NewsNet Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NewsNet

TypeTerrestrial television network
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersCadillac, Michigan
Picture format720p (HDTV, widescreen)
ParentBridge News LLC
(90% MBX Wyoming, Inc.
10% Eric Wotila)
Key people
  • Manoj Bhargava (majority owner)
  • Eric Wotila (President and part-owner)
  • Vince Bodiford (CEO)
  • Chris Anderson (SVP)
  • Peter Ziemelis (news director)
  • Andrew Rheaume (operations director)
LaunchedJanuary 1, 2019
FounderEric Wotila
List of affiliates
Streaming media
Service(s)FuboTV, LocalBTV

NewsNet (stylized as NEWSnet) is an American news-oriented free-to-air television network and newscast production company owned by Bridge News, LLC, a corporation jointly owned by Manoj Bhargava (as MBX Wyoming, Inc.) and Eric Wotila, the network's founder.[1] The network is structured to broadcast a tightly-formatted 30-minute newswheel 24 hours a day (with a 90-minute break on weekend late mornings), incorporating freshly-updated information that covers various areas of interest (such as national news, sports, entertainment, weather and business). Breaking news stories are updated constantly as they develop and new information becomes available.

In addition to being carried on digital subchannels of affiliated television stations, NewsNet also distributes its programming through a livestream that is available on its website, as well as its mobile app in areas where it does not have a terrestrial TV affiliate. The network also provides an optional turnkey local news production service (Custom Newsroom Solutions) for stations that do not maintain their own local news departments to produce local news capsule segments or full-length newscasts. NewsNet's primary studio facilities (which also houses master control operations of the network's O&O station WMNN-LD [channel 26] and MyNetworkTV/Cozi TV affiliate WXII-LD [channel 12]) are located on West 13th Street and 3rd Avenue in Cadillac, while its secondary studio facilities are located on Haggerty Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Background and history[edit]

NewsNet's first-ever logo, used from 2019 to 2022.

On September 28, 2017, Eric Wotila – who founded low-power all-news station WMNN-LD in Cadillac, Michigan, and oversaw the studio design and construction for News Channel Nebraska, a Norfolk, Nebraska-based quasi-state network of five low-power stations that also maintained an all-news programming format – started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the launch of a 24-hour national news channel – under the working title, the Local News Network (LNN) – intended for broadcast, online and mobile distribution.[2][3][4][5]

Citing favorable opinions from viewers about the "straight-to-the-facts, no-nonsense and commentary-free" coverage provided by WMNN-LD, the Local News Network proposed to offer a news wheel format (similar in structure to the 1982–2005 format of HLN, and the formats of defunct all-news networks such as All News Channel and Satellite News Channel) that would eschew the often-politically focused panel discussion programs that have populated the afternoon, nighttime and weekend schedules of cable news channels (particularly CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel) since the early 2000s. The project called for LNN to be based out of WMNN's Cadillac studio facility, with the hope of eventually opening bureaus elsewhere around the United States. The project failed to reach its funding goal of $100,000 needed to develop LNN – which would have been used to pay for equipment and staffing necessary to handle the national broadcasts – by the closure of the 50-day campaign on November 17, 2017, raising only $8,012 from 78 public backers. Wotila subsequently sought to obtain backing from investors to fund the venture.[2][3][4][5]

On March 15, 2018, Wotila and other partners involved in the LNN project announced the launch of NewsNet, which would maintain the concept originally developed prior to the commencement of the Kickstarter campaign.[6][7][8]

NewsNet signed on for the first time on January 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with Evening Edition serving as the network's inaugural program. On May 8, 2019, ground was broken on new studios. The facility will consist of three studios, each with their own control rooms and a new, state-of-the-art master control room overseeing the operations of NewsNet, WMNN-LD and WXII-LP. The new studio debuted on-air at 4:00 a.m. ET on December 9.[9]

Because of Wotila's involvement with News Channel Nebraska, NewsNet does not compete with NCN and has no affiliates in that state.

