CNN Putting $20 Million Toward Plans for Digital Media Domination

By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

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In the ongoing game of national network King of the Mountain, CNN is rarely able to plant the flag, as it were.

There has to be something the spirits of Bernie Shaw, Larry King, Peter Arnett, and that penciled-in mustachioed Ted Turner can do to help their former home take over network news once again. But how?

The answer: Invest in digital media.

According to the Wall Street Journal, CNN is investing $20 million into its digital products and a “traditional restructuring,” which naturally means more folk are about to look for a job elsewhere (50, in fact, based on the story).

The focus is not to beat Fox News, but rather to grab the appetite of readers who frequent the likes of Vice, Mic, BuzzFeed, Gizmodo, and that HuffPo start-up.

“The world has changed,” [Andrew Morse, executive vice president of editorial of CNN U.S. and general manager of CNN Digital Worldwide] said. “Scale alone is not enough. We can’t fight the last war. The one for the desktop homepage–we already won.” He said the model of digital news that tries to “replicate a wire service” is falling out of date, as native digital companies experiment with other types of journalism. “We need to be as nimble and digitally savvy.”

Morse is equipping a team of agile experts to create a mobile feed called Money Stream (because of motivating forces) that would deliver tailored content about specific companies that consumers choose to follow. A group of new hires will focus on “customizing content for online distributors like Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Snapchat.” Additionally, Morse cites the following areas of investment and focus:

  • Global Expansion
  • Audience Development and Analytics
  • Mobile Product Development
  • Mobile and Off-Platform Programming
  • CNN Digital Studios and CNNMoney
  • An entirely new video experience
  • Premium content areas such as Style, Tech and Health

cnn-hologramThis should be a note to CNN’s technology department too.

All of those interactive floor models, TV monitor jungles, and talking heads is not what viewers want anymore.

Holograms don’t increase viewership. Strong opinions and an unwavering dedication to share the real facts are what today’s younger viewers desire. They want a story, a focus, and a takeaway to learn.

You know, kinda like… oh, what’s that called again… that’s right, journalism.

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