Five regional news cablers in trade org

Five regional all-news cable TV channels have formed a trade association designed to heighten awareness of their fledgling service.

The Assn. of Regional News Channels plans to serve as a clearinghouse of information to potential advertisers and to educate the public about the benefits of round-the-clock news channels.

Chairing the group is John D. Hillis, president of Newschannel 8, the all-news cable channel in the D.C. area that’s owned by Allbritton Communications. The trade org is “a very natural step for us, since the five channels have been working together on a variety of projects for more than a year now,” Hillis said.

Hillis said he expects the organization dues for 1994 to be less than $ 10, 000. “None of us have a lot of money,” said Hillis. Hillis said four or five new 24-hour regional news channels are set for launch in 1994, including one service that will be offered on a UHF TV station in Houston.

Paul Sagan, senior veepee of Time Warner Cable Programming, will be vice chairman of the new trade group,. Robert Gremillion, veepee and g.m. of ChicagoLand Television News, will serve as secretary-treasurer.

Board members include F. Lewis Robertson, VP/g.m. of Orange County Newschannel, and Philip S. Balboni, chairman of New England Cable News.

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