Local News Launches in Titusville, Pa.

Add Titusville, Pennsylvania to the towns and cities featuring their own TV news product. Earlier this week, the town—located between Erie and Pittsburgh, population 5,600—debuted an a.m. news called Daybreak News at 6. It airs on Armstrong Cable and is produced by Lightning Strike Productions, which is local radio personality Luke Ruot's production outfit.

Ruot (pronounced "Rio") got his start shooting commercials, and moved on to streaming radio and television online. That stepped up to a partnership with Armstrong, which runs his radio show, The Morning Drill, on its cable system.

And that led to a live 60-minute morning newscast June 23.

Erie is an hour away, says Ruot, and Pittsburg is two. "Visually, there's really nothing here," he tells B&C. "I felt the need to serve the region with more news coverage that you can actually see."

The newscast, anchored by a pair of radio vets, Mark Heim and Kate Hoffner, reaches as many as 25,000 homes, he says. Ruot's two-hour radio show—which he describes as "news, politics, everything"—airs on Armstrong after Daybreak.

The Titusville Herald says there used to be a morning news program on Armstrong called Good Morning, Titusville, which ended a year ago when Armstrong did not renew the contract.

“We are trying to take the mold of Erie-style newscasts, but make it local,” Ruot told the newspaper. “The show will fill the need for those looking for local news on TV, and it also matches the great community content Armstrong is producing.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.