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Clear Channel Extends Reach to Desktops - Broadcasting & Cable

Clear Channel Extends Reach to Desktops

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Clear Channel is extending its online operations for local TV news Web sites with a real-time update function for desktops from newly renamed Inergize Digital Media (it had been Clear Channel TV Interactive).

"The offering gives local television stations a tool to deepen their connection with audiences who are increasingly looking to the Web for local news," said the company in a release. A just-released Project for Excellence in Journalism news study suggests that connection may be important as traditional appointment media compete for the instant news market.

The new desktop service includes streaming tickers, an RSS (really simple syndication) feed, alerts and streaming video.

The product launched Monday on 32 stations--all owned or managed by Clear Channel--with alerts branded with station calls or logos. The service can be checked out at www.woai.com/desktopalerts.

The technology is being supplied by British firm Skinkers, which already does something similar for CNN International, The BBC and The Wall Street Journal among the veritable host of others.

According to Jesse Levine, who is selling the service for Skinkers, this is its first group TV station deal, but another one is "close."

He says he has also been talking to networks about the service. The financial model varies, including a cost-per-use fee, a licensing deal or ad-revenue sharing.

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