New York -- Rainbow Media Holdings Inc.'s expansion into
local-news channels picked up more steam last week with the announcement of a new news
channel in the Bronx, N.Y. -- its fifth local-news channel in the New York DMA.
News 12 the Bronx will offer 24-hour coverage of the
borough, including breaking news, events and issues affecting the Bronx and its diverse
communities, said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of Rainbow Media. The service, which will
reach 250,000 subscribers, will feature a fiber optic link and a state-of-the-art, fully
automated video-production system. All video will be logged digitally, and the newsroom
will be manned by robotic cameras, which, Rainbow said, marks the first newsroom in the
country to employ such technology.
Charles Dolan, chairman of Cablevision, said the company is
exploring a potential local-news channel for its Brooklyn, N.Y., subscribers, and he
didn't rule out new services in cities outside of New York where Cablevision holds
franchises, including Cleveland.
Sapan said the service will have 40 full-time employees,
and it will feature both English- and Spanish-language programming. Rainbow also announced
that it has entered into a partnership with El Diario/La Prensa, New York's leading
Spanish-language daily newspaper, to provide news and information relevant to the Bronx's
News 12 the Bronx is expected to utilize resources from its
sister services, including News 12's "Chopper 12" news helicopter.
Sapan said the new service would not increase cable rates
for Bronx subscribers. Instead, expenses will be absorbed by Cablevision, as well as
subsidized by revenue from local and national advertising.
The service is the latest of Rainbow's growing list of
regional-news efforts. Similar news operations already exist in Long Island and
Westchester County, N.Y., as well as in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Cablevision carries Time Warner Cable's New York 1 News
all-news service in the Bronx, and it will continue to do so, the operator said.