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Media Morph: The Washington Post's Live Broadcasts

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NEW YORK ( -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Washington Post's live broadcasts

WHAT IT IS: Live election coverage -- from a newspaper company. Anchored by Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham, The Washington Post and Newsweek produced live video coverage for Super Tuesday, the Potomac primaries and March 4's Texas and Ohio primaries. No simple affair, the Super Tuesday coverage spanned seven hours; March 4's coverage was simulcast on C-Span.

HOW IT WENT: There are no publicly available stats on the site's traffic during the elections, but Executive Editor Jim Brady called the broadcasts a learning experience and said they're getting better at driving people to the site from C-Span. While the Super Tuesday coverage was done mostly by Washington Post and Newsweek staff, the more recent coverage has included a mix of outside experts as well, such as Sen. John Kerry, Liz Cheney and Bob Shrum. "It's fun to experiment and learn on the fly rather than sit around and convince yourself it's something you shouldn't do," Mr. Brady said.

THE AD FACTOR: A Washington Post spokeswoman said Dodge was the exclusive sponsor of the Super Tuesday coverage, and the subsequent video has been sponsored by marketers that have broader run-of-site ad packages with

WHAT'S ON TAP: Mr. Brady said he's looking forward to more experimentation. He said there are "certain obvious things you could do, like take a national event and localize it." He suggested the NFL draft as an example. "With ESPN's draft coverage, by definition, you have to talk about 31 teams," he said. "Here we could focus on the Redskins. ... There are certain people who want to know everything that affects their team." But, he added, with "big national events like Super Tuesday, we're still trying to figure out what is the big differentiator" between the Washington Post video and the major TV news players.
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