Global News launches site redesign

New site offers multimedia coverage from across Canwest and Global news bureaus, new interactive tools, mobile features and a large roster of integration and sponsorship opps.

Following GlobalTV’s site redesign in April, the network’s news portal is unveiling its own redesign at this week, where visitors can select a site for their specific region.

The collection of sites, which includes 10 local ones, spans multimedia-tuned national, international and local news pages, featuring video, blogs, mobile feeds and live coverage. Content spans top stories from both Global News and Canwest bureaus, with sections devoted to Canada, World, Health, Money, Sports, Entertainment, Image Galleries and Weather. The new portal also includes pages for Global National and weekly news magazine 16×9 which both feature both audio and video podcasts.

The 10 regional sites provide the local news headlines for BC, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, all of which are available via iPhone or Blackberry.

The portal also offers the day’s top video reports and raw video feeds, searchable and viewable for up to 28 days.

The new site comes with improved search functionality and search-engine optimization, by routing users to’s enhanced story pages, featuring multimedia, interactive features.

Users can personalize their experience on the site by setting automatic displays to local headlines and weather with newsletters, breaking news alerts and homepages. Weather on-demand via personalized ‘Forecast4me’ emails and downloadable desktop apps is another option. There’s also a new community calendar which allows local users to submit their own events and provides weekly emails, event reminders, and syncing with personal calendar tools like iCal, Outlook and Google Calendar.

Users can engage with content by commenting on stories seen on newscasts and sharing their own stories. 16×9‘s live blog allows viewers to participate in online story meetings by offering comments and suggestions on current and future story ideas, and for special events, Global News anchors, correspondents and experts will be interacting live with users.

‘We’re really trying to leverage our website not just as a place to advertise online, but as part of a strong package coupled with on-air,’ Global News director of online content, Andrew Lundy tells MiC. ‘We’re confident that we can now offer a package unrivaled in this space: A coordinated on-air and online campaign that will really help advertisers get their message out.’

The redesigned sites also offer more premium sales integration opps: The new homepages now have two leaderboards (top and bottom), two big box units and multiple sponsorable components including, weather, breaking news alerts, photo galleries and pre-roll on video. Sponsorship opps are also available on the sites’ video centres, live events features and Forecast4Me components.

‘We’re very excited about our live event coverage and the opportunity for advertisers to sponsor relevant and engaging tools,’ says Lundy. ‘We believe strongly in local weather and are expanding our weather offerings to reflect this. Something like the Hurricane Watch coverage that we had throughout last weekend on Hurricane Bill really shows where we believe we can take our news coverage on-air and online.’

To help promote the site, Canwest is announcing the news via its social media tools and doing in-house promotion on all of its local newscasts and throughout the day. There’s also a 15-second image spot running on Global networks during prime time for the next few weeks.