Han arrives at NowThis with deep experience in online and broadcast news. Spent the last two years as senior producer of CBS This Morning, after working for seven years as executive producer for ABC News Now, the network’s 24/7 digital news channel. She’s also done stints at Good Morning America News and GMA Weekend News.
NowThis presents an opportunity for Han to create content for a millennial audience that turns to social media, not broadcast TV, for its information.
“The idea that I’m joining the No. 1 social video producer is a very big point of attraction for me,” Han told Deadline.
Han will oversee a staff of 25 journalists who’ll produce the daily news show for Facebook Watch. Debuting in September, NowThis Morning will offer a mix of breaking news, original reporting and investigative stories with an eye toward pieces that inform or add context to the conversations happening on the social media platform.
“It’s a wholly different approach to covering news,” Han said. “We’re not going to chase events or chase press conferences or every Tweet that happens. It has to be in the context of what’s the reaction? How are people engaging with the material? How can we provide additional context or open up the conversation?”
NowThis Morning reflects the news organization’s expanding ambitions.
Founded in 2014 by Kenneth Lerer (former chairman at BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Huffington Post) and Eric Hippeau (former CEO of the Huffington Post), NowThis was among the early pioneers of the distributed news model — bringing information to its audience, instead of waiting for young viewers to tune in.
“We felt there was an opportunity to create a news and media brand for a younger audience that fundamentally understood would not get content in the traditional format,” said NowThis president Athan Stephanopoulos. “We were looking to create a voice for young people. What are the issues that are important to them?”
Insights gleaned from how audiences reacted to the topics covered by its initial news offering, NowThis News, led to the creation of NowThis Politics, NowThis Entertainment and NowThis Future.
“We opened the aperture of what we were covering,” Stephanopoulos said.
The data that informed the launch of new channels also helped in the development of its first Facebook Watch show, NowThis Reports, with delivers short documentary-style videos that put a human face on topical issues.
One recent story about Dontie Mitchell, who was sentenced as an adult to serve a 70 year prison term for crimes committed before turning 18, examined how the justice system treats young black men. It’s been viewed 4.6 million times, generated more than 2,000 comments and shared 15,000 times.
“We’re trying to humanize the news for a young audience,” said Chief Content Officer Tina Exarhos. “There are a handful of documentaries we’re completing now that are incredibly powerful.”
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