Last month, Los Angelenos found a new option for getting their television news: “L.A. Times Today.” Produced by the Los Angeles Times for Charter Communications’’ Spectrum News 1 channel, the hour-long program airs Monday through Thursday at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Spectrum News 1 anchor Lisa McRee.
The channel is modeled after Charter Communications’ Spectrum News NY1 channel, which provides 24-hour coverage, seven days a week, throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Charter Communications was eager to break the mold of routine local TV news (the pattern of crime reports followed by helicopter views of freeway tie-ups, weather reports and sports) and did so for New York. Now, the company has its sight set with transforming the Los Angeles area as well.
In a city that is dominated by KABC-TV, KTLA-TV and the Spanish-language KMEX-TV, such a move might be bold. According to a Nielson report, KABC-TV itself brings in about 200,000 households Monday through Friday from 6 to 6:30p.m.
But after finding success in New York with NY1, Charter launched Spectrum News 1 last November. The 24-hour news channel is available in 1.5 million homes in the greater Los Angeles area that receive the Spectrum pay-TV service.
In an interview with the New York Times, Pat Kiernan, the longtime NY1 anchor, said that many New Yorkers who have moved to Los Angeles have questioned why there isn’t a version of the station in Los Angeles.
Now there is one. With the addition of “L.A. Times Today,” both Charter and the Times hope to provide the community with more local coverage in a different manner, and provide them with a better understanding of important issues as well as help residents discover more ways to enjoy living in Southern California.
As reported in the Times, “L.A. Times Today’ will include commentary from columnists Steve Lopez, Robin Abcarian, David Lazarus and Frank Shyong. It will also feature L.A. history with columnist Patt Morrison, using the Times’ archives.
Additionally, the show will deliver local travel recommendations from longtime Times writer Christopher Reynolds, movie reviews from critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang and food segments with editor Jenn Harris and reporter Lucas Peterson.”
In a statement, Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong said regarding the partnership: “The Los Angeles Times has become a 24/7 news operation and adding an evening television program will give us another way to inform, engage and inspire the people of this great community.”