On January 13, 2022, NewsNet and the rest of Freelancer Television Broadcasting's portfolio, including WMNN-LD and WXII-LD, were sold to investor Manoj Bhargava, with Eric Wotila retaining 10% ownership in the new company Bridge News, LLC.[10] As of January 22, 2022, the stations are being operated by Bridge News via a time brokerage agreement with Freelancer Television Broadcasting, while waiting for FCC approval on the transfer of the station's licenses.[11]

On April 18, 2022, at exactly noon ET, NewsNet debuted a new logo, graphics package and slogan, News... as it used to be. A week later, on April 25, the network hired Phillip Hendrix, former senior producer at the Black News Channel, to serve as its news director, succeeding Remington Hernandez (who will remain as the network's primary news anchor).[12]

On May 16, 2022, NewsNet officially debuted a secondary studio facility in Farmington Hills and made several additions to its on-air team, including Detroit local news veterans Jill Washburn (formerly of CBS O&O WWJ-TV [channel 62] and Fox O&O WJBK [channel 2]) and Glenn Ray (formerly of WKBD-TV [channel 50]). Also on the same date, the network implemented major changes to its schedule: Mornings moved to a later timeslot at 6:00 a.m. ET, while the weekday edition of Continuing Coverage reduced its running time from four hours to two (albeit remaining at the 4:00 p.m. ET slot). The weekday broadcasts of Evening Edition, on the other hand, expanded to six hours beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET, and Nightside Edition (which airs at midnight ET) also expanded to six hours with the addition of a two-hour block at 4:00 a.m. ET. The running times of Midday Edition (which airs at noon ET) and the weekend broadcasts of Continuing Coverage and Evening Edition remain unchanged.

On August 6, 2022, NewsNet launched Weekend Edition, an all-weekend rolling-news block that compiles the biggest headlines of the past week but retaining the network's signature newswheel format. The new program replaced the weekend broadcasts of Mornings, Midday Edition, Continuing Coverage, Evening Edition, and Nightside Edition.


The channel's programming is structured around a rolling news wheel format, providing up-to-date information on the top national and international stories in just 30 minutes.

Each half-hour of the wheel format begins with the ten-minute "A" block, composed of a nearly two-minute-long look at the top story of the hour (with updated details provided when breaking news develops) and an eight-minute roundup of additional news stories at 02 and 32 minutes past the hour.

The remainder of each half-hour includes a national weather forecast summary (at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour; branded as Weather Report) and the latest sports news, highlights and scores (at 17 and 47 minutes past the hour).

Feature segments regularly aired at 24 and 54 minutes past the hour may include Health News (latest health updates and information), Business Report (in-depth conversations with major players in the business sector), or exclusive one-on-one interviews conducted by the network's anchors.[13]

To comply with programming guidelines imposed by the Children's Television Act, NewsNet also carries a 90-minute block of educational children's programming on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. ET.

In addition, NewsNet runs a breakfiller segment entitled Top Stories from the Newsroom, which is a two-minute rundown of the most important news headlines of the day. This segment airs exclusively on its online streaming feed in lieu of commercials playing on the OTA TV broadcast (subject to preemptions due to online ad inserts).

Current programs[edit]

Rolling news blocks
  • NewsNet Continuing Coverage (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Evening Edition (January 1, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Midday Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Mornings (December 9, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Nightside Edition (January 2, 2019–present)
  • NewsNet Weekend Edition (August 6, 2022–present)
E/I programming

Former programs[edit]

  • NewsNet Morning Edition (January 2–December 8, 2019)


Current on-air staff[edit]

  • Jace Hammel – weekday afternoon anchor; also fill-in weekday morning/evening and Weekend Edition Saturday anchor
  • Remington Hernandez – weekday overnight anchor; also fill-in weekday evening anchor
  • Kennedy Payne – Weekend Edition Sunday anchor; also weekday local news segment anchor for NewsNet Northern Michigan
  • Glenn Ray – weekday evening anchor; also fill-in weekday overnight and Weekend Edition Saturday anchor
  • Jill Washburn – weekday morning anchor; also fill-in weekday afternoon and Weekend Edition Saturday anchor
Weather team
  • Morris Langworthy – chief meteorologist; also station manager of NewsNet Northern Michigan
  • Austin Lowe – meteorologist
  • Carl Rippy – meteorologist
  • Barak Shapiro – senior meteorologist
Sports anchors
  • Ben Holden
  • Jay Phifer
  • Ryan Slocum
  • Ryan Wooley

Aside from those mentioned below, NewsNet also utilizes reporters from the local newsrooms of its affiliate stations.

