Next TV: NBC's Schiller -- Audience Loyalty More Important Than High Traffic

Says move away from portal system it had with Microsoft is a 'long-term proposition'
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New York -- A ranking of the top news sites by comScore in
February saw that NBCNews.com, which had previously been at the top during its
partnership with Microsoft, had slid down to fourth, behind ABC News (which
partners with Yahoo).

Vivian Schiller, senior VP and chief digital officer, NBC
News, says the move away from a portal system -- NBCU bought out Microsoft's
50% share of the MSNBC Digital Network, which includes msnbc.com, Today.com,
NightlyNews.com and BreakingNews.com, last summer -- is more about building a
loyal following rather than blind page views.

"What you get with a portal is a huge [influx] of
traffic and you see a lot of unique visitors," said Schiller during a
keynote discussion with B&C programming editor Andrea Morabito as
part of B&C/Multichannel News' Next TV summit on Thursday. "But
the bounce rate is extremely high... It's not really going to be your loyal,
engaged audience."

While Schiller is mindful of the ranking, she argued that
for most people outside the industry, the comScore ranking has little meaning.
"I think that how you measure success is changing," she said.
"It's about finding your niche, finding your quality and tapping into what
you can do best."

Schiller called building that relationship with their
audience "a long-term proposition," noting that she already sees a
push to have a smaller, but more engaged following. "There's clearly a
steady move away from portals and creating your own network with what you're
interested in," she said. "That's what makes Twitter so successful."

Schiller has no regrets about the move to take
over complete editorial control and made sure to tout Microsoft as a great
partner. "It was a fantastic relationship," she said. "The joint
venture out-lived its usefulness."

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