‘Mobile-First Storytelling’ Brings TEGNA An ‘Outline’

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In a sign that reaching consumers via digital content platforms is evermore important for broadcast TV companies, the entity formerly known as Gannett has forged a strategic content partnership with the digital media firm behind The Outline.


Launched in 2016, The Outline uses proprietary and integrated content and its technology platform to publish what it calls “thoughtful, modern stories” geared toward the all-important millennial and post-2000 teens and tweens.


RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION (Full Text Below, for Members Only): Ooh … look at TEGNA getting all hipster. What will its stockholders have to say about its collaboration with an online magazine that is decidedly ultra-liberal in its bias? It’s certainly not content Sinclair Broadcast Group stations would share, but does deal this make TEGNA a biased media entity?


Content ranges from long-form and “interactives” to audio and video, giving TEGNA station websites and Apps additional content to view.

Importantly, it makes TEGNA a content producer in the OTT and digital storytelling arena, with a particular emphasis on investigative content.

TEGNA says the arrangement builds on each company’s strengths and offers consumers “fact-based journalism of consequence” in an era where “fake news” has dominated discussions since the loss of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Outline has carved a niche in digital news gathering and reporting with vignettes and reports on “power, culture and the future.”

Among the stories currently featured at TheOutline.com is the cover story “Axl Rose hates Trump as much as you do.” Other stories feature the titles “Congress is trying to save net neutrality right now” and “The Communist Manifestbro: The care and feeding of Radical Men.”

The Outline claims it has gained “a loyal and growing audience of millions and boasts industry-leading engagement on its platform.”

TEGNA believes the pact will help it build on new storytelling initiatives it has already developed, including “VERIFY,” and original investigations, such as “Selling Girls.”

TEGNA and Independent Media also plan to work together to create new content brands and test new digital advertising concepts.

“We continue to strategically partner with promising, emerging, digital-first companies that align with our innovative approach to content transformation,” said TEGNA Chief Digital Officer Adam Ostrow. “We are excited to work with The Outline on joint investigations and extend TEGNA’s impactful content to new digital audiences. Independent Media’s cutting-edge storytelling tools and integrated ad platform will also create new opportunities to better serve our audiences and advertisers.”

“TEGNA is not your traditional broadcaster,” explains Independent Media founder and CEO Joshua Topolsky, who launched the company following a 12-month stint as Bloomberg’s Chief Digital Content Officer and roles at The Verge, Vox Media and Engadget. “Their forward-thinking, thoughtful approach to journalism matches our ethos as a company. We’re excited about telling important, digital-first stories with them that make a difference.”

 


RBR+TVBR OBSERVATION (Full Text Below, for Members Only): Ooh … look at TEGNA getting all hipster. What will its stockholders have to say about its collaboration with an online magazine that is decidedly ultra-liberal in its bias? It’s certainly not content Sinclair Broadcast Group stations would share, but does deal this make TEGNA a biased media entity?

One could argue that stories about an aging rock star hating the President of the United States, the future of a hot topic no millennial truly understands (Title II classification for broadband), and stories about communism are what hipster millennials want. 

 

Let’s hope that this arrangement with TEGNA puts real journalists in charge of the radicals who have had the freedom to gain attention from hip swill in a venue where not one advertisement can be seen. That said, give Topolsky credit for hiring a Reed College grad who wrote for Willamette Week in Portland, Ore., to pen a topical piece on a rock star — even if it amounts to shamelessly empty “click bait.” The writer’s Axl Rose “article” is actually a review of his tweets that passes off as a lead feature. Dude, she didn’t even contact his publicist. And you worked at Bloomberg?

TEGNA, which owns such stations we watch regularly including KGW-8 in the PDX and WGRZ-2 in Buffalo-Niagara Falls (and by default Toronto), wouldn’t even keep an intern in the newsroom for filing such dreck.

Let’s hope nonsense like this doesn’t make it to the KGW or WGRZ Apps.