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MSNBC Combines TV, Digital Teams as Part of Reorganization: Read Internal Memo

Staffers from both sides will work in the same newsroom, called “The Bridge,” beginning next week

MSNBC is breaking down the wall between its TV and digital teams, network President Phil Griffin told staff Wednesday.

In a memo obtained by TheWrap, Griffin announced the network will combine its digital and TV editorial teams to work in the same newsroom — called “The Bridge”– beginning next week.

“The Bridge will drive content across all platforms and create a more nimble organization with greater collaboration between teams,” Griffin wrote. “With new tools to aid editorial discovery, The Bridge will lead to more original reporting, broader story coverage and better use of social media to reach our audience on all platforms.”

Under the reorganization, a new video research team will be formed. The network has already begun leveraging its digital reporters on its TV shows, with MSNBC.com reporters including Trymaine Lee and Irin Carmon starting to appear across MSNBC more and more.

As TheWrap previously reported, the network is pivoting from an excess of punditry to more reporting on political issues, opting to send talent out into the field rather than have pundits in studio opine on issues.

Griffin’s full memo is below:

To Everyone at MSNBC,

Next week, we are bringing together our digital and dayside television editorial groups into one team, seated together at The Bridge, at the heart of msnbc’s operations on the 3rd floor of 30 Rock.

The Bridge will drive content across all platforms and create a more nimble organization with greater collaboration between teams. With new tools to aid editorial discovery, The Bridge will lead to more original reporting, broader story coverage and better use of social media to reach our audience on all platforms.

Three managing editors – Dafna Linzer, Rashida Jones, and Ilyas Kirmani – will jointly drive a single news-list of our top stories and output across digital platforms and dayside shows. They will direct original reporting, breaking news coverage, video production, visual assets, and bookings.

Building on the success of our recent joint coverage of Ferguson, Ebola and the elections, we will share editorial leadership, content and workflows, even as we recognize the differing needs of our TV and digital formats. With greater focus, better use of technology and resources, we can broaden the scope and lift the quality of everything we do across msnbc.

Both the msnbc website and our dayside shows will follow the decisions of the managing editors, who will continue to report to the business leaders of dayside and digital. In addition to the managing editors, The Bridge will bring together in one place representatives of these teams: video, social and community, booking, planning, and visual assets. Three senior editors will help bring The Bridge’s news-list to reality through written and video story telling.

Under The Bridge, we will:
combine digital writers with TV producers to create a larger, multi-skilled reporting team to bring original reporting and breaking news to all platforms

extend our use of social media tools for editorial discovery, news coverage and on-air integrations
coordinate our TV and digital video teams to create more original video, engage in smarter editing, and bring all video to our users and viewers faster

build our first ever team dedicated to video research to source compelling video on air and online
create more original graphics, powerful photo experiences and innovative interactive content that can travel between platforms

centralize our bookings to bring in fresh experts and more on-the-ground reporters

Our goal is to be one team. And to live and breathe a story-first attitude that allows us to collaborate much more inside msnbc, and with all our partners across the NBC News Group.

These changes will require us all to adapt the way we work and learn some new tools and skills. We will need to be more flexible and open to working across teams than we currently are today.

But we have an incredible track record of evolving to succeed at msnbc. Time and again, we have moved faster and further than anyone else in the business.

MSNBC was created 18 years ago based on the idea of integrating television and digital. This is the next logical stage in our evolution – a Bridge that connects us all together.