L.A. station finds success with Google Hangouts

KTTV-TV, the Fox affiliate in Los Angeles, has found a formula for using Google+ that seems to click with viewers.

Each morning, the show broadcasts a Google Hangout On Air, usually hosted by weather reporter Maria Quiban. She, along with a handful of other guests, are able to interact with celebrity and other guests featured on the station’s “Good Day L.A.” show. While the number of direct participants is limited, the station uses the Google+ “On Air” feature to broadcast the stream live to anyone who wants to watch. The sessions are also archived on YouTube.

Having the consistent interaction with viewers every morning Monday-Friday has “helped us build an online audience in a place we normally wouldn’t be,” Kingsley Smith, KTTV’s news director, told USA Today.

According to the station’s Google+ profile page, over 625,000 people have “circled” it — Google+’s equivalent of “following” someone. Those numbers are impressive, especially given some of people who have circled nationally available news networks (as of 8 a.m. Friday, July 26):

Television news outlets have a steady history of dabbling in Google+.