Net beefs up local news staff

NBCUniversal said it’s doubling down on local coverage at its 10 owned-and-operated stations. The conglom’s stations group, NBC Owned Television Stations, will make 130 new hires and produce more local news.

Many questioned the probability of NBCU’s continuing commitment to local news in the wake of its merger with Comcast. “Wait a few months” seemed to be the conventional wisdom around the topic. Now, 10 months after the merger’s completion, NBCU is making sure everyone knows whose idea this was.

“The new leaders of the company very much believe in the owned television stations division, and they want to see these stations strong again,” said group prexy Valari Staab in a video released online by the company today.

NBC O&Os will produce more local news in addition to launching consumer and investigative units in five markets, the company said.

“People will always need local news and information,” said Staab. “How they get it will change.”

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