Yahoo News Goes Behind The News In Fifth Season of Animated News Series ‘Who Knew?’ [INTERVIEW]

Ever wondered what the term “white hat” means? Yahoo News is helping viewers understand today’s most talked about topics by premiering the fifth season of its daily animated short news series “Who Knew?” this week. The series, which features 1-2 minutes of infographics and other pertinent information behind the news, is Yahoo News’ longest-running daily program, and since its launch in 2010, is nearing completion of 800 episodes.

Vivi Zigler, president of Shine 360 and Shine America, the company that produces “Who Knew?” for Yahoo News, talked to NMR about the relaunch of the show and how they find their topics for each program.

What makes the fifth season of “Who Knew?” different from previous seasons?

Vivi Zigler: While focused on bringing timely information to the masses, “Who Knew?” looks to do that in a fun and entertaining way. This season, “Who Knew?” is sporting a new graphic look and attitude. We are using graphics and animations in a fresh style to ensure we are clearly communicating the meat of our daily topics. Learning and understanding what’s happening in your world while being entertained – a good thing all around!

What is Shine America’s plan when it comes to promoting “Who Knew?” to a wider audience?

Yahoo News is the publisher of “Who Knew?” and uses the vast tools and technology of the Yahoo platform to introduce regular Yahoo viewers and new ones to “Who Knew?” Because of “Who Knew?’s” topical nature, search is often what brings a user to the content. In addition, Yahoo promotes the series through a variety of social channels including Twitter and Facebook.

What are the ways that the producers of “Who Knew?” interact with their audience? How do they gauge what works and what doesn’t work for each episode? 

Yahoo’s deep insights about what topics resonate with its audience have a big impact on the topics chosen for “Who Knew?” In addition, the Shine America production team is constantly looking at forums, reported stories and pop culture conversations to stay in touch with the audience. The production team also solicits feedback and ideas from “Who Knew?” viewers via social media and comments. 

Why does this short format of useful information work for your audience?

In this busy world people want to know and they want to know quickly. Getting credible context around a news event, understanding (in just a minute!) what everyone is talking about — well that’s a valuable tool for today’s consumers. “Who Knew?” was always intended for the web because of the nature of the content: fun, interesting facts presented in a short “snacking” format. Yahoo is the ideal partner because of its audience reach, its insights around that audience and what they’re looking for, as well as its team of editors and editorial expertise. 

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