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Magid Creates Digital Division

Media-research firm Frank N. Magid Associates this week launches a division focused on expanding and improving broadcasters' digital offerings.

Magid Media Labs taps the firm's extensive research capabilities to help stations create stronger content for the Web, cellphones, digital channels and other new-media platforms.

“It's what is keeping our clients up at night,” says Magid Senior VP Bill Hague, “and we provide a very targeted, very strategic method to help them.”

Studies show that people seek online news from newspaper Websites more than from TV-station sites.

Magid Media Labs' aim is to make the station site first in people's minds, whether they're searching for local news, weather updates or sports results.

“It's not just about repurposing television content on the Web,” says Hague of stations' Web content. “It's breaking news, search optimization, usability, design.”

Magid veteran Jaime Spencer heads up the new outfit. He says stations' competition on the Web isn't so much other stations: “They're competing with newspapers and Yahoo! and Google for their share of the local-advertising pie. You have to inform your strategy differently.”

Magid Media Labs will operate out of Magid headquarters in Iowa, with input from the company's offices in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.