Above, the mock-up. Below, ABC News president David Westin‘s memo to staff:
From: Westin, David
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 9:57 AM
To: ABCTV News ALL
Next week we unveil a new version of ABCNEWS.com. This is the first stage of an overall redesign that will ultimately transform the site into a news and information website that will be boldly different — both from what it has been before and from what other, similar sites offer. The new version will be simpler, easier to use, and will feature video more prominently than what we’ve had until now.
ABCNEWS.com is all about our reporting — both on the Internet and on our broadcasts — and that will remain true. One of the important goals for the new ABCNEWS.com is to use the power of the community created on the Internet to take that reporting to new levels. We will actively seek participation by those with something factual to add. We will solicit from our Internet users the questions they want answered by those in positions of power and knowledge.
All of this will complement what we are increasingly providing on the “Be Seen and Be Heard” component of ABC News Now — available on digital cable, broadband, and mobile devices for those who subscribe.
Well before our enhancements to ABCNEWS.com, it has shown exponential growth. In March alone, the site garnered 150 million page views, marking a 22% increase in page views from the previous month. Additionally, the site saw a 13% year-over-year growth in unique users to 11.5 million.
The new ABCNEWS.com is the product of a lot of hard work, and I thank everyone involved.
We hope that you will find the new ABCNEWS.com to be a substantial step forward. Improving the site together is an ongoing process, and we encourage your comments through the message boards we’ve created for your feedback.
Where Amanda Congdon fits into the relaunch remains to be seen. She is, after all, not a journalist.