AOL Launches Morning Micro-Show By Asking 'Do We Need One?'

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.




AOL claims that Daybreak will reach the 15 million Americans who visit the company properties on any given day. David Eun, President of AOL Media and Studios says in a statement that "On any given day has a larger audience than most television networks." Well, sure, but when we visited this morning, we were hard pressed to find the new morning show featured anywhere except the Video channel. This show is part of the umpteenth redesign and strategic re-focus AOL has deployed in two decades of digital life.

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.

5 comments about "AOL Launches Morning Micro-Show By Asking 'Do We Need One?'".
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  1. The digital Hobo from, November 16, 2010 at 5:47 p.m.

    What a ridiculous idea. Only compounded by the fact that its produced by TV people, extending the theory that there really isn't very much good, original web video.

    Cant wait to see how many people actually watch it before 10am. Or lunch for that matter. What do you call a morning show that people don't watch in the morning?

  2. Jeff Einstein from The Brothers Einstein, November 16, 2010 at 7:53 p.m.

    When I tried to access the video embedded in this article, I got an error message that read:

    "The video you are trying to view is currently not available for streaming in your region. We are sorry for the inconvenience. Please check back later or view more videos at 404-F"

    Of course I can fully understand why AOL wouldn't want to stream a video to a backwater town like NYC. Think that just about sums things up.

  3. Marilyn Smith from 811media, November 17, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.

    @JeffEinstein Vid doesn't play for me either.
    @thedigitalhobo You call it irrelevant?

  4. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., November 17, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.

    The problem that's everyone is having in viewing this video has to do with the embed code. I'm not sure what it is - but in Internet Explorer the entire page will not load - it gets to the video then gags. I pulled up Google chrome on another machine to leave these comments. MediaPost code guys need to check this out. NOW - on to this less-than-astute bit of web fluff video. I wrote down my immediate reactions:
    1) Oh God, another pert n' perky wannabe newschick on the streets of New York. How have I lived without this?
    2) Love the elevator music in the background.
    3) 2 whole minutes - don't strain yourself.
    4) Logo? Open? Music? Hell, even my lame commentaries have more production value than this - and I'm just a jerk in Denver.
    5) One interviewee says it all: "AOL? I don't think I have that." Hostess: "It's on the internet, everybody has it", Interviewee: "AOL is on the internet? Oh, OK".
    6) 2 production company logos at the end. Two? For this?

  5. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., November 17, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

    Oh yeah - I just got the "Not Available in Your Location" Error. Maybe it's AOL's way of saying "Whoops, our bad - just kidding with this".

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