The Ticker: iReporter, Marciano, Olbermann…

By SteveK 

> CNN announced today Travers Johnson, senior at Morehouse College, has won the network’s “Campus iReporter” contest. His iReport, submitted online, focused on whether it is a good time to be young and black in America.

> Is it possible to be a journalist and a sex symbol? That’s the question posed in this month’s VMan, a men’s fashion magazine, to CNN’s Rob Marciano (answer: “why not”). Also featured, six shots of Marciano modeling in front of various weather maps.

> Beet.TV’s Andy Plesser writes about the launch of the new web site for Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which launched Friday. Plesser has a video interview with Mark Lukasiewicz, NBC News VP of digital media. The full press release is after the jump…


MSNBC TV and msnbc.com unveiled the new “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” experience online, available at www.countdown.msnbc.com. The redesigned site gives “Countdown’s” rapidly growing online audience a visually compelling TV-like viewing experience as well as an enhanced extension of the “Countdown” brand online.

With the large, high-quality video stream and full screen viewing mode option, viewers can enjoy the critically-acclaimed “Countdown” on any platform, anytime. Consumers can also easily embed their favorite segments from the show into their own blogs or websites. The immersive online video experience, which complements the broadcast edition, includes new interactive features that can only be found online.

Two special features on the new “Countdown” site include the “Nexus of Politics and Terror” and the “Apology Hall of Fame.” The Nexus of Politics and Terror is a recurring interactive report that plots the dates of terror alerts, and in a separate row, the news coverage around the Presidential Administration. Users can draw their own conclusions about the timing and connection between politics and terror. The Apology Hall of Fame is a slideshow of prominent figures that do something wrong, get caught in the press, and issue a public mea culpa. When this happens, “Countdown” inducts them into the Apology Hall of Fame.

“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” is MSNBC’s number one program, topping CNN for the number two position in cable news at 8 p.m. For May 2008, the program averaged 1,115,000 viewers nightly.

“The new ‘Countdown’ site gives viewers an online experience that more closely matches the character and substance of the show and its host,” said Randy Stearns, Deputy Editor, msnbc.com. “The design delivers a high-quality, interactive viewing experience that allows people to see entire programs or just their favorite segments, dig into special web-only content or subscribe to the podcast.”

The site will also feature the popular segments that are fan favorites, including “Special Comments,” “Worst Person in the World,” “Oddball!” and “Bushed!”. “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” is offered on multiple digital platforms to meet consumers’ rapidly growing demand for the broadcast online. The relaunched site will also feature a podcast of the full broadcast.

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