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WebNewser Pushing Out Video And Social-Centric ‘Refresh’

Way back in June, we noticed that ABC News was testing out a new look for Well, now we know a whole lot more about the design “refresh,” as the network is calling it.

The current is a bit dated, with CNN, NBC News and CBS News all having updated their sites since the last refresh. The new design (see the screengrab to the left, and more photos below), places a heavy emphasis on video content, and brings social interaction to the forefront.

“As a user, sometimes you don’t want to wait for what is on television,” ABC News senior VP of digital Joe Ruffolo tells TVNewser. “This gives you an experience where you can choose what story is important to you and how you want to absorb that.

“Some people want to watch the trial, some people don’t, some people want to watch the live originals we are doing on the site,” Ruffolo added. “We just want users to have that choice, and that ability to get the news they want and when they want it.”

To that end, a flow of headlines (reminiscent of a Twitter feed) will now be displayed in a narrow column on the left-hand side of the page, underneath a box that can be used to display live video, archived video, live blogs or any number of other pieces of content.

“When we have breaking news or even developing stories, you will see that left column go down a little,” Ruffolo says.

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CNN Benefits From BuzzFeed Partnership With Live Weiner Interview

Back in May, CNN partnered with BuzzFeed on video content. At the time, BuzzFeed seemed to be getting the better end of the deal, gaining access to CNN’s vast video library, although CNN did perhaps gain exposure to an audience that would not otherwise see its content.

Now, CNN is definitely getting a piece of the deal. Last night BuzzFeed held its “BuzzFeed Brews” event in New York City, and around 200 or so people (mostly young New York journalist/tech types) crowded into the Ainsworth to see BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith interview Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

CNN branding was evident in the room, and a CNN satellite truck was conspicuously parked around the corner from the bar. Sure enough, shortly after 6:30 PM, the channel carried (some) of the conversation live.


NY Times, Wall Street Journal Have Ambitious Video Plans

As TV news outlets have expanded their text-based journalism online, text-based outlets have expanded their video journalism. Two of the biggest players in this field are the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and both newspapers have ambitious plans for their video content.

The Times, for example, is expanding into short documentaries. The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone has more:

In an interview with HuffPost, Stallman said he’s been frustrated in the past with the Times treating video primarily as an accompaniment to a print story. “With this, I wanted very much to empower Kassie to pretend like there’s no John Branch involved, no photographer involved,” Stallman said, adding that, unlike most print-video collaborations, the journalists weren’t in constant communication about the reporting process.

The Wall Street Journal has its ‘WSJ Live” network, but is also experimenting with new forms of video storytelling, including a unique first-person look at the U.S. healthcare system.
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One Year After Microsoft Deal, The Future Of NBC News Digital Takes Shape

A year ago today, NBCUniversal completed its acquisition of, securing the half of the company that was controlled by Microsoft. NBCU spent approximately $195 million on the acquisition.

Today, NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller previewed what is coming down the pipeline for NBC News Digital, in an email to staff (read the whole thing after the jump).

Some of the changes are things we already knew: a new focused on the cable channel, and a refreshed look for That said, there are a number of other changes and additions coming soon, including new apps and what sounds like a major push for “TV Everywhere”:

- The mobile team will ship a brand new app for TODAY with groundbreaking split-screen functionality that enables users to watch video while simultaneously browsing articles and photos.

- Breaking News will also launch a new version of its app that includes first-of-its-kind options to personalize breaking news feeds.

- We’ll usher in a completely new digital property,— the digital destination for smart and engaging dialogue, opinions and perspectives.

- iVillage will relaunch a new as a community-driven platform surfacing the most important perspectives on topics that matter most to women.

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CNN’s Political Ticker Apparently Hacked

CNN’s “Political Ticker” blog was apparently hacked this afternoon. As noted by Michael Van Poppel on Twitter, a story under the byline of Melissa Gray and Dan Lothian was posted about an anonymous Bitcoin operator going out of business.

