NewsNet (stylized as NEWSnet) is an American news-oriented free-to-air television network and newscast production company owned by Bridge News, LLC, a corporation jointly owned by Manoj Bhargava (as MBX Wyoming, Inc.) and Eric Wotila, the network's founder. The network is structured to broadcast a tightly-formatted 30-minute newswheel 24 hours a day (with a 90-minute break on weekend late mornings), incorporating freshly-updated information that covers various areas of interest (such as national news, sports, entertainment, weather and business). Breaking news stories are updated constantly as they develop and new information becomes available.
|Type||Terrestrial television network|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV, widescreen)|
|Parent||Bridge News LLC|
(90% MBX Wyoming, Inc.
10% Eric Wotila)
|Launched||January 1, 2019|
In addition to being carried on digital subchannels of affiliated television stations, NewsNet also distributes its programming through a livestream that is available on its website, as well as its mobile app in areas where it does not have a terrestrial TV affiliate. The network also provides an optional turnkey local news production service (Custom Newsroom Solutions) for stations that do not maintain their own local news departments to produce local news capsule segments or full-length newscasts. NewsNet's primary studio facilities (which also houses master control operations of the network's O&O station WMNN-LD [channel 26] and MyNetworkTV/Cozi TV affiliate WXII-LD [channel 12]) are located on West 13th Street and 3rd Avenue in Cadillac, Michigan, while its secondary studio facilities are located at 38955 Hills Tech Drive in Farmington Hills.
On September 28, 2017, Eric Wotila – who founded low-powered all-news station WMNN-LD in Cadillac, Michigan, and oversaw the studio design and construction for News Channel Nebraska, a Norfolk, Nebraska-based quasi-state network of five low-powered stations that also maintained an all-news programming format – started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the launch of a 24-hour national news channel – under the working title, the Local News Network (LNN) – intended for broadcast, online and mobile distribution.
Citing favorable opinions from viewers about the "straight-to-the-facts, no-nonsense and commentary-free" coverage provided by WMNN-LD, the Local News Network proposed to offer a news wheel format (similar in structure to the 1982–2005 format of HLN, and the formats of defunct all-news networks such as All News Channel and Satellite News Channel) that would eschew the often-politically focused panel discussion programs that have populated the afternoon, nighttime and weekend schedules of cable news channels (particularly CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel) since the early 2000s. The project called for LNN to be based out of WMNN's Cadillac studio facility, with the hope of eventually opening bureaus elsewhere around the United States. The project failed to reach its funding goal of $100,000 needed to develop LNN – which would have been used to pay for equipment and staffing necessary to handle the national broadcasts – by the closure of the 50-day campaign on November 17, 2017, raising only $8,012 from 78 public backers. Wotila subsequently sought to obtain backing from investors to fund the venture.
On March 15, 2018, Wotila and other partners involved in the LNN project announced the launch of NewsNet, which would maintain the concept originally developed prior to the commencement of the Kickstarter campaign.
NewsNet signed on for the first time on January 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with Evening Edition serving as the network's inaugural program. On May 8, 2019, ground was broken on new studios. The facility will consist of three studios, each with their own control rooms and a new, state-of-the-art master control room overseeing the operations of NewsNet, WMNN-LD and WXII-LP. The new studio debuted on-air at 4:00 a.m. ET on December 9.
Because of Wotila's involvement with News Channel Nebraska, NewsNet does not compete with NCN and has no affiliates in that state.
On January 13, 2022, NewsNet and the rest of Freelancer Television Broadcasting's portfolio, including WMNN-LD and WXII-LD, were sold to investor Manoj Bhargava, with Eric Wotila retaining 10% ownership in the new company Bridge News, LLC. As of January 22, 2022, the stations are being operated by Bridge News via a time brokerage agreement with Freelancer Television Broadcasting, while waiting for FCC approval on the transfer of the station's licenses.
On April 18, 2022, at exactly noon ET, NewsNet debuted a new logo, graphics package and slogan, News... as it used to be. A week later, on April 25, the network hired Phillip Hendrix, former senior producer at the Black News Channel, to serve as its news director, succeeding Remington Hernandez (who will remain as the network's primary news anchor).
On May 16, 2022, NewsNet officially debuted a secondary studio facility in Farmington Hills and made several additions to its on-air team, including Jill Washburn (formerly of WJBK-TV [channel 2], a Fox O&O station in Detroit). Also on the same date, Evening Edition moved to an earlier time slot at 6:00 p.m. ET.
The channel's programming is structured around a rolling news wheel format, providing up-to-date information on the top national and international stories in just 30 minutes.
Each half-hour of the wheel format begins with the "A" block, composed of a quick preview of what's coming up in the first ten minutes, followed by a nearly two-minute-long look at the top story of the hour (with updated details provided when breaking news develops) and an eight-minute roundup of additional news stories at 02 and 32 minutes past the hour.
