The World Newser, the blog for ABC News’ World News with Charles Gibson, celebrated the anniversary of its relaunch Thursday, and executive producer Jon Banner told WebNewser he is “gratified by the success it has had in the short time since the redesign.” Page views for The World Newser are up 282% compared with August 2008, while page views on the World News page were up 38%.
Banner said the increases in page views have been “pretty consistent since we relaunched the page with the blog, which is just the second step in many steps to spread content across multiple platforms and get it to people wherever they are.”
On the decision to place the blog smack down the middle of the World News page, Banner added, “That was a mandate from me, putting the blog front and center. Everything else is side dishes, and the main course is the blog.”
Banner said the mission shared by himself, senior broadcast producer Tom Nagorski and senior domestic producer Tom Johnson is to “continue the conversation with our audience that we only really get to talk to on television for a half-hour every day at 6:30 p.m.,” and to “try to get our material out, coming fast and furious, and keep it really interesting and vibrant to a digital audience,” adding that the three of them—as well as numerous other senior producers, correspondents, digital reporters, producers and even desk assistants—are doing their “day jobs and digital jobs all at once.”
When asked if there was any resistance to the double duty, he said people were “tripping over themselves” to get material onto The World Newser, saluting “real efforts by us and across the entire news division.”
When the relaunch was first conceived, Banner said he and his staff were working with “metrics on how many posts you can have,” and they ended up producing “four times the numbers of posts we thought we’d be able to do in our first week, which has been pretty steady throughout, and which surprised all of us. We wanted to create a destination for hyper-news users. Given the correspondents we had, the producers, how it was going to be organized, we had a great chance to be that destination. It’s not just the news, but it’s a lot of interesting things that might be a little bit off the news.”
Finally, when asked about The World Newser being blocked in China, along with several other news blogs and sites, Banner said, “The Chinese government’s history on these sort of things is not very responsive in terms of telling us why they did something. We would very much like to be available in China, as we would like to be available everywhere. Information is power.”