News-Press & Gazette Co. is launching a new low-power station that will broadcast Fox, Telemundo and CW. Eric Bradley is the general manager of the new operation, which is planned to launch later this spring.
News-Press & Gazette Co. on Tuesday announced it is launching a new Fox affiliate in St. Joseph, Mo. (DMA 200).
The company also will be adding Spanish-language Telemundo and The CW to that St. Joseph operation, which does not yet have call letters. The moves follow an announcement two weeks ago that NPG is reacquiring News-Press 3 NOW, a local weather and news service.
The over-the-air low-power license acquired by NPG allows the company to broadcast signals for all three networks — Fox, Telemundo and The CW — to digital antennas within about a 30-mile radius of the tower in St. Joseph. In addition, the company plans to offer the stations to cable television providers in the region.
NPG said the new services are expected to go on air in late spring. Information about broadcast channel designations and the availability of the stations on area cable systems will be announced at that time.
NPG said it plans to add to these offerings by investing heavily in local news. It expects to offer more than two hours of news daily.
“For the first time, viewers in the city and in the nearby region will be able receive a Fox-affiliated station with truly local news programming,” said Eric Bradley, newly appointed general manager for the local broadcast properties. Bradley most recently was general manager of the company’s stations in Bend, Ore.
“Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas have proven to be exceptional markets for what we can provide — news, information and entertainment programming developed with attention to the specific needs and interests of local people and businesses. We couldn’t be more pleased than to be able to announce these long-term investments and the new services we will be able to provide for both viewers and advertisers in this region.”
Bradley said the Fox station will share resources with News-Press 3 NOW, which the company founded, sold in April 2011 and recently agreed to reacquire from Suddenlink Communications.
Both operations will work out of studios in the News-Press newsroom in Downtown St. Joseph. The staffs will be closely integrated with the news operations of the News-Press, and several additional staff members will be recruited for news, sales and production positions, NPG said.
An array of satellite receiving dishes will be positioned on the northwest edge of the News-Press parking lot. Plans call for construction of a brick-walled enclosure that will incorporate architectural features consistent with the newspaper’s historic building.
No new antenna tower is required for the broadcast operations. Instead, antennas will be mounted to an existing tower located southeast of downtown St. Joseph.
“No project of this magnitude is possible without great effort and support from the many parties involved,” Bradley said. “In particular, the company would like to thank our business partners, city staff and many of our own employees who have given countless hours to resolving technical issues and clearing other hurdles on the path to announcing this major local investment.”
While well-known locally for its publishing ventures and its past ownership of St. Joseph Cablevision, News-Press & Gazette Co. also has long experience as owner and operator of YV stations.
The company’s current broadcast operations include approximately 30 network-affiliated stations in seven markets in the Western United States, including Colorado Springs-Pueblo and Grand Junction-Montrose, Colo.; El Paso, Texas; Palm Springs, Calif.; Bend, Ore.; Idaho Falls-Pocatello, Idaho; and Yuma-El Centro, Ariz.