Although the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been in the videomaking business since launching its studio in 2017, the publication recently expanded into a new format: a weekday, multiplatform video news program called 7@7, a seven-minute broadcast that airs at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Executive editor Glenn Cook explained that while they already were producing video for news stories and regular programing (in partnership with Cox cable) with the Las Vegas Raiders football team, they had never produced a daily news product.
“We needed something that was different, innovative, new—something that was a departure from anything we’d ever tried before,” he said. “It’s both a digital audience news play and an advertising revenue play.”
7@7, which debuted on Jan. 18, covers local news including weather, sports, lifestyle, politics, and breaking news. It currently has three anchors: Renee Summerour, Jenn Auh and Cassie Soto. The program can be streamed and viewed on demand on reviewjournal.com, the Review-Journal news app, and platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Apple TV and Amazon Alexa.
To decide on the timeslots, Jim Prather, executive director of programming, explained that the Review-Journal conducted researched and conversations with Las Vegas residents. Their efforts revealed that audiences were available and willing to watch a broadcast from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cook added that the number seven also held great significance in Las Vegas as a lucky number.
Chase Rankin, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said that while 7@7 does not offer commercial airtime, it does offer sponsors’ name recognition and logo placement during the segments they support. The newscast is formatted for one partner for Presenting Sponsor, Studio Sponsor and eight news segment sponsors. Since the launch, the Review-Journal has been able to attract new clients and exceeded Q1 and Q2 goals in contracted revenue.
“7@7 continues to be well-received, and we get positive feedback every day,” Rankin said. “Overarching, our sponsors see the value in the partnership and are impressed with the quality of the newscast. The concept of getting the news from the most trusted news source in the market in seven minutes with no commercials on-demand has been a big success.”
According to Rankin, the first week of the launch saw an increase in their video views by nearly 10 percent, and they anticipate numbers will continue to grow. The newspaper projects that their video growth will be in the range of 25 percent for the year due to the 7@7 initiative. Currently, Facebook and YouTube are the most popular platforms for streaming the newscast.
Today’s news consumers are very much in a “disruption stage,” Prather said, which is why an initiative like 7@7 is so important. “We have to be able to identify what’s important to them and deliver that, as well as deliver the news that they need to know.”
Additionally, the changing media landscape requires publishers to continue to transform. “Your survival depends on keeping up with those changes,” Cook said. “You don’t have a choice but to innovate and adapt and if you don’t, you’re out of business.”