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NewsNet

NewsNet
TypeTerrestrial television network
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersCadillac, Michigan
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format720p (HDTV, widescreen)
Ownership
OwnerBridge Media Networks
ParentBridge News, LLC
Key people
  • Manoj Bhargava (majority owner)
  • Eric Wotila (President and part-owner)
  • Vince Bodiford (CEO)
  • Chris Anderson (Senior Vice President)
  • Scott Centers (Vice President, Broadcast Division)
  • Ray Kisonas (Vice President, News)
  • Peter Ziemelis (news director)
Sister channelsSports News Highlights
History
Founded2018
LaunchedJanuary 1, 2019; 5 years ago (2019-01-01)
FounderEric Wotila
Links
Webcastwww.newsnetmedia.com/live
Websitewww.newsnetmedia.com
Availability
Terrestrial
List of affiliates
Streaming media
Service(s)FuboTV, LocalBTV

NewsNet (stylized as NEWSnet) is an American news-oriented free-to-air television network and newscast production company owned by Bridge News, LLC, which itself is owned by Manoj Bhargava's Bridge Media Networks.[1] The network is structured to broadcast a tightly-formatted 30-minute newswheel 24 hours a day, incorporating freshly-updated information that covers various areas of interest (such as national news, sports, entertainment, weather and business). Breaking news stories are updated constantly as they develop and new information becomes available.

In addition to being carried on digital subchannels of affiliated television stations, NewsNet also distributes its programming through a livestream that is available on its website, as well as its mobile app in areas where it does not have a terrestrial TV affiliate. The network also provides an optional turnkey local news production service (Custom Newsroom Solutions) for stations that do not maintain their own local news departments to produce local news capsule segments or full-length newscasts. NewsNet's primary studio facilities (which also houses master control operations of the network's flagship station WMNN-LD [channel 26] and dual MyNetworkTV/Cozi TV affiliate WXII-LD [channel 12]) are located on West 13th Street and 3rd Avenue in Cadillac, while its secondary studio facilities are located on Haggerty Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Background and history

NewsNet's first logo, used from 2019 to 2022.

On September 28, 2017, Eric Wotila – who founded low-power all-news station WMNN-LD in Cadillac, Michigan and oversaw the studio design and construction for News Channel Nebraska, a Norfolk, Nebraska-based quasi-state network of five low-power stations that also maintained an all-news programming format – started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the launch of a 24-hour national news channel – under the working title, the Local News Network (LNN) – intended for broadcast, online and mobile distribution.[2][3][4][5]

Citing favorable opinions from viewers about the "straight-to-the-facts, no-nonsense and commentary-free" coverage provided by WMNN-LD, the Local News Network proposed to offer a news wheel format (similar in structure to the 1982–2005 format of HLN, and the formats of defunct all-news networks such as All News Channel and Satellite News Channel) that would eschew the often-politically focused panel discussion programs that have populated the afternoon, nighttime and weekend schedules of cable news channels (particularly CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel) since the early 2000s. The project called for LNN to be based out of WMNN's Cadillac studio facility, with the hope of eventually opening bureaus elsewhere around the United States. The project failed to reach its funding goal of $100,000 needed to develop LNN – which would have been used to pay for equipment and staffing necessary to handle the national broadcasts – by the closure of the 50-day campaign on November 17, 2017, raising only $8,012 from 78 public backers. Wotila subsequently sought to obtain backing from investors to fund the venture.[2][3][4][5]

On March 15, 2018, Wotila and other partners involved in the LNN project announced the launch of NewsNet, which would maintain the concept originally developed prior to the commencement of the Kickstarter campaign.[6][7][8]

NewsNet signed on for the first time on January 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with Evening Edition serving as the network's inaugural program. On May 8, 2019, ground was broken on new studios. The facility will consist of three studios, each with their own control rooms and a new, state-of-the-art master control room overseeing the operations of NewsNet, WMNN-LD and WXII-LP. The new studio debuted on-air at 4:00 a.m. ET on December 9.[9]

Because of Wotila's involvement with News Channel Nebraska, NewsNet does not compete with NCN and has no affiliates in that state.

