Media General’s Newspapers Get Upgraded

mglogo.gifMedia parent company Media General is experimenting with video and RSS news feed features for its online newspaper sites using Vmix and NewsGator, and plans on spreading the features to most of its businesses. The company has 22 newspapers, 24 television stations, and about 75 online enterprises, including the Tampa Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal.

It’s the Richmond Times-Dispatch that’s getting the experimentation duties for the most part. Vmix is providing the technology backbone to allow the Times-Dispatch to post videos, as well as allow readers to submit their own videos and share them. At the same time, the RSS feed company is providing the NewsGator Widget Framework to let Media General aggregate news between the company’s sites, and letting readers customize which ones they want to read on a regular basis.

The Media General folks didn’t feel like talking about the new systems, but Walker Fenton, general manager of syndication services at NewsGator, told me “Mainstream publishers are starting to recognize and appreciate the perspective of other publishers, and this technology is allowing them to present that to the users around a specific story or topic.”

By adding new content posted by editors as well as by readers, Media General can also monetize a larger number of pages online, said Jennifer Juckett, vice president of marketing and business development for Vmix.

“There is always the opportunity for video pre- or post-roll advertising. The technology is there and they are looking to integrate ads they already have from their local markets into those opportunities as well,” Juckett said. “A lot of them are looking at doing sponsorships around the sections. Then their advertisers, a local advertiser or someone across the networks, can own that space to increase ad impressions.”

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