Cover Story: Network News — One Click AwayThis cover story from Broadcasting & Cable Magazine is worth commenting on from the perspective of how the Broadcasting Industry, specifically ABC & CBS (NBC has MSNBC, CBS joins Comcast/Time Warner TV Everywhere Trial) have not taken advantage of the twenty- four hour news venue. Now, with streaming video from the web covering a wide range of programming content, and beginning to be exclusively distributed by Cable pipelines, these two networks are being forced to view a new economic model; the Web.
An internal memo from ABC News President David Westin said; “We saw a major step forward toward our shared goal of bringing the news to people when they want it and how they want to get it,” Westin wrote. “We truly came to the audience, rather than expecting them to come to us.”
He is referring to how the death of Michael Jackson forced news outlets to “scramble” in getting the latest updates to the public using the Web, thereby creating a possible competitive advantage. No longer do consumers want to wait to view the Evening News on Broadcast Networks; they are at work, or surfing the Web and can easily consume the latest in whats happening around the world.
“CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric cites an in-depth online video interview she conducted with former British prime minister Tony Blair to explain how the Web has become a main portal for viewers, not just a place for news organizations to serve leftovers.”
The Web is proving to be a part of a multifaceted approach to garner revenues in a sour economy which can no longer support the old way of distributing news, by the Morning & Evening News Broadcasts. How both ABC & CBS can monetize this new and growing medium is yet to be seen, as ad revenues are not at the point to scream, hurrah! This has to be a long-term approach by the Broadcasting Industry in building a significant online presence that is revenue positive to off-set the diminishing venue of Broadcast Television News. With a business model that can be supported with mostly an existing staff, there is no time to loose with the rush of new Web oriented competitors.