On January 13, 2022, NewsNet and the rest of Freelancer Television Broadcasting's portfolio, including WMNN-LD and WXII-LD, were sold to investor Manoj Bhargava, with Eric Wotila retaining 10% ownership in the new company Bridge News, LLC.[10] Under the terms of the deal, Bridge News would operate the stations via a time brokerage agreement with Freelancer Television Broadcasting.[11] The sale was consummated on March 24.

On April 18, 2022, at exactly noon ET, NewsNet debuted a new logo, graphics package and slogan, News... as it used to be. A week later, on April 25, the network hired Phillip Hendrix, former senior producer at the Black News Channel, to serve as its news director, replacing Remington Hernandez (who will remain as the network's primary news anchor).[12] Hendrix was succeeded in July by Peter Ziemelis (a longtime executive producer at ABC affiliate WJRT-TV [channel 12] in Flint).

On May 16, 2022, NewsNet officially debuted a secondary studio facility in Farmington Hills and made several additions to its on-air team, including Detroit local news veterans Jill Washburn (formerly of CBS O&O WWJ-TV [channel 62] and Fox O&O WJBK [channel 2]) and Glenn Ray (formerly of WKBD-TV [channel 50]). Also on the same date, the network implemented major changes to its schedule: Mornings moved to a later timeslot at 6:00 a.m. ET, while the weekday edition of Continuing Coverage reduced its running time from four hours to two (albeit remaining at the 4:00 p.m. ET slot). The weekday broadcasts of Evening Edition, on the other hand, expanded to six hours beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET, and Nightside Edition (which airs at midnight ET) also expanded to six hours with the addition of a two-hour block at 4:00 a.m. ET. The running times of Midday Edition (which airs at noon ET) and the weekend broadcasts of Continuing Coverage and Evening Edition would remain unchanged.

On August 6, 2022, NewsNet debuted Weekend Edition, an all-weekend rolling news block that compiles the biggest headlines of the past week but retaining the network's signature newswheel format (over time, it evolved to a traditional format). The new program replaced the weekend broadcasts of Mornings, Midday Edition, Continuing Coverage, Evening Edition, and Nightside Edition.

In the 4th week of September 2022, Bridge Media Networks announced it would acquire several LPTV stations in Las Vegas (KDNU-LD),[13] South Florida (WDGT-LD, WHMR-LD and WKIZ-LD)[14] and Detroit (WHNE-LD).[15] Upon the completion of the transactions, the company will convert these stations into NewsNet O&Os.

In August 2023, Bhargava announced that NewsNet parent company Bridge Media Networks would be merging with Ross Levinsohn's The Arena Group, publisher of Sports Illustrated, and owner of Men's Fitness, Men's Journal and other publications, with Bhargava as the majority investor.[16]

Broadcast feeds

The national NewsNet service currently operates two separate broadcast feeds:

  • Domestic – the network's official feed, providing 165 hours of rolling-news coverage each week. The domestic feed also contains U.S.-only content, particularly during commercial breaks. These include locally-targeted advertisements, network promos, and a 90-minute block of educational children's programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET to comply with programming guidelines imposed by the federally-mandated Children's Television Act. NewsNet's domestic feed is available to U.S. viewers, over-the-air, through affiliated local television stations.
  • Online – almost identical to the domestic feed, but provides opt-outs during domestic-only content (including a 90-minute extension of the Weekend Edition morning block on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. ET and a two-minute interstitial segment during commercial breaks entitled Top Stories from the Newsroom [subject to preemptions due to online ad inserts]). NewsNet's online feed is available in the U.S. through various over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms and a downloadable app for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices, and worldwide on the network's website and iOS/Android apps.

Programming

NewsNet's programming is structured around a rolling news wheel format, providing up-to-date information on the top national and international stories in just 30 minutes.

Each half-hour of the wheel format begins with the "A" block, which features a nearly 12-minute rundown of the latest news headlines (with updated details provided when breaking news develops).

