Report: WMAQ-TV to Launch Local 24-hour Diginet

CHICAGO: NBC’s WMAQ-TV in the Windy City is preparing to launch a local 24/7 diginet, according to media blogger Robert Feder, a former Chicago Sun-Times TV columnist. “Chicago Nonstop” will run local news, entertainment and lifestyle programming, and go live as early as this fall, Feder reports.

No formal announcement has been made, but original content is in development, he said. The diginet’s being modeled on New York Nonstop, launched by WNBC-TV in March 2009. The new Chicago diginet is expected to replace NBC’s live weather radar feed.

Feder says Chicago Nonstop will go up against ABC’s Live Well HD Network, a WLS-TV diginet, launched last year. Weigel Broadcasting’s independent WCIU-TV also has a number of digital subchannels, though none of them entirely local. Local PBS member station WTTW-TV runs an SD subchannel, as well as PBS’s Create and V-me diginets. WGN-TV, the CW affiliate in Chicago; CBS’s WBBM-TV and Fox’s WFLD-TV are not running digital subchannels.

Feder’s blog entry, “NBC 5 Gearing Up to Launch ‘Chicago Nonstop’” is available at Vocalo.