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WRAL Launches 24-hour News Channel on DTV

Local Station Uses Unique Capability of DTV to Provide a New Service to Viewers (August 02, 2001)
WRAL-TV has launched an exclusive 24-hour local news and information service for digital television viewers in the Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville television market. The "WRAL NewsChannel" can now be viewed over the air on WRAL-DT channel 53.2 and on Time Warner's digital cable service on channel 256.

The WRAL NewsChannel is the first full-time local news channel in North Carolina. The service combines the local news resources of WRAL-TV, and the WRAL WeatherCenter to give viewers a single, local news source around-the-clock. "WRAL-TV has been the digital television leader of our industry, and the WRAL NewsChannel is a logical extension of that strategy. It allows us to combine the strengths and resources of WRAL News and and use the unique capability of WRAL-DT (Channel 53) to provide a new service to our viewers," states Bill Peterson, WRAL Vice President and General Manager.

The highly-automated news service features WRAL-TV5 newscasts plus constant local news headlines, weather, sports and time-temperature functions so viewers can quickly catch up on the news of the day whenever they tune in. All WRAL-TV5 newscasts are simulcast on the NewsChannel-then replayed until the next live newscast is aired. The NewsChannel also features specially produced weather updates from WRAL meteorologists that give viewers the latest conditions throughout the day.

News channel programming will include WRAL newscasts and locally-produced issues programs such as "Q&A," "30 Minutes," and "NC Spin." The news channel will also carry informational programs such as "CBS MarketWatch," "Technology Today," and "First Business" to complement its menu of local newscasts.

The seven-day a week, 24-hour local news service breaks new ground in the use of digital television (DTV). Digital television pioneer WRAL is taking advantage of DTV's capacity for multiple channels to provide the full-time news service along with a complete schedule of High Definition television (HDTV) programming. WRAL is the only station in the world to shoot, edit and air all its local news in High Definition. The WRAL NewsChannel carries on the station's leadership role in the national transition to digital television.

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