NBC Local Media to Tap Top 20 Tweeters in Each of Its 10 Markets

NBC Local Media is launching an initiative in January to help its readers sort through the clutter of Twitter and find the most influential Tweeters in each of the 10 markets where it owns local television stations.

The 20 will debut in January in Washington, D.C.; New York; and San Diego, with the other seven markets — Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Philadelphia’ Dallas; Hartford, Conn.; and Miami — to be added later in 2011.

NBC Local Media said The 20 will focus on topics including politics, sports, dining, fashion, culture, education, and criminal, and the 20 chosen Tweeters in each of the 10 markets will be featured on-air and online, with the list to be revised “periodically.”

Vice president of cross-platform programming Peter Hirsch, executive editor John Ness, and social-media editor Lauren Bertolini will also lead a search for social-media editors in each of the 10 markets.

NBC Local Integrated Media president Greg Scholl said:

In the age of social media, “voice” is democratizing, with fresh new perspectives about important issues facing local communities. “The 20” will connect these relevant new voices with NBC’s local broadcast and online audiences to facilitate discussion and debate, and help to shape local media coverage.

Twitter director of media partnerships Chloe Sladden added:

Twitter is transforming the way people follow local news. The combination of Twitter and local is powerful. With more than 95 million Tweets per day, it can be difficult to find the most relevant Tweets and accounts. So it’s incredibly valuable when partners like NBC Local Media act as curators — finding and showcasing great local voices.