  • Tauli Anderson – national correspondent
  • Andy Hirschfeld – business correspondent; also Business Report segment host
  • Frank McCaffrey – national correspondent

Former on-air staff[edit]

  • Christina Aguayo
  • Benjamin Arie
  • Sandra Brogan (now at WFXR-TV in Roanoke, Virginia)
  • Alfredo Cuadros
  • Erin Hatfield (reassigned as a weekday local news segment anchor at NewsNet Northern Michigan)
  • Victoria Idoni (now a Media Planner at Finders Consulting Group)
  • Bejoy Joseph
  • Eden Lane (now at Colorado Public Radio in Denver, Colorado)
  • Vic McCarty (currently midday host at WTCM radio in Traverse City)
  • Jessica Mojonnier
  • Derek Myers
  • Danielle Radin
  • Dylan Rodenbaugh
  • Kristian Ruggiero
  • Sierra Searcy (now at WHBF-TV in the Quad Cities)
  • Ruby Shane (reassigned by NewsNet as a news producer)
  • Samana Sheikh (now at WLNS-TV in Lansing)
  • Derek Tate
  • Abigail Taylor
  • Ryan Thompson (now at Newsy)
  • Charlie Tinker (now at WJRT-TV in Flint)
  • Denise Turner


On January 2, 2019, one day after the station launched, TV news industry blog FTVLive.com published a photo of NewsNet primary anchor Remington Hernandez wearing a Make America Great Again hat that Hernandez had published to his private Facebook profile, casting doubt on the station's claim of being politically unbiased.[14] In October 2019, a user of the TV News industry forum TVNewsTalk.net posted a photo taken off Hernandez's public Instagram page that featured a smiling Hernandez next to conservative political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.[15]


As of June 2022, NewsNet has current and pending affiliation agreements with 57 television stations in 49 television markets encompassing 25 states, covering 31.75% of the United States.[16] The majority of NewsNet affiliates are low-power stations that are within the geographic boundaries of a particular TV market, but do not cover the entirety of the market.

In addition to allowing affiliates to sell local advertising (offering four minutes of local commercial time per hour to prospective stations), NewsNet provides the option for its broadcast affiliates to pre-empt the national weather segment to allow to carry their own local weather cut-ins (either produced by the network or by affiliate stations themselves), as well as feature segments at the end of each half hour to allow to carry a five-minute-long local headline "capsule", providing news and other timely information focusing on the local viewing area.[13][17][6][7][8]

Current affiliates[edit]

City of license/market Station Virtual
(on main channel)
(Management Company)
Date of affiliation Notes


Cusseta (Columbus, Georgia) WQMK-LD 18.3 18 Retro Television Network Ben Jordan Communications Corporation February 19, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Dothan WJJN-LD 49.3 20 Religious Wilson Broadcasting Company, Inc. Fall 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Montevallo (Birmingham) WOTM-LD 47.1 19 Independent Joseph Earley Part-time affiliation


Phoenix KPHE 44.3 12 Tu Canal Familiar Lotus Communications


Barstow (Los Angeles) K36JH-D 36.3 36 NASA TV Brent Gaddis February 14, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Cathedral City (Palm Springs) KAKZ-LD 4.4 4 Free Speech TV Tara Broadcasting LLC January 1, 2019 Replaced QVC
Los Angeles KFLA-LD 8.7 8 KFLA Television (Roy William Mayhugh) April 8, 2019 Replaced Corner Store TV, which moved to 8.3
Reedley (FresnoVisalia) KVBC-LP 13.9 26 MeTV Cocola Broadcasting
(operated by Ventura Broadcasting Company)
January 7, 2019 Replaced My Life TV
Ridgecrest (Bakersfield) KZGN-LD 21.2 42 Heartland Wiknich Broadcasting Corporation May 20, 2019 Replaced Classic Shows
San Jose KAAP-LD 24.7 24 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting January 1, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
San FranciscoOaklandSan Jose KMMC-LD 24.7 14 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting 2021 New Sub-channel on translators


