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How Local News Can Help Take on the Streaming Giants

Craig Wilson

August 5, 2021

The head of local digital media for one of the United States’ largest broadcasters believes that the loyalty of local news audiences can give them a crucial advantage in the long-term fight for viewers.

Adam Wiener, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Local Digital Media at ViacomCBS, tells us how capitalizing on the connections stations have with their viewers is critical for their future success in the next episode of the Making the Media podcast.

“News has a real retention element for people,” Wiener says. “It’s a product that you know once you are sort of attuned to specifically local news, which is what I’m most focused on. Once you are attuned to that, you realize the value of it. And you realize that it’s something that you have to be connected to every day, so it just makes you feel connected to your community.”

He also tells host Craig Wilson that they are working to transform their newsrooms into an “always-on” source of news for their audiences, and that this process is enhancing journalists’ career paths and their skillsets.

“Traditionally, a lot of people have always worked in this sort of siloed world where they’re like, ‘This is my responsibility, that’s your responsibility and, you know… I’m not going to touch your stuff [and] you don’t touch my stuff,’” Wiener explains. “But I think what’s coming into play here is that people are understanding that the more that they understand, and the more that they can be cross-trained, the IT will only help them in their career. It will only help them in advancement. It will help them in just staying current with the natural innovation and evolution of the technical things that we do or the distribution elements that we have.”

You can check out the next episode of the Making the Media podcast, “Lovin’ La Vida Local” on Monday, August 9.

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Craig Wilson
Craig Wilson is a newsroom specialist with over thirty years of experience in the broadcast industry. Craig has held various roles with Avid and is now the Global Broadcast and Media Product Evangelist and host of the Making the Media podcast.

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