BuzzFeed News, Twitter to partner on election night special
The live coverage will originate from BuzzFeed’s New York City offices, with veteran producer Bruce Perlmutter serving as executive producer of the special
NEW YORK, NY – October 13, 2016 — BuzzFeed News and Twitter announced today that they will partner on an election night special live from BuzzFeed’s New York City offices, and streamed exclusively on Twitter. On a night when millions are focused on the final chapter of the election cycle and campaign results, BuzzFeed News and Twitter will provide an alternative approach to coverage for a next-generation, highly engaged audience on the platform where the central political conversation is happening in real-time. Live coverage on Twitter will start at 6pm EST.
“Our fast, smart, and honest political coverage has helped define this presidential campaign and we are thrilled to be finishing by going live both from our headquarters and from inside the platform that is the beating heart of American politics,” said Ben Smith, Editor-In-Chief of BuzzFeed. “At a time when so much political coverage amounts to reading Tweets aloud, we’re excited to add original reporting and analysis inside Twitter.”
“Twitter is at the center of the presidential race, and has become the fastest and most dynamic way for candidates, journalists and voters to break news, share thoughts, and see what’s happening in politics right now,” said Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief financial officer. “Our partnership with BuzzFeed News will give voters – especially our younger audience – a smart, fresh broadcast with live breaking news and election analysis right on Twitter.”
Bruce Perlmutter will serve as executive producer of the special. Perlmutter’s depth of experience in live TV makes him uniquely suited for this hybrid of live election broadcast coverage combined with real-time political reporting through a digital lens. With senior roles with CNN, MSNBC, and E! Networks, Perlmutter has overseen live events including The Royal Wedding, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, many live red carpets, and most recently, the Fox special HEAVEN SENT, when world-class skydiver Luke Aikins made a 25,000 foot jump without a parachute.
The live stream will include advertising packages with TV style mid-roll ad spots combined with original clips produced by BuzzFeed that advertisers can sponsor and promote on Twitter. BuzzFeed will work with Decision Desk HQ on definitive calls for the night, providing an alternative to the television networks’ reliance on a single set of data.
Twitter’s livestream of the second presidential debate broadcast on Sunday night reached 3.2 million unique viewers, an increase of 30% over the first presidential debate. The debate also became the most Tweeted ever, with more than 17 million debate-related Tweets sent. These Tweets were seen more than 3.6 billion times worldwide on and off of Twitter. Sunday was also the most Tweeted day of the entire 2016 election, with nearly 30 million Tweets sent as audiences turned to Twitter for news, commentary and reactions to what’s happening now. Seventy percent of Sunday night’s logged-in live viewers were under the age of 35, and more than half of all Tweets sent about the election are from people 25 years of age and younger.
BuzzFeed News coverage has defined this election cycle, through aggressive reporting across its political, investigative, and breaking news teams that frequently lead the news cycle. BuzzFeed News has published the two definitive profiles of Donald Trump — and countless scoops about the Republican nominee, including disproving his claim that he always opposed the Iraq War, and investigations into his surveillance operations, and the U.S. guest worker program that Trump used to hire foreign workers. The political staff has delivered defining coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, her messaging, and her past; the rise of the alt-right, the white nationalist movement that has ascended alongside Trump; the way that immigration has shaped the election, and the critical importance of Latino voters and operatives; and the role of Black Lives Matter movement in Democratic politics. In the last week alone, BuzzFeed News has broken stories on Mark Burnett threatening staffers, Trump’s inappropriate behavior at Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants, and was first to publish Hillary Clinton’s previously unreleased speeches.