For years, broadcasters have been searching for ways to stay relevant with a younger audience in order to deliver advertising – while earning dollars – to young adults.
The 18-34 crowd can be difficult to nail down, especially since advancing technology and alternative programing is competing for their attention.
For Weigel Broadcasting, they are tapping digital sub-tier channels with a partnership project to appeal to younger viewers.
WDJT-TV CBS 58, has launched TouchVision on 58.4, presenting a 24-hour video news and information channel aimed at the Millennials Plus generation. The broadcast is on channel 984 on Time Warner Cable and channel 966 on Charter.
"The roots of this were made after a deep analysis of the state of video news," said TouchVision Chief Creative Officer and co-creator Lee Abrams.
"The truth is … TMZ and The Onion for Millennials is the new mainstream. We needed to reach them on their terms."
TouchVision, on the surface, is a feed of national stories, news items of interest, local news and weather presented without an anchor. Besides being broadcast on television, it is also available online and on Apple and Android mobile devices.
"In addition to our four-screen approach, TouchVision is reaching out to its audience through social media, encouraging interactivity. Through our mobile apps and website, we give our viewers the freedom to arrange their own newscast if they’d like, even to choose stories that haven’t aired yet. Or, they can kick back and view TouchVision as we present it. It’s a news service specifically built for the 21st century." Abrams said.
Weigel made the deal with TouchVision and chose Milwaukee to be the first site launched, said co-founder Steve Saslow. More Weigel stations will be launching channels in the next few months.
"We’ve come up with a distribution so ads can go out on four screens at the same time," Saslow said.
The business model created allows advertisers trying to reach a young audience to go to one place to launch a campaign on air and online all at once.
"CBS 58 is committed to giving Milwaukee viewers the best news and information programming in the market as well as innovative ways to receive it," said Jim Hall, WDJT vice president and general manager.
"TouchVision will provide the top news of the day, along with enlightening features, all of it presented in a distinct, different style from traditional newscasts."
Kathryn Janicek, who worked in television the last 16 years, is the managing editor for TouchVision. She’s the one that worked with WDJT staffers on how to use TouchVision to its greatest potential.
"Each local affiliate is shown how to do it in a TouchVision style," she said.
The format for local and other content isn’t like a newscast, with an anchor reading a script to tell viewers what happened. In the clips, there isn’t a reporter in the field holding a microphone. The information is delivered in a graphic-heavy format with a music-laden under bed.
"They will be repurposing things that were on the air … weather and sports are added in every 15 minutes. WDJT will contribute with news programming appropriate for this demographic," Janicek said.
ROLL TIDE: Alabama’s victory over Texas A & M on Saturday drew in the highest rating for "SEC on CBS" in 23 years. The college football game had a household rating of 9.0, which is a 200 percent increase over last year’s opener of Alabama and Arkansas with a 3.0.
TAWING OUT: "PBS Newshour" is launching a 3-part series on climate change starting this evening.
"Melting ice in the Arctic is beginning to affect the daily lives of residents of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and beyond. From the impact on local businesses and native traditions to the seafood we enjoy, the changes caused by climate change in the Arctic are rippling out far beyond the region," the program said in a release.
Part one, "Sea Change: The Pacific's Perilous Turn Threatens Alaskan Crabs" runs tonight, with "Ice Melt Exposes New Routes and New Dangers" on Tuesday and "Melting Ice, Warming Waters Threaten Traditional Ways of Life" on Wednesday.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.