CNN Buzzfeed YouTube Channel: First Video Up, Mashup News Channel Launches Now

Written by Gina Smith

My mentor at ABC News, where I was the first network correspondent to cover tech on national TV, was the late, great Peter Jennings. He was fascinated with tech and sure it would transform news for better and worse. We’ve seen a lot of worse. CNN Buzzfeed — or CNNBuzzfeed — is a joint venture of CNN, Buzzfeed and YouTube. It launches officially May 28, 2013 but just launched its first video. The site will mash up original content with CNN content, old and new. The way it’s designed, at least from what we’re hearing, might be just what that great boss of mine hoped for. Real content, really quickly, shared rapidly and, let’s hope, accurately and fairly. Watch for the announcement today. Developing. Gina Smith for — I was working at ABC News in New York at World News Tonight with Peter Jennings as a young, on-air reporter covering tech. The late Peter Jennings, a mentor of mine, enjoyed tech coverage and, as its first tech correspondent, I enjoyed Jennings’ nightly reading of my scripts before they aired on World News Tonight. One night he asked me to close with a quote — he wanted me, before saying, “I’m Gina Smith, ABC News, New York,” to say, “Sign of the times.” CNN Buzzfeed, which will launch Tuesday, May 28, is a joint venture among CNN, YouTube and Buzzfeed. CNN Buzzfeed, or CNNBuzzfeed as its channel calls it now, just posted its first video. And the video and the choice of venue is in fact a sign of the times.

Scroll below the fold to see that first video.

Here’s what’s funny. What a terrible and comical time I had fruitlessly attempting to deliver the “Sign of the times” line without laughing. I was too young. What did I know about signs of the times? We ended up changing that last line of the script, which I recall was about spam. That’s neither here nor there. Because now I know. According to execs, CNNBuzzfeed will launch as a YouTube “mashup” channel with original news shows blended with various CNN programming, targeting that all-important 18 to 34-year-old demographic.

It’s designed to be shared socially, and that is utterly key to the future of online journalism, if not journalism altogether. And that’s something I can say with the utmost straight face.

This very site owes almost all its success to the large following (nearing 40K for some of our writers) via social upstreaming — tweeting, google+ activity and other forms of social sharing. My prediction: This will be CNN’s most successful foray into the new wave of digital media. Because social networking — and lead generation as a result of that — is key to what gets news to audiences in the tech world these days.

CNN BuzzFeed — it is rendered at this moment as CNNBuzzfeed — just launched its first video a few minutes ago. Find it below.

Source: CNNBuzzfeed YouTube Channel

As the Hollywood Reporter notes:

BuzzFeed’s YouTube channels have notched more than 170 million views and 500 total videos since September 2012 with 48 videos generating more than one million views including ‘2,000 Calories’ and ‘Angriest Babies.’ “

Developing. For, I’m Gina Smith. Sign of the times. And hats off to the late journalist and my mentor, Peter Jennings, who saw it coming.

Gina Smith is the New York Times best-selling author of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s memoir, ” iWOZ: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Doing It”. (W.W. Norton, 2005/2007/2012). With John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle, she is editorial director at Email her at, check out her Google + stream here or follow her @ginasmith888.