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Big Country News

MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network

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[MEDIA=kickstarter]ericwotila/lnn-a-news-channel-without-pundits-panels-or-shout[/MEDIA]

 

Eric Wotila, the founder of WMNN-LD in Cadillac/Traverse City, is kickstarting a news network that would be available over the air and online.

 

I got a hold of a press release Wotila sent out:

 

Quote
Cadillac, MI (September 28, 2017) – First, they launched a 24/7 local news channel

covering northern Michigan. Then, they were hired to help build another news network

airing on 5 TV stations in Nebraska. Now, the team behind northern Michigan’s MI News

26 hopes to take their model national with the launch of LNN – billed as a 24/7 news

channel without pundits, panels or shout shows. They’ve taken to crowdsourcing site

Kickstarter to do so.

“In recent years, we’ve heard more and more complaints about existing 24/7 national news

channels,” explained Eric Wotila, Owner of MI News 26 and the driving force behind LNN,

“At the same time, we’ve received constant compliments about the straight-to the-facts,

no-nonsense and commentary-free local news coverage we provide on MI News 26. So,

we thought, ‘Why not take this model national?’”

For the MI News 26 team, the answer to that question was funding. Launching a national

network isn’t cheap, but the team hopes a successful crowdfunding campaign will allow

the launch of LNN – or the “Local News Network” – from their existing facilities.

“We have a studio in place, and a local team already producing news from our studio,”

explained Wotila, “but we need to raise funding to handle the cost of national distribution

and the additional staff that will be needed to handle the workload of a national news

channel.”

That campaign aims to raise $100,000 – but there’s less than 50 days to do so, and

funding is all-or-nothing. If the team behind the new startup doesn’t reach their fundraising

goal by mid-November, no pledges will be collected, but the network won’t launch, either.

“It’s a no-risk way for people who support the idea of a news channel free of commentary

and opinion to bring the idea to life,” explained Wotila.

Anybody contributing to the crowdfunding campaign for the startup will receive one of

several rewards, ranging from their name in the national networks’ credits for several

months to their name in the title of a show – but, in the eyes of LNN’s founder, the true

reward is access to straight, opinion-free news.

“If people support this project – we truly believe we can bring credibility back to 24-hour

national news.”

To support the LNN Kickstarter campaign, you can visit www.YourLNN.com.

Edited by Big Country News
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[MEDIA=kickstarter]ericwotila/lnn-a-news-channel-without-pundits-panels-or-shout[/MEDIA]

 

Eric Wotila, the founder of WMNN-LD in Cadillac/Traverse City, is kickstarting a news network that would be available over the air and online.

 

I got a hold of a press release Wotila sent out:

 

I see Geoff Fox has signed on..

I really hope these guys can pull this off.

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I hope LNN gets on the air. Good luck to them, we need a channel like this.

 

By the way, I do know one of the personalities personally.

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The concept sounds a lot like the pre-2005 format of HLN or the now-defunct All News Channel, though the name contradicts the notion that it would be a national news channel. I wonder, though, if it does raise the funds to launch, if they'll lease time to potential broadcast affiliates to allow them to produce hourly news updates as a means to attract affiliate partners to the service.

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The concept sounds a lot like the pre-2005 format of HLN or the now-defunct All News Channel, though the name contradicts the notion that it would be a national news channel. I wonder, though, if it does raise the funds to launch, if they'll lease time to potential broadcast affiliates to allow them to produce hourly news updates as a means to attract affiliate partners to the service.

 

Wotila says WMNN and LNN are both based off of HLN's news wheel.

 

Affiliates are getting the ability for local inserts from day 1.

 

Affiliates also get localized tickers and websites.

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I'm really excited to see this and wish them good luck but I wonder if there's actually a market for that. Sure everyone SAYS they want just the news, but there is a reason HLN dropped that format, and a reason CNN, FOX and MSNBC are opinion and panel fighting all the time. It gets ratings and if people wanted to just see news looped it's what all the networks would be doing. If people want just the news they go online

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The concept sounds a lot like the pre-2005 format of HLN or the now-defunct All News Channel, though the name contradicts the notion that it would be a national news channel. I wonder, though, if it does raise the funds to launch, if they'll lease time to potential broadcast affiliates to allow them to produce hourly news updates as a means to attract affiliate partners to the service.

Hubbard was behind the All News Channel and it still couldn’t compete. Maybe it was years ahead of its time and could have had a chance in the diginet era. We’ll never know.

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I'm really excited to see this and wish them good luck but I wonder if there's actually a market for that. Sure everyone SAYS they want just the news, but there is a reason HLN dropped that format, and a reason CNN, FOX and MSNBC are opinion and panel fighting all the time. It gets ratings and if people wanted to just see news looped it's what all the networks would be doing. If people want just the news they go online

This. Didn't we already have a "localized" news wheel diginet? Granted, TouchVision was misguided to target "millennials", but still...

 

This seems like an interesting idea, but I'm a bit confused who the market is for carrying this network. Diginets like WeatherNation "work" because it's able to be localized without needing any additional staff. Like the products sold in diginet infomercials, it's very much "SET IT and FORGET IT!" The core of the LNN concept seems to be operating a local news department, which most diginet-happy stations don't have the budget for. I can't imagine many existing news-producing stations buying into this format when there are dozens of other diginets out there with stronger programming. I don't see the generic "regional" headlines in place of local news being much of a draw for viewers.

