NBC’s Redesign — The Ruin of a Trusted Online News Site

Does anyone else out there hate the redesigned NBC News website? It looks like a Pinterest page … all big photos, no information. I am a self-proclaimed news junkie, veteran journalist interested in national and world news — as well as what happens in my city and state.  The new format repels me — the NBC News site used to be one of my top spots for a quick headline check.  Now I avoid it — even CNN’s website is better.

My first journalism job was a summer internship with WGBH-TV in Boston. Back then, the station had a live 10 o’clock news program — I ran the teleprompter and worked in the control room. I only went out on a few stories … but it was fun and I learned so much! I found WGBH a great experience for a complete novice. The news staff was generous with their time and information. I graduated from college thinking I wanted to become a TV news producer — not necessarily the on-air person, but the editor making all the decisions behind the scenes.

Circumstances landed me in Washington, D.C. — a mecca of political news. My first newspaper was USA Today. It was a brand-new (and much-ridiculed) concept at the time. I worked on big stories, learned about the power of big money and of cut-throat politics  — both inside the company as well as on Capitol Hill!

Top execs and politicians play hardball — very few manage to succeed without making serious ethical compromises. It’s reality. Those in the line of fire must constantly out-maneuver the competition to get ahead, or even just to keep their jobs. Those who don’t end up on the curb. I contend life outside the bubble — in a “real” community — has much to recommend it. Politics, ambition and money play a role in every city …  but usually on a more manageable scale.

I still keep up on the old rat race — the Washington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast, Slate, ABC, CBS, CNN — but rarely NBC anymore. I miss the old “news” format. I’m not the target audience, obviously. I wonder who is? My guess: People who care about photos, not facts, not perspective, not NEWS.

I wonder what the user statistics will reveal. I used to check it at least twice a day — sometimes lots more. Now, maybe once a week — and I haven’t clicked on a single story.

I read one comment that said it was as if Pinterest swallowed Windows 8 then vomited — I agree!

What do you think?  Are you a fan? Tell me what appeals to you about the new format.

Hate it? What should they do instead?

9 thoughts on “NBC’s Redesign — The Ruin of a Trusted Online News Site

    • I agree David … I find it interesting that several media commentators evaluated (and mostly panned) the site when it was released Feb. 4-5 … and no comments since. I do think the metrics must be suffering. You and I can’t be the only ones who hate it!

  1. Patrick

    I quit as well. Used to check it 3 times a day. Now zero. Google News is okay, but I’ve found cbsnews.com the “least offensive” visually. But even there, I typically just scroll to the bottom of the homepage to see the separated out headlines. I wish it had a list of 10 under each heading instead of only 5, but I can live with it. Honestly, I’m trying to decide if I need a desktop program that does new aggregation by itself.

    • Patrick … I end up checking the Washington Post for the top headlines … then searching other sites to read the articles. I may break down and subscribe to the WP! It really brings the news together …

  2. The new NBCNews online format is a catastraphe to the internet. Apart from this, there are other indicators that NBC news management has soured.

    The online format:

    1.- The main menu is not organized well at all. The main features are there but it is harder to efficently get to what you want because the organization is perhaps too basic.

    2.- Once you get to some news subject page one is greeted by just 1 to 3 news article per viewable page. It becomes painful to, as NBC puts it, “endlessly scroll” for news items. it

    3.- Once reaching an article…….lol, the pain continues. Usually there is a picture but it is too large for one viewable page. One has to scroll up-scroll down-scroll up-scroll down to view the picture. Hand me an Antivert please.

    4.- Larger print in the articles, shorter line length. It becomes clear that NBC news leaders genuinely value the scrolling wheel on the mouse.

    5.- Has anyone else noticed that many of the articles are now filled with poor grammar? This is a radical change compared to the past. Perhaps NBC is attempting to lead the charge into an illiterate world.

    NBC management:

    Well, letting go of Ann Curry in a prime morning time slot ruined something America could be proud off. They just seem to have lost a compassionate vision. Look at what they did to Bodie Miller. Even when Bodie crouches down behind the crowd control fence NBC forces the camerman to get down to snow level and zoom in on him. I haven’t talked to one person familiar with the sport that this didn’t make them upset. But, lol, NBC management said the story had to be told. They didn’t need to replay this but they did.

    NBC managment have become a bunch of greedy souls who have lost sight of decency; they just don’t seem to be smart enough to see they have lost human values and that, as I am sure their numbers will tell in the coming months, also lost market share. NBC’s Board and management have soured. Its easy to understand and let FOX news off for just not being intelligent. It is offensive that NBC news crams this, pardon the expression, crap down our throats.


    Bad directive has occured at NBC. Someone or some group at NBC has gained control and they certainly aren’t the ones I’d be proud of to call fellow Americans.Regurgitated Windows 8 vomit……..I agree. What was regurgitated is everthing above………not palatable.

  3. Ed

    Is it still as bad as when it came out? I’ve never gone back to look, I don’t want to raise their ratings. I have a DSL internet connection that is only moderately fast, so it takes a long time for the pages to load, and they jump and flicker while loading and my browser locked up frequently.

    • I get that! the NBC News site is marginally better, but I don’t check it often. It now includes Associated Press news feed on the page… but the rest is still annoying. I’ve started going to the AP news site for the same stories. Interesting that so many other news sites just rehash the AP articles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s