Albie Hecht on HLN: ‘We Don’t Consider it a TV Network’

By Chris Ariens 

HLN’s Albie Hecht says “a new Game of Thrones is coming.”

No, Hecht isn’t taking a page from corporate cousin HBO in search of a new show. What he’s saying is that the TV world as we know it is in for another massive disruption.

“Whether it’s Facebook, Google or Apple, one of them is going to buy a content company,” Hecht predicted this morning during a chat at VidCon. “Once that happens, chaos ensues. Winter is coming,” the longtime TV executive joked.


Hecht says his own disruption of TV is on track. It began in 2013 when he was tapped to reinvent HLN. “I went to the Museum of Broadcasting and noticed a lot of white men reading the news.” He realized that wasn’t going to be HLN’s future.

The channel, rebranded the first social TV network in 2014, programs with an algorithm heavy on what’s being discussed on social networks. “We put out our social content every day,” Hecht says. “Whatever is resonating is what goes on the linear channel.”

“We don’t consider it a TV network,” Hecht says of HLN. Since, increasingly, viewers get their news from the web and social channels Hecht deemphasizes “TV” at the network.

“We think of TV as our third screen.”