Your iffy social-media news content wants to get a lot better.
Somewhat news content-challenged Facebook says it will start versions of U.S. TV news programs this year, hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN, Shepard Smith of Fox News Channel and Jorge Ramos of Univision -- all to improve news quality.
Three companies and other news organizations will produce shows, including Walt Disney and Advance Publications’ Alabama Media Group. The shows will appear on the Facebook Watch video service.
Former TV news anchor Campbell Brown, now head of global news partnerships at Facebook, says the company is looking for a diverse group of programs -- all ad-supported. Facebook’s deal here is an advertising revenue-sharing arrangement with news producers.
Facebook has had big issues with misleading and sensationalized news content and data privacy, as well as ongoing video ad consumption measurement issues with marketers.
Brown says Facebook continues to work on advertising masquerading as news content.
A big question is what the alliance with Facebook will mean for CNN, Disney and others? Does any of Facebook problems rub off on them?
Considering all Facebook has gone through, its users continue to have steady consumption/usage levels of its platform. Advertising hasn’t slowed down much -- though not all big brand TV marketers have made new, substantial media dollar commitments.
And consider this data point: Pew Research Center says 9 of 10 Americans go to social media for news some of the time. So it would make sense, in part, to lean on those networks where you can extend your news brand.
For some time, TV networks have had exposure through their own pages on the social media service. So have individual TV station groups trying to market their key local TV station newscasts.
Although another minefield might be waiting for traditional TV news producers in following consumers on social media, a rapidly fragmented news business forces many to take big chances.