TVBizwire

HLN Sets Its Sights on the Social Media Generation BuzzFeed

Albie Hecht, the executive tapped to lead HLN, said he wants to reposition the cable news network to focus on social media and to draw in young viewers who don’t currently watch news on television.

“Younger consumers have a very different perception of what news and information is,” Hecht told BuzzFeed. “For them, news is really made in the palm of their hands, in the iPhone prayer position. But they want every update in real time and non-stop and that’s the space that is not on TV. Our headlines are going to be ripped from social media.”

With the cable news audience stagnant, HLN and its bigger sibling, CNN, are “fighting a bloody, often-losing battle each night with Fox News and MSNBC over the same one million swing viewers aged 25 to 54,” the article notes.

Viewers tend to look to CNN for breaking news, while Fox News and MSNBC attract viewers with certain political views, the piece notes. But “nothing really defines HLN,” the story says.

The report adds: “What Hecht aims to do is package and present news culled from the media young viewers are actually consuming. While its competitors will be mining newspapers and magazines and broadcast news for headlines, HLN plans to instead curate blogs, Facebook and Tumblr posts, YouTube videos, tweets, and memes to give the things that are being traded and shared on the Web a home on television.”

albie hecht.jpgAlbie Hecht