The viability of news-oriented video hubs became apparent during the recently concluded election season, when companies such as NDN and ABC News shot up in the comScore rankings thanks to America’s quadrennial appetite for political news. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that media conglomerate Time Inc. (best known for publishing Time Magazine) has announced the launch of a digital video department and has hired an industry veteran to head it up.

The studio will bring together all existing Time Inc. video employees, consolidating them under the leadership of J.R. McCabe, who previously served as the head of the Meredith Corporation, a print and digital media agency that focused predominantly on women’s publications. “This move will unify the strong but disparate efforts we currently have in video, bringing resources from all three clusters and the Time Inc. Studios together to create a strong team with a common set of facilities and back-end technologies,” said Time CEO Laura Lang. “Advertisers are continually looking for more that can be done in video.”

Time Inc. is part of Time Warner, which has recently eyed Maker Studios as it prepares for a move into online video. If that acquisition does go through, Maker’s roster of talent would provide a great base for Time’s digital studio.

The move makes good business sense for Time, as the major sharing sites are taking notice of news media’s viability. YouTube’s politics section featured an impressive amount of newsy content during the election buildup and the Slatester and Wall Street Journal YouTube Original Channels continue to thrive. Give Time’s reputation as a leader in news media, their digital could pay instant dividends.

Six years ago, Time named You the person of the year, forecasting the future influence of online media. It’s good to see the magazine’s higher-ups finally recognizing the truth of their statement.

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