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Free ‘Very Local’ Streaming Service Provides News From 26 Markets

Steve Anderson

A new, free streaming app from Hearst Television is looking to help make local news more accessible. “Very Local” is an over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV platform with content from 26 areas across 39 states, including Baltimore, Maryland, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Omaha, Nebraska among others. Very Local pulls its content from free, ad-supported television (FAST) stations operating in those markets.

Very Local won’t be “strictly local.” In fact, the service will include regional and national news along with its local material. Several Hearst Television national brands will also figure in, including the “Chronicle” newsmagazine series as well as “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.”

Users can tailor what they see by selecting a national feed or choosing one of the member stations.

  • Baltimore: WBAL-TV
  • Boston - WCVB
  • Burlington/Pittsburgh - WPTZ
  • Cincinnati - WLWT
  • Greenville - WYFF
  • Lancaster - WGAL
  • Louisville - WLKY
  • Manchester - WMUR
  • Orlando - WESH
  • Pittsburgh - WTAE
  • Portland - WMTW
  • Savannah - WJCL
  • Tampa Bay - MOR-TV
  • West Palm Beach - WPBF
  • Birmingham - WVTM
  • Des Moines - KCCI
  • Ft. Smith/Fayetteville - KHBS
  • Jackson - WAPT
  • Kansas City - KMBC
  • Milwaukee - WISN
  • New Orleans - WDSU
  • Oklahoma City - KOCO
  • Omaha - KETV
  • Albuquerque - KOAT
  • Monterey/Salinas - KSBW
  • Sacramento - KCRA

Those interested in checking out the “Very Local” feed for their area will be able to find the app on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku systems. Those without these platforms can check out Tubi and VUIt as well.

“Very Local is an opportunity for Hearst Television to bring even more award-winning journalism to streaming audiences in our local communities,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “As consumers include streaming as a way of connecting with local content, we want to bring them the best local news and information. Very Local gives us a new, flexible platform and resource to bring our content to more people and to develop fresh, original digital-first programming that will resonate. Very Local, in combination with our fast-growing Hearst Anyscreen ad marketplace, advances Hearst Television’s digital footprint substantially for audiences and advertisers.”

A service like this helps blunt some of the impact of the Locast debacle; it had over three million subscribers before its shutdown, so it was clear there was an interest. Non-Hearst outlets are starting to take up the gauntlet as well. Memphis and Baton Rouge have launched their own streaming arms in recent days to give regional news more of a spotlight.

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