The remainder of each half-hour includes a national weather forecast summary (at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour; branded as Weather Report), the latest sports highlights and scores (at 17 and 47 minutes past the hour; primarily utilizing talent from its sister network, Sports News Highlights), and topical news segments focusing on health, business, entertainment, and other subjects (at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour).[17]

Current programs

Rolling news blocks
  • NewsNet Continuing Coverage (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Evening Edition (January 1, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Midday Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Mornings (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Nightside Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Weekend Edition (August 6, 2022–present)
E/I programming
  • America's Heartland (January 6, 2019–present)
  • Animal Rescue (January 5, 2019–present)
  • Biz Kid$ (January 6, 2019–present)
  • Dog Tales (January 5, 2019–present)
  • Missing (January 5, 2019–present)
  • Think Big (January 6, 2019–present)

Former programs

  • NewsNet Morning Edition (January 2–December 8, 2019)

Affiliates

As of April 2023, NewsNet has current and pending full-time affiliation agreements with 59 television stations in 49 television markets encompassing 24 states, covering 27.21% of the United States.[18] The majority of NewsNet affiliates are low-power stations that are within the geographic boundaries of a particular TV market, but do not cover the entirety of the market.

In addition to allowing affiliates to sell local advertising (offering four minutes of local commercial time per hour to prospective stations), NewsNet provides the option for its broadcast affiliates to pre-empt the national weather segment to allow to carry their own local weather cut-ins (either produced by the network or by affiliate stations themselves), as well as feature segments at the end of each half hour to allow to carry a five-minute-long local headline "capsule", providing news and other timely information focusing on the local viewing area.[17][19][6][7][8]

