NBC to Launch 24-Hour News Channel in New York

NBC Universal announced this week that it plans to start a 24-hour local news channel in New York City in November.

In announcing the move, the network also said that it would “de-emphasize the identity of the NBC network’s flagship station, WNBC, Channel 4 in New York, rechristening it a ‘content center,’ and making it one part of a larger local media effort,” according to the New York Times.

The network also plans to rebuild the WNBC newsroom with the intent of melding its broadcast content with the Web and out of home viewing destinations such as local gas stations and the taxis. Local cable operators Time Warner, Cablevision and Comcast have agreed to carry the channel on their digital tiers.

Depending on the success of the launch, an NBC official told the Times that it could expand the news channel initiative in other cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. The official said that it doesn’t plan on any layoffs related to the launch but that employees will need to be “retrained.”

The channel will compete against another New York City 24 hour news service, NY1, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.