NBC Universal to launch 24-hour local news channel in New York City

NBC Universal plans to launch a new 24-hour local news channel from its flagship WNBC in New York in November, according to a report Thursday in the online edition of “The New York Times.”

According to the report, the network plans to de-emphasize the WNBC Channel 4 identity and promote it as a “content center.” The network also will upgrade the WNBC newsroom as part of the plan and integrate the content it creates with the new channel and existing Web site. The new 24-hour local news channel will be transmitted as one of WNBC’s DTV subchannels and also will be available on the digital tier of area cable systems.

Under the plan, no employees will be laid off; however, what many employees do will change, the article said. Existing producers, for instance, will be retrained to develop the content the new approach requires.

The approach will carry over to other NBC O&Os if it’s determined to be successful in New York, the paper reported.