The remainder of each half-hour includes a national weather forecast summary (at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour; branded as Weather Report) and the latest sports news, highlights and scores (at 17 and 47 minutes past the hour; branded as NewsNet Sports).
Feature segments regularly aired at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour may include Health News (latest health updates and information), Business Report (in-depth conversations with major players in the business sector), or exclusive one-on-one interviews conducted by the network's anchors.
To comply with programming guidelines imposed by the Children's Television Act, NewsNet also carries a 90-minute block of educational children's programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Aside from those mentioned below, NewsNet also utilizes reporters from the local newsrooms of its affiliate stations.
On January 2, 2019, one day after the station launched, TV news industry blog FTVLive.com published a photo of NewsNet primary anchor Remington Hernandez wearing a Make America Great Again hat that Hernandez had published to his private Facebook profile, casting doubt on the station's claim of being politically unbiased. In October 2019, a user of the TV News industry forum TVNewsTalk.net posted a photo taken off Hernandez's public Instagram page that featured a smiling Hernandez next to conservative political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
As of January 2022[update], NewsNet has current and pending affiliation agreements with 53 television stations in 47 television markets encompassing 25 states, covering 29.14% of the United States. The majority of NewsNet affiliates are low-power stations that are within the geographic boundaries of a particular TV market, but do not cover the entirety of the market.
In addition to allowing affiliates to sell local advertising (offering four minutes of local commercial time per hour to prospective stations), NewsNet provides the option for its broadcast affiliates to pre-empt the national weather segment to allow to carry their own local weather cut-ins (either produced by the network or by affiliate stations themselves), as well as feature segments at the end of each half hour to allow to carry a five-minute-long local headline "capsule", providing news and other timely information focusing on the local viewing area.
|City of license/market||Station||Virtual
(on main channel)
|Date of affiliation||Notes|
|Cusseta (Columbus, Georgia)||WQMK-LD||18.3||18||Retro Television Network||Ben Jordan Communications Corporation||February 19, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Dothan||WJJN-LD||49.3||20||Religious||Wilson Broadcasting Company, Inc.||Fall 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Montevallo (Birmingham)||WOTM-LD||47.1||19||Independent||Joseph Earley||Part-time affiliation|
|Phoenix||KPHE||44.3||12||Tu Canal Familiar||Lotus Communications|
|Barstow (Los Angeles)||K36JH-D||36.3||36||NASA TV||Brent Gaddis||February 14, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Cathedral City (Palm Springs)||KAKZ-LD||4.4||4||Free Speech TV||Tara Broadcasting LLC||January 1, 2019||Replaced QVC|
|Los Angeles||KFLA-LD||8.7||8||KFLA Television (Roy William Mayhugh)||April 8, 2019||Replaced Corner Store TV, which moved to 8.3|
|Reedley (Fresno–Visalia)||KVBC-LP||13.9||26||MeTV||Cocola Broadcasting
(operated by Ventura Broadcasting Company)
|January 7, 2019||Replaced My Life TV|
|Ridgecrest (Bakersfield)||KZGN-LD||21.2||42||Heartland||Wiknich Broadcasting Corporation||May 20, 2019||Replaced Classic Shows|
|San Jose||KAAP-LD||24.7||24||Diya TV||Major Market Broadcasting||January 1, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose||KMMC-LD||24.7||14||Diya TV||Major Market Broadcasting||2021||New Sub-channel on translators|
|Orlando||WSWF-LD||10.5||45||Diya TV||Major Market Broadcasting||January 22, 2019||Replaced Lifehacks DRTV|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale||WDFL-LD||18.1||11||Independent||François Leconte||January 2020|
|St. Augustine (Jacksonville)||WQXT-CD||22.7||29||Retro Television Network||A1A TV, Inc.||January 10, 2019||Replaced The Walk TV|
|Cumming (Atlanta)||WLVO-LD||21.6||21||Diya TV||United Media Network, LLC||March 15, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Dalton (Chattanooga, Tennessee)||WDNN-CD||49.3||20||Independent||North Georgia Television||January 1, 2019||Replaced Retro Television Network|
|Valdosta (Albany)||WSWG||44.5||31||CBS||Marquee Broadcasting||TBA||Launches on new subchannel|
|Arlington Heights (Chicago)||WRJK-LP||22.6||24||Diya TV||Major Market Broadcasting||January 1, 2019||Replaced Charge!|
|Marion (Indianapolis)||WNDY-TV||23.3||9||MyNetworkTV||Circle City Broadcasting||March 1, 2020||Launched on new subchannel|
|Fort Wayne||WLMO-LD||2.8||2||This TV||Metro Video Production||April 2021||Launched on new subchannel|
|Kansas City||KCKS-LD||25.2||19||Buzzr||Heartland Broadcasting, LLC||January 1, 2019||Replaced Justice Network|
|Sublette (Wichita–Hutchinson)||KDGL-LD||23.5||23||Cozi TV||High Plains Broadcasting, LLC||January 1, 2019||Replaced Retro Television Network|
|Topeka||WROB-LD||25.2||26||Buzzr||Heartland Broadcasting, LLC||January 1, 2019||Replaced Justice Network|
|Wichita||KCTU-LD||5.2||23||This TV (primary)/
|River City Broadcasters, Inc.||January 1, 2019||Replaced Estrella TV|
|Louisville||WBNM-LD||50.6||25||Buzzr||Word Broadcasting Network, Inc.
