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Photo: Cheddar

Cheddar is joining forces with WeWork to scale its on-air guest booking operation. It's building remote studios in WeWork offices around the country, and eventually around the globe, to bring more TV-quality live shots to the network's weekday live programming slate. The Cheddar team will go live with its first-ever daily broadcast from a WeWork location today in Hollywood.

Why it matters: It's a cost effective way for Cheddar to scale its digital TV business at the local, national and global levels. And it's a good example of how technology is upending the traditional TV business.

  • "The partnership gives us more edge against competitors by allowing us to have the remote broadcast scale of a major cable network," says Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg. Most networks rely on affiliate relationships around the country to deliver high-quality guest live shots, while Cheddar uses Skype for some of its 50+ daily guest interviews. Steinberg is hoping the WeWork partnership will also increase the frequency of guests booked per day, which will cut down on segment length.
  • Steinberg says they are looking to add a minimum of 5-10 locations in 2018 and build from there. They will set their sites on U.S. cities to start, like DC, Chicago and San Fransisco, and then plan on expanding to perhaps London or Asia.
  • The investment also provides a foray into more local news coverage. "Conceivably, this could be used in breaking news situations across the globe," says Steinberg. The company launched "Cheddar Local," this summer to provide top business headlines to local news broadcasts, tailored to their region.

Cheddar's strategy has thus far been to scale as quickly as possible at low cost. It's relied on strategic partnerships with established media entities to do so.

  • Nationally, Cheddar has scored distribution partnerships with Sling, Amazon, Pluto, Facebook, Twitter and two more bundles by year end.
  • Internationally, Cheddar launched a partnership with Propagate, a global indie studio, to produce a daily segment from New York Stock Exchange that would be customized and distributed for international markets.
  • "Everything we do now, has to work when we're 10x the size," says Jon Steinberg. "The goal is always to create a model where the cost drop is efficient. Steinberg says the total cost to build out all of their studios, controls rooms, equipment etc. has thus far been $2.2 million. Steinberg says the 90-person company is looking to net over $10 million in revenue this year.

The partnership is a first for WeWork as well. " "This deal is a good example of the way that we can start to program our own physical space while simultaneously offering a great opportunity for our members to share their stories with the world," says WeWork Vice Chair Michael Gross.

Go deeper

NASA estimates Tonga volcano exploded with force of 5-6 megatons

A satellite image of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Dec. 24, before the eruption. Photo: Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

NASA scientists estimate the power of Tonga's volcanic eruption over the weekend to have been 5-6 Megatons of TNT equivalent.

Threat level: Saturday's eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai volcano and subsequent tsunami killed at least three people. Scientists warn an "ash-seawater cocktail" poses a potentially toxic health threat, and drinking water could be contaminated.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and his two elder children to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

4 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.