NBC News Now, the network news division’s two-year old streaming offering, will continue its lineup expansion this month with Hallie Jackson Now, a daily program anchored by the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC anchor. The program will debut Nov. 15, and will stream on NBC News Now Mondays-Fridays at 5 PM ET.
“We are not trying to do Nightly on streaming, we are not trying to do Today on streaming, or MSNBC on streaming, we are trying to be our own ting,” Jackson tells The Hollywood Reporter about her new daily program. “How do we strip away some of the formality that can creep into newscasts a bit, and make it feel a little more authentic? A little more natural?”
One way they hope to do that is with a more flexible format, one that can incorporate longer segments (on the program these segments will be called “The Original”), and segments that “pull back the fourth wall,” as Jackson says, “how I would talk to a friend or reporter on the scene” (in the show these segments will be called “The Backstory”). In addition, Jackson says they hope to incorporate explainers, interactive content and other fare that just isn’t present on linear television. “It is not just a digest of ‘here’s what happened,’” she says.
“The vision for NBC News Now is to bring the best reporters and best journalism that NBC News as a whole has to offer, and make it accessible to the streaming news audience,” says NBC News president Noah Oppenheim. “Hallie is one of our top political reporters, and reporters generally, so giving her an opportunity to take an hour on streaming and curate a selection of the day’s top stories and dig deeper into them and help explain the issues shaping our world is a great way to build out the early prime block that we have begun constructing on News Now.”
News Now launched in 2019, and has since added expansions of the Today show and Meet the Press to its lineup. Now, however, it is building out an early prime block, led by the likes of Jackson, Tom Llamas (who anchors the 7 PM hour), and an upcoming program ld by Joshua Johnson. The new shows come as the NBCUniversal News Group is hiring hundreds of people specifically to bolster its streaming bona fides. Oppenheim calls it a “supercharging” of the company’s streaming investment.
For now, the company is focusing its efforts mostly during the day, when news consumption is high. “We are focusing on the hours of the day where we see the most appetite for that journalism and breaking news coverage,” Oppenheim says. “And that tends to skew a little bit earlier in the evening.”
But the streaming push is also changing how NBC News thinks about its relationship with talent, with Jackson being a textbook example.
“Hallie is a perfect example of someone who can tape a piece on the Today show in the morning, can appear on MSNBC during the hard news portion of its schedule, and can then anchor this show at 5 o’clock on News Now, and can even pop up on Nightly at 6:30 with another piece,” Oppenheim says. “You see the same pattern with Tom Llamas, it is not about streaming-first or broadcast-first it is about best-in-class journalists who are number one in terms of what they do, and pushing their work out among all our platforms to all those audiences.”