Given the record snowfall the Northeast might experience in the next day or so, AOL may have picked a good newsy time to debut “AOL Rise” -- a new, mini-newscast aimed at mobile users. It started this morning, and it pops up hourly from 6 to 9 a.m., live on rise.aol.com on desktops, mobile and tablets. The newscasts are supposed to last about two minutes each.
It is hosted by Mari White, who has worked for ESPN and “various network roles” and has some modeling credits. She was discovered through an earlier AOL talent search.
“AOL Rise” is an outgrowth of its Morning Rituals research, which discloses that 85% use their smartphones before leaving bed in the morning, 22% use social media and 12% get news via mobile devices, first thing.
Also debuting today is “That’s Racist,” starring comedian Mike Epps, taking a mostly humorous look at racial stereotypes by asking man-on-the-street questions -- for example, if all black people really do like fried chicken. "Are we going to offend some people?," he asks in a promo. "Hell yeah." But he says viewers will also learn something.
Epps got bad publicity last week when he briefly posted an Instagram and Facebook videos of a black man whipping white “slaves,” which was quickly taken down. Epps is also starring in an upcoming Richard Pryor biopic.