The first fruits of Facebook’s multimillion-dollar investment in news programming from brand-name TV networks and digital media companies will go live next week — and the social giant has announced another half-dozen news shows that it’s funding.
Starting on Monday, July 16, programming from CNN, Fox News Channel, Univision, ABC News and others will be featured in a dedicated news section in Facebook Watch, its recently launched video platform for episodic programming. The Watch news section will feature news videos from national and local news orgs, and users will see a personalized feed based on the publishers they follow and what their friends are watching. (Facebook users also can access the shows directly from their show pages.)
The first lineup of previously announced shows from news publishers include those from ABC News, Advance Local, ATTN:, CNN, Fox News, Mic, Quartz, and Univision. Over the course of the next few months, Facebook will bring out additional news shows from ABC-owned stations, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, McClatchy, Group Nine Media’s NowThis and Tegna.
For Facebook, the initiative is an effort to support journalism from established news groups after the company has been lambasted for its role in spreading “fake news” — including an effort by Russian operatives to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. That’s notwithstanding the view of some people who, depending on their political leanings, are convinced that either Fox News or CNN are hopelessly biased in their coverage.
The shows include Univision’s “Noticiero Univision Edición Digital,” an interactive Spanish-language news broadcast at 12 p.m. ET weekdays; Fox News “Fox News Update,” hosted by chief news anchor Shepard Smith at 4 p.m. ET weekdays; CNN’s “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” news and interview show at 6:25 p.m. ET weekdays; “Mic Dispatch,” a newsmagazine program on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.
Cooper’s first show for Facebook Watch on July 16 is scheduled to live-stream from Helsinki for the U.S.-Russia summit. “Anderson Cooper Full Circle” will broadcast from wherever the CNN anchor is hosting “AC360,” and will include live polls that allow viewers to vote on the stories they care about most. Cooper also will respond to questions posted in the Facebook comments section.
Meanwhile, ATTN:’s “Undivided ATTN:” — a weekly explainer show breaking down the biggest issue of the week — will premiere Wednesday, July 18, at 9 p.m. ET. The first episode, hosted by influencer and YouTube star Luisito Comunica, will examine the history of U.S.-Mexico relations, focusing on the impact of newly elected Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Other upcoming Facebook-funded news programs coming in the weeks ahead include:
- ABC-owned stations’ “More in Common”: weekly series showcasing bridges being built between people of various races, religions, genders and backgrounds in cities and towns across America.
- Bloomberg’s “At What Cost?”: weekly series that takes the week’s biggest headlines and explains how they will affect you, your finances and your future.
- BuzzFeed News’ “Profile”: weekly interview show hosted by Audie Cornish of NPR’s “All Thing’s Considered” featuring a different newsmaker each week.
- McClatchy’s “The War Within”: 10-part docu-series profiling retired veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who are helping other vets cope with the effects of PTSD.
- NowThis’ “NowThis Morning”: daily news show aimed at millennial viewers.
- Tegna’s “An Imperfect Union”: weekly series that brings together two people divided on an issue to collaborate on a community-service project.
In addition to the news section of Watch, Facebook is expanding the video platform into other areas, as with Facebook Gaming, which is designed as a Twitch-like home for video-game creators.
Here’s the current schedule of Facebook-funded news shows, some of which will launch next week: