By Shane Mercer
FARGO, N.D. – The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and WDAY-TV and radio today launched the InforumTV website with three live morning news webcasts anchored by Robin Huebner.
Plans are to eventually offer top-of-the-hour updates throughout the workday.
Huebner’s webcasts will air at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Monday through Friday on Inforumtv.com. The site will also have the capacity to deliver news live from the field.
InforumTV will be a separate site from The Forum’s Inforum.com website, and focuses strictly on video.
There are plans to develop a morning show for InforumTV, said media manager Jim Manney, who heads up the video department at The Forum.
Manney said InforumTV will also produce and webcast live talk shows in the future.
“It’s a place for us to deliver news, information and entertainment to readers, viewers and listeners,” Manney said.
He has big dreams for the site.
“I can see it becoming, at some point, a 12-hour-a-day network,” Manney said. “It’s very ambitious, I know, but it’s something that I think will definitely happen over the course of the next few years.”
In addition to the live offerings, the site will be home to “the nearly 27,000 videos that Forum Communications Co. has shot,” Manney said.
Forum Communications is the parent company of The Forum, WDAY and other media outlets in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. New video from these various outlets will be added to InforumTV’s searchable archive as it is created.
“What we want people to do is explore; to jump on the website and search the stories that they’re interested in,” Manney said. “And we want you to kind of get lost and explore and have some fun and see what we have available.”
WDAY News Director Jeff Nelson said the site will enhance what WDAY.com is already doing.
“InforumTV is going to allow us another avenue to get those stories out to people,” said Nelson, who described it as “an opportunity for Forum Communications as a company to really go out and be everywhere with everybody.”
While The Forum has already been producing video for the Web, Forum Editor Matthew Von Pinnon believes the InforumTV venture marks a new emphasis on video newsgathering for the staff.
“If there’s a news event happening, we’ll bring it to people, and we’ll stream it, and we’ll show it,” he said. “It could be a press conference; it could be breaking news, fires, weather, whatever. We can be out in the field and sharing that information with people in real time.”
Forum Publisher Bill Marcil Jr. sees InforumTV as a “big part” of the company’s future.
“We will still provide the very best platform for news and advertising with Inforum, but by separating the two, we will have a better user experience for the person that just wants video,” he said.
“We will provide not only news updates but local news stories, weather and original content with the ability to go live any time of the day or night,” Marcil said.
The Forum, WDAY-TV and InforumTV are all owned by Forum Communications Co. Forum Communications Co. is a multimedia information company based in Fargo. Forum Communications owns dozens of newspapers, websites and television and radio stations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.