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NBC News is planning a significant investment in streaming video, hiring some 200 staffers and planning multiple new shows as part of a larger pivot by television news organizations toward streaming video.
NBC says that it will hire 200 new positions dedicated to NBC News Digital and its streaming services, which include NBC News Now and Today All Day. The company says the new jobs are in addition to some 70 new positions that have been filled in recent months.
It will also add several hours of original programming to NBC News Now, starting in the fall. The first batch of new shows include a daily primetime news program anchored by senior national correspondent Tom Llamas; a weekly special newsmagazine series hosted by senior Washington correspondent and anchor; Hallie Jackson; and an evening news analysis and explainer program, hosted by anchor Joshua Johnson.
The company says it will add additional programming into the fall and into 2022, with plans to launch an international version of the streaming service in the coming months.
“This substantial investment in streaming and digital allows us to meet the needs of news consumers in a rapidly-changing digital media industry,” said NBCU news group chairman Cesar Conde in a statement.
NBC’s streaming push comes as every TV news organization tries to find a foothold in streaming video. There are effectively two strategic efforts: Broadcast news organizations like NBC, CBS and ABC all have free standalone streaming news services (NBC News Now, CBSN, and ABC News Live) which are available on their own and within other streaming services like Peacock, Paramount+ and Hulu.
At the same time, cable news channels are exploring streaming opportunities as well, with Fox News investing in its Fox Nation service after launching it in 2018 (it also has an international service called Fox News International and a forthcoming free weather service called Fox Weather), CNN planning an early 2022 launch for a service it is calling CNN+, and MSNBC focusing its efforts within Peacock.
As linear television continues to decline in favor of streaming, every news organization is trying to carve out a slice of the streaming viewership, without cutting off the revenue streams that traditional linear distribution provides.
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