ABC News, USA Today team up for election

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NEW YORK -- ABC News has reached a content-sharing partnership with USA Today through the 2008 presidential elections.

The network and Gannett's national newspaper will share stories and video to shore up the text content on ABCNews.com and increase the video offerings for USAToday.com. Most of the content will be political but span other topics as well.

It's an extension of a relationship that has worked well during the past two years with, among other things, ABC's "Iraq: Where Things Stand" series, ABC News senior vp Paul Mason said.

USA Today will provide additional stories and blogs for ABCNews.com; ABC News will contribute political video for USAToday.com. The content will be co-branded, and Mason said the organizations will work together on some projects, including interactive elements. It's a content-for-content deal -- no money is being exchanged.

"In a world in which we need to provide content 24 hours a day in different platforms and media, partnering (with ABC News) was obviously a good idea," said Kinsey Wilson, executive editor of USA Today. USAToday.com has its own video player and is ramping up its offering of video online, though Wilson said it's mostly still wire-service feeds. Staff photographers are being outfitted with video cameras, and later this year USA Today will be training its first wave of reporters on video.

ABC News' Mason said the partnership doesn't include an on-air component but may in the future. ABC News will continue using the Washington Post as its poll partner, however.
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