CNN Debuts Video Network: Great Big Story

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Looking to find a news niche for millennials, Turner Broadcasting’s CNN has started a socially distributed video network called “Great Big Story.”An announcement says it is “not a news network,” but that it will seek “awesome, untold and inspirational stories about new frontiers, the human condition, planet earth, tastes and flavors.”

It says it will be “CNN like a sugar daddy on the weekends.”

Digital video will run on Facebook, YouTube and Apple News, among other sites. Connected TV platforms — Apple TV, Roku, Amazon and Chromecast — will follow soon after.

Great Big Story will send three to five videos each day of different lengths. The service also plans to release a short film in November. The digital video service won’t have any pre-roll advertising — but there will be sponsors creating branded content.

The social video network unit will start with a staff of 30, culled from places such as BuzzFeed, Vox, VICE, MTV, ABC, NowThis, Amazon and Yahoo!

CNN executives Andrew Morse and Chris Berend founded the idea for the network.

Great Big Story’s executive producer is Courtney Coupe, who comes from ABC and Bloomberg; Ben Whitla, from Yahoo is the creative director; Matthew Drake, of Time and NowThis, runs audience and content development; Rob Sands, from Amazon, oversees partnerships; and David Spiegel, from BuzzFeed, heads up advertising sales.

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