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ABC O&Os Relaunch Web Sites

The ABC-owned television stations are relaunching their Web sites Monday, with the new sites featuring large Flash video players that take up the bulk of the home page.

The architects said they’ve made the Web sites look and feel more like TV news -- more video and less verbiage.

“We felt that the [old] Web sites looked more like newspaper Web sites,” said Bill Burton, executive vice president of digital media for the ABC-owned television stations. “We tried to make them more like television.”

Burton said the sites, featuring 16x9 video, were about one year in the works. All 10 ABC-owned stations -- including WABC New York, KABC Los Angeles and WLS Chicago -- are launching the new sites.

Burton refers to it as a “redefine,” as opposed to a redesign. “We’re redefining what we do in this space,” he added, “and redefining how we do business for users and advertisers.”

Advertising consists of traditional pre-rolls, as well as different media that Burton said would be “higher-profile and more impactful” for advertisers, although he did not elaborate.

The sites also feature a “customizable dashboard-style control panel” and an enhanced video-on-demand platform. “It’s easier to find and easier to use,” Burton said. “And the video quality is much improved.”

WorldNow handles the video on the new ABC sites.

"We’re excited to see our efforts in place," WorldNow president and CEO Gary Gannaway said. "[ABC-owned stations president] Walter Liss and Bill Burton really wanted to break away from the traditional TV Web site, and WorldNow is ecstatic to be providing the video technology behind these cutting-edge sites."