Current affiliates

Affiliates of NewsNet, including stations owned by Bridge Media Networks[18]
City of license/market Station Channel Primary affiliation Owner Date of affiliation
AuburnColumbus, GA W04DN-D 4 Bridge Media Networks 2023
CussetaColumbus, GA WQMK-LD 18.3 Retro TV Ben Jordan Communications Corporation 2019
Dothan, AL WJJN-LD 49.2 Retro TV Wilson Broadcasting Company, Inc. 2019
MontevalloBirmingham, AL WOTM-LD 19[a] Independent Joseph Earley
Phoenix, AZ KVPA-LD 42 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Cathedral CityPalm Springs, CA KAKZ-LD 4.4 Free Speech TV Tara Broadcasting LLC 2019
Los Angeles, CA KFLA-LD 8 KFLA Television 2019
ReedleyFresnoVisalia, CA KVBC-LP 13.9 MeTV Ventura Broadcasting Company 2019
RidgecrestBakersfield, CA KZGN-LD 21.2 Heartland Wiknich Broadcasting Corporation 2019
Sacramento, CA KSAO-LD 49 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Grand Junction, CO KLML 20.14 Court TV Ventura Broadcasting Company
Jacksonville, FL WWRJ-LD 27 Bridge Media Networks 2023
JupiterWest Palm Beach, FL WEWF-LD 47 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Key WestMiamiFort Lauderdale, FL WKIZ-LD 49 Bridge Media Networks 2023
MiamiFort Lauderdale, FL WDGT-LD 24 Bridge Media Networks 2023
OcalaOrlando, FL WQFT-LD 17 Bridge Media Networks 2023
St. AugustineJacksonville, FL WQXT-CD 22.6 Retro TV A1A TV, Inc. 2019
Vero Beach, FL WVWW-LD 30 Our Veterans Voice, LLC
Orlando, FL WOFT-LD 8 Bridge Media Networks 2023
AthensAtlanta, GA WZVC-LD 15 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Augusta, GA W16EE-D 16 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Columbus, GA WRDP-LD 26 Bridge Media Networks 2023
CummingAtlanta, GA WLVO-LD 21.6 Religious Ind. United Media Network, LLC 2019
DaltonChattanooga, TN WDNN-CD 49.3 Independent North Georgia Television 2019
Savannah, GA WHDS-LD 32.5 Carolina Christian Broadcasting
ValdostaAlbany, GA WSWG 44.5 CBS Marquee Broadcasting
PocatelloIdaho Falls, ID KPIF 15.13 Grit Ventura Broadcasting Company
Twin Falls, ID KYTL-LD 17.2 Real America's Voice Karlo Maalouf 2023
Arlington HeightsChicago, IL WRJK-LD 22.8[b] DiyaTV Major Market Broadcasting 2020
Oakwood HillsChicago, IL WCHU-LD 3.1 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Quincy, IL W17EH-D 17 Bridge Media Networks 2023
MarionIndianapolis, IN WNDY-TV 23.3 MyNetworkTV Circle City Broadcasting 2020
Kansas City, KS KCKS-LD 25.2 Buzzr Heartland Broadcasting, LLC 2019
SubletteWichitaHutchinson, KS KDGL-LD 23.5 Cozi TV High Plains Broadcasting, LLC 2019
Topeka, KS WROB-LD 25.2 Buzzr Heartland Broadcasting, LLC 2019
Wichita, KS KCTU-LD 5.8 This TV/AMGTV River City Broadcasters, Inc. 2019
Lafayette, LA KXKW-LD 32 Delta Media Corporation 2021
Winchendon, MAProvidence, RI WVMA-CD 17.2 Antenna TV Vision Communications
CedarTraverse CityCadillac, MI WXII-LD 12.2 MyNetworkTV/Cozi TV Bridge Media Networks 2021
Detroit, MI WHNE-LD 3.9 TheGrio Bridge Media Networks 2019
Lake CityTraverse CityCadillac, MI WMNN-LD[c] 26 Bridge Media Networks 2019
St. CloudMinneapolisSt. Paul, MN K26PF-D 26 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Holly Springs, MSMemphis, TN WBII-CD 20.4 Sonlife Broadcasting Mid-South Broadcasting 2019
Columbia, MO K06PT-D 6 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Las Vegas, NV KDNU-LD 7 Bridge Media Networks 2022
MesquiteLas Vegas, NV KMSQ-LD 15 Bridge Media Networks 2022
SparksReno, NV KGLR-LD 35.3 New Line Media Communications, LLC
Westmoreland, NHBoston, MA WWOO-LD 17.3 Decades Jeffrey Winemiller
Westmoreland, NHBoston, MA WVCC-LD 49 Jeffrey Winemiller
CobleskillAlbanySchenectadyTroy, NY WYBN-LD 14.8 Buzzr Cable Ad Net New York 2019
Syracuse, NY WONO-CD 11.3 Independent Craig Fox 2021
Utica, NY WVVC-LD 40.6 Antenna TV Northeast Gospel Broadcasting, Inc. 2019
WestvaleSyracuse, NY WVOA-LD 6.3 Independent Craig Fox
Rockfish, NCMyrtle BeachFlorence, SC WTNG-CD 7.3 The Family Channel Mercy's Bridge Media, LLC 2019
TarboroRaleighDurhamFayetteville, NC WNCR-LD 41.2 Youtoo America WNCR Media Group, Inc. 2019
Bismarck, ND KNDB 26[a] BEK Communications Cooperative 2019
Grand ForksFargo, ND KNGF-DT 27.4 BEK Sports BEK Communications Cooperative 2023
Minot, ND KNDM 24[a] BEK Communications Cooperative 2019
Valley CityFargoGrand Forks, ND KRDK-TV 4[a] Major Market Broadcasting 2019
AkronCleveland, OH WIVX-LD 39.4 This TV Image Video Teleproductions 2021
Canton, OH WIVM-LD 39.4 This TV Image Video Teleproductions 2021
Cottage GroveEugene, OR K42HK-D 39 South Lane Television, Inc. 2019
Pittsburgh, PA WBPA-LD 12.12 Rev'n Venture Technologies Group
Pittsburgh, PA WPTG-CD 69.8 This TV Fifth Street Enterprises 2019
Pittsburgh, PA WBYD-CD 39.1 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Florence, SC W15DC-D 15 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Myrtle Beach, SC WMBE-LD 5.2 Ace TV
Sioux Falls, SD K06QJ-D 6 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Nashville, TN WIIW-LD 14 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Austin, TX KADF-LD 20 Ace TV Bridge Media Networks 2023
College StationBryan, TX K03IJ-D 3 Bridge Media Networks 2023
DallasFort Worth, TX KLEG-CD 44.4 NTD TV DV Broadcasting, LLC 2020
KerrvilleSan Antonio, TX KVHC-LD 11 Bridge Media Networks 2023
LufkinNacogdoches, TX KLNM-LD 42 Miller Media
MidlandOdessa, TX KEOO-LD 23 Bridge Media Networks 2023
WolfforthLubbock, TX KJTV-CD 32 SagamoreHill Broadcasting[d]
Logan, UT KCVB-LD 26 Bridge Media Networks 2023
OgdenSalt Lake City, UT KSVN-CD 25 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Manchester, VTHartford, CT WHNH-CD 2.3 This TV Vision Communications
Cheaspeake, VA WJGN-CD 38 Bridge Media Networks 2023
Seattle, WA KYMU-LD 6.3 Cozi TV Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC 2019
Yakima, WA KWYT-LD 36.7 Heartland Hispanavision

