Now if my sources are correct — Primedia’s 702 is about to make a big web play, which will involve extending their authoritative news brand online. It will probably entail the creation of a new top level domain and news brand, linked to 702. My guess — and this is a guess — is that it will most likely be called eyewitnessnews.co.za, their radio news brand. A quick look at the whois confirms that Primedia in fact owns the domain and booked it a while ago.
If this is indeed the case — its the right strategy: Leave 702.co.za as the brand to promote and add interactivity to the radio offering, and then for a serious and successful online news site, create a new brand, division and culture that would move in its own direction, ie — it would not be diluted or burdened by the already-strong radio offering.
Primedia already own iafrica.com, a rather big portal with its own news offering — but attempts at synergy between the portal and the company’s radio assets have not been successful. It’s not really that surprising as I believe Primedia to be quite an entrepreneurial environment, promoting fairly hectic competition between the various brands and divisions internally… a structure that I believe produces a degree of excellence.