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Watchup Streaming-News Startup Expands Local TV Reach in Deals with Meredith, E.W. Scripps and Others

Watchup, a Tribune Media-backed startup with a service that personalized newscasts to Internet-video devices, has expanded its reach to about 80% of the local markets in the U.S. through deals with Meredith, E.W. Scripps Co. and three other TV broadcast groups.

The partnerships with Meredith, E.W. Scripps, Lilly Broadcasting, Bonten Media Group and KHQ