HLN President Aims to Break ‘Wall of Authority’ Between Host and Social Media User

By Jordan Chariton 

Albie 304In a wide-ranging interview with our sister-site Lost Remote, HLN president Albie Hecht talks about breaking down the walls of authority between hosts and viewers through the new HLN.

“We’re not the news network…you are,” Hecht said. “It’s really important that this wall of authority be broken down, and the social media star is very much on our air and part of our conversation everyday,” adding that HLN will be leveraging the resources of CNN to target a social media audience.

In a cable news business that yearns for the ad-friendly 25-54 younger viewer demo, Hecht spoke about simply being there for young viewers who have previously been underserved by TV news.

“If there’s nothing there for them, they’re not going to go there,” he said.

For longtime HLN viewers, the revamped social storytelling model won’t alter one of the network’s norms: crime coverage.

“Justice is a huge topic in social media,” Hecht said, suggesting that how social media users feel about big trials like the ongoing Michael Dunn trial is part of the story. “We want to expand the conversation to how America feels.”

“RightThisMinute” will be the first new show rolled out, premiering tonight at 10pmET.  It will report on the most viral web videos and the back stories behind them before they go viral.