Meredith and Matt have new competition for those AM eyeballs this morning from Wallstrip alumnus Lindsay Campbell. As part of its planned explosion of programmed video content AOL issued its first episode of AOL Daybreak. The two-minute video show purports to be a "light-hearted" round-up of headlines. Because there isn't enough perky and light in morning programming.
We wish we would tell you what exactly this show will be like, but Daybreak devoted the first episode this morning to a very webby exercise, asking the audience what they want from a morning news show. Most passersby actually didn't have a clue. Oh, except for that bald TV weatherman who does a comic cameo late in the clip. Daybreak promises that this will be the first of many surprise celebrity walk-ons in the series.
The show is being produced by Electus, the multi-platform content company led by Ben Silverman. This series boast even more TV talent. The producer Diane Masciale served as Executive Editor on "Good Morning America" after a stint on the "Today Show."
With hostess Campbell, Daybreak surely is aiming for the patina of younger and hipper than the standard TV network fare. Like Amanda Congdon, Campbell is among a small handful of online video celebs who seem to dance across the mainstream media and digital line easily. She developed the fun Wallstrip financial news show and later hosted MobLogic.
Whether a two-minute headline snack will generate an audience on a regular basis is anyone's guess, of course. AOL has been adept at generating traffic for vertical ventures like TMZ in the recent past. Like Yahoo, AOL is trying to leverage the power of the aging portal even as the Web fragments into so many nano-brands of programming. In the recent past (before Armstrong) the company logo often hid behind new standalone brands. This time around, they seem eager to put the AOL branding up front again in TV network fashion. Ironically, for those of us who have been watching this company shift and reposition itself for two decades, it appears that in some ways they are retuning to their original ambitions. AOL always wanted to be the online TV network.