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5 Things to Know About The New NBCNews.com

Homepage DesktopAfter a year of work, the new NBCNews.com debuts overnight tonight, just in time for premium traffic coming from the Sochi Olympics coverage.

At an unveiling this morning at 30 Rock, NBC News President Deborah Turness says the new site is about “tearing down the walls that traditionally have divided TV and digital.” The new site will be a “continuous consumption model” that continues the story whether it was born first digitally or it originally aired on TV.

TVNewser attended this morning’s event. Here are our 5 takeaways from the new site…

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NBC News Partners with NowThis News

NBCPeacockThe NBCUniversal News Group is taking a minority stake in NowThis News, a short-form video news network built for mobile and social users. NowThis News and NBCU News Group producers will collaborate on projects based out of NowThis News’s New York studio.

“We know that news consumption among younger audiences continues to grow, but in order to reach that audience, we need to continue to create video for the platforms they use most. NowThis News does exactly that — delivering relevant news stories for the mobile and social platforms that resonate with this audience,” said Patricia Fili-Krushel, Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group.

NowThisNewsNowThis News was co-founded by Ken Lerer of Lerer Ventures in the summer of 2012 as Planet Daily. The site relaunched a few months later as NowThis News and counted ABC News, CNN and Washington Post executives in its leadership ranks. In addition to the NBCU news, NowThis News has named Sean Mills, president and Ashish Patel, as VP of Social Media. Mills had been president of The Onion, while Patel joins from VICE where he was head of social media.

The partnership comes less than two weeks after the NBCU News Group announced an investment and content partnership with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg‘s new venture.

Univision Launches Redesigned Website

univision logoUnivision News launched a redesigned website this week. Univision called the site “fresh, dynamic and more user friendly than ever, as it adapts to any device screen — computer, tablet or mobile phone.”

The site features more advanced video and photo displays, as well as faster publishing time and new social features. Users are able to comment next to each paragraph they read and then share those comments on social media.

“This redesign is one more example of our commitment to constantly innovate to better serve our community by providing the best multi-platform news products and the most enjoyable digital experience,” Daniel Coronell and Scott Levine wrote in a memo to Univision staffers.

Katie Couric Named Yahoo! News Global Anchor

katie004Katie Couric has been named Global News Anchor for Yahoo! News.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of a leading company at the intersection of content and technology,” Couric says. “I have great admiration for Marissa Mayer and her team and their commitment to bringing news, entertainment and information to the Yahoo community across multiple platforms. ”

Couric will debut on Yahoo! in early 2014. She’ll cover live world events while interviewing newsmakers and thought leaders. She’ll continue hosting her ABC syndicated daytime show “Katie” for the remainder of this season. Disney-ABC tells TVNewser a decision on season three of “Katie” will be made in mid-December.

“News is a definitive daily habit for our users,” adds Mayer. “Katie will work with our talented editorial team to pioneer a new chapter of digital journalism.”

But don’t expect a traditional newscast online. “We are trying to be very open-minded,” Couric tells Capital New York. “I don’t think it is going to be a half-hour evening news broadcast or a two-hour morning show.”

While she won’t be working directly for ABC News anymore, she’ll still turn up on ABC News digital channels.

“ABC News has a powerful alliance with Yahoo so we expect there will be all kinds opportunities to continue working together in the future,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser.

Yahoo’s press release after the jump.
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iVillage to Be Shuttered as Standalone Site, Folded into Today.com

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 10.24.51 PMiVillage, one of the earliest websites for women, will be folded into Today.com next spring, TVNewser has learned. The news of the dissolution of the standalone site is the second such move today. As TVNewser reported earlier, NBCLatino.com will be folded into NBCNews.com, eliminating three positions.

The iVillage changes will results in the loss of up to 12 jobs.

“Combining these strong lifestyle brands under the ‘Today’ banner will give iVillage much bigger reach and will further integrate it with NBC News,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser. “We are actively trying to find roles for those affected elsewhere in the company.”

iVillage was founded in 1995 by Candice Carpenter, Nancy Evans, Robert Levitan, and Tina Sharkey as one of the first Silicon Alley startups and one of the first websites targeted to women. The company had a high-flying IPO in 1999, when shares reached $100, only to crash in the dot com bubble two years later.

NBC Universal acquired iVillage in 2006. In 2007-2008 NBC produced two successive but unsuccessful iVillage-themed TV shows for local stations. Last year, the site moved from the NBC Entertainment digital group to the NBC News digital group.

Under new NBC News president Deborah Turness there is more emphasis on integrating digital and broadcast assets. The iVillage and NBCLatino moves come as the head of NBC News digital Vivian Schiller departs NBC for Twitter.