(operated by South Central Communications)
|January 1, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Baton Rouge||WLFT-CD||30.3||30||MeTV||Touch Family Broadcasting||January 1, 2019||Replaced HSN|
|Lafayette||KXKW-LD||32.1||30||Newsnet||Delta Media Group/Wilderness Communications||March 14, 2021||Replaced Stadium which moved to 32.3|
|Detroit||WHNE-LD||3.9||3||TheGrio||Tait Broadcasting LLC||January 1, 2019|
|Holly Springs (Memphis, Tennessee)||WBII-CD||20.4||20||Sonlife Broadcasting Network||Mid-South Broadcasting||January 11, 2019||Replaced Heartland|
|Las Vegas||KDNU-LD||7.4||30||Classic Reruns TV||Craig A. Ruark, LLC||May 2022||Launched on new subchannel|
|Lumberton (Myrtle Beach–Florence, South Carolina)||WTNG-CD||33.11||14||The Family Channel||Mercy's Bridge Media, LLC||May 20, 2019||Replaced HSN|
|Manteo (Norfolk–Portsmouth–Newport News–Virginia Beach, Virginia)||W22EN-D||22.5||22||Classic Shows||Lawrence F. Loesch||January 31, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Tarboro (Raleigh–Durham–Fayetteville)||WNCR-LD||41.2||21||Youtoo America||WNCR Media Group, Inc.||April 28, 2019|
|Cobleskill (Albany–Schenectady–Troy)||WYBN-LD||14.8||14||Buzzr||Cable Ad Net New York||January 9, 2019||Replaced The Action Channel|
|Greenwich (Albany-Schenectady-Troy)||WVBG-LD||25.8||17||Buzzr||Wireless Access, LLC|
|Syracuse||WONO-CD||11.3||34||AMGTV||Craig Fox||July 2021|
|Utica||WVVC-LD||40.6||33||Antenna TV||Northeast Gospel Broadcasting, Inc.||February 1, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Canton||WIVM-LD||39.4||39||This TV||Image Video Teleproductions||January 2021|
|Columbus||WCBZ-CD||22.8||18||Cozi TV||Columbus Broadcasting Corporation||Fall 2020||Launched on a new subchannel|
|Cottage Grove (Eugene)||K18LR-D||36.1||18||South Lane Television, Inc.||Fall 2019|
|Pittsburgh||WPTG-CD||69.4||30||This TV||Local media tv||September 30, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|State College (Johnstown–Altoona)||WHVL-LD||29.1||27||MyNetworkTV||Channel Communications||January 1, 2019||Nightside Edition only|
|San Juan, Puerto Rico||W05DK-D||29.2||5||Newsy||Mako Communcations||January 1, 2022||Launched on new subchannel|
|Beaufort (Savannah)||WSCG-LD||14.11||14||Court TV||Winemiller Television, LLC||Fall 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|Nashville||WJDE-CD||31.4||23||Heartland||Word Broadcasting Network||January 1, 2019||Replaced H&I|
|Beaumont||KUMY-LD||22.1||22||SETX Public Television Corporation||May 20, 2019||Replaced Mexicanal|
|Dallas||KLEG-CD||44.1||28||DV Broadcasting, LLC||April 10, 2020||Replaced Swagat TV (moved to 44.4)|
|Houston||KBPX-LD||46.12||27||NuestraVisión||Word Broadcasting Network||January 1, 2019||Launched on new subchannel|
|San Antonio||KGMM-CD||24.1||36||CNZ Communications||August 26, 2019|
|Logan (Salt Lake City)||K08QL-D||8.3||8||Youtoo America||Airwaves, Inc.||March 4, 2019||Replaced local programming|
|Ogden (Salt Lake City)||KCSG-LD||8.2||31||Youtoo America||Airwaves, Inc.||March 4, 2019||Replaced Biz TV|
|Seattle||KYMU-LD||6.3||6||Cozi TV||Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC||2019||Launched on new subchannel|