Former affiliates

City of license/market Station Channel[18] Primary
affiliation
Owner Years of affiliation Notes
Baton Rouge, LA WLFT-CD 30.3 Sonlife Family Worship Center 2019–2023 Taken dark shortly after Family Worship Center assumed control of station
Buffalo, NY WBXZ-LD 56.11 Cozi TV Steven D. Ritchie 2019–2022 Replaced by Real America's Voice
Denver, CO KCDO 3.3 Independent E. W. Scripps Company 2020–2021 Replaced by a simulcast of KMGH
Middletown, NJNew York, NY WJLP 33.8 MeTV PMCM TV 2019–2022 WJLP was sold and this and other news subchannels deleted

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Part-time affiliation.
  2. ^ Channel programming shared with WISH-TV newscasts[20]
  3. ^ Flagship station.
  4. ^ Operated by Gray Television.

References

  1. ^ "Assignee Parties Addendum". WXII-LD FCC Filing. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "LNN - A News Channel without Pundits, Panels or Shout Shows". Kickstarter. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Entrepreneur turns to Kickstarter to launch no-nonsense news channel". TVNewsInsider. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Phil Kurz (October 6, 2017). "Broadcast Entrepreneur Turns To Crowdfunding For New Effort". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "MI News 26 looks to launch Northern Michigan based national news station". Boyne City Gazette. Paine Press. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Phil Kurz (March 15, 2018). "New 24/7 News Channel To Make National Launch By Year-End". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Adam Jacobson (March 22, 2018). "Now Available For Local TV: A 24/7 News Channel". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Headline-Driven NewsNet Readies For Launch". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. October 5, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Staff, B&C (8 May 2019). "NewsNet Breaks Ground on New Studios, Expanding Production Capabilities of America's Newest 24/7 News Channel". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  10. ^ "MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network". TVNewsTalk.net. 23 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Time Brokerage Agreement". WXII-LD FCC Filing. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  12. ^ "NEWSnet Hires Phillip Hendrix as News Director". PR Newswire. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  13. ^ Adam Jacobson (September 26, 2022). "Months After Centers Buy, Las Vegas LPTV Spins Again". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  14. ^ Adam Jacobson (September 28, 2022). "Bridge News Quickly Expanding With LPTV Buys. Here's Why". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved September 28, 2022.
  15. ^ Adam Jacobson (September 29, 2022). "NewsNet Grabs Another LPTV With Motor City Move". Radio & Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  16. ^ Venta, Lance (2023-08-14). "5-Hour Energy Founder Expands Media Holdings Including Audacy & Cumulus Stakes - RadioInsight". Retrieved 2023-08-15.
  17. ^ a b Eric Wotila (October 2, 2018). "Learn More About Our Format". NewsNet. NewsNet, LLC. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "Stations for Network – NewsNet". RabbitEars. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  19. ^ "New 24/7 NewsNet Designed For TV Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 20, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  20. ^ "WISH-TV adds WRJK to statewide Indiana news network". 29 September 2020.
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NewsNet
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