NBC Shutting Down NBCLatino.com

NBCLatinoNBC is shutting down NBCLatino.com with coverage moving to NBCNews.com when that site relaunches next year, TVNewser has learned.

A source tells us three positions will be eliminated, but those staffers may be offered positions in other parts of NBC.

NBCLatino.com has only been around for 16 months. It launched with resources from MSNBC.com and NBC News programs as well as some original reporting.

A NBC News spokesperson tells us redirecting NBCLatino.com to NBCNews.com “will allow its content to reach a much larger audience and it will further enhance NBC News’s commitment and ability to cover news and issues that matter to the Latino community.”

The WebNewser Ticker: NBC-D, ABC-Yahoo, CNN Mobile

  • NBCU is close to acquiring part of All Things D, the tech news and event company that is leaving its home at Dow Jones. The WSJ reports NBCUniversal will have a minority stake in the new Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher venture.

  • October marked the 21st straight month that for the Yahoo-ABC News Network as the No. 1 news site. The sites had 82 million unique visitors, a +16% advantage over No. 2 CNN with 70 million.

  • CNN Digital’s mobile platforms had their biggest month ever in September. The sites brought in more than 32 million users making CNN the No. 1 mobile news source for 67 consecutive months.

The New MSNBC.com is Now Live

After working out some technical hurdles, the new msnbc.com went live at 5:51pmET this evening.

The new site goes beyond being the online home of the TV channel. It includes original reporting and encourages participation, asking visitors to “Speak Out” and “Join In.” And in what NBC calls a first for news websites, the user experience is entirely customizable, allowing visitors to create their own version and vision of a community. In the MY MSNBC feature fans can create profiles and their own streams of content.

msnbccom

MSNBC.com has been redirecting to NBCNews.com since NBC took full control of the domain from Microsoft (the MS in MSNBC) in July, 2012. NBC News Digital has spent the last year designing the new MSNBC.com focused on the cable channel, as well as refreshed look for NBCNews.com.

Microsoft and NBC entered into a joint venture in 1996 at which point msnbc.com became the Web home of NBC News. NBCNews.com is now that place. NBCUniversal spent $195 million to acquire half the site it didn’t own. The dissolution of the venture also meant a move of NBC digital employees from the Microsoft campus in Redmond, to offices at the Columbia Center building in Seattle.

MSNBC’s release on all the new features, after the jump…

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MSNBC’s New Website Goes Live

MSNBCPageSmallMSNBC flipped the switch on its new website today, launching a public preview at www.msnbc.com/preview.

You can read more about their plans for the site from our report last week.

As we noted, the company is putting social front and center, both building its own social network built out around politics, while integrating with the leading social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

It is also compiling a trove of data on its users, starting with their emails. msnbc.com executive editor Richard Wolffe says that in the first 10 days since they posted a sign-up feature, the company saw 30,000 subscribers, representing a 10% signup rate. They expect more than a hundred thousand people to subscribe by the end of the year.

MSNBC Readies New Website, a ‘Platform for the Lean Forward, progressive community’

MSNBCPageSmallNext Tuesday, MSNBC’s new website msnbc.com will go live in a public beta. Later this month, it will formally take back the URL, which has redirected visitors to NBCNews.com since NBC acquired control of the site 15 months ago.

At a press briefing this morning at NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters, MSNBC president Phil Griffin and msnbc.com executive editor Richard Wolffe unveiled the new site (which was built from scratch), and explained what their goal was in designing it.

“We are the platform for the Lean Forward, progressive community,” Griffin said. “We hope it benefits television, but it will be in and of itself its own medium.”

The new site will not be a “news” site, per se, but more of a social hub for viewers of MSNBC programming. Social will be a focal point, with tight integration with the major social networks, and deep “profiles” that users can create for themselves. The channel’s full video archive will be searchable, with the last two years available at launch, and more videos from the past slowly rolling out. Users can also watch the live MSNBC TV feed on the site… provided they authenticate that they are a cable or satellite customer. Fox News and CNN have similar products.

The homepage will heavily focus on clean visuals (not unlike the upcoming new CNN.com), but it will only have 10 news stories or videos in the pageflow. Users can also navigate to pages for shows, or news topics, if they want to delve deeper. 10 stories seems somewhat limiting, but Wolffe addressed that while explaining the design.

“[It] forces us to make some tough choices, but for us it is kind of easier than for other people, because we know who we are, we know who are audience is,” Wolffe said. “We are not trying to cater for everyone, we are not trying to be a portal, this is about the spirit of MSNBC.”
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