For the last several months other stations and networks have dabbled with hangouts, introducing them backstage, off-line and off-air. They were used to pre-record segments, edited and later aired in the regular broadcast. They have been used as alternative methods of simply engaging a wider audience. A number of the more experienced KOMU cyber couch alumni have been working with these stations literally from coast to coast. But no other station had taken the big step to put any one of us in the hangout on air.
Two weeks ago, the second domino fell. Jackie Ward at WCSH in Portland, Maine invited people to join a hangout during the early show on Friday morning. A public broadcast station in Twin Cities also waded in a little deeper.
This week, another domino fell. Melissa Carlson anchor at KRNV, the NBC affiliate in Reno Nevada had been using hangouts to produce a 20 minute internet only show. She was finally ready and scheduled the station's inaugural broadcast which included one of the five blocks or segments of the show being built entirely around live, on-air interaction with ordinary people in a hangout. The show aired this past Monday at noon (PT.)
There are many other stations where, like KRNV, the anchor is still becoming comfortable with the new social networking tools and interacting face to face with people, while the crew are working on the technical infrastructure and production issues. It won't be long before a few more dominoes fall and we will be faced with many choices. We won't be choosing a news broadcast to simply watch anymore, but rather which network cyber couch we want to jump on and what views we want to share on their stories.
Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC