Internet personality Shira Lazar is taking her live
web show about digital trends to the video platform that always
seemed like the most appropriate home for it: YouTube.
The show, "What's Trending," will also move to a daily schedule
from a weekly one and narrow its focus to popular YouTube content
and personalities. Episodes will last 20 minutes instead of an
hour. The changes are effective today.
The newly YouTube-centered show is receiving a small amount of
funding from YouTube's Next Lab, which encourages innovation on the
site, to help ease the financial burden of additional production.
Next Lab grants are typically much smaller than the funding YouTube
has been handing out as part of its original-programming push.
Ms. Lazar, one of the most recognizable show hosts on the web,
has pushed to bring a kind of red-carpet journalism to the digital
and tech set. "What's Trending" has been airing live on
WhatsTrending.com for the past year or so, then reappearing on the
show's YouTube channel in edited shorter clips. The show previously
appeared on CBSNews.com, but CBS ended that relationship last
September after What's Trending posted a tweet erroneously
reporting that Apple
co-founder Steve Jobs had died. (He died a month later). The show
received an Emmy nomination this year for original interactive TV
In an interview on Sunday, Ms. Lazar said the decision to focus
exclusively on YouTube content and the stories behind it was
relatively easy. "We kept seeing a lot of our stories and content
fall back on YouTube," she said. And with YouTube investing
hundreds of millions of dollars into the production and marketing
of new original-programming initiatives, she said, its quality
content only seemed likely to grow.
"There was a recent Pew study that said more people are getting
their news from YouTube than ever before and with more premium
content, who's going to be that platform that becomes that
discovery tool?" Ms. Lazar said. "We definitely see ourselves as
With the shift to the YouTube platform, "What's Trending" will
push even more to bring elements of interactivity to its shows, Ms.
Lazar noted, most notably with the use of Google+ Hangouts,
Google's video conferencing tool.
Here's a teaser video for the new incarnation of "What's