us,” she says.
Catherine Badalamente will lead the new unit and oversee all of the Washington Post Co. station group’s digital efforts.
With the city on the rebound, Detroit’s news-producing affiliates WDIV (NBC), WXYZ (ABC) and WJBK (Fox) are investing heavily in their digital platforms to secure core audiences while drawing the newcomers (artists, techies and the like) lured by the chance to build from the ground up. “We are trying to reinvent ourselves along with them,” says Catherine Badalamente, VP of digital media for Graham Media, which owns NBC affiliate WDIV.