Jan. 9, 2011
One year after its re-launch, PBS NEWSHOUR nearly triples reach
Innovative digital features and widgets pair with quality journalism to drive expansion and attract new audiences
(PASADENA, CA) On December 7, 2009, PBS' flagship nightly news program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" merged its broadcast and digital operations and re-launched as the PBS NEWSHOUR with a goal of more fully developing its digital platforms and growing the audience for its brand of trusted and credible reporting.
One year later, it is clear the re-launch has been a success. In a competitive and rapidly changing broadcast television news environment, the PBS NEWSHOUR audience has held steady at an average audience of 1.1 million viewers per night and a cumulative audience of approximately 5 million viewers per week, significantly larger than much of its competition in the cable news arena.
Meanwhile, in the online and digital space, innovative and interactive new features, expansion on new digital platforms such as YouTube, Ustream, and iPhone, plus the addition of digitally savvy correspondents Hari Sreenivasan and Miles O'Brien, drove growth online, virtually tripling the NewsHour's daily reach from approximately 60,000 visitors in 2009 to more than 200,000+ daily visitors by the end of 2010.
"We have been extremely pleased with our progress in growing our digital audience," said Linda Winslow, executive producer of the PBS NEWSHOUR. "There is a real need for the type of reporting and analysis we deliver, the kind of ‘MacNeil-Lehrer journalism' that has been our hallmark. We don't care when or how our audiences access our content, we just want to be ready to meet their need for thoughtful, balanced and fact-based information."
The strength of the PBS NEWSHOUR's combined journalistic and digital talents was underscored during the Gulf oil spill crisis. To augment over 50 broadcast reports, the NEWSHOUR team developed an innovative widget and embeddable livestream video of the well leaking underwater. Not only did the oil spill cam give viewers a first-hand look at the gushing well, but the widget featured an adjustable calculator that enabled viewers to compare different estimates of the leak and calculate the amount of oil spilled based on that figure.
The oil spill cam video went viral and the widget was embedded on literally hundreds of websites. Media Post columnist Steve Smith called the PBS NEWSHOUR's Gulf Oil Spill widget "the biggest online video of the year," adding "there is no better example of the power that online video has."
The PBS NEWSHOUR's digital innovation continues with projects like the launch of the PBS NEWSHOUR iPhone app, live stream of the Chilean miner rescue, annotated analysis to major speeches like the State of the Union, and President Obama's Oval Office Address on the Gulf Oil Spill, a partnership with Google Moderator and Ustream to produce an interactive interview with BP's Robert Dudley during which viewers got to present their ideas for fixing the spill directly to BP.
And more innovative projects are planned for the future. PBS NEWSHOUR recently announced it will partner with The Economist in 2011 to launch The Economist Film Project, a year-long initiative designed to showcase compelling and thought-provoking documentary films from around the world on the PBS NEWSHOUR broadcast and on the digital platforms of the PBS NEWSHOUR and The Economist.
Additionally PBS NEWSHOUR plans to provide live, online, real-time annotated analysis of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union address.
BRAVE ENOUGH NOT TO TAKE SIDES, STRONG ENOUGH NOT TO SHOUT.
The PBS NEWSHOUR is a unique American institution that reaches influential and educated decision-makers in business, government, public policy, education, science and technology and the arts. For more than 35 years, the PBS NEWSHOUR has been synonymous with the best in accurate, in-depth, balanced and thought-provoking journalism, and that leadership continues. The PBS NEWSHOUR offers its audience journalism with an unparalleled reputation for trust, credibility and integrity.
Each week, the PBS NEWSHOUR serves as the respected source for more than 5 million viewers and online visitors, who view the daily broadcast via more than 300 local affiliates of the Public Broadcasting Service. In fact, the 2010-2011 Erdos & Morgan Opinion Leader Survey (a bi-annual study of influential business, government and public policy leaders) ranked the PBS NEWSHOUR first among opinion leaders as the most credible, most objective and most influential daily news program on broadcast television.
The PBS NEWSHOUR is produced every weeknight by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, based in Arlington, Virginia. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions produces other programs for public, commercial and cable television and also produced complete broadcast coverage of the 2008 Democratic and Republican national conventions for PBS.
About the PBS NEWSHOUR:
Approximately 80 editorial staff, with an annual budget of nearly $30 million
Named among the most trusted and objective TV news source in America by the Erdos and Morgan 2010/11 Opinion Leader Media Survey
Winner of virtually every award in journalism, for the program and across its seasoned team, including the Chairman's Award at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 2010
Engages a wide and desirable audience of national and local "opinion elites," including:
TV and radio broadcasts-more than 5 million unduplicated weekly viewers/listeners; Average of 1.1 million TV viewers each night
TV broadcast seen on more than 300 PBS affiliates throughout the U.S., reaching more than 98% U.S. TV Households
Radio broadcast airs in many major U.S. Markets, including New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; Dallas, TX
Online NEWSHOUR -approximately 1.1 million unique monthly viewers
Streaming video-650,000 monthly online video sessions
Podcasts-approximately 1.1 million monthly podcast downloads
110,000+ PBS NEWSHOUR iPhone Apps downloaded as of January 2011
Approximately 2,000 monthly online comments, posts and pieces of viewer mail
25,000 Facebook Fans and approximately 80,000 Twitter followers.
PBS NEWSHOUR content regularly picked up by other high profile media, such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post.
Online content syndicated aggressively through public television stations across the country and ongoing exchanges with such content providers as Politico, Global Post, the Washington Post, Gizmodo, the Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Global Post, NOVA, FRONTLINE, Google, NPR, Youtube, Ustream and others.
Approximately 140 monthly podcasts to an audience of approximately 1.1 million, regularly ranking the PBS NEWSHOUR among the iTunes top 50 "News and Public Affairs" podcast providers.
The Online NEWSHOUR runs many interactive online events, including a regular weekly series on business and economics, "Making Sen$e with Paul Solman." Among some recent high profile initiatives was a search for "potential solutions" from citizens for the Gulf Oil Spill, in which more than 15,000 people submitted 7,000 suggestions and cast 100,500 votes.
Major funding for the PBS NEWSHOUR is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; public television viewers throughout the United States (through donations made to local public television stations); Corporations, including Chevron, Intel, United Healthcare and BNSF Railways; Foundations, such as the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; and others.
Contact: Anne Bell 703-998-2175.