LNN - A News Channel without Pundits, Panels or Shout Shows
Remember when news channels reported the news, not opinion? LNN aims to bring that style of journalism back to TV - with a local twist.
They've been around since the 80s; a way to stay up-to-the-minute on what's happening around the world. In the early days, these channels followed a common theme - to truly keep you informed; to provide you with the latest headlines in the span of a few minutes.
In recent years, though, a shift has occurred: News channels have moved away from the tried-and-true "news wheel" format, and began to focus on personality-based shows; programming that centered around hosts with strong presentations and strong opinions.
Today's 24-hour news channels are made up largely of "shout shows;" talk programming consisting of a panel discussing - or more often, arguing over - a few select topics of the day. No 24-hour national news channel today follows the classic format of straight facts, headline reporting without panel discussions or shows focusing on opinion.
LNN aims to change the format of 24-hour news, and get back to the headlines - with both modern and local twists. Our goal is to bring back the fact-based, headline-oriented "news wheel" format that was popularized in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s with the launch of a new, 24-hour national news channel.
LNN won't have any personality-based shows, nor will we bring in panels to discuss two or three "topics of the day." Instead, we aim to provide well-rounded coverage of the day's news, including not only the latest headlines from around America and the world, but also coverage of weather across the country, the latest sports headlines, and, of course, a few stories every day that will make you smile.
Unlike other news channels, you won't need cable or satellite to receive LNN. Our ultimate goal is to make our programming accessible for free via antenna TV and the internet. We've already signed up enough affiliates to reach over 4.5 million people via antenna at launch, and that number continues to grow as we talk to more stations every day.
Of course, it's 2017. Everyone watches video on their computers or smartphones these days, and LNN will be the only news channel built from the ground up with the digital future in mind. Our content - as seen on antenna in many markets -- will be available on streaming set-top-boxes including Roku, Apple TV and more. Our iPhone and Android apps will not only provide easy access to on-demand content and headlines, they'll provide instant access to a version of LNN's broadcast customizable by each viewer - without the need for a cable subscription to gain access to the stream.
The beauty of modern technology is that it will not only make the launch of a national news channel possible, it will allow localized broadcasts as well, in a way no other network can.
Our unique broadcast management software - developed in-house - will allow customization each affiliate's news wheel for their local audience. That means if you live in Ohio, our technology will allow you to see headlines related to Ohio and the midwest before stories about California. Meanwhile, viewers on the west coast could see western headlines first. This same technology will be translated to our mobile apps, allowing you to completely customize your newscast to see the headlines most interesting to you.
Each LNN affiliate also has the option to insert their own, completely localized news ticker into the national broadcast - and insert 5 minutes of entirely local news at the end of every half hour. For viewers in areas whose affiliates opt not to insert their own, hyperlocal news cut-ins, LNN will offer a look at regionally localized news headlines at the end of each half hour instead. It's our way of providing a look at stories that may be relevant to a specific state, but may not get the attention they deserve.
The team behind LNN has extensive experience not only in local news production, but in the construction of broadcast facilities. Our team built and currently operates MI News 26, an award-winning 24/7 local news channel based in northern Michigan which has been praised for its balanced and straight-to-the-facts approach to news coverage. In addition, our team was involved in the construction and operation of News Channel Nebraska - another 24/7 local news channel with a format based on the success of MI News 26.
In this day and age of digital technology, the tools exist to produce a national news channel on a tiny fraction of the budget of yesterday's broadcasters, and our team has the knowledge to bring that idea to life. We'll be using the latest equipment and creative workflows to provide reports from across the country every day, in a way no other network can.
While television networks are often backed by large studios or venture capitalists, we want to keep LNN lean and fast-moving, without the red tape that many other businesses face due to their management structure. By raising our initial round of funding through crowdsourcing, we'll be able to launch with a small management team that doesn't need to report back to any corporate backers, allowing us to get LNN off the ground quickly and efficiently.
We already have a studio, control room and cameras - currently used for the production of local news - that will be repurposed for the launch of our new network. A successful Kickstarter campaign will provide us with the funding needed to hire the additional staff needed to make the launch of LNN possible, and allow us to focus on our news product - rather than funding - at the time of launch. In addition, funding from Kickstarter will allow us to fully equip a satellite truck for live broadcasts from the field, and add additional cameras and editing equipment for the demanding workflow of a national network.
Like many crowdsourced projects, the ability to launch LNN is dependent on your support. Like many projects funded through crowdsourcing, our end product will be accessible to anyone, and by supporting the launch of LNN you'll be one of the first to gain access to our end product.
However, our product is less physical than many crowdsourced products, and that's all the more reason we need your support. By funding LNN, you're not receiving a hot new gadget, you're getting an entirely new look at the news - and helping to make that product accessible not only to yourself, but in the end, the entire country.
By supporting our Kickstarter, you'll receive one of a variety of rewards. From our appreciation all the way up to your name as part of the title of one of our programs, we've created a wide selection of rewards aimed at both our viewers and businesses that want to support the launch of LNN.
Whether you're an end viewer who wants a new choice for news or a business looking to advertise nationwide, supporting our Kickstarter campaign will provide the ultimate reward: bringing a true, well-rounded, shout-show free 24/7 news channel back to television.
We sincerely appreciate your support.
Eric Wotila, Founder and General Manager | Eric Wotila has been involved in television news for over fifteen years. During that time, he built WMNN - MI News 26 - from the ground up. He also managed the studio design and construction for News Channel Nebraska, a 24/7 local news network made up of 5 TV stations. Wotila has received numerous awards for his work in local news, including two Emmy nominations and the national "LPTV Station of the Year" award, presented at the National Association of Broadcasters expo in Las Vegas.
Remington Hernandez, Anchor/Producer | Remington Hernandez has a passion for journalism. Originally from Texas, he worked for numerous radio stations across the country before making the move to TV. Hernandez currently anchors the midday news on WMNN, and will serve as one of the first anchors for LNN upon the network's launch.
Jacob Owens, Anchor/Producer | Jacob Owens enjoys exploring the world - and he's looking forward to bringing you stories from around it. Owens spent a year backpacking across Australia with his brother immediately after graduating from Central Michigan University, before taking a job as the Evening News anchor on WMNN. When LNN launches, he'll be joining the team as one of the network's first anchors.
Wyatt VanDuinen, Operations | Wyatt VanDuinen has worked in operations at WMNN since March of 2014, and will be transitioning his role to LNN as the network launches. VanDuinen's duties at LNN will include directing newscasts, program scheduling, field production and other behind-the-scenes tasks.
Geoff Fox, Meteorologist | Geoff Fox is an Emmy-award winning Meteorologist who spent the majority of his career in Connecticut. After moving to California, Fox built a home studio from which he's produced forecasts for stations across the country. He's joining the LNN team to bring national weather forecasts to the new network.
Morris Langworthy, Meteorologist | Morris Langworthy received his bachelor of science degree in meteorology from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, MI in 2009. He joined the WMNN news team as the station's first meteorologist when it launched in 2011, and he'll be joining the LNN team to bring you a look at weather across the nation when the network launches next year.
Risks and challenges
Like any television network, LNN will require ongoing advertising revenue in order to succeed in the long term. If our Kickstarter campaign succeeds, we will have enough funding to operate at a minimal level for one year without a dime of advertising revenue.
While we have no concerns about the ability to launch LNN in the first half of 2018 and operate for one year thereafter if our Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the greatest risk involved in this project is simply sustaining the necessary advertising revenue for continued success in the long term.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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