Entrepreneur Turns to Kickstarter To Launch No-Nonsense News Channel
Friend of the site Eric Wotila is attempting to launch a 24/7 hybrid local-national news subchannel network, based out of his WMNN-LD 24/7 local news station in Cadillac, MI. He’s using the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to get the network off the ground, and is looking for backers to contribute a few dollars each toward making the project a reality. Funding is all-or-nothing, so if he doesn’t reach his fund-raising goal, no backers will be charged for their pledges. Along side this press release, he separately sent me an e-mail about it. I've received his permission to publish a few choice quotes:
"My goal is to launch a 24/7 national news channel that gets back to the headlines. No opinion. No shouting heads. Just a good, old-fashioned news wheel format: Give us 15 minutes, we’ll tell you what’s going on around the world, not analyze or voice our opinions. I’ve heard more and more over the past year or two that people are sick and tired of their existing options for 24-hour news, and I truly hope to provide a news broadcast that informs, rather than agitates.
"LNN will be the only 24/7 news channel without opinion-based talk shows, and it will also be the only such channel available both for free on antenna and via internet platforms such as mobile apps, Roku and Apple TV. In addition, the network is designed from the ground up with localization in mind, allowing many stations that currently lack the resources for local news to add local programming as well as national news to their lineup."
While I feel uncomfortable endorsing his project, given my position, I did want to republish his press release here. I feel comfortable doing this much, as it will appear in many other locations as well.
See the full press release by clicking "Read more" below.
Cadillac, MI (September 28, 2017) – First, they launched a 24/7 local news channel covering northern Michigan. Then, they were hired to help build another news network airing on 5 TV stations in Nebraska. Now, the team behind northern Michigan’s MI News 26 hopes to take their model national with the launch of LNN – billed as a 24/7 news channel without pundits, panels or shout shows. They’ve taken to crowdsourcing site Kickstarter to do so. “In recent years, we’ve heard more and more complaints about existing 24/7 national news channels,” explained Eric Wotila, Owner of MI News 26 and the driving force behind LNN, “At the same time, we’ve received constant compliments about the straight-to the-facts, no-nonsense and commentary-free local news coverage we provide on MI News 26. So, we thought, ‘Why not take this model national?’”
For the MI News 26 team, the answer to that question was funding. Launching a national network isn’t cheap, but the team hopes a successful crowdfunding campaign will allow the launch of LNN – or the “Local News Network” – from their existing facilities.
“We have a studio in place, and a local team already producing news from our studio,” explained Wotila, “but we need to raise funding to handle the cost of national distribution and the additional staff that will be needed to handle the workload of a national news channel.”
That campaign aims to raise $100,000 – but there’s less than 50 days to do so, and funding is all-or-nothing. If the team behind the new startup doesn’t reach their fundraising goal by mid-November, no pledges will be collected, but the network won’t launch, either.
“It’s a no-risk way for people who support the idea of a news channel free of commentary and opinion to bring the idea to life,” explained Wotila.
Anybody contributing to the crowdfunding campaign for the startup will receive one of several rewards, ranging from their name in the national networks’ credits for several months to their name in the title of a show – but, in the eyes of LNN’s founder, the true reward is access to straight, opinion-free news. “If people support this project – we truly believe we can bring credibility back to 24-hour national news.”