The firm refers to its goal as "narrow-casting" -- in contract to television broadcasting to a large audience. The company says it filters "news and content to appeal to the narrower interests of specific groups of people." When mainstream news sources don't cover certain topics, or don't cover them in depth, "why shouldn't brand leaders fill this void?," asks the firm's website.  Firm president Kyle Millar says funding online video channels offers "brand enrichment" to the sponsor. 
"News" sites created (and, in at least some cases, operated) by Branded News include the National Rifle Association's NRANews.com, a website devoted to coverage of gun-related issues. CleanSkies.tv is an energy-focused website from the American Clean Skies Foundation, which is funded by the natural gas company Chesapeake Energy. 
Branded News will launch its new website Shale.tv in September 2008. The website, which is also funded by Chesapeake Energy, is billed as "a forum for news on the Barnett Shale," a natural gas formation in North Texas where Chesapeake wants to increase drilling. Many residents in the area, close to Forth Worth, oppose increased drilling. Tracy Rowlett, Forth Worth's "longest-serving TV anchor and an award-winning journalist" left a television reporting job to join Shale.tv. Rowlett said that "opponents of the energy company will be invited to appear on the channel, as will officers of competitors including XTO Energy and Devon Energy." 
OklaTravelNet.com is a website that promotes tourism to the state. Branded News describes the site as a partnership with the State of Oklahoma.  But the site's sponsors are the Riverwind Casino, the Chickasaw Nation and Pops; OklaTravelNet.com "doesn't receive any funding from the state," according to the Oklahoma City Journal Record.  OklaTravelNet.com's "daily news show" is broadcast from the Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma.  "The site's cost is roughly $1.5 million," reported the Tulsa World. 
Other Branded News sites include EnergyNewsLive.com, a now-defunct site sponsored by Williams Companies, a Texas-based company that "delivers innovative, reliable products and services through its extensive networks of energy-distributing pipelines and high-speed fiber-optic cables."  Williams viewed the site as an opportunity "to promote its name and to bring credible information to the personal computers of industry leaders nationwide," reported the Dallas Morning News. "EnergyNewsLive is an investment in our brand," said Williams' Callie Mitchell.  The Williams website cost "in the 'many millions'" for the "'branded news' team that deliver[ed] top-of-the-hour broadcasts on energy and related markets, including interviews with traders. The company even rolled out a Spanish language version of the program for a Latin American audience," according to an energy trade publication. 
Branded News president Kyle Millar "previously worked for the MTV Networks in Los Angeles and New York, and for CBS and other networks before that. ... Former local television sports anchor Brent Starky will host the 90-minute Oklatravelnet.com segments Mondays through Fridays." 
110 The Tower, 1601 Northwest Expressway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Heather Caliendo, "Web site encouraging travel in Oklahoma," The Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK), March 19, 2008.
- "Our company," BrandedNews.com, accessed September 2008.
- "An introduction (video)," BrandedNews.com, accessed September 2008.
- Siobhan Hughes, "CleanSkies.TV Enjoys Backing of Top Natural Gas Executive," Dow Jones Newswires (sub req'd), August 8, 2008.
- Barry Shlachter, "Tracy Rowlett leaves TV news for Barnett Shale video site," Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), July 11, 2008.
- "OTN," BrandedNews.com, accessed September 2008.
- "Homepage," OklaTravelNet.com, accessed September 2008.
- Angel Riggs, "Web site to feature travel newscasts," Tulsa World (Oklahoma), March 16, 2007.
- Press release, "Williams' EnergyNewsLive.com News Interview Line-Up for Feb. 13," Williams, February 12, 2001.
- Bruce Nichols, "Oklahoma-Based Energy Firm Reports on Industry while Promoting Itself on Web," The Dallas Morning News, May 15, 2001.
- "And that's the Williams' news," Global Energy Business / Platts Energy News, November 2000 / December 2000.
- "6FL," BrandedNews.com, accessed September 2008.
- Jim Stafford, "Broadband helps Web: Oklatravelnet.com will tell all to tourists," The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), February 15, 2007.
|This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.|