Insight Communications launched its "cn2" local news and information channels across five markets in Kentucky and Indiana -- though at first they will provide only 24-hour local weather coverage.
After several weeks in "soft launch" mode, cn2 is available on channel 2 in Insight's Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Northern Kentucky and Evansville, Ind., markets, CEO Michael Willner announced in a blog post Thursday.
Initially, cn2 will be an all-weather channel that provides "up-to-the-minute, in-depth coverage of the most reliable local forecasts," according to Willner. Forecasts for each of the five regions are delivered by a meteorologist who provides local updates every 10 minutes.
That format will change in the fall, when Insight plans to roll out new programming focused on local news, the 2010 elections and sports. To that end, Insight has hired former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter Ryan Alessi to head up political coverage on cn2 and to write for its politics blog site at http://politics.mycn2.com.
Insight spokeswoman Sandy Colony said cn2 will use freelancers for specific events, as well as various videographers and producers who previously worked on its local origination channels.
Colony added that Insight plans to hire additional personnel, on-air personalities and reporters to "build a robust political and sports product."
"Insight has always been committed to the communities we serve, but cn2 represents one of the most significant investments we've ever made in serving our customers," Willner wrote in his blog post.
Willner also described growing up in Miami and riding his bike down to the local NBC station, where he was allowed to "help out in the studio while they produced and aired an after-school children's show and the local news."
"Since then, I've always paid close attention to what's going on in the television world -- especially when it comes to news," he wrote.
In some markets, Willner added, Insight is running outdoor billboard ads announcing cn2 and is also now running TV spots on its cable networks to promote the channel. Two of the 30-second promos for cn2 can be viewed here and here.