Orlando WSWF-LD 10.5 45 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting January 22, 2019 Replaced Lifehacks DRTV
Miami-Fort Lauderdale WDFL-LD 18.1 11 Independent François Leconte January 2020
St. Augustine (Jacksonville) WQXT-CD 22.7 29 Retro Television Network A1A TV, Inc. January 10, 2019 Replaced The Walk TV


Cumming (Atlanta) WLVO-LD 21.6 21 Diya TV United Media Network, LLC March 15, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Dalton (Chattanooga, Tennessee) WDNN-CD 49.3 20 Independent North Georgia Television January 1, 2019 Replaced Retro Television Network
Valdosta (Albany) WSWG 44.5 31 CBS Marquee Broadcasting TBA Launches on new subchannel


Arlington Heights (Chicago) WRJK-LP 22.6 24 Diya TV Major Market Broadcasting January 1, 2019 Replaced Charge!


Marion (Indianapolis) WNDY-TV 23.3 9 MyNetworkTV Circle City Broadcasting March 1, 2020 Launched on new subchannel
Fort Wayne WLMO-LD 2.8 2 This TV Metro Video Production April 2021 Launched on new subchannel


Kansas City KCKS-LD 25.2 19 Buzzr Heartland Broadcasting, LLC January 1, 2019 Replaced Justice Network
Sublette (WichitaHutchinson) KDGL-LD 23.5 23 Cozi TV High Plains Broadcasting, LLC January 1, 2019 Replaced Retro Television Network
Topeka WROB-LD 25.2 26 Buzzr Heartland Broadcasting, LLC January 1, 2019 Replaced Justice Network
Wichita KCTU-LD 5.2 23 This TV (primary)/
AMGTV (secondary)
River City Broadcasters, Inc. January 1, 2019 Replaced Estrella TV


Louisville WBNM-LD 50.6 25 Buzzr Word Broadcasting Network, Inc.
(operated by South Central Communications)
January 1, 2019 Launched on new subchannel


Baton Rouge WLFT-CD 30.3 30 MeTV Touch Family Broadcasting January 1, 2019 Replaced HSN
Lafayette KXKW-LD 32.1 30 Newsnet Delta Media Group/Wilderness Communications March 14, 2021 Replaced Stadium which moved to 32.3


Detroit WHNE-LD 3.9 3 TheGrio Tait Broadcasting LLC January 1, 2019


Holly Springs (Memphis, Tennessee) WBII-CD 20.4 20 Sonlife Broadcasting Network Mid-South Broadcasting January 11, 2019 Replaced Heartland


Las Vegas KDNU-LD 7.4 30 Classic Reruns TV Craig A. Ruark, LLC May 2022 Launched on new subchannel

New York[edit]

Cobleskill (AlbanySchenectadyTroy) WYBN-LD 14.8 14 Buzzr Cable Ad Net New York January 9, 2019 Replaced The Action Channel
Greenwich (Albany-Schenectady-Troy) WVBG-LD 25.8 17 Buzzr Wireless Access, LLC
Syracuse WONO-CD 11.3 34 AMGTV Craig Fox July 2021
Utica WVVC-LD 40.6 33 Antenna TV Northeast Gospel Broadcasting, Inc. February 1, 2019 Launched on new subchannel

North Carolina[edit]

Lumberton (Myrtle BeachFlorence, South Carolina) WTNG-CD 33.11 14 The Family Channel Mercy's Bridge Media, LLC May 20, 2019 Replaced HSN
Manteo (NorfolkPortsmouthNewport NewsVirginia Beach, Virginia) W22EN-D 22.5 22 Classic Shows Lawrence F. Loesch January 31, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
Tarboro (RaleighDurhamFayetteville) WNCR-LD 41.2 21 Youtoo America WNCR Media Group, Inc. April 28, 2019


Canton WIVM-LD 39.4 39 This TV Image Video Teleproductions January 2021
Columbus WCBZ-CD 22.8 18 Cozi TV Columbus Broadcasting Corporation Fall 2020 Launched on a new subchannel


