ATLANTA, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Five major broadcast television station groups collectively reaching two-thirds of U.S. TV households have formed NewsON, a new venture to provide live and same-day local TV newscasts on demand from leading stations around the country to consumers' mobile and selected connected TV devices.
The NewsON (www.NewsON.us) service will be provided by a new venture formed by The ABC Owned Television Station Group, Cox Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General and Raycom Media.
The free, advertising-supported NewsON service will be delivered through apps available for download from leading mobile and connected TV app stores. NewsON will enable users to watch live and on-demand newscasts from their local markets or from any of the 112 participating news stations, in 84 viewing markets across the country, whose owners have already contracted to deliver their news streams through NewsON. These include stations in eight of the Top 10 U.S. TV markets and 17 of the top 25.
Multiple stations will be available through NewsON in 21 markets, giving viewers the opportunity to "change channels" as they wish. The number of participating TV stations is expected to grow in the months ahead as additional broadcast TV station groups activate their streams into NewsON.
Leading this new venture is Louis Gump, who has signed on as NewsON's Chief Executive Officer. Accomplished in leading digital/mobile news services, Gump presided earlier in his career over benchmark-setting mobile businesses for The Weather Company and CNN, before becoming CEO of mobile media and advertising company LSN Mobile. Gump has also served in various capacities within industry organizations including the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Online Publishers Association (OPA), and he served for more than a decade on the board of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), where he held various leadership positions including Global Chairman and Treasurer. He was recognized with the MMA's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He will be based in Atlanta where NewsON will scale up its organization.
"The sheer amount of live news coverage – from TV stations around the country – that has been assembled for delivery through NewsON's apps is unprecedented," Gump said. "Americans place a great deal of trust in their local news teams, who are typically the first informers from the local scene of the biggest news developments around the country. NewsON will bring instant access to live local news to a generation of viewers accustomed to using mobile and connected TV platforms to stay informed.
"And this is just the start," Gump noted. "We'll welcome the participation of other TV station owners, as this service only gets better with each additional station."
A recent study underscores local TV's leading role as a news source. According to the March 2015 report "Local News in a Digital Age" by the Pew Research Center, local TV stations remain the dominant source of news for Americans in markets both big and small. The appetite for local and neighborhood news, the staple of TV station newscast coverage, is up to twice the appetite for national and international news, the study found.
The NewsON service is expected to launch to the public in the fall of this year.
About The ABC Owned Television Station Group
Part of The Walt Disney Company, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group includes eight local television stations and their digital assets. Led by OTV President Rebecca Campbell, those stations include WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. One of the top station groups in the country, the eight stations serve 22.7% of all U.S. television households. ABC owned stations are widely recognized for their longstanding commitment to important issues including local news, political debates and other public affairs programs, and community outreach projects which prompt charitable support for worthy causes. Other businesses within the group include ABC National Television Sales, a sales representation unit serving the owned stations as well as outside clients; The Live Well Network, a broadcast, online and wireless programming service; and the hit syndicated series "LIVE with Kelly and Michael," which is produced at WABC-TV.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America's leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading online source for savings. The company's operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.
About Hearst Television
Hearst Television, a national multi-media company, owns and operates 31 local television stations and two local radio stations, serving 32 U.S. cities and reaching approximately 19% of U.S. television households. The TV stations broadcast 60 video channels, featuring local and national news, weather, information, sports and entertainment programming, and local community service-oriented programs. The stations also host and operate digital on-line and mobile platforms that extend the company's brands and content to local, national and international audiences. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry's premier companies, and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst Corporation. Hearst Television's Web address is www.hearsttelevision.com.
About Media General
Media General is one of the nation's largest connected-screen media companies that operates or services 71 television stations in 48 markets, along with the industry's leading digital media business. Our robust portfolio of broadcast, digital and mobile products informs and engages 23% of U.S. TV households and 46% of the U.S. Internet audience.
Media General has one of the industry's largest and most diverse digital media businesses that includes LIN Mobile, Federated Media, HYFN, Dedicated Media and BiteSizeTV, all under the LIN Digital banner. With unmatched local-to-national reach and integrated marketing solutions, Media General is a one-stop-shop for agencies and brands that want to effectively and efficiently reach their target audiences across all screens.
Media General trades on the NYSE under the symbol "MEG." For more information, visit www.mediageneral.com.
About Raycom Media
Raycom Media, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and/or provides services for 53 television stations in 37 markets and 18 states. Raycom Media stations cover 13.1% of U.S. television households and employ over 4,000 individuals in full and part-time positions. In addition to television stations, Raycom Media owns Raycom Sports (a marketing, production and events management and distribution company), Tupelo-Honey Productions (a NY-based production company), Limerick Studios (a Charlotte, NC-based motion graphics design house), RTM Productions (a Franklin, TN-based automotive programming production and marketing solutions company), and Broadview Media (a post-production/digital signage company based in Montgomery, AL). Raycom Media is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama.
[Note: Addendum, including quotes from station group executives, follows]
ADDENDUM: Partner Station Group and Industry Quotes re NewsON:
ABC Television Station Group Comment
"Our owned stations lead the way in developing and embracing new opportunities to deliver local news coverage on multiple screens," said Rebecca Campbell, President of the ABC Owned Television Station Group. "This exciting venture gives our stations yet another way to highlight our local content and connect with viewers, wherever they happen to be."
Cox Media Group Comment
"We are excited to be a founding partner in this new venture that will deliver live and on-demand local news to our valued Cox Media Group audience, anytime, anywhere and to any device," said Jane Williams, Cox Media Group's executive VP of Television. "We also look forward to having Louis and his team as neighbors, sharing Atlanta now as our mutual corporate headquarters."
Hearst Television Comment
"Local TV broadcasters are the first destination for audiences seeking the most important information within their communities," said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television president. "Hearst Television stations continue to expand our services to our audiences on all platforms -- over the air, cable, satellite, on-line and connected TVs."
Media General Comment
"As a truly connected-screen media company, we are always seeking innovative ways to share our superior local content with a broader audience, no matter where, when or what screen or device they prefer," said Robb Richter, Chief Digital Officer, Media General. "This partnership gives us expanded reach through an additional app, social and the ever-important growth in OTT. We are driving the evolution in local content creation and distribution and we are excited about the opportunities with NewsON."
"We see NewsON as an important step in furthering the strong bonds our newsrooms have with our audience," said Raycom Media President & CEO Paul McTear. "Our local communities look to our stations to be ever present with local news and weather on any platform they choose to use to stay informed. NewsOn is a terrific vehicle to allow the audience to access local news how they want it when they want it."