PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
New York, NY, United States, 2016/02/12 - In 2015, Hearst Television joined with seven other media power players on an app that puts viewers in touch with any town in America with a touch or a swipe - NewsON.us / Hearst.com.
Called NewsON, the free ad-supported app for Apple, Android and Roku over-the-top streaming devices takes local TV news national: Users can access video news from 118 TV stations in 90 markets covering three quarters of the U.S.
Launched in November, NewsON is an industry solution to an increasingly crowded app menu and media fragmentation trends that make it harder for individual brands to stay highly visible. Companies sharing their local news content along with Hearst are the ABC-owned Television Station Group, Cox Media, Media General, Raycom Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Graham Media Group and TEGNA, the former Gannett Television group, now a separate broadcast and digital media company.
Users can access local TV broadcasts through interactive maps, or by state, network affiliation or call letters. A scroll-through feature lets users choose stories from a timeline. Or they can browse categories like “Politics” or “Healthy Living” or “Uplifting” and "Seriously?"
When there’s no live feed or you want to catch up on news that’s already aired, there are on-demand newscasts and segments.
Besides making local journalism widely accessible in an interconnected world, consolidating resources expands TV’s digital impact. Users can also opt to track their favorite local stations simultaneously on social media.
It’s a bold move for broadcast competitors but the idea behind it is timely, said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “As the local news resource viewers turn to first, it is vital for our stations to reach audiences everywhere they want to tune in. NewsON helps us to fulfill that mission.”
For all the many channels, websites and apps that deliver news, Wertlieb noted that consumers still place their trust in local TV news sources. One study this year by the Pew Research Center,"Local News in a Digital Age,” found that local TV stations are still the top choice for news and that consumers choose local news twice as much as they do national and international sources.
Hearst TV has clear goals for NewsON, including the shared industry aim of boosting digital TV ad revenue. NewsON expands stations’ ability to target growing digital revenue. Hearst TV’slocal stations will coordinate local advertising so that it remains applicable for their viewers.
Hearst has other goals for NewsON, too. The app reaffirms the TV group’s commitment to local broadcasting and the communities it serves. Hearst wants to maximize growth in news, which is currently the top growth area in local broadcast. And, the infamous 24-hour news cycle continues to press network affiliates to be both nimble and innovative in their programming, including live television.
"Hearst Television stations continue to expand our services to our audiences on all platforms,” Wertlieb said. “We’re over the air, online, on cable and satellite and connected TVs. We’re excited about NewsON, both for Hearst and for the entire broadcast industry.”
NewsON is accessible at NewsON.us/.