Instant news at heart of revamp

Media group looks to entertainment, fashion and video oddities to make money online

Vincent Browne in TV3's Dublin studio side by side with an image of Enda Kenny on the company's website

Vincent Browne in TV3's Dublin studio side by side with an image of Enda Kenny on the company's website


Here’s Vincent Browne and Enda Kenny together at last in the TV3 studio . . . . well, kind of. The photograph is a promotional shot for TV3’s new online news service, which in turn is part of a revamped

Succinct news bulletins presented by Colette Fitzpatrick are the main new element of the site, but in keeping with TV3’s by now well-established tone, the page also highlights clips from the “and finally” section of the 5.30pm broadcast and “must see” videos chosen by 3e’s fyi news team.

Consumption of the news clips will “effectively be powered by Twitter” through the @TV3NewsIreland account, according to Bob Hughes of TV3 News.

“There will always be a place for traditional broadcasts. But when you have a news offering, and certainly when you have a digital offering, you have to be able to reach out to all of your audience,” he says. “We have no choice – people expect their news instantly.”

Showbiz sheen
International clips will be sourced from TV3’s affiliates for video news, CNN, Associated Press Television News and the European News Exchange.

Stories such as the return of tweet-happy astronaut Chris Hadfield to earth and Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy slotted in perfectly on the news page on the first day of the service on Tuesday, as both items combined weighty matters (space exploration and cancer) with a showbiz sheen.

“Celebrity – as the Daily Mail has shown by becoming probably the most successful news website in the world – has great cachet,” says Hughes. Hadfield’s Space Oddity video is “the kind of thing people want to see”, he adds.

Alongside catch-up service 3player and the reconfigured news page,’s main elements revolve around fashion and entertainment brand Xposé and breakfast show Ireland AM .

“Our brand is ‘we entertain’ and we’re trying to make our site representative of that,” says Jill O’Brien, TV3’s head of digital.

With traditional television advertising mired in a slump, the broadcaster is seeking new money-making opportunities, such as one-off charges for exclusive online content and e-tailing.

The Xposé fashion shop will eventually be split in two, with clothing lines aimed at older consumers sold via the expanded Ireland AM section instead. The three-hour weekday show, which is by far the longest-running TV3 production, “just lends itself to commercial partnerships”, says O’Brien.

TV3 also plans to launch a viewer companion app, developed by Dublin-based Axonista, next month.