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Newsy to Return as OTT and OTA Service October 1

Steve Anderson

It’s a move that’s been in the making since April. Newsy will reemerge as an OTT and OTA service on October 1. The national news network that’s part of the Scripps company will provide a whole new option for news buffs everywhere.

The network plans focus on facts, and offer “non-opinionated” news as well. It will operate out of Atlanta, where its main studio, control room, and newsroom are located. It’s also where the largest concentration of Newsy employees are found. Programming will run from “the early morning” until 8 PM EST. Another hour of news will kick in at 11 PM EST to provide coverage to the West Coast.

Newsy won’t go dark at eight, though; reports note the company has a prime-time block ready to go as well. There will be three that air during the week, and two that air on weekends. Little is known about these so far, only that one will be set in Chicago, and another is a documentary show that is still without a host.

Newsy will have a massive potential market to claim when it goes live; Newsy will be in 92 percent of American homes at launch, though getting these potential viewers to become actual viewers may be more of a challenge than expected. However, Newsy looks to win these viewers over with the strength of its presentation and its sheer knowledge base. The company has been rapidly adding local bureaus to places that were previously considered “news deserts,” especially places like Missoula, Montana. Such moves should help to keep potential viewers in the fold.

Back in April, Scripps announced that Newsy would be making its return to not only streaming services and over-the-top (OTT) systems, but also to linear programming systems as well. Two months later, in June, Philo announced that it was removing Newsy from its programming lineup. This was regarded as a preparatory move for Newsy’s broader launch. Later that month, YouTube TV also lost Newsy.

In a field where TV news has often become polarizing—and for many, downright suspect in terms of even honesty—Newsy’s approach may be exactly the breath of fresh air that viewers were looking for. A news network that focuses mainly on news might seem like a strange thing to cite, but in the current environment, it’s less an obvious point and more a genuine selling point. The news portion seems to be on par with most of its competitors in the field, and switching over to news-adjacent subjects is on par with prime-time competitors.

Newsy is not alone in this approach. Nexstar Media Group’s NewsNation launched in September 2020 in an attempt to provide a neutral news platform. But the project has been hit with a wave of controversies, high staff turnover, and low ratings. It remains to be seen if Newsy can succeed where its competitors are struggling.

Newsy will have a bit of an uphill battle on its hands to break consumers away from their current news source of choice. However, with a little extra marketing firepower on its side, it’s got enough unique points to it to make it work a look. That could even be enough to break inertia for many users by actually offering a higher-quality news source. An uphill battle it may be, but certainly, one Newsy can win.

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