There was a big shake-up at CBS News, with the network opting to run their digital news service—called CBSN—on the broadcast network on weekends, instead of producing a separate evening news program. It is typical of how major networks are adapting to a changing media landscape. CBSN is aimed squarely at younger viewers, individuals who relate better to their phones than to a TV set.
Over at NBC Sports, they have a new deal with Snapchat. The arrangement calls for Olympic highlights, based on NBC generated material, to be distributed on Snapchat. This is a play to attract millennial viewers who do not watch conventional television. Since NBC bought the American video rights to the Olympics, they can distribute that footage any way they like. We live in a cross-platform world, and a program that is confined to a single platform is likely to fail.
By the way, NBC Sports is making a major commitment to Virtual Reality (VR) production. Current NYFA 1-year Broadcast Journalism students will be visiting the Associated Press HQ in Manhattan later this month to see how the AP is incorporating VR into news coverage. (They will even get a chance to experience VR themselves.)
Not to be left behind, cable giant ESPN is the latest media company to make a deal with Vice. Vice World of Sports is a new series that will air on ESPN. Once again, it is the need to attract millennial viewers that is driving this collaboration. While ESPN has lots of sports programming already, it wants to attract new viewers through the bold first-person narrative style of program that Vice has perfected. (Current NYFA 1-year Broadcast Journalism students learn these techniques in our Personal Journalism course.)
In yet another related event, Twitter’s Periscope streaming video service has hired an editor-in-chief. At first, this sounds bizarre. But it makes sense when you realize that it is almost impossible to separate the really interesting video on Periscope from the so/so and the simply awful. This means Periscope is in line to be curated. Periscope is also allowing users to permanently save their feeds. However, they will need to add the hashtag #save to the stream’s title.
In “local news,” some of the NYFA 1-Year Broadcast Journalism students went out to cover the Holi Hai NYC Festival last week. This “festival of colors” is always popular, if only for the fact that it is the one day out of the year when you are encouraged to make an absolute mess of yourself, your friends, total strangers, inanimate objects and anything else you happen to encounter.
From the picture above, you can see that this story generated a high degree of “reporter involvement.” To see how the actual story turned out, follow this link. And don’t worry, they protected the camera…
Finally, the Broadcast Journalism program’s lead camera instructor, Trish Gillespie, was invited to pitch her latest documentary project at the prestigious Hot-Docs Film Festival in Toronto. Before the pitch for this non-fiction crime thriller, American Monster, the audience was told that production company Warrior Poets had signed onto the project as a backer just two days prior, and would make the film into a multi-part doc series. Trish has worked long and hard on this, and will no doubt continue to do so in the months to come. (In fact, I think she was shooting in North Carolina this past weekend.) Congratulations, Trish!