NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations — the NBCU division that includes 42 NBC and Telemundo local television stations serving 30 markets — is launching LX, a local digital news network aimed at viewers 18 to 45.
It will debut as an over-the-air and streaming network, with live programming blocks, in April 2020, reportedly limiting its programs’ ad load to 10 minutes per hour.
The division describes the network as “redefining local news” by delivering “what Gen Z and millennial audiences are looking for: storytelling that is stirring, straightforward and helps them feel connected to our diverse society” and their communities.
“We’re wrestling with how to connect with audiences that don’t watch local linear [TV] news” — meaning millennials and Gen Z’s, Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, told Variety. “We realized we were going to need a different brand to tap into people who decided that local news, as it existed in our markets, wasn’t what they wanted.”
Two three-hour daily newscasts are being produced at the KXAS station in Dallas, with licensed content — not all necessarily news content — to fill out the schedule, she said.
LX will also have staff in all of the division’s local newsrooms, with the eventual goal of each station having its own LX broadcast.
“Visual storytellers” are already stationed in markets including Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Miami and New York. They include Chase Cain, previously with Hulu; Ngozi Ekeledo, previously with the Big Ten Network in Chicago; Clark Fouraker, a veteran of local TV news; Bianca Graulau, previously with Worldly News; and Alexa Liautaud, previously with “Vice News Tonight.”
The network’s first stories covered subjects including a “Black Girls Surf” program in Venice, California; urban farming in Dallas; and a profile of a Boston restaurant owner.