CNN Now in “Horse Race” with Huffington Post and Daily Beast

By on 10/23/2009 2:09 PM @beet_tv

CNN.com has taken notice of the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast as "opinion destinations" and wants to be a "horse in that race," CNN.com General Manager KC Estenson told me last night, after the industry introduction of the revamped CNN.com site.  (transcript below)

At an after-event party at the Hudson, we sat down for this chat. 

He said that Arianna Huffington and Tina Brown, founder of the Daily Beast, had done "really nice things" with their sites. 

He said that CNN.com already has a stable of 100 contributors, both inside and outside CNN, and wants to build out the effort by surfacing them in a new page called CNN Opinion, which goes live on Monday as part of the site redesign.

He said he plans to add as many as 10 new contributors a month.

Videos Part of New Opinion Page

In addition to the text contributions, CNN.com will feature videos of the contributors — sometimes produced by the contributors and others produced by CNN.com.

Last night, CNN announced three new contributors, conservative commentator David Frum, actor John Leguizamo, and social media blogger Pete Cashmore. 

Below is  a photo of KC's presentation yesterday.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Video Transcript

KC Estenson:  Well we really felt like we wanted a true opinion destination. You know this is something that others in the online space have done pretty well. You know, I think that both Tina and Arianna have done really nice things on their sites and we should have a horse in that race, right?  And I think that we have some incredible voices that we can share with the world and we have, we just haven't really showcased it and really pulled it together and said, "Let's make this a vibrant destination." So now at CNN.com in our opinion section you're going to get all this stuff every single week, almost every single day you're going to get new commentary from somebody you probably know and recognize. So it should be really great.

Andy Plesser:  How many experts, commentators, "opinionators," how many folks are on there now and where might that go in the next few months?

KC Estenson:
  We've had almost a hundred in the last year alone, so you can image that we'll continue on at that pace of something like, in the neighborhood, I don't know, ten or so a month.

Andy Plesser:  I'm sorry, ten or so new ones?

KC Estenson:
Yeah, probably ten or so new ones every month.  Many of them topical and based on the news of the day and some of them just about broad issues that we're all facing as a society. The other thing that I want to do is to start bringing more video into our commentary and shoot video packages to a company on the commentary that these people are going to do.

Andy Plesser:  Will they shoot them themselves or you guys are shooting that for them, or how does that work?

KC Estenson: 
Yeah, sometimes they'll shoot them themselves and sometimes we'll help them produce, it just depends.  Like David Frum, we will probably produce for him. With somebody like Peter Cashmore from Mashable, Pete, if he does video, will probably do it on his own and send it into us. It just sort of depends on the technical savvy of the person we're working with.

Kc.presentation

Recent Videos
image
IAB’s Shah: Too Many Viewability Platforms Will Hurt Industry

Viewability, the recently-defined metric that defines whether an online ad slot is really viewable by consumers is a wholesale change for the industry – but its benefits may be blunted as too many platforms are vying to help advertisers capitalize, according to Ziff Davis CEO and IAB chair Vivek Shah. ...

image
Marketers Can Reach ‘Meerkats’ With Mobile: Weather Channel’s Dan Young

LONDON — Mobile video heralds a chance for advertisers to reach consumers who may appear to be distracted or in the outdoors – but who are actually highly engaged and watching TV, according to Weather Channel international yield and programmatic Daniel Young. “It’s personal,” Young ...

image
Ooyala Buying Videoplaza To Enhance Video Advertising Breadth

They are two of the best-known names in online video service provision – and now they are coming together as one. Video streaming service Ooyala, itself now owned by Australian telco Telstra, is acquiring its video advertising peer Videoplaza. The buying company says the deal “allows Ooyala to ...

image
Videology Opens TV Practice To Make Buying Smarter

Videology has established a strong profile for itself by helping TV ad buyers make intelligent decisions to buy online video ads. Now it wants to help them buy good old fashioned TV ads in the same way. The New York-based company is opening a dedicated TV practice. As CEO Scott Ferber tells The Wall Street ...

image
Interstitial Better Than Auto-Play: Jun CEO Mulls New Mobile Ads

CHICAGO – Ad network Jun Group’s CEO Mitchell Reichgut “recoils” when he hears about auto-playing ads, the new format being picked by Facebook and others to deliver video messages. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try introducing interruptive ads of his own. ...

image
Facebook is Redefining the Value of of Video Autoplay, Vivek Shah

Historically, videos which start automatically on Web pages and in mobile apps can be offensive to users, but the approach taken by Facebook by setting videos to autoplay without sound, is an important step forward for publishers and marketers, says Vivek Shah, chairman of the IAB and CEO of Ziff Davis, in ...

image
Mindshare’s Cridlin to Brands: Stop Seeking Fans on Facebook — “Organic Reach Is Non-Existent”

CHICAGO – Put your money where your mouth is. That’s the new mantra of digital ad execs who believe gaining free audiences by building viral social audiences is over. “There is an urban myth of organic reach, of something going viral,” Mindshare digital innovation and strategy MD Jim ...

image
AETNA Allocates Most Ad Spend to Digital; Big Piece is Programmatic Video

For the giant insurer AETNA, a majority of its advertising budget is spent on digital media and at least 10 percent of the total spend going to programmatic video, says Gary Templeton, head of media,  in this interview with Beet.TV With advent of the Affordable Health Care Act, AETNA has been focused  on ...

image
Brand Pair-Ups with Publishers Can Drive Key Metrics, Maxus’ Bahler

CHICAGO — Working with a publisher partner can be a smart strategy for branded content, especially to drive awareness and visibility, says Spencer Bahler, Managing Director-Chicago at Maxus in an interview with Beet.TV. “We have some challenger brands we represent and we look to partnerships to ...

image
Leo Burnett’s Geraghty on Branded Content Breakthroughs for Coke, P&G

CHICAGO — Coca-Cola’s groundbreaking small world machines campaign has won awards and reached around the world, but it wasn’t easy to pull off. The goal of the branded content effort was to showcase corporate responsibility but also bridge borders, says Vincent Geraghty, EVP and Executive ...

image
Attribution Is Changing The Currency Of Media: Adap.tv’s Ackerman

Marketers may be moving in to an era when they no longer pay for advertising based on the likelihood of reaching a number of people of a particular kind – but based on actual end product sales as a result. AOL recently acquired two companies in the “attribution” space which will enable this ...

image
Mobiles Are Now Subscribers’ TVs & DVRs: Comcast’s Strauss

In the age of smart glass everywhere, what’s the difference between a TV and a phone anymore? Comcast Cable wants to give its subscribers value by offering them content from their home TV on devices out of home. In this video interview, the company’s video services SVP and GM Matt Strauss tells ...

loader