The post had a number of red flags, aside from the fact that it wasn’t even about politics. The news item was poorly written, with a number of misspelled words and grammatical errors, and it featured a graphic that was below the quality CNN would typically use. It was also back-posted to June 22nd, so that it would not appear on the first few pages of the blog.

Update from a CNN spokesperson: “A user’s credentials for a third-party publishing platform were compromised and the content of an archived blog post altered. We have corrected the issue and are working with the vendor to ensure the platform’s security.”

CNN took the story down fairly quickly, although it looks like it was on the Political Ticker blog for over an hour. We have a screengrab of the fake item below.

TV news organizations have been ripe targets for hackers in the past, who take over social media accounts and blogs with the hope of spreading false information.
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ABC News Refreshes

ABC News is in the process of refreshing its website, So far, the network has launched a new homepage and new show pages. We hear that other changes will be rolled out over the next few weeks.

Compared to the old website (above, left) the new site (above, right) features more white space, larger text on headlines and topics, and bigger photos. There is also a prominent “Now” bar, which shows stories and topics that are trending on the site. CNN added a similar bar to when it refreshed in April.

‘Today’ Show Story on ‘Good Morning America’ Homepage

One of the top items on “Good Morning America’s” web page right now is a “Today” show story.

Paula Deen‘s first interview since revelations she used racist epithets was with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show, but big news for anyone following the story. That includes the AP’s media reporter David Bauder who wrote about the appearance. links to Bauder’s story which is why it now sits on GMA’s homepage.

MSNBC Assumes Control Of TheGrio

MSNBC is taking over control of TheGrio, NBC’s news site targeting African Americans. MSNBC senior VP and executive editor Yvette Miley will add executive editor of TheGrio to her title.

TheGrio co-founders David Wilson and Dan Woosley–who helped launch it in 2009 with NBC–are departing the site, though they will stay on in an advisory role. Joy-Ann Reid will stay on as managing editor. While the site will fall under MSNBC, NBC News digital will provide operational and technological support.

“Under MSNBC, theGrio will be able to further build on its existing position of strength as a community for smart and engaging dialogue, opinions and perspectives, and continue to be an incubator for great stories and ideas for the entire NBCUniversal News Group,” write MSNBC president Phil Griffin and NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller in a note to staff today.

That full memo, after the jump.
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CNN, BuzzFeed Partner On YouTube Channel

“37 Awesome Wolf Blitzer Glasses Shots”? “23 Times Piers Morgan Asks ‘Have You Ever Been In Love”? “26 News Events Anderson Cooper Rocked a Black T-Shirt”?

CNN is partnering with BuzzFeed and YouTube to launch a new YouTube channel that takes advantage of CNN’s current and archival video, as well as Buzzfeed’s skill at weaving social content. The partnership is entirely digital, with videos available on YouTube, BuzzFeed and (watch the first video below).

For CNN, the partnership gives the channel a chance to monetize archive content. Every TV news organization has a massive library of video, but much of it sits on servers unused. Finding a way to pluck some of this video and bring it back to the forefront in a way that could be monetizable is something that every channel has been looking into.

For BuzzFeed, the deal provides a wealth of video content, just waiting top be uncovered and edited down to brief, bite-sized chunks ready for social sharing.

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HuffPost Live’s Alicia Menendez To Join Fusion

First on TVNewser: Fusion, the upcoming cable news channel from ABC News and Univision, is adding HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez to its lineup, TVNewser has learned.

Menendez is joining Fusion as an anchor based in Miami, and will host her own show on the channel when it launches later this year.

Menendez, the daughter of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), has long been a regular commentator on cable news, and is the former co-host of “Power Play” on SiriusXM’s Cristina Radio, which targets “Modern Latina” listeners. She is also a former contributor to

She joined HuffPost Live before it launched in the Summer of 2012, and has become one of the faces of the burgeoning video channel, which recently secured a TV foothold on Mark Cuban’s AXS TV. She drew particular acclaim for her live coverage of the Boston bombings last month.

Update: internal memo from Fusion’s Beau Ferrari, after the jump.

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