MI News 26, Michigan’s only 24-hour local news channel, debuted a new name this week as part of an overhaul of its on-air look.
The changes tie in with both the launch of a Cadillac-based national news network in January, and the construction of a new, local broadcast facility which has been ongoing since May.
“Our station has gained a strong local following since we launched MI News 26 in 2011,” said Eric Wotila, Owner and General Manager of the station now known as NewsNet, “but what many of our local viewers don’t know is that we launched a national news network with the same no-nonsense, headline-oriented format as MI News 26 in January of this year. Given the growth of NewsNet, it was a logical step to re-brand our local station under our national name.”
The national NewsNet network is available in roughly 30 million homes across the country through a network of approximately 45 local affiliates in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and many more.
Between January and the beginning of December, the station formerly known as MI News 26 utilized a great deal of content produced by NewsNet – which is owned and operated by the same local team responsible for the local station – and over the course of the year, it became apparent to that team that a name change was the next logical step for MI News 26.
“We’ve been utilizing locally-produced NewsNet content on MI News 26 for months – so while branding under the same name as our national network – as many of our affiliates across the country do – simply made sense, viewers can still expect locally-produced newscasts featuring the same types of local stories we’ve always covered…. and much, much more.”
Along with the name change, the station now known as NewsNet debuted a flexible new set featuring a wide range of new technology including color-changing LED lighting, numerous video monitors and a state-of-the-art weather center.
The station also launched a revamped its morning show, which is now known as “NewsNet Mornings,” hosted by new, local morning anchors, Samana Sheikh and Sierra Searcy.
“The new ‘NewsNet Mornings’ provides an even fresher, more energetic look at the morning’s headlines than our previous ‘MI News Mornings,’ but we’re just getting started,” said Wotila, “In the coming weeks and months, we plan to show off even more of the features of our new facility, all of which will allow us to bring local viewers even more news, more often than ever before.”
In addition to all the other changes that launched today, NewsNet has also debuted the most advanced weather computer system in Michigan – which will allow NewsNet to provide more in-depth weather forecasts than any other TV station in the state.
“We’re thrilled to have invested in the latest, cutting edge weather technology, and we can’t wait to show our viewers our latest capabilities,” said Wotila.
Viewers interested in seeing what’s new with NewsNet can tune in to Charter Spectrum cable channel 13 throughout northern Michigan, or antenna channel 26.1 in the Cadillac area.