After more than a year with the pioneering "Daily Nightly" blog, "NBC
Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams is expanding to a video blog that
will give a quick glimpse at the day's top stories by mid-morning.
"The Early Nightly" went live earlier this week on
http://www.MSNBC.com as a one- to two-minute video blog recorded by
Williams after the 9:30 a.m. ET morning meeting held by members of the
"NBC Nightly News" staff.
"It's an electronic curtain raiser for the day's coverage," Williams
said from Haifa, Israel, where he was reporting for "NBC Nightly
News." He added it will normally be shot at his desk, although for
the last two days it's been done from his location in Israel.
"The idea is to be a little more transparent in the way we talk about
the process, giving people an early insight into the news, knowing
that what we think is critical at 10 o'clock in the morning may be
less important at 6," said MSNBC.com deputy editor Randy Stearns.
It's possible that this could also eventually become a part of NBC's
deal with online video phenomenon YouTube.com, although there have
apparently only been talks but no real movement on putting the "Early
Nightly" on YouTube.
NBC's newest move online, which has been in development for months,
came after CBS News said it would produce a daily Webcast featuring
Katie Couric and other CBS News correspondents. NBC has offered the
"Daily Nightly" for more than a year, as well as the full version of
"NBC Nightly News" every night on MSNBC.com after it airs on the West
ABC has produced a daily 15-minute Webcast at 3 p.m. daily since
December. ABC's commitment to the Webcast has been unwavering, despite
a critical staffing shortage following the injury of then co-anchor
That Webcast has recently drawn as many as 2 million downloads per
week, which ABC News executives believe to be incremental and more
than likely to be a different audience than for the traditional "World
One of the unexpected outgrowths of ABC's "World News Tonight" Webcast
is that it isn't just a dress rehearsal for the broadcast. The Webcast
puts to work in elevated capacities some of the more junior people at
"World News Tonight," said ABC News senior vp Paul Slavin. And while
the story selection and manner of presentation is different, some of
the offbeat stories can make the leap from Web to TV.
Slavin said one recent story, about the YouTube video mocking Zinedine
Zidane's headbutt, went from the Webcast to the half-hour broadcast.
"They find stories that do make it on the national broadcast," Slavin
said. "It informs some of the story selection."
Network-news analyst Andrew Tyndall, who has been calling on the
networks to create a comprehensive effort in new media, said NBC's
announcement, like all of the network efforts online, have yet to be
"The entire process of establishing an identity online is going to be
this gradual addition. It's not a grand thing they will launch,
they're going to build it brick by brick," Tyndall said.
Not exactly so to ABC's Slavin, who said that news divisions lke ABC
and NBC are using their news smarts and their positions in traditional
media to help them decide what to do in the new media.
"We're not all just talking about digital. We're in digital with both
feet," Slavin said.
Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.
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