Cottage Grove (Eugene) K18LR-D 36.1 18 South Lane Television, Inc. Fall 2019


Pittsburgh WPTG-CD 69.4 30 This TV Local media tv September 30, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
State College (JohnstownAltoona) WHVL-LD 29.1 27 MyNetworkTV Channel Communications January 1, 2019 Nightside Edition only

Puerto Rico[edit]

San Juan, Puerto Rico W05DK-D 29.2 5 Newsy Mako Communcations January 1, 2022 Launched on new subchannel

South Carolina[edit]

Beaufort (Savannah) WSCG-LD 14.11 14 Court TV Winemiller Television, LLC Fall 2019 Launched on new subchannel


Nashville WJDE-CD 31.4 23 Heartland Word Broadcasting Network January 1, 2019 Replaced H&I


Beaumont KUMY-LD 22.1 22 SETX Public Television Corporation May 20, 2019 Replaced Mexicanal
Dallas KLEG-CD 44.1 28 DV Broadcasting, LLC April 10, 2020 Replaced Swagat TV (moved to 44.4)
Houston KBPX-LD 46.12 27 NuestraVisión Word Broadcasting Network January 1, 2019 Launched on new subchannel
San Antonio KGMM-CD 24.1 36 CNZ Communications August 26, 2019


Logan (Salt Lake City) K08QL-D 8.3 8 Youtoo America Airwaves, Inc. March 4, 2019 Replaced local programming
Ogden (Salt Lake City) KCSG-LD 8.2 31 Youtoo America Airwaves, Inc. March 4, 2019 Replaced Biz TV


Seattle KYMU-LD 6.3 6 Cozi TV Seattle 6 Broadcasting LLC 2019 Launched on new subchannel

Former affiliates[edit]

City of license/market Station Virtual
(on main channel)
(Management Company)
Years of affiliation Notes
Buffalo, New York WBXZ-LD 56.11 23 Cozi TV Steven D. Ritchie 2019—2022 Replaced by Real America's Voice
Denver, Colorado KCDO 3.3 23 Independent E. W. Scripps Company 2020-2021 Replaced by a simulcast of KMGH
Middletown Township (New York, New York) WJLP 33.8 3 MeTV PMCM TV 2019-2022 WJLP was sold and this and other news subchannels deleted


  1. ^ "Assignee Parties Addendum". WXII-LD FCC Filing. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b "LNN - A News Channel without Pundits, Panels or Shout Shows". Kickstarter. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Entrepreneur turns to Kickstarter to launch no-nonsense news channel". TVNewsInsider. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Phil Kurz (October 6, 2017). "Broadcast Entrepreneur Turns To Crowdfunding For New Effort". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "MI News 26 looks to launch Northern Michigan based national news station". Boyne City Gazette. Paine Press. September 29, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Phil Kurz (March 15, 2018). "New 24/7 News Channel To Make National Launch By Year-End". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Adam Jacobson (March 22, 2018). "Now Available For Local TV: A 24/7 News Channel". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Headline-Driven NewsNet Readies For Launch". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc. October 5, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Staff, B&C (8 May 2019). "NewsNet Breaks Ground on New Studios, Expanding Production Capabilities of America's Newest 24/7 News Channel". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  10. ^ "MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network". TVNewsTalk.net. 23 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Time Brokerage Agreement". WXII-LD FCC Filing. 13 January 2022. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  12. ^ "NEWSnet Hires Phillip Hendrix as News Director". PR Newswire. 26 April 2022. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  13. ^ a b Eric Wotila (October 2, 2018). "Learn More About Our Format". NewsNet. NewsNet, LLC. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  14. ^ "Another National News Service Has Launched". FTVLive.com. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  15. ^ "MI News 26 Founder Starting National News Network". TVNewsTalk.net. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  16. ^ a b c "Stations for Network – NewsNet". RabbitEars. Retrieved June 30, 2022.
  17. ^ "New 24/7 NewsNet Designed For TV Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 20, 2018. Retrieved December 1, 2018.

External links[edit]