Wednesday, March 07, 2007

All news, all the time

There's a new player in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market, even if it's just in Olyphant. A 24-hour cable news operation from New York, News 10 Now, is dipping down into Pennsylvania to cover stories. Time Warner's news channel doesn't even pose a threat to WNEP, WBRE, or WYOU, but a lot of you have been hounding me to opine about the feasibility of 24-hour local news.

Simply put, I don't think it will work, at least not here. As large as the market is, I honestly don't think there is enough news to cover, without the coverage becoming redundant. How often are you going to loop the same story about that fire in Wilkes-Barre, or the shooting in Williamsport? And what can a 24-hour local news channel offer, that you don't already get from the "big three," or the smaller independent or cable stations?

What say you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure we need a 24 hour news channel. But we sure could use a website like that one for local news. The choices we have now are a joke. The Times constantly has problems getting content online & WNEP's has more bugs than an ant farm. I think there is a real need for some good IT people in this market not weathermen turned "webmaster".

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I say is, just wait. Time Warner operates News 10 Now, R News (Rochester), Capital News 9 (Albany) and NY1, all in New York. Basically, nearly all of New York is covered by a Time Warner 24/7 station. Some think it's repetative, but I think it would be a welcome addition to NEPA. I do not believe it will completely change the industry, but 24/7 news is priceless during events like storms, floods and latebreaking stories. If Albany (DMA 56) and Austin (DMA 52) have 24/7 stations, it's only a matter of time before Wilkes/Scranton (53) comes up with a station. The question is, what cable service(s)?

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at other 24 hour cable stations in my opinion here is the only way this works. Even in the largest markets 24-hour cable stations operate usually in a small but very populated portion of it. So for example if News 10 covered lackawana and luzerne counties specifically instead of the whole viewing area. In this sense they can cover stories the big guys may have had to drop due to time issues, and...local weather and sports would truly be as local as possible. And lets be honest, everybody watches the news to see something that relates to them, a story near where they live, a sports game at the local high school, there towns name on the weather map, etc.
And 99% of these stations do not actually broadcast live 24/7, there is certainely repeating news. But that fact that you can tune in at anytime and catch the latest info is hard for stations to compete with.
Any way some food for thought...

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: Simply put, I don't think it will work, at least not here. As large as the market is, I honestly don't think there is enough news to cover, without the coverage becoming redundant :End of Quote

that sounds a lot like what people were saying about CNN when the idea was proposed a few years back....give it a chance...who knows. I don't think their intention is to watchs their channel all day every day, they have it on 24 hours so you can watch when it is convient for you not just at 6PM.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's an idea for a local 24 hour news channel. Volunteer stringers. Just send in whatever content you have if it's newsworthy, John Q. Viewer! Even if it's where you live, like, on your street.

You could get two channels out of that. One funny, and one funny on purpose. Who cares if it's award-winning if it makes money?

Now there's a motto.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck, I live in Philadelphia and WE don't even have a 24 hour local news channel down here.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! It is clearly the wave of the future: targeting local news for your subscribing audience.
If this concept came NEPA, people would be all over it like a cheap suit. Who wants to see a two car fatal in Lycoming County when you are sitting in Stroudburg?
16,22,and 28 try to prove that bigger is better. Bet they will be proven wrong!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in NY and we recently had News 10 added to our cable (on Channel 16. News 10 on 16. I roll my eyes...). It's not bad. Lots of fluff pieces and it's too cuddly and cozy with politicians, but it had solid coverage of the heap of snow we received not too long ago, and their weather is solid. So, for apolitical stories it's solid.

Ness 10 is something to tune into for a quick fix, and frankly I won't waste my time watching the crap that passes for "news" form the networks in Broome County.


News 10 is a nice alternative that covers Broome County better than the local stations (despite its closest office being in Ithaca) - and the rest of the state that exists beyond the abyss/albatross that is New York City.

A half hour of New York 1 and I'm hard pressed to believe there is a "New York State" beyond the five boroughs. News 10 Now reminds me that there is indeed more going on in the parts of the state that have to foot the bills for NYC's vampiric drain on the state.

I think something similar could work for NEPA if handled as competently. Pittsburgh has its Pittsburgh News Channel, and that worked. Who's to say that it couldn't work in NEPA, espcially if there were offices in parts of the region that the big two don't. I think it could force the networks to keep up. Well, from what I read on this blog: NETWORK (non Nexstar duopoly).

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Mark Sowers, the weatherman turned webmaster, is to blame for the problems on the WNEP website. The culprit seems to be World Now. Corporate forces all NYT stations to use this company for websites. Other tv stations get similar complaints.

Maybe World Now will be history once the new owners take over.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There isn't enough news to fill the time the stations have now, how could they fill 24 hours????

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many cable systems already have a 24 hour news source. Newswatch 16 Anytime.
An insider says 138,000 households in our market are "wired up"

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is News 10 on Comcast?

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well geez. Watch MSNBC any weekday evening and tell me that the "coverage" is not repetitive. And don't bother equating FOX News with any other cable TV news op. It isn't one, an operation more accurately described as the electronic house organ for the floundering conservative movement.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been proven that these things don't work usually. Some across the country do, but it's rare. Seriously, 50 balls out and do something well, otherwise you are wasting your time.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are plenty of cable based and low power broadcast news outlets that swing into our area. They often go unnoticed to people living in either Wilkes-Barre or Scranton because without special equipment or actually living in a cable co's coverage area, you would never be able to see then.

A few notables are WFMZ TV69 in Allentown, WYLN TV35 in Hazleton, Blue Ridge Cable 13 in Lehighton, Service Electric Tv2 in the Lehigh Valley but can be occasionally seen in Wilkes-Barre. If I missed any, let me know. I just wanted to get all the ones that I do know, some recognition.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim Lokay said...

I was part of the original on-air crew at News 10. It's interesting to see the transitions -- what it was when we launched in 1993, what it was when I left in 2005, and what it is now.

We were discounted very quickly by the competition -- until our third day when two major stories broke. They learned we had the flexibility and the capability to "own" breaking news stories, or at least the continuing coverage aspect.

Before I left, we were pulling in high ratings at 10pm weeknights and weekend mornings.

I opted to leave, in part, because Time Warner consolidated the production out of Albany (the anchors you see on News 10 are based in Albany, but the Southern Tier reporters are in bureaus in Bingo and Corning and the producers are in Syracuse). Rather than accept a move to Albany to continue anchoring weekends (along with the tremendously talented Sarah Buynovsky), I left for a job in Pittsburgh.

I went back a few weeks ago, and as much as many people expected 10 to die off after the Albany switch, they're actually doing quite well.

Yeah, it's repetitive - but it's not the type of channel that's designed for continuous viewing.

As for the PA coverage, I wouldn't expect 10 to dominate in that department, especially since there are no full-time reporters across the state line.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News getting repetative? Oh yes, the 7 o'clock news on 16. WNEP, under the direction of two nitwits, Lou and Dennis decided that this market needed a 7pm newscast. Why? Why? Pat Sajack and Vanna White are on at 7pm. The stale news that 16 pumps out with a little bald headed consumer humor thrown in at 7 was and is a stupid idea. So, a 24 hour news station HERE? Good luck finding news and getting information to fill an hour, never mind 24 hours.

3:26 AM  

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