Prime Rolls Dice on Vegas News Channel

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Landmark Communications Inc. and Prime Cable, in
conjunction with the Las VegasSun newspaper, are creating a 24-hour
local-news channel in Las Vegas that's set to launch April 1, officials said last
week.

Las Vegas 1 will be programmed with the assistance and
cooperation of Landmark's TV station in Las Vegas, CBS affiliate KLAS-TV. The
local-news channel will distributed to all of Prime's Las Vegas subscribers -- about
275,000 homes -- according to Bob Stoldal, general manager of the network.

Landmark -- which owns The Weather Channel -- Prime and the
Sun are all partners in the joint venture that's creating Las Vegas 1, Stoldal
said.

The Greenspun family is the majority owner of Prime Cable
of Las Vegas and the sole owner of the Sun.

'Our goal is to develop an exclusive, cable-only
product to build customer loyalty,' said Harris Bass, vice president and general
manager of Prime Cable of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the fastest-growing community in the country,
and the local-news channel is meant to provide newcomers with information on how to
improve their quality of life, Bass said. Las Vegas 1 will be offered on expanded basic,
but it won't initially be available to local hotel rooms.

Stoldal has had quite a bit of experience creating
local-news channels, helping Landmark to launch them with Cox Communications Inc.; with
its own WVEC-TV and the Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, Va.; and in Nashville, Tenn.
Landmark owns CBS affiliates in Nashville and Las Vegas, and it is using them to help the
cable news channels in both markets.

He maintained that a 24-hour local-news channel is a
natural for Las Vegas, the No. 61-ranked DMA, where people have unusual hours and often
can't watch traditional local newscasts on broadcast TV.

The Las Vegas news channel will have its own staff and
anchors, but it will also make use of KLAS' staff and the Sun's
reporters.

Las Vegas 1 will rerun newscasts from KLAS, as well as its
own original news programming from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. weeknights. That two-hour block will
consist of four half-hour shows, with a news-wheel format, Stoldal said.

Las Vegas 1 will also air syndicated programming from The
Wall Street Journal
and Bloomberg Information Television.

Within the next three to six months, plans are for Las
Vegas 1 to expand its original programming, creating a nightly news-magazine show, for
example.

The Las Vegas news channel will have its own ad-sales force
and control all of its own inventory, Stoldal added.

Las Vegas 1 has already had an initial meeting with
national rep firm Cable Networks Inc. about potentially representing it, Stoldal said.

Related