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After a year of work, the new NBCNews.com debuts overnight tonight, just in time for premium traffic coming from the Sochi Olympics coverage.
At an unveiling this morning at 30 Rock, NBC News President Deborah Turness says the new site is about “tearing down the walls that traditionally have divided TV and digital.” The new site will be a “continuous consumption model” that continues the story whether it was born first digitally or it originally aired on TV.
TVNewser attended this morning’s event. Here are our 5 takeaways from the new site…
- Infinite scrolling homepage in storyboard format: from top to bottom, a wide variety of headlines, news, and stories with large-scale imagery.
- Redefining telling the story—beyond traditional text articles, the new site will offer standalone images, tweets, animated GIFS, and one-line summaries as different ways to tell the story. “Sometimes the best way to tell a story is simply a beautiful photo, other times the best way to tell the story is publishing a tweet with a little bit of context,” Executive Editor of NBCNews.com Gregory Gittrich said.
- Doubling down on original video: franchised series like “Show Me” and “Debunker” will offer short form video content that informs the audience (what goes into gas prices) and clears the air on widely misunderstood stories (polar vortex).
- Strategy for highly shareable content, including “Know it All” tip sheet: “The core of the strategy is we want to create stories that are highly shareable,” Gittrich added, saying he believes most users will first discover their stories on social media platforms, then coming to NBCNews.com.
- Original reporting exclusively for the web from top NBC News anchors and correspondents including Brian Williams, David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Pete Williams, Andrea Mitchell, and Richard Engel.
For Engel, the relaunched site is a reporters dream
“It means we have more places to put more material,” he said by phone from Russia, where he’s covering the Olympics. Engel says he’s excited that reporters no longer have to wait for the evening or morning news, with the website offering them the chance to send photographs, tweets, and more to allow their reporting to continue all the time.
“The most depressing thing that any correspondent can have is reporting, and either not seeing that material get on air, or putting it on-air in a way that doesn’t make sense or nobody notices,” he added.
“This doesn’t go off-air,” SVP for editorial and innovation Julian March said during his first week on the job. “Richard goes off-air for ‘Nightly,’ the story keeps going and we stay on it.”
A companion NBC News app, built in-house, will be released this week as well. The app has the same content strategy and presentation as the website.