The “studio” is an open room with a table and a couple cameras at the end of a long hallway on the Foxnews.com floor. The “control room” is essentially a person sitting at an audio board. Amid the wires and audio equipment is an XBOX, where guests from Shepard Smith to Geraldine Ferraro have hit the sticks for a round of Guitar Hero.
TVNewser visited The Strategy Room today, located on the 14th floor of the News Corp. building, home to Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. The Foxnews.com program streams nine hours a day non-stop, even staying “on air” while anchors and guests switch between hours.
“It’s rough by design. It’s not TV, it’s a different platform,” EP of Fox News Digital Mike Straka tells TVNewser.
Whatever it is, it’s working. According to VP of Fox News Digital Jeff Misenti, The Strategy Room averages more than 250,000 streams a day, while all of the Foxnews.com streams get more than one million a day.
“It creates buzz and energy and its really fun,” he says of having the program originate on the floor.
So what will viewers of The Strategy Room see when they tune in? Fox News anchors and correspondents host the program, usually for an hour each, and are joined by everyone from political pundits seen on the FNC air to comedians like Colin Quinn to, um, Michael Lohan. Today, Joe the Plummer was on during the 9amET hour.
Then there’s the moments that develop simply out of having more time and being on the Web. Like Rick Leventhal ragging on Phil Keating for his copious sweating after he finished a report. Or Julie Banderas bringing her puppy Sasha during anchoring duties. Or the Web hit video of Shep playing Guitar Hero (see it here). “You’re not going to see that anywhere else,” says Straka.
For Misenti, it’s part of a larger push on Foxnews.com. “We definitely see that people do want to engage with each other,” he says. As part of the site’s evolution, there can now be up to 12 separate streaming feeds, including The Strategy Room. The player can be the location for FNC/FBN prime time promotion within the flash player, and comments from viewers are added in real time.
So what does The Strategy Room have planned for tomorrow night? And will it still be there when the Election ends?