By Sahil Patel
NBC News Digital Group has created an Original Video Unit, an in-house production team “dedicated to creating video for social, mobile, and web audiences.” The unit will focus on creating original video series for brands across the NBC News Digital portfolio, including NBC News Digital and Today Digital. The content will feature journalists from NBC News shows and platforms.
To oversee the unit, NBC News has hired Bill Smee as executive producer of original video production. Smee is a veteran news and documentary producer, having served as a network executive at places like CNN and the Discovery Times Channel. Most recently, he was the executive producer of Slate V, the video arm of The Washington Post’s Slate.com. Smee will join NBC News next month and will report to Gregory Gittrich, VP of news & product, NBC News Digital, and executive editor of NBCNews.com.
“The NBCUniversal News Group is already an industry leader in streaming clips from our television programing. We will now have an additional focus on original video that extends the news division’s on-air and digital brands,” said Vivian Schiller, SVP and chief digital officer of NBC News, in a statement.
NBCUniversal is betting that the future of online news content is video. The company’s news properties have been making major investments in original online video content this year. In April, CNBC launched the CNBC Digital Workshop, a production unit focusing exclusively on creating original programming for CNBC properties and partners. Later in April, it announced similar plans for Today. Then a week ago, reports indicated that NBC News “acqui-hired” Stringwire, a video startup with a technology that enables citizen journalists to stream video to a central newsroom.