July 18, 2006
NBC Launches Transmedia News Content

NBC News continues leading the charge to transmedia news content with its announcement earlier today that the anchor for the nightly news will be launching a daily video blog that will be released every day several hours before the nightly newscast.

NBC's star news anchor, Brian Williams, will air his on-camera video blog--The Early Nightly by late morning every day on the show's MSNBC site, shortly after the editors of the nightly newscast have their initial editorial conference call. The blog will also be available through NBC Mobile and affiliate Web sites.

NBC plans to launch the blog several hours before other network news operations release previews. ABC and CBS release short newscasts on their Web sites in the afternoon.

Williams already participates in a daily blog called The Daily Nightly that appears each afternoon previewing the night's newscast. The use of the personality of news anchors to help drive transmedia content and the use of new technologies appears to be the plan of the hour, after the announcement of Dan Rather's new show on HDNet got a lot of attention last week for a network viewed by many for their technology rather than their content, as I wrote about last week.

Back in May, NBC became the first news division to launch into iTunes, with Williams hosting a time capsule program that utilizes the news division's extensive archives, as well as making available old episodes of the long-running Meet the Press.

This video blog seems to further utilize what Aayush Iyer has written about several times: the importance of utilizing specific mediums for their particular strengths. While the nightly news is scheduled at a certain time, and the flagship show is a tradition, the video blog is a great way to give viewers a preview and break stories earlier in the day. And, with journalists debating convergence on a regular basis and J-Schools trying to decide what new media technologies can and should mean for the journalism industry, NBC's newest example will provide another interesting test--both to see the popularity of the video blog and whether journalists perceive it as adding anything to the news service offered by the network.