Magazine article Variety

Great News: CNNgo Is a Perfect Fit for Its Cable Sister

Magazine article Variety

Great News: CNNgo Is a Perfect Fit for Its Cable Sister

Article excerpt

I have seen the future of TV, and it is CNNgo.

If the mere mention of a digital extension to a network triggers reflexive skepticism, that's understandable; they all mimic either linear channels or on-demand libraries. But CNNgo, currently available at no extra charge to participating pay-TV providers, is a rare example of actual innovation. I sampled it during a 10-day free trial that ended last week that left me craving more.

Think of CNNgo as CNN to the nth power: As the live channel plays in either a Web browser or a tablet app, it is surrounded with additional content options including contextual links that offer CNN-produced video, text, tweets and photos relevant to what is being discussed live. If a given story isn't of interest, there's also a menu of different segments from which to choose that aired anywhere from just minutes earlier to days ago.

For example, I logged into CNNgo the day medical expert Sanjay Gupta was halfway through an explanation of the first diagnosed case of Ebola virus in the U.S., and I was able to drag a slider back to a time marker indicating when exactly CNN broke the news in order to start the story from the beginning and get all the facts. That enabled me to return to Gupta to fully understand his analysis.

But when he started to get repetitive on a story I was eager to explore from other angles, CNNgo served up related content, from written interviews with medical workers on the ground in West Africa to a previous Gupta commentary in which he discussed the realities of how Ebola is transmitted.

Then when I tired of the subject entirely, a rundown of other stories past and future allowed me to watch a segment on Isis from the previous night's episode of "Anderson Cooper 360" while waiting for a prescheduled update on the same subject to follow the Ebola report.

That may all sound exhausting to consume, but the user experience is easy and seamless.

What's so compelling about CNNgo is how it corrects what might be cable news' biggest problems. …

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