WaPo to Debut Online Politics Channel

Come the summer of 2013, WaPo will have an online video channel devoted to politics. Will it crash your computer or smartphone? Who knows, but we’ll be there to test it out.

According to a release sent out today, the channel will broadcast several franchise shows that feature WaPo journalists and commentators, and “key newsmakers and viewers” from around the country. Programming will be produced in the newsroom with the help of the Politics reporting team. Viewers will be able to watch the video as individual clips or complete shows on desktop and mobile devices. Content will also be available on selected connected TV devices.

As with every other outlet in town and likely the world, they’re promising something “different” and “easy to use” (we’re crossing our fingers on this part)…

“We have a terrific opportunity to rethink how video news from Washington is presented,” said Andrew Pergam, director of Video for WaPo. “We’ll certainly bring to it the credibility and authority viewers expect from The Post, but we’ll also have a distinct voice and personality. Our goal is to create programs and segments that are different from anything else in the marketplace.”

The planned video programming will include hundreds of clips organized into shows and totaling over 30 hours of air time per month. The Post plans to house its expanded video offerings in a newly designed platform that will be easy to use and interactive. Video content will also be featured prominently both on the homepage and within articles.

“We see good reason to make a larger investment in video, already an area of distinction for The Post. Interest has risen in current programming, and there is real promise in offering more,” said Martin Baron, executive editor of WaPo. “As news consumers increasingly turn to video, a video channel centered on politics is a natural for The Post.”

We’ve asked WaPo for comment on how they know that their current video programming is getting any traffic and also to describe how they think the new channel will make money. As of press time, no comment was forthcoming. UPDATE: Spokeswoman Kris Koratti wrote back, “We monitor video traffic internally and for now the video channel will be monetized through advertisers and sponsorship.” When asked for the internal numbers, Koratti said WaPo never publicly gives those out.