Crime-Centric HLN Repositions Itself as Hub for Social Media and Millennials

Network Will Become Part of the Conversation, Says '@AlbieHechtHLN'

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CNN sibling HLN is repositioning itself as a home for the social media generation, the network said Monday, trying to reach millennials by adding a TV component to the content they consume all day elsewhere.

Albie Hecht
Albie Hecht

HLN has been known for its coverage of high-profile criminal trials, most recently seeing huge spikes in viewership during Jodi Arias murder case. But covering court cases isn't an appealing business proposition, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said late last year.

HLN will now focus on curating news from across all social platforms, with headlines based on what's trending, being shared and going viral on across platforms, Exec VP-General Manager Albie Hecht said in a statement from the network.

In a sign of the network's commitment to the social conceit, its statement referred to Mr. Hecht not by name but only by a Twitter handle, although he has tweeted there just once, last week. Mr. Hecht was hired by Mr. Zucker last September.

"RightThisMinute" is the first acquisition for HLN under its new plan. The syndicated show, which repackages videos and stories found online, starts tonight on the network and will run weeknights at 10 p.m.

HLN is developing other programs in genres like animation, reality and game shows that fit within the social media filter, it said.

Existing programming like "Morning Express with Robin Meade," "News Now," "Jane Valez-Mitchell" and "Nancy Grace" will all start incorporating social media more than they do already, the network added.

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