Monday, November 30, 2009

Delicious Today: Transformation of NewsHour, Views from Inside and Outside

1. Merging Online and Broadcast Cultures to Reinvent 'NewsHour' (insider's view)
The "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" is re-incarnating itself as the "PBS NewsHour" on December 7. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes details involved in creating the new program, and chief among them is a complete reorganization of our editorial teams to create a merged newsroom for online and broadcast.
2. Stressing the Web, ‘NewsHour’ Begins an Overhaul (outsider's view)
With almost no current overlap between the show’s Web and TV audiences, “NewsHour” executives see significant potential in the reorganization. ...The news and public affairs lineup on PBS is undergoing a broader overhaul, as well. “Nightly Business Report” will have a new anchor in the new year. Bill Moyers is ending his weekly Friday show at the end of April, and PBS canceled the companion “Now on PBS.”
I first learned about NewsHour's merge of its on-air and online staff when I visited its online editor, Lee Banville, while interning at CPB this summer. I immediately like the idea because as the web producer at Wisconsin Public Radio's Here on Earth show, I have reached the same conclusion that on-air and online staff have to work as a single team in order to harness the synergy of radio and Internet. The two technologies are like two musical instruments, when they are played together in an orchestrated way, their music sounds better and richer. But during the merge process, the two teams inevitably will experience storms before they establish new norms (work routines) and perform well again. Old habits die hard. It takes a determined yet sensitive management and a committed yet open-minded staff to sail through the storms. I'm very glad and encouraged that NewsHour is sharing its transformation process with the rest of us. Its experience will provide valuable lessons for other public broadcasting organizations.

3. Group of Magazine Publishers Is Said to Be Building an Online Newsstand

A consortium of magazine publishers including Time Inc. and Condé Nast plan to jointly build an online newsstand for publications in multiple digital formats ... sometimes characterized as an “iTunes for magazines.”
A very smart move for magazines. I wish there was a similar space for content produced by hundreds of public radio and television stations, a public media cyber mall. Without it, it's really hard to cross promote content or encourage healthy competition to improve the quality and variety of public programming.

4. How a shift in perspective salvaged’s local search project
In 2006, launched a local search tool that was supposed to be a big part of the site’s future. ... The reality is that’s local search never caught on. ... Disappointing numbers didn’t lead to abandon local search. ... The “aha” moment came when the team stopped looking at search as a product and started seeing it as a platform. found two new uses for their local search engine and averted a total loss on their 6-figure investment. It serves as a good example of how we should approach experiment and technology: always take a second and different look before giving it up.

No comments: