With the new year came a new source for news for cord-cutters in markets including Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Detroit. It’s a new, 24-hour news network known as NewsNet, and while it’s seen in cities across the country, it’s broadcasting to the entire nation from right here in Michigan.
“We’ve been broadcasting 24-hour local news to northern Michigan since 2011, so when we decided to launch a national news network, it only made sense to broadcast from our existing facilities,” explained Eric Wotila, President of NewsNet and General Manager of MI News 26 and MI TV 12, both based in Cadillac, “We’re very excited to be both keeping jobs local and creating new positions right here in northern Michigan through the launch of NewsNet.”
NewsNet aims to break away from the opinion-based programming that’s become prominent on 24-hour news channels in recent years. Instead, the network follows a traditional “news wheel” format, with headlines at the top of each half hour, followed by a national weather overview, sports, and feature stories from across America – which are preempted in some markets by a local news update.
“Over the past few years, we heard constant complaints about the state of existing 24-hour news channels – particularly their focus on opinion-based programming,” explained Wotila, “We’re thrilled to have brought back a news channel with a straight-to-the-facts, headline-driven format, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
NewsNet is currently distributed over-the-air by a network of affiliates. It also streams to mobile apps available for iPhone and Android, and will be launching streaming apps for Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV later this month.
With affiliates in 18 markets across the country, NewsNet’s signal already reaches approximately 30 million potential viewers via antenna – just under 10% of the nation’s population, but Wotila says they’re just getting started.
“Throughout 2019, we want to work with additional stations to expand the reach of NewsNet,” he explained, “We’re actively talking to potential affiliates on a daily basis. Ultimately, we’d love to see NewsNet available over-the-air to the entire country.”
Much of NewsNet’s national news coverage can be seen in northern Michigan during the second half of each hour on MI News 26 – antenna channel 26.1 and Spectrum cable channel 13. The version of NewsNet’s programming seen across the country can be viewed locally using the network’s apps, which can be downloaded at yournewsnet.com.