Short-form news video giant NowThis is getting into long-form programming, original shows and investigative journalism. The company is embarking on an “aggressive hiring plan” to support the production of more original news reports and video series, according to Athan Stephanopoulos, president of NowThis.
Amid his feud with the president, CNN chief Jeff Zucker is taking his battle for TV news dominance online with a monthly audience of 100 million and a strategy to beat Vice and BuzzFeed, move stars like Anthony Bourdain and W. Kamau Bell to the web, and launch Casey Neistat, the vlog star he hired on the advice of his teen son.
Scout Media, the digital sports media site in Chapter 11 , said it has secured a $9.5 million “stalking horse” bid from CBS to take over its assets.
On Day 1 of TVN‘s NewsTECHForum, Andrew Morse of CNN Digital Worldwide emphasized that stations need to produce digital news content with an eye primarily on the platforms and audiences for which the content is being designed. In addition, the quality of the content is more important than how it’s branded.
The Dec. 12 opening session of TVNewsCheck’s NewsTECHForum will feature Hearst TV’s Roger Keating; E.W. Scripps’ Sean McLaughlin; CJ&N’s Steve Schwaid; and Dalet’s Frederic Roux who will be “Imaging the Newsroom of the Future.”
The election is over, but ABC is exploring the possibility of a new 24-hour digital news channel, according to sources. ABC News chief James Goldston is spearheading the effort, and is bullish on it given the election bump from recent Facebook live experiments.
CBSN has unveiled new apps for the Android TV and Amazon Fire TV that will feature 360-degree videos, starting with behind-the-scenes 60 Minutes footage shot in that format. “The CBS News Digital team believes the format will become an increasingly important means of storytelling, including within the news genre it focusing on,” Sarah Perez reports.
His HBO show, Any Given Wednesday, has been canceled and Bill Simmons has struggled to draw readers to the website, The Ringer, he built in the wake of his ESPN and Grantland departure. Richard Sadomir looks at Simmons’ weakness as a TV personality against his podcast strengths, while The Ringer is drawing just 680,000 visitors in its latest monthly numbers, while Grantland bowed out with 6.1 million.
On Election Day, the 24/7 streaming service beats its prior records of 3 million streams and 1.4 million unique viewers for the first presidential debate.
Want a side of news with your Hulu binge? You can now add some, thanks to Hulu’s just announced partnership that adds Scripps-owned Newsy to its lineup.
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.