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CNN Nabs Bloomberg Video Exec Chris Berend aims to bridge TV and Web efforts

CNN has snatched up Bloomberg's digital video czar.

Starting on Dec. 2, Chris Berend lands at CNN as the company's new vp of digital video development. Berend was most recently head of video for the Bloomberg Media Group, where he helped guide the company as it looked to significantly ramp up its Web video production and viewership.

Prior to Bloomberg, Berend logged six years at ESPN, including stints with ESPN magazine and the company's digital and mobile businesses. He also spent nine years at Esquire Magazine.

In a newly created role at CNN, Berend will look to build more ties between TV and the Web. That will include creating new original Web series as well as more cross-platform content. 

When it comes to video, over the years CNN has vacillated between building a destination for original video properties, such as the now-defunct CNN Live, to serving as an outlet for cable subscribers to authenticate and watch the CNN cable network on the Web.

"Digital video at CNN is a huge success story. It's at our core," said Meredith Artley, vp and managing editor of CNN Digital, who noted that CNN.com averages  3.5 mill streams each weekday. "But we gotta invest a litte bit more in digital first video. We want to do more video and better. And we want to establihsing a clear orignal voice and style. We've done that but need to do more. That's what Chris is here to build."

Artley said CNN is planning to establish more digital-only franchises, as well as more digital extentions of shows like Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, which would be a natural for fun Web video listicles. "Sometimes there's really good stuff from these shows on the cutting room floor that we could use for Web video. But this is about being more proactive and upstream before these shows are shot. Chris has a track record with this sort of thing."

Meanwhile, Berend leaves Bloomberg at a time of great transition. The company recently had layoffs for the first time in recent memory. And according to The New York Times, the company is in the midst of potentially rethinking the value of its entire news division.


 

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In just a couple short years, Web video has matured from a burgeoning category to a dynamic new business distinct from TV. As a result, the biggest producers, executives and talent in the business are getting onboard, and the Web is nurturing its own breed of stars and storytelling genres. VideoWatch is dedicated to chronicling the players and developments in this exciting new industry. 

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