Between Wednesday’s release of a new mobile app and last week’s poaching of BuzzFeed’s top political news talent, CNN seems to be “future-proofing” itself. The legacy media organization announced a $20 million investment in March, and has since hired 162 members to the digital team. CNN expects to bring that number to 274 by the first quarter of 2017.
Muslim American: Inside a Growing Michigan Community, is a multi-part, digital series designed to debunk some of the myths associated with being Muslim in America. Not all viewers were pleased with the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate’s decision.
Marcus Mabry has been hired as director at CNN Digital, while Christina Cuesta has been tapped as its senior editor for mobile. Mabry is a veteran of Twitter and The New York Times, while Cuesta comes from The Wall Street Journal.
There’s hardly a platform on which Americans won’t be able to see Hillary Clinton squaring off against Donald Trump in the three presidential debates. Twitter is now in the game via a deal with Bloomberg to live stream its coverage, and the form will be the same as its streaming of NFL games.
The deal will cover the three presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate, too. The streams build on earlier live streaming of the party conventions, and they won’t carry any advertising, as ABC News wants to see how many viewers engage with the content on the outside platform.
Gannett Co. has invested an undisclosed amount in the aggregator with a view to helping itself reach more readers with its USA Today Network while at the same time giving Digg more original content to work with. The move adds to Gannett’s growing portfolio of digital investments, and branded content production will also come of the partnership.
Matt DeRienzo, executive director of Local Independent Online Publishers, tells Benjamin Mullin that hyperlocal sites are still being launched weekly by laid off veteran journalists and community-dedicated non-journalists. In many cases, their lifespans may just be a few years, but other sites soon pick up the slack, he says, diversifying their revenue with native ads and sponsored content.
CBSN, the network’s free, online streaming service launched two years ago, has become a major selling point for CBS. When CEO Les Moonves talks to shareholders, he cites the digital network as one of the “catalysts for future growth” that “will drive earnings in the quarters and years to come.” But some TV and digital news execs doubt that CBSN has any meaningful revenue projection, and are confounded by the network’s decision to pour money and resources into what they describe as an archaic business strategy with little chance of turning a profit.
Michael Kinsley evokes a haughtiness of his own to decry the selfsame quality among data journalism’s rising stars like Ezra Klein and Nate Cohn and in sites like Vox and The Upshot. His piece is likely to have digital journalists furrowing their brows at least until the weekend, when Klein may hunt Kinsley down at a Hamptons beach party to punch him in the jaw.
Joseph Lichterman looks at novel approaches to Olympics coverage via The New York Times (SMS updates and how-they-did-it interactives), The Washington Post (bots), The Guardian (push alerts including leaderboards, polls and quizzes) and The Wall Street Journal (an “Armchair Olympian” set of interactives).
Eduardo Suñol is now in charge of the network’s digital operation, overseeing the creation of original digital content in Spanish and English.
Twitter is expanding its livestream offerings by partnering with Bloomberg to air four of its TV shows on the social sharing site and applications. The media company will soon livestream Bloomberg West, What’d You Miss?, With All Due Respect and the network’s markets coverage on Twitter.
Sara Amos, ABC News’ EP of live products, oversees six live feeds for the network’s digital platforms, ranging from ABCNews.com’s live video hub to Good Morning America‘s daily Periscope. She talks about her daily routine and the many challenges of managing a multi-stream digital experience.
Targeted to digital users who consume news in English, the new “Univision News” section takes Univision’s original content and a Latino perspective to an English-speaking audience.
Some see a news hole left behind by the shrinking newsrooms of traditional city newspapers and alt-weeklies. Others want to woo smartphone-addicted millennial readers. They’re using newsletters and social media like Instagram to build an audience for their sites.
BitTorrent already has a number of niche channels, but it’s now considering a live TV network among them in time for the election this fall. It’s currently looking to hire a news director to build out a team of journalists. A 24/7 news operation won’t be likely at the start, however, and it will probably instead “focus its coverage on breaking news events, including ‘political campaigns, sporting events, tech and cultural events.’ “
Billy Penn’s Jim Brady says local journalists are often their own worst enemy in the struggle to keep their news organizations alive. That’s because they’ve been slow to adapt and have drifted away from a focus on their customers and communities. He says refocusing there creates opportunity for a robust events business drawing from the news, and it opens the possibilities to more engaging ads that will circumvent the blockers for their utility value.
Digital natives may have paved the path to innovation so far, but legacy brands have their advantages as well.
A new report from Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism suggests that text may have a longer run, at least for news. Consumption of online news video is still a minority behavior around the world, the researchers found: Only about a quarter of respondents, across 26 countries, watched news video online in a given week.
PBS Digital Studios is aiming to boost the number of member station videos on its channels over the next year, though it is coping with a slowly dwindling budget. PBSDS is searching for a way to support itself as it trains stations to create web-first content that builds important inroads to younger audiences.
When The Root was acquired by Univision a little over a year ago, publisher Donna Byrd said she had already set her sights on a big expansion for the African-American news, opinion and culture site. A year later, The Root has staffed up, built out an in-house video and social team and is preparing for a big TV debut, with a series set to launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
Jason Carr is joining the Graham Media NBC affiliate’s ClickOnDetroit as digital anchor and will also contribute to the station’s Local 4 News Today morning broadcast. He comes from cross-town rival WJBK.
Katie Couric is considering leaving Yahoo, which is looking to sell itself to a yet-to-be-named buyer. While company execs have been buzzing that the media superstar is preparing to announce that she’s departing after 2½ years as a global anchor at Yahoo News, sources close to Couric say she will wait to find out who buys the struggling tech giant.
CBSN, the internet television channel operated by CBS News, has been around since 2014, but executives are just now beginning to see the real value of an OTT video news presence. Marc Debevoise, EVP and GM of CBS News, summed up his feelings toward CBSN at a recent investor conference: “This is the future of CBS News.”
Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate on WDIV Detroit (DMA 13) on Wednesday announced the appointments of Dustin Block to the newly created role of digital executive producer and David Bartkowiak to managing editor of WDIV’s ClickOnDetroit. Block will work across WDIV/ClickOnDetroit editorial, marketing, social media and commercial teams to “develop new digital platforms that deepen […]
The digital startups were supposed to figure out how to replace the legacy news outlets. Now they’re facing their own headwinds.
Execs from three news organizations — a network O&O, a cable news channel and a network — explain the logistics and tactics of their coverage of September’s eight days of “popemania.”