HLN to Become The ‘Social Media Network’?

By Jordan Chariton 

HLN300x197Cable news networks have amped up their use of social media in 2013, but HLN is gearing up to become the “social media network.”

Network president Albie Hecht is in Atlanta for a 2-day network meeting with all production staff, our-sister site TVNewser reports, brainstorming ways to translate the immediacy of social media to HLN’s screen.

In the beginning, Headline News, as it was then called, consisted of half hour newswheels. More recently it was known for wall-to-wall court coverage of the Casey Anthony and George Zimmerman trials.

But in an interview with Capital New York Monday, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker hinted at moving away from the Court TV model: “It’s not as strong a business proposition, and it’s not really what advertisers are looking for,” said Zucker, noting the huge ratings draws that trials can bring. Zucker adds, “If we wanted to be in the court business, Time Warner would have kept Court TV.”

What would the “social media network” look like? Could hosts, producers, and bookers take their story cues from social media users? Will HLN look to its reporters and producers to break news, or empower social media to be the citizen digital journalists?

Stay tuned…