Pappas Launches Text News Service

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Azteca America affiliate KTNC, which serves the San Francisco and Sacramento markets, is offering a new Spanish-language text messaging service.

With its new "Alertas Movil de KTNC" service, the Pappas Telecasting-owned station will send out free news and programming messages using software from TextCaster. Among the information being relayed: weather, soccer scores, Lotto numbers, traffic, news and AMBER alerts.

"Cell phone ownership has reached nearly 70% of the U.S. population – over 180 million users – and we expect cell phones to be an important link in the information chain," Rosemary Danon, Vice President/Online and New Media of Pappas Telecasting, said in a statement.

Across the country, English and Spanish-language TV stations are introducing advanced services such as text-messaging alerts and audio "podcasts" of news, which can be downloaded to MP3 players, in an effort to hook viewers when they are away from the TV set.

Pappas also plans to roll out text-messaging services at KPTM Omaha, Neb; KMPH Fresno, Cal; KDBC El Paso, Tex.; KSWT Yuma, Ariz.; and KHGI Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb.

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