AOL and HBO Announce New Broadband Comedy Website "This Just In"
November 15, 2006
HBO, with its incomparable history in the comedy world from stand-up specials to television series, and AOL, a leading provider of online programming for over 100 million users each month, have joined forces on the new broadband website THIS JUST IN slated to launch in 1st Quarter 2007.
THIS JUST IN will feature humor through the lens of current events ranging from pop culture to politics. It will reflect the broad range of comedy that HBO is known for including cutting edge social commentary, urban comedy and the most current new comedic voices. Leveraging AOL�s leadership in online video and innovative web programming, THIS JUST IN will feature extensive video content, as well as a blog format that will enable users to tap into the day�s events as they are happening. THIS JUST IN will also be a platform to incubate new programming for other HBO platforms.
The venture will be accessible at www.thisjustin.com. THIS JUST IN will replace the existing AOL Comedy channel, already one of the leading comedy destinations on the web.
AOL Media Networks will represent THIS JUST IN to marketers, offering advertisers the opportunity to associate their brands with an HBO property for the first time ever with the site clearly identified as �powered by HBO.� In addition to traditional ad units, the venture will work closely with advertisers to create programming that incorporates marketing messages in a way that is as engaging as the content itself. AOL will support the site with all of the tools and technologies of its content publishing, video and social networking platforms as it has with TMZ.com, the successful 24/7 entertainment news website that AOL launched last year with sister company Telepictures.
"This venture will leverage AOL's online expertise and HBO's established reputation for comedy to provide a unique, engaging site for audiences across the web," said Jim Bankoff, Executive Vice President, Consumer and Publisher Services, AOL. "What's more, for advertisers, this is the first time they can connect to the HBO brand."
�Our goal is to create a robust destination that can have the potential of becoming part of the �water cooler� pop culture like many of our network programs have become,� said Carmi Zlotnick, Executive Vice President, New Media Programming Group, HBO. �With our heritage and relationships in the comedy space, this platform is ideal for showcasing new forms of entertainment to today�s savvy audience and allows us to discover fresh talent and ideas indigenous to new media.�
Running the venture is Steve Stanford who was the founder and CEO of Icebox.com, an early Internet comedy site that created programming with many top television writers, and was a co-founder and COO of the edgy, content-driven cell phone service Ampd Mobile. �This is about creating a new kind of entertainment experience that couldn�t exist in a non-interactive medium. We will be trying new things and taking risks in the process of developing great Internet comedy.�
THIS JUST IN is an extension of HBO�s long commitment to comedy and recognition that many of the most interesting things happening in comedy today are originating on the Internet. Content from the site may also be used across multiple platforms including HBO, HBO multiplex channels, HBO On Demand and HBO Mobile. The broadband comedy venture is only the most recent step HBO is taking to discover and develop up and coming talent. THIS JUST IN will give the next generation of talent showcased at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas and the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen a national platform and allow them to further develop their voice.
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., providing two 24-hour premium television services, HBO and Cinemax. Together, both networks reach approximately 40 million subscribers in the United States via cable and satellite delivery. Home Box Office's international joint ventures bring HBO branded services to more than 50 countries around the globe.
AOL is a global Web services company that operates some of the most popular Web destinations, offers a comprehensive suite of free software and services, runs the country's largest Internet access business, and provides a full set of advertising solutions. A majority-owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), AOL LLC is based in Dulles, Virginia. AOL and its subsidiaries also have operations in Europe, Canada and Asia. Learn more at AOL.com.