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NY1 to NBC: It's Good to Be No. 1

NY1 News, New York City’s 24-hour news channel, welcomes the arrival of NBC Universal’s new round-the-clock news channel, which is to debut in November.

NY1 Senior VP/General Manager Steve Paulus says it’s good to be No. 1—both in terms of being the first 24-hour news channel in New York, and holding that prime channel-one spot on the Time Warner Cable system.

“We’re the channel people go to instinctively when news breaks, and that’s going to help us,” Paulus says. “WNBC might find out 24-hour local news is a little trickier than they thought. We’ve got the premium channel position, as we’re owned by the cable company; I don’t know what channel they’ll end up on.”

Paulus also wonders how broad the NBC channel’s reach will be: Whether it will just focus on the five boroughs of New York City, as NY1 does, or if it will cover the suburbs of the tri-state area as well, as WNBC does. (An NBC spokesperson confirms that it will cover the entire market.)

“When we refer to the Mayor, it’s one mayor,” he says. “When we refer to the Fire Department, it’s one fire department. I could pretty much guarantee that our lead story would be relevant to all of our viewers. They might be covering dozens of counties.”

Paulus says the new NBC offering will at least keep his newsroom sharp: “It’s always nice to have the field to ourselves, but this will make sure we stay on our toes.”

Michael Malone
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.