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Will Local TV News Survive Web-TV Convergence? 8/29/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Convergence.
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Forrester Research reports that in the next decade your TV will deliver most programming on-demand, and ads will be targeted based on your location and your behavior. Which begs the question of whether networks will continue to support a local affiliate structure with primetime programming when their content can be delivered direct-to-consumer. Perhaps networks would rather have their programming appear at local affilitates’ portals, too, increasing their audience size. It’s not necessarily an either/or question.

In any event, even without primetime programming, local TV seems to have a profitable franchise remaining in local news. Metro papers are beginning to fail, and their online publications have not generated ad rates that can support large newsrooms, much less the video capabilities of TV stations. At this point, it looks like local news is going video.

Video for radio web sites another giant leap toward convergence 7/23/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in Convergence.
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The artificial boundaries among traditional news media are coming to an end. For text and graphics the choice was newspapers. For audio it was radio. For video it was TV. But let’s say, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has, that in 10 years all media will converge onto the Internet. For delivering news, do newspapers simply transfer text and graphics onto web sites, radio stations provide only live streams and podcasts, and TV stations simply deliver video? No, they will all offer text, audio, and video and in the process become indistinguishable.

For years, we have also seen video on online newspaper sites and text/graphics on online TV sites. But now, radio is joining in on the action. Lost Remote reports that CBS Radio is launching WorldNow video, allowing their stations to offer video quite competitive with local TV stations. Actually, WorldNow is also available for newspaper and TV sites, so the blur among the media is that much greater. So ultimately, will we ever again be able to tell the difference among the media once the convergence to the Internet is done? Only those that distinguish themselves with original content, most likely hyperlocal. Newspapers are best positioned to pull that off, but only those with sufficient foresight to do it before they are totally consumed with cutting their newsroom staffs.

First shots fired in the future of news. All media converge on the Internet in the Battle for Seattle. 8/5/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Convergence, Seattle.
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In just a few years, the news media will become the news medium as the Internet becomes the dominant carrier of material that is now distributed by newspapers, radio broadcasts, and TV transmissions. And, the stakes could not be higher or more frightening for journalists. In Seattle as elsewhere, every local metro, community, and independent newspaper will be competing online against each other as well as against every local TV and radio newsroom, not to mention every site and blog with local news. Each will draw from all of the multi’s in multi-media (text, audio, video), news consumers will have their fingers on their mouseclick triggers, and only the best will be left standing.

Lost Remote sends us a dispatch from the battlefield, where all three TV stations (KING, KIRO, KOMO) send out nearly simultaneous breaking news e-mails, and each has a web site that captures the freshness and immediacy of a blog. The two metro daily papers’ web sites (Seattle Times, SeattlePI) are not too shabby either. Then there’s a new regional site that combines aggregated stories with some original reporting (Crosscut). And the two hip, entertainment-oriented, independent weekly newspapers, each with its own slick site (Seattle Weekly, The Stranger), and one with possibly the most popular blog in town (Slog). And, at least two national chain blogs with local news (Seattlest, Seattle Metroblogging). So if you want to participate in this historic taming of the wild, wild web, “Go Northwest, Young Man!”

Bill Gates’ prediction of all media converging to Internet also means convergence of newspaper and TV newsrooms 5/9/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Convergence, Gates, Newsrooms.
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In a speech to 1,000 advertising professionals in Seattle yesterday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in effect predicted that all forms of news media – newspapers, TV, and radio – will ultimately converge onto one medium, the Internet. In his advertising-focused remarks, Gates said, “newspapers will go online, and there will be massive innovation that comes out of that…TV, the biggest ad market in the world, will completely go online and have the kind of targeting interaction that you only get out on the Web today.” If Gates is right, and he usually is, this means that in the future online newspapers and online TV news channels might be head-to-head competitors, just one mouse click away on the web. The online newspapers would specialize in news delivered via text, while the online TV news channels would specialize in news delivered via audio and video. The only problem is…this makes no sense. But, what does make sense is for each individual news web site to deliver each news story using whatever combination of text, audio, and video is best for communicating that story. So, assuming mass media survives, the segregation of print and broadcast journalists’ newsrooms, which has been largely based on their use of different communications technologies, is coming to an end.