×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBC News Will Launch Coverage of Media Industry

NBC News is building its own network of reliable sources to cover the ins and outs of the media industry.

The NBCUniversal unit said Friday that it would rely on a handful of staffers, new hires and contributors to report on everything from the frenetic innovations in how content is distributed to the effects the current political scene has on how consumers get their information. Much of the coverage will be offered via a digital “vertical” devoted to the subject, the name of which will be released at a later date. NBC News named Claire Atkinson, a former media-industry reporter for the New York Post, as a senior editor and reporter to lead its efforts.

“We’re in a time where the media industry is facing incredible change due to technology, social platforms, the marketplace, consumer tastes and behaviors,” said Catherine Kim, executive editor at NBC News Digital, in a prepared statement.

The industry is also in the midst of an era when gazing at its own navel seems to bring more tangible rewards than it has in the past. In a nation riven by politics, discussion of Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, Breitbart and other media sources often sparks a torrent of clicks and page views, many of which can be monetized by throwing the numbers to media buyers and demanding better prices for the audience that has been assembled. Time Warner’s CNN has turned a once-sleepy Sunday public affairs program about the media, “Reliable Sources,” into a six-days-a-week newsletter put together by a group of reporters who exhaustively document their slightest maneuver on Twitter. Even invoking a media source once as innocuous as ESPN seems to create great hue and cry in the current cycle.

NBC News is only the latest in a parade of entrants to come on the beat in recent years. Politico and Vanity Fair are among the news outlets that have hired staffers to analyze everything from Megyn Kelly’s latest interview (a topic one suspects the new NBC News effort may not cover in depth) to the future of the news business to the direction of 21st Century Fox as its mantle of leadership is passed from one generation to the next. At a time when streaming video, portable devices and social media gain increasing sway over consumers, the distribution of information is in flux, the credibility of facts can no longer be taken for granted, and a steady flow of advertising to support it all is anything but guaranteed.

NBC News said it would rely on two other staffers for content. James Rainey, a veteran chronicler of the media and entertainment industries at Variety and The Los Angeles Times, joined the unit in April as a reporter based in Los Angeles. Jo Ling Kent, an NBC News and MSNBC correspondent, reports on the business of media, the technology giants, and social media platforms.

The NBCUniversal unit said it would also tap current NBC News and MSNBC contributors like Gabriel Sherman, a writer for Vanity Fair, and Steve Brill, a media entrepreneur. John Huey, the former editor in chief of Time Inc., will join to contribute to digital and broadcast. And the NBC News venture will rely on contributors from media outlets in which its parent company has invested. Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka, two senior editorial operatives at Recode, part of Vox Media, will serve as contributors, as will Ben Smith, editor in chief of Buzzfeed, another outlet in which NBCU holds a significant stake.

 

More TV

  • RENT: Top L-R to Bottom L-R:

    How Fox's Live Version of 'Rent' Honors and 'Enhances' Jonathan Larson's Vision

    In the more than 20 years since Jonathan Larson’s “Rent” first debuted on Broadway, the conversation of adaptation has often come up: Film director Chris Columbus infamously brought the story to the big screen in 2005, Michael John Warren similarly shot one of the final performances of the original theater run in 2008, and talk [...]

  • Conversations With a Killer: The Ted

    TV Review: 'Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes'

    The title “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” Netflix’s new four-part documentary series launching Jan. 24, is slightly misleading. Not about its subject, Bundy, the infamous serial killer who finally confessed to some 30 murders before his 1989 death in the electric chair. The misnomer is “Conversations.” While we hear Bundy’s voice on [...]

  • Marvel's The Punisher

    'Punisher' Star Jon Bernthal on Season 2, Broken Bones and Frank's 'Self-Loathing'

    “The Punisher” returns for its second season today, opening on a Frank Castle in search of a more peaceful life. “He’s dipping his toes in the potential waters of peace,” series star Jon Bernthal told Variety. “He’s flirting with human interaction and human connection. I think it goes awry pretty quickly. There’s a kernel of truth that [...]

  • Emmys statue

    TV Academy to Eliminate Emmy DVD Screeners in 2020

    The Television Academy will eliminate distribution of DVD screeners for eligible shows beginning with the 2020 Emmy cycle. Designed to eliminate both monetary and physical waste, the move will have a substantive impact on the strategy of Emmy marketers. It also makes the academy the first major entertainment-industry organization to bar physical screeners. “This is [...]

  • Black-ish Actor Deon Cole Lands New

    'Black-ish' Star Deon Cole Talks Diversity in Television and Landing New Dream Role

    2019 is shaping up to be Deon Cole’s year, and to hear the actor and comedian tell it, “the stars have lined up and everything is coming together.” Fresh off the Season 2 premiere of Freeform’s “Grown-ish,” with Cole reprising his “Black-ish” role of Professor Charlie Telphy, the actor takes on a slightly different role [...]

  • Super Bowl LII - Tom Brady,

    Verizon Plans Multiple Ad Plays Leading to Super Bowl Commercial

    If Verizon gets its way, its Super Bowl advertising plans will include a 60-second commercial during the game – and a half-hour documentary that gives viewers even more of what will be discussed in the ad. The telecommunications giant is often scrutinized for the communications resources it provides its customers, but its Super Bowl campaign [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content