And it’s once again thanks to CNN – this time Rick Sanchez, the network’s weekend night anchor. After a party last night, I turned on CNN to find Rick in the midst of a live Twitter conversation. He said something the effect of, “I wasn’t sure if this social connector thing would work, but…” as he enthusiastically pointed to his over 2,500 followers on the popular micro-blogging platform.
Rick does a stand out job in connecting with his “community” in a down-to-earth and authentic way giving “tweets” in between and during broadcasts – then integrates follower comments live into his show. His genuine curiosity for social media comes out in a way that one can’t help but support him and CNN:
“wow, what a great way to do news... with real instant comments and help thinking of questions. 1700 of us. 1400 in 24 hours joined. yeap!
He even gives credit for his recent #1 cable newscast rating to the integration of social media into the broadcast (In addition to Twitter, Rick is also on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube). And ensuring the community expectations of integrity and transparency, Rick’s producer self-identifies when “tweeting” on Rick’s page.
Rick is launching a new show on CNN weekdays at 3pm starting September 8th (there’s even a Facebook Event invite for it). And it looks like he and his producer are planning on raising the bar even more with what already is a best-in-class example of harmonic convergence of media. Awesome stuff – soon the Web and TV will be one in the same -- and CNN will do just fine because they're embracing the impending change. They're obviously hiring smart producers who get the space. Great job, guys.