 

MI News 26 and NewsChannel Nebraska are two unique operations, too, so I'm not sure why they're being compared and brought up. NCN is NOT a full time "news wheel" and heavily focuses on local sports, which is apparently working out well enough for them that they can now buy brand new production trucks to produce these broadcasts.

 

Also, I have a hunch the "affiliates" already signed onto this are NCN and a certain independent station in Wichita that already has about 16 subs on it. :rolleyes:

 

Would I like to see this succeed? Absolutely. I just don't know if it's going to work in this day and age. People already have dwindling trust in the "media" in general, and slapping a generic "local news" channel between the ones airing reruns of I Love Lucy and Laugh In just doesn't seem like a good move.

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I'm sorry, but one does not launch a national network by begging for $100,000 in funding.

 

Zero. Chance.

Even without knowing the budget for KXGN, I’m pretty sure their overall expenses are at least $100K.

 

And KXGN has a one-man-band news department in every sense of the word.

 

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This. Didn't we already have a "localized" news wheel diginet? Granted, TouchVision was misguided to target "millennials", but still...

 

This seems like an interesting idea, but I'm a bit confused who the market is for carrying this network. Diginets like WeatherNation "work" because it's able to be localized without needing any additional staff. Like the products sold in diginet infomercials, it's very much "SET IT and FORGET IT!" The core of the LNN concept seems to be operating a local news department, which most diginet-happy stations don't have the budget for. I can't imagine many existing news-producing stations buying into this format when there are dozens of other diginets out there with stronger programming. I don't see the generic "regional" headlines in place of local news being much of a draw for viewers.

 

MI News 26 and NewsChannel Nebraska are two unique operations, too, so I'm not sure why they're being compared and brought up. NCN is NOT a full time "news wheel" and heavily focuses on local sports, which is apparently working out well enough for them that they can now buy brand new production trucks to produce these broadcasts.

 

Also, I have a hunch the "affiliates" already signed onto this are NCN and a certain independent station in Wichita that already has about 16 subs on it. :rolleyes:

 

Would I like to see this succeed? Absolutely. I just don't know if it's going to work in this day and age. People already have dwindling trust in the "media" in general, and slapping a generic "local news" channel between the ones airing reruns of I Love Lucy and Laugh In just doesn't seem like a good move.

Wasn’t All News Channel’s highest possible platform as overnight filler on some TV stations that couldn’t carry ABC World News Now, CBS Up to the Minute or NBC Nightside? I don’t remember it ever being used in place of a traditional newscast (unless Hubbard might have ran it at a decent spot on their Duluth stations at some point?).

 

And aside from Sinclair’s failed NewsCentral and the (unrelated) past and present incarnations of Independent News Network, it’s not like that option has never existed before. (Likewise, NBC Radio, the Associated Press and Talk Radio Network have all tried — and failed — with syndicated all-news turnkey services on the radio, because there was no need for either of them in large markets.)

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Bit of an Update:

 

The kickstarter didn't go as hoped, and the project was rebranded.

 

http://yournewsnet.com/introducing-newsnet/

 

News Net is set to launch in January.

 

Well it's a good thing they're still trying to go national, the launch of the CBN News Channel must have convinced them to go ahead with it. Now theres only the matter of getting affiliates.

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I'm excited for NewsNet to come.

 

I got excited when CBSN and the same for when Newsy made it to cable. Now with NewsNet, I'll be watching those three instead of the big three (CNN, FOX News and MSNBC).

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I was skeptical about this guy being successful running the Michigan station but seeing that it worked was amazing.

 

However I don’t see any large station groups signing on to affiliate with this diginet. They’ll want to sign on a diginet that has some stability - with a secure programming slate and financial backing. If they were using crowdfunding for the first try and failed - what will make this successful? The satellite distribution costs alone will cost more in a month than the amount they were trying to raise in the first go round. And who will be providing them content AP, Reuters, NewSource? Those costs are going to add up quick.

 

Also, any station that signs on is going to barely make any ad money on this deal. Unless they plan on paying for carriage like some diginets do or did when starting out.

 

I only see this really appealing to small or minority broadcasters that are running five subchannels already.

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I was skeptical about this guy being successful running the Michigan station but seeing that it worked was amazing.

 

However I don’t see any large station groups signing on to affiliate with this diginet. They’ll want to sign on a diginet that has some stability - with a secure programming slate and financial backing. If they were using crowdfunding for the first try and failed - what will make this successful? The satellite distribution costs alone will cost more in a month than the amount they were trying to raise in the first go round. And who will be providing them content AP, Reuters, NewSource? Those costs are going to add up quick.

 

Also, any station that signs on is going to barely make any ad money on this deal. Unless they plan on paying for carriage like some diginets do or did when starting out.

 

I only see this really appealing to small or minority broadcasters that are running five subchannels already.

 

Word is that the crowdfunding angle was ditched and investors signed on, so that's how it is able to launch.

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I still have the same question, and I couldn't find an answer on their site: where is all the content coming from? News video doesn't appear out of thin air.

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I still have the same question, and I couldn't find an answer on their site: where is all the content coming from? News video doesn't appear out of thin air.

 

Exactly. CNN may not be willing to provide it. ABC Newsource I seem to recall had a subscription function for a while but they may not want it appearing on CBS, NBC or Fox affiliates.

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I still have the same question, and I couldn't find an answer on their site: where is all the content coming from? News video doesn't appear out of thin air.

 

Judging by the shakycam cell phone video in that promo, my guess is they're hooking up with one of those stringer apps where "anybody can be a video journalist!" and you make $10 for sending in low quality video of police cars.

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