NewsNet

Summary

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.[1] 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.

NewsNet
NewsNetLogo2022.png
TypeTerrestrial television network
CountryUnited States
AffiliatesSee section
HeadquartersCadillac, Michigan
Programming
Picture format720p (HDTV, widescreen)
Ownership
ParentBridge News LLC
(90% MBX Wyoming, Inc.
10% Eric Wotila)
Key people
  • Eric Wotila (President and part-owner)
  • Vince Bodiford (CEO)
  • Chris Anderson (COO)
  • Manoj Bhargava (majority owner)
  • Phillip Hendrix (news director)
  • Andrew Rheaume (operations director)
History
LaunchedJanuary 1, 2019
FounderEric Wotila
Links
Websitewww.yournewsnet.com

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.

Background and historyEdit

 
NewsNet's first-ever logo, used from 2019 to 2022.

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.[2][3][4][5]

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.[2][3][4][5]

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.[6][7][8]

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.[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.[10] 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.[11]

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).[12]

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.

ProgrammingEdit

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.[13]

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.

Current programsEdit

Rolling news blocks
  • NewsNet Continuing Coverage (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Evening Edition (January 1, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Midday Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Mornings (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Nightside Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
E/I programming

Former programsEdit

  • NewsNet Morning Edition (January 2–December 8, 2019)

PersonalitiesEdit

Current on-air staffEdit

News anchors
  • Erin Hatfield – Saturday morning and Sunday midday/Continuing Coverage/evening/nightside anchor; also local news segment anchor for NewsNet Northern Michigan
  • Remington Hernandez – weekday nightside anchor; also fill-in weekday morning and weekend anchor
  • Callen McDonough – fill-in weekend anchor
  • Kennedy Payne – Saturday midday/Continuing Coverage/ evening/nightside and Sunday morning anchor; also local news segment anchor for NewsNet Northern Michigan
  • Glenn Ray – weekday evening anchor
  • Ruby Shane – weekday midday/Continuing Coverage anchor
  • Jill Washburn – weekday morning anchor
Weather team
  • Morris Langworthy – chief meteorologist; also station manager of NewsNet Northern Michigan
  • Austin Lowe – meteorologist
  • Carl Rippy – meteorologist
  • Barak Shapiro – senior meteorologist
Sports anchors
  • Bejoy Joseph – also sports director
  • Jay Phifer
  • Derek Tate – also play-by-play announcer for NewsNet Northern Michigan
Correspondents

Aside from those mentioned below, NewsNet also utilizes reporters from the local newsrooms of its affiliate stations.

  • Tauli Anderson – national correspondent
  • Andy Hirschfeld – business correspondent; also Business Report segment host
  • Eden Lane – entertainment correspondent
  • Frank McCaffrey – national correspondent

Former on-air staffEdit

  • Christina Aguayo
  • Benjamin Arie
  • Sandra Brogan
  • Alfredo Cuadros
  • Victoria Idoni
  • Vic McCarty
  • Jessica Mojonnier
  • Derek Myers
  • Danielle Radin
  • Dylan Rodenbaugh
  • Kristian Ruggiero
  • Sierra Searcy (now at WHBF-TV in the Quad Cities)
  • Samana Sheikh (now at WLNS-TV in Lansing)
  • Abigail Taylor
  • Ryan Thompson (now at Newsy)
  • Charlie Tinker (now at WJRT-TV in Flint)
  • Denise Turner

ControversiesEdit

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.[14] 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.[15]

AffiliatesEdit

As of January 2022, 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.[16] 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.[13][17][6][7][8]

Current affiliatesEdit

City of license/market Station Virtual
channel
[16]
Physical
channel
Primary
affiliation
(on main channel)
Owner
(Management Company)
Date of affiliation Notes

AlabamaEdit

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

ArizonaEdit

Phoenix KPHE 44.3 12 Tu Canal Familiar Lotus Communications

CaliforniaEdit

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 (FresnoVisalia) 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 FranciscoOaklandSan Jose KMMC-LD 24.7 14 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting 2021 New Sub-channel on translators

FloridaEdit

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

GeorgiaEdit

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

IllinoisEdit

Arlington Heights (Chicago) WRJK-LP 22.6 24 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting January 1, 2019 Replaced Charge!

