Akin to the company’s New York 1, a mainstay of New York media since the 1990s, the new channel plans to cover the sprawling market 24 hours a day when it goes live in November. It will compete with broadcast network affiliates and other outlets which have had a head start of several decades. On the plus side, Charter and other pay-TV operators have seen the local news initiatives as an effective way to retain customers during this era of cord-cutting and re-bundling.
Cater Lee, a former exec at E.W. Scripps, has been charged with leading the effort. Her title is VP of News and Content at Spectrum.
In a report Saturday in the Los Angeles Times, Lee and Mike Bair, EVP of Spectrum Networks, added a further wrinkle by noting their strategy to avoid the crime and car-chase stories that have long characterized TV news in LA. “White Broncos? That’s not us,” Bair told the paper. “We are doubling down at a time when many sources of local news are going the opposite way.”
Instead of urban chaos and “if it bleeds, it leads” fare, Spectrum instead will focus on community news, including more upbeat aspects such as charity events and high school sports.
The new network will employ about 125 people, Charter says, with its operations based in El Segundo, in the same facility that is home to Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA. The latter network is owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.