What’s old is new again: Websites tune into TV for expansion opportunities

“We resisted for a long time,” Peretti said according to the Wall Street Journal. “People kept pitching us TV shows but we didn’t know anything about TV, and our special powers came from having a closer relationship with our audience.”

He’s previously said that he’s “not interested in the end product of television” and that “a lot of people who read BuzzFeed don’t watch television that much.”

Now, not so much. The renewed confidence in the medium is likely buoyed by its blossoming YouTube channels operating under the BuzzFeed Motion Pictures brand. It claims to reach more than one billion people each month, so even a fraction of that for any network would be considered a success.

“If you could figure out a way to say people are really connecting … why can’t you make a TV show that’s informed by that?” Peretti said.

While BuzzFeed is still thinking about it, Daily Mail is moving full-steam ahead. On Thursday, the publisher that’s better known for its “sidebar of shame” website than its stuffy newspaper, inked a deal with Dr. Phil McGraw and team to produce a syndicated television show.

The show, scheduled to premiere in fall 2016, will mimic its splashy coverage of celebrity news and tabloid topics. If anything, DailyMailTV sounds a lot like TMZ’s program in that the newspaper’s newsroom will be the set and its correspondents will frequently be seen on air.

Despite the similarities, Daily Mail’s publisher and editor-in-chief Martin Clarke said it’s “not going to be TMZ.” The intent is to expand the Mail’s audience by targeting a television audience that might otherwise not be familiar with it.

“This is not a bolt-on; we’re not just lending our name,” said Clarke. “This is part of Daily Mail, a complete integration of the two teams journalistically. There are plenty of websites that pretend they know how to do video, but we thought we’d do business with someone who knew how to do TV and video, a team that are unrivaled experts.”

Source: Digiday

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