LX News adds daily program taking viewers to stories across the country

LX News, the streaming news network of NBCUniversal Local, has introduced a daily program that takes viewers on a cross-country journey of the latest news from NBC local stations. Hosted by Eric Alvarez, the condensed format is akin to the popular “NFL RedZone” concept, whipping from story to story while providing viewers with context and background – all in a succinct City-focused format.

“LX News Zone” comes from LX News’ mission to explore ideas and experiment with news formats.

“The identity of LX is to try new things and experiment and see what sticks,” said Matt Goldberg, VP, content strategy, LX News. The program can capitalize on the reporting of the NBC local stations to provide a level of coverage not otherwise possible from a national network, Goldberg also notes.

“I think what’s really cool about LX News is we have the bandwidth and the capability to test things in the real world,” added Goldberg.

The overall concept was heavily tested during the network’s coverage of Hurricane Ian in September 2022, leading to the program launch in early 2023.

“We started looking at our stations and the great work that they do, and came up with a game plan where we would literally ‘Red Zone,’ or ‘News Zone,’ the day’s news that was unique in each of these markets and put it together,” said Goldberg. “When you look at the streaming channel space, there are so many choices. A viewer can look at multiple channels or they could have a program where they can digest and watch one program to get all the news from all these cities.”

“Having a guide to take you through it really allows us to add a little more contextual information and provides more depth,” said Goldberg.

While “LX News Zone” is currently integrating content primarily from the NBC Owned Television Stations group, Goldberg sees the opportunity to leverage the entire affiliate portfolio as the program settles in.

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Getting into the “News Zone”

Each day’s broadcast is produced in a span of about two hours, with the LX team reviewing story options from morning and midday newscasts.

Wildmoka, a cloud-native clipping service, is then used to prepare and package the individual newscast clips for playback. 

“Every day is different based on what the news of the day is,” said Meagan Harris, news director, LX News, noting the producers work to mix stories and regions so it’s not a full hour on one subject – such as crime or politics.

“It’s a variety of what’s happening in the local community [where the local station is based],” said Harris. “The way I’ve been describing… it’s channel surfing, but you don’t have to channel surf. It’s all there.”

To help guide viewers, the program includes a rundown of cities as a sidebar with Alvarez in front of a large grid of stories in the LX studio in Fort Worth, Texas. 

While the current program is a work in progress, Goldberg notes they are working to streamline the overall workflow to enable easier simulcasting of live stories and major news events in the near future.

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