This November, Charter Communications will launch a first in Los Angeles: a 24/7 news network dedicated to covering nothing but the Southland.
Overseen at the corporate level by Mike Bair, executive vice president for Spectrum Networks, the as-yet-unnamed service will be available in all 1.5 million homes in greater Los Angeles that subscribe to Charter’s Spectrum as their pay-TV provider. Charter Spectrum also owns and runs NY1 in New York, so speculation has been that the new service will be named LA1.
Instead of covering local news’ typical car chases, petty larceny and daily weather, the new channel will focus on the hyper-local — topics such as high school sports, town-hall meetings and local charity efforts — that are increasingly getting short shrift as newspapers disappear. Charter also has hired veteran journalist and producer Cater Lee away from E.W. Scripps to serve as vice president of news and content at the new channel.
“I’m excited to return to a role that aligns with my passion for developing innovative news content and programming, and I look forward to working with the team at Spectrum,” said Lee in a statement. “In addition to covering relevant local news, we’ll create news shows around politics, business, entertainment, music and more – as part of our mission to inform our communities about issues that affect their daily lives. With the added benefit of our ability to produce hyperlocal content for discrete audiences and geographies, we’ll be adding even more value to Spectrum’s suite of services.”
Charter is launching similar efforts in other markets, including Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
The new channel will be based just south of LAX in El Segundo and be staffed by about 125 employees and some 30 of those will be so-called “multimedia journalists,” capturing stories on the go. Charter already runs Spectrum SportsNet and Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA that transmit from the El Segundo broadcast center.
Charter acquired Time Warner Cable and renamed it Spectrum in 2016, after Time Warner went through a particularly bruising retransmission consent battle with CBS, which caused subscribers to bail in droves.
READ MORE: Los Angeles Times
[Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times]