Breaking News at YES: The Social-Media Perspective
When the news that Derek Jeter would be out for the season hit YES Network’s Stamford, CT, offices, the on-air crew wasn’t the only team that had to react quickly. The New Media team immediately sprang into action.
The first to report the news was Yankees clubhouse reporter Meredith Marakovitz, on-site in Baltimore, who tweeted the news after texting lead pre- and post-game producer Jared Boshnack. That tweet was retweeted by YES Network lead editor Lou DiPietro.
‘The news is out, everybody’s starting to understand what’s going on,” said Kevin Sullivan, director of new media, YES Network, shortly after the news broke. “From there, we send out our own tweet, we put it on Facebook, and then we do a mobile alert. … So now everybody knows the news.”
As the interview footage of Yankees GM Brian Cashman, Manager Joe Girardi, and Jeter was fed from Baltimore to Stamford, DiPietro wrote his news story for the Website, taking quotes from the feeds in real time. Because no one else had access to the feeds (save those present at the press conferences), YES Network’s story would be one of the first to report the news with quotes. That story ran live at 5 p.m. ET, coinciding with lead studio anchor Bob Lorenz’s breaking-news update on the network.
After the story was posted, focus shifted to video. MLB.com cut down the video into smaller, more consumable pieces and posted them to YESNetwork.com as they became available. Once the news story and video from all three interviews went live on the site, the new-media team moved onto the game.
“If anything happens, if anything [is said] on-air, we have guys here during the game so they’ll either tweet out what [play-by-play] Michael Kay said or retweet something [analyst] Jack Curry has,” explained Sullivan. “The official YES feed has a presence. We can’t ignore [the Jeter story] while the game’s going on. If other people are talking about it, we want to be in that conversation.”
In addition to YES’s presence on social-networking platforms, which are also used to involve fans in the conversation, the network has a dynamic second-screen experience with Game Center. Accessible on desktops and mobile devices (although many of its features are responsive only on desktops), Game Center provides additional game information and commentary throughout the game.
“It’s designed to be a complement to our on-air product,” said Sullivan. “It will give you different stats, pitch location, the whole box score, things that you can’t fit on a TV screen.”
While the YESNetwork.com and Yankees.com remain fairly separate, the two operate on a content share. For example, DiPietro’s Jeter story would appear on YESNetwork.com accompanied by “See More from Yankees.com,” and vice versa.
“We cross-promote back and forth,” said Sullivan, “and we [share] a lot of our video with them in the spirit of our partnership.”