“What we do is we peruse through every Nexstar station whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and we are looking for things that are more appealing than just the average, everyday news story that only affects a Little Rock market, a Fayetteville market, or a Birmingham, Alabama market,” says Aaron Nolan, the host of Newsfeed Now.
Every day across 20-plus television markets in eight states, thousands of people watch a daily news show on the phones in their hands. The stories take a deep dive into what’s trending across the country. Reporters join in via small technology like Skype, Facetime, cell phones cameras or desktop computers. No satellite feeds needed. And since it launched in February of 2018, Nexstar’s Newsfeed Now has generated more than 1.3 million viewers.
“What we do is we peruse through every Nexstar station whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and we are looking for things that are more appealing than just the average, everyday news story that only affects a Little Rock market, a Fayetteville market, or a Birmingham, Alabama market,” said Aaron Nolan, the host of Newsfeed Now, who also anchors the afternoon news at 4 on KARK, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark.
“We want things that are going to be watchable, that are going to be not only enjoyable, but informative for a regional audience.”
Nolan stressed that the show is off the cuff, which lends itself to a more TMZ-style newscast.
“I tell our audience every once in a while, this is a newscast that you can’t get at 5, 6 or 10.”
Matt Sewell, Newsfeed Now producer, and digital content producer at KARK, said the participating stations and their talent have bought into the idea.
“When people are on, they have fun with it and like Aaron said, it is kind of loose. It is not your typical, ‘I am a reporter, I am here at the scene.’ And I think the people that view it really enjoy it.”
The idea for the digital-only show came from a brainstorm between Nolan, Sewell, and Austin Kellerman, former KARK news director who is currently the digital content director at Nexstar. Nolan said they wanted a show that was different, unique and reached people where they were going.
“We are developing into a medium that is more than just television sets,” said Nolan.
Each morning, stations across the region submit story ideas for Newsfeed Now. Sewell and Nolan work through them and usually select four stories each day, then bring in reporters for Q&A.
“Everything is done right there on the desk. So it is a very fluid production,” said Nolan.
“It just enables us to really jump in and bring something in quick. We are not using satellites. Everything is based on the technology that each and every one of us use every day.”
“It is kind of a team effort with all of the stations that use it,” said Sewell.
“We are going to continue to push it and hopefully see it grow. I think it is the future now.”
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