The Industry

Some Very Interesting Social Media Work at KIRO-TV.  Seattle is taking a great stab at audience-driven, local, social tv.  KIRO-TV staffers have two shows under their belt and they’re planning more.  Unlike some other attempts, these aren’t newscasts.  They are audience-driven shows that focus on fun guests and social media’s trends and trending topics.  And their most recent endeavor again made the most of the popularity of the show’s host, Jenni Hogan.  They have some things working to their advantage.  Hogan has a huge following.  They put a lot of thought and energy into both shows.  And their audience seems to respond well to social media engagement opportunities.  Paul Balcerak, their Facebook/Twitter guy details here some of the planning details of their first show.  I’ll be interested to see what they do next.


Another Social Media News Show Fails. KGO-TV has canceled its hour-long, interactive news program.  What does the fall of another social media news show suggest for the future role of social media in the journalism field?


Those Darned Old Folks:…More on the KOMU Saga:  KOMU-TV has made more changes to its daily newscast, backing off even more on the social media efforts that once drove the show.  The station’s Interactive Director says the station’s new model for building new audience was at odds with traditional advertisers.  And she goes on to say that the station’s older viewers just weren’t ready for what they brought to the table.  In her mind, the audience needs to be more “open”.  But there’s a danger in “You’re-just-not-ready-for-me” thinking.  There’s something to be said for the more traditional “What-do-you-want-from-me?” approach.  A really good marriage between content provider and audience strikes a healthy balance between innovation and core basics.  Keep that in mind KOMU.  Fortunately, it appears you’re trying to get there.


Working in News Can Take a Toll:  During my years as a reporter and anchor, I witnessed my fair share of addictive behaviors, poor life choices, infidelity and other manifestations of stress and pressure.  There really is a lot of that in newsrooms.  Maybe, in part, because journalists see and hear a lot of negative things on a daily basis.  Coupled with daily deadline pressure, that can lead to emotional and psychological problems.  Roy Hobbs shared this story of his addiction and how he fought back.  


An Experiment at KOMU-TV:  As we explore the future, it’s interesting to take a look at successes and failures and ask what those might indicate.  In July 2011, KOMU-TV began using Google Hangout (Google+’s video chat feature) to interact with viewers during live newscasts.  Here’s some background.

On September 12, 2011 KOMU expanded that effort with the launch of a 4 o’clock newscast that was designed to make use of and enhance the Google Hangout concept.

April 2012 brought an announcement about changes to the interactive format, with a return to a more traditional style.  Read the comments at the end as well for some insight about the changes.  (KOMU says the show was NOT canceled.)  What does this suggest about the future of audience engagement?

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