WNBC to develop 24-hour hyper-local news channel

WNBC, the flagship of the NBC Universal station group, is planning to launch a 24-hour hyper-local cable news channel, according to “The New York Post.”

It quotes a local news executive who said “they’re doing it as cheaply as possible. There will be a lot of repurposing of what you see on Ch. 4 . . . with photojournalists as one-man bands.”

The station is preparing for the launch in a move that New York television stations “are watching with interest and more than a little skepticism,” the newspaper said.

No date has been set for the launch. The channel will replace WNBC’s Weather Plus on Ch. 161 (and Ch. 109 on Cablevision). It designed to be a new model for local news, based on the idea that if you’re paying a news staff to be on duty 24/7 in order to gather material for three or four news shows a day, why not go around the clock with programming.