CNN, Washington Post expand with streaming news sites

Twitch IRL
The Washington Post is taking up residence on Twitch TV. (Twitch)

CNN will launch a streaming video service that focuses on technology news. The company is also reorganizing some of its web sites, also with the aim of emphasizing news from the tech world.

Separately, The Washington Post has launched a streaming news channel on Twitch, the service focused on gamers.

A good chunk of Twitch’s audience is made up of Millennials. While post-Boomers are sometimes seen as shunning the news, a recent study has suggested that’s not accurate; it’s just that Millennials absorb their news as part of other media-consuming activities. The Post appears to be taking that to heart with an attempt to embed itself where at least part of the Millennial audience is.

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The newspaper experimented with streaming news items on Twitch in April, with coverage of Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in Congress. As of today, the Post has its own channel on Twitch.

CNN, meanwhile, is planning a streaming video service that will emphasize business and technology. CNN’s weekly show “Markets Now” is slated to be among those that will appear on the video service.

CNN also intends to hire about a half-dozen journalists in Silicon Valley to beef up the news organization’s coverage of technology. It also intends to reorganize its business websites.

CNN Money is now an umbrella site, with subsections that include CNN Tech, CNN Media, and CNN Markets. CNN will create a new site to be called CNN Business. CNN Money, CNN Tech, and CNN Media will be subsections of CNN Business.

CNN’s streaming service and the reorganization at its web-based news sites was reported by Bloomberg, which quoted Jason Farkas, a producer who will lead CNN Business.

It isn’t possible to view the changes at CNN outside of the context of AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, and other content producers. AT&T is already instigating changes at HBO, and HBO is financially sound. CNN is too—overall, but Bloomberg reported that CNN’s digital operations fell short of its financial targets last year. That is bad enough under ordinary circumstances, but failing to hit numbers invites a new corporate parent to start imposing changes.

To be fair, it isn’t possible to view the changes at CNN outside of the context of what’s going on in the world of digital media either. More and more video is being consumed on mobile devices, and just about everyone involved in digital media is developing a strategy for streaming, and that certainly includes news organizations.

Fox News is planning to launch a subscription streaming service named Fox Nation later this year. CBS years ago launched its own ad-supported streaming news channel, CBSN. And NBC News has hinted at plans to launch a streaming news service. Meanwhile, digital news networks like Cheddar and Newsy have been finding their way onto several streaming platforms such as Hulu, YouTube TV and Philo, as we recently reported.

Sinclair is also reportedly considering the launch of its own streaming service that would be built around a news channel but would also include entertainment channels as well.

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