NBC News is working toward a big expansion of its digital, streaming and video output for next year.
In a memo to staff, Chris Berend, executive vice president of digital for NBC News, laid out the company’s plans to operate more “cohesively as one NBC News” and recenter its digital output. With that comes the shuttering by the end of the year of two online verticals, Mach and Left Field, focused on tech and video, respectively.
An NBC spokeswoman said there would be some layoffs due to Mach and Left Field closing, but noted everyone impacted will be able to apply for any of the new positions coming up through the expansion effort. She said only that “a dozen or fewer” would be impacted after jobs are filled. The growth effort is said to be creating around 70 new positions within NBC News.
Even with those closures, NBC News Digital intends to expand its science and climate coverage next year and really push forward with video, with plans to make its still new online streaming news service, NBC News Now, a 24-hour platform by spring, up from its current slate of nine hours a day. Berend said the service will add “staffing, distribution, product enhancements” to become “a driver of our daily video inventory across platforms.”
Teams involved in news coverage and distribution will also be grouped into a new News Programming team, which will be responsible for “curating and alerting all text and video experiences for NBC News, MSNBC and, when it launches, the global news service,” Berend wrote. NBC’s global news service is set to launch sometime next year. And Catherine Kim, currently executive editor of NBC News Digital, has been promoted to global head of digital news.
Elsewhere, NBC is investing in video operations on the whole, looking to produce more end-to-end for all news departments and is developing a “dedicated video operations group” that will also lead live video efforts. NBC is also investing even more in “strategic content production,” meaning work it’s paid to produce from advertisers or brand partners. Ashley Parrish, currently vice president of strategic content, will now oversee it for digital and “Today,” which has its own website.
All in all, the digital growth efforts mean NBC News is expecting to the 70 new jobs in journalism, product tech and on the business side.
“This growth comes with a need to focus what we offer audiences,” Berend wrote. “With a greater emphasis on daily news and custom content, our original news video efforts will center squarely on high-impact storytelling, seamlessly integrated with our feature reporting.”
“We’ve made significant progress in the last few years and I’m confident these changes will accelerate our success,” he added.
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