Exclusive: NBC Local Media Sets 'Nonstop' Launch Dates
Homegrown multicast channels debut in Philly, D.C. next week
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/21/2010 4:03:32 PM
KXAS Dallas and WTVJ Miami will also debut their channels around the dawn of the New Year.
The new Nonstops join New York Nonstop, which WNBC launched in March 2009 and is not Nielsen-rated. Each channel will feature around eight hours of local programming, as well as franchise programs such as Talk Stoop and lifestyle shows such as First Look and Open House from NBC's LX production wing. The channels are expected to grow their local output over time.
"It's a real effort to increase local programming in our markets," says Local Media President John Wallace.
The joint California channel will cover the broader state issues and topics of interest, as opposed to the more hyper-local affairs tackled on the stations' "Locals Only" Websites. KNBC Los Angeles, KNSD San Diego and KNTV San Francisco will all contribute to California Nonstop.
WVIT Hartford will be the one NBC O&O not represented with a Nonstop presence for the near term, though the station will have such programming on its digital tier eventually.
NBC Local Media President of Local Platforms Greg Scholl is heading up the Nonstop efforts. He would not say if New York Nonstop is profitable. "We're pleased with where we are," said Scholl.
The ABC O&Os also feature a lively multicast strategy, in the form of the Live Well Network, which launched around the same time as New York Nonstop. Seven of the 10 ABC-owned stations produce shows for the channel, which focuses on health and lifestyle.
NBC Local Media's "content center" production model enables the stations to broadcast programming to any number of platforms, including TV, the Web, and, increasingly, the Nonstop channels. Last month, Wallace described the content center setup to B&C as a "story-driven production model."
"We look at a story and how that story should live on the various platforms," he said. "Each platform has a different consumer requirement. In order for us to satisfy the consumer need across the platforms, it requires a little bit of customization of that story for the appropriate platform."
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