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WNBC Plans 24-Hour News Channel

NBC Universal flagship WNBC New York is transforming its 30 Rock headquarters into a “content center” as the station prepares the launch of a 24-hour news channel. The construction begins this summer, and the news channel is slated to debut on WNBC’s digital tier in the fall. The cable channel will be “hyper-local,” the company says, with live headlines every half-hour and plenty of weather and traffic coverage--similar to Time Warner Cable’s NY1 (for reaction from NY1's Steve Paulus, click here).

NBC Universal is also creating a Manhattan “business operations center” that will consolidate operations at three New York offices: 437 Madison Avenue, 2 Park Avenue and Chelsea Market. 30 Rock will remain the home of NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Entertainment and WNBC. The move to the new operations center will take place in 2009.

Construction of WNBC’s content center, which will be created to facilitate content creation and distribution across various platforms, will involve “a complete redesign” of the 6th and 7th floor offices in 30 Rock. It’s expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

“This is the next step in WNBC’s mission to diversify its operations and become the leading multi-platform content provider for the New York market,” said Local Media Division president John Wallace. “In order to remain successful, local stations must put the appropriate weight on the additional platforms beyond their core television station. Consumers are demanding relevant content, round-the-clock, on the platform of their choice. This new structure better positions us to meet that demand in a way that’s synonymous with the WNBC brand.”