IndianaEdit

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

KansasEdit

Kansas City KCKS-LD 25.2 19 Buzzr Heartland Broadcasting, LLC January 1, 2019 Replaced Justice Network
Sublette (WichitaHutchinson) 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)/
AMGTV (secondary)
River City Broadcasters, Inc. January 1, 2019 Replaced Estrella TV

KentuckyEdit

Louisville WBNM-LD 50.6 25 Buzzr Word Broadcasting Network, Inc.
(operated by South Central Communications)
January 1, 2019 Launched on new subchannel

LouisianaEdit

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

MichiganEdit

Detroit WHNE-LD 3.9 3 TheGrio Tait Broadcasting LLC January 1, 2019

MississippiEdit

Holly Springs (Memphis, Tennessee) WBII-CD 20.4 20 Sonlife Broadcasting Network Mid-South Broadcasting January 11, 2019 Replaced Heartland

NevadaEdit

Las Vegas KDNU-LD 7.4 30 Classic Reruns TV Craig A. Ruark, LLC May 2022 Launched on new subchannel

North CarolinaEdit

Lumberton (Myrtle BeachFlorence, South Carolina) WTNG-CD 33.11 14 The Family Channel Mercy's Bridge Media, LLC May 20, 2019 Replaced HSN
Manteo (NorfolkPortsmouthNewport NewsVirginia Beach, Virginia) W22EN-D 22.5 22 Classic Shows Lawrence F. Loesch January 31, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Tarboro (RaleighDurhamFayetteville) WNCR-LD 41.2 21 Youtoo America WNCR Media Group, Inc. April 28, 2019

New YorkEdit

Cobleskill (AlbanySchenectadyTroy) 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

OhioEdit

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

OregonEdit

Cottage Grove (Eugene) K18LR-D 36.1 18 South Lane Television, Inc. Fall 2019

PennsylvaniaEdit

Pittsburgh WPTG-CD 69.4 30 This TV Local media tv September 30, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
State College (JohnstownAltoona) WHVL-LD 29.1 27 MyNetworkTV Channel Communications January 1, 2019 Nightside Edition only

Puerto RicoEdit

San Juan, Puerto Rico W05DK-D 29.2 5 Newsy Mako Communcations January 1, 2022 Launched on new subchannel

South CarolinaEdit

Beaufort (Savannah) WSCG-LD 14.11 14 Court TV Winemiller Television, LLC Fall 2019 Launched on new subchannel

TennesseeEdit

Nashville WJDE-CD 31.4 23 Heartland Word Broadcasting Network January 1, 2019 Replaced H&I

TexasEdit

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

UtahEdit

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

WashingtonEdit

Seattle KYMU-LD 6.3 6 Cozi TV Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC 2019 Launched on new subchannel

Former affiliatesEdit

City of license/market Station Virtual
channel
[16]
Physical
channel
Primary
affiliation
(on main channel)
Owner
(Management Company)
Years of affiliation Notes
Buffalo, New York WBXZ-LD 56.11 23 Cozi TV Steven D. Ritchie 2019—2022 Replaced by Real America's Voice
Denver, Colorado KCDO 3.3 23 Independent E. W. Scripps Company 2020-2021 Replaced by a simulcast of KMGH
Middletown Township (New York, New York) WJLP 33.8 3 MeTV PMCM TV 2019-2022 WJLP was sold and this and other news subchannels deleted

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Assignee Parties Addendum". WXII-LD FCC Filing. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "LNN - A News Channel without Pundits, Panels or Shout Shows". Kickstarter. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Entrepreneur turns to Kickstarter to launch no-nonsense news channel". TVNewsInsider. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Phil Kurz (October 6, 2017). "Broadcast Entrepreneur Turns To Crowdfunding For New Effort". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "MI News 26 looks to launch Northern Michigan based national news station". Boyne City Gazette. Paine Press. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Phil Kurz (March 15, 2018). "New 24/7 News Channel To Make National Launch By Year-End". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Adam Jacobson (March 22, 2018). "Now Available For Local TV: A 24/7 News Channel". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Headline-Driven NewsNet Readies For Launch". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. October 5, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Staff, B&C (8 May 2019). "NewsNet Breaks Ground on New Studios, Expanding Production Capabilities of America's Newest 24/7 News Channel". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  10. ^ "MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network". TVNewsTalk.net. 23 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Time Brokerage Agreement". WXII-LD FCC Filing. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  12. ^ "NEWSnet Hires Phillip Hendrix as News Director". PR Newswire. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  13. ^ a b Eric Wotila (October 2, 2018). "Learn More About Our Format". NewsNet. NewsNet, LLC. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  14. ^ "Another National News Service Has Launched". FTVLive.com. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  15. ^ "MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network". TVNewsTalk.net. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  16. ^ a b c "Stations for Network – NewsNet". RabbitEars. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  17. ^ "New 24/7 NewsNet Designed For TV Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 20, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.

External linksEdit

  • Official website