NBC Local Media is rolling out its Nonstop
multicast channels, adding the 24/7 channels in Philadelphia Oct. 25 and
Washington, D.C. Oct. 27. A Chicago Nonstop channel is set for early November,
while a joint Los Angeles-San Francisco-San Diego channel, called California
Nonstop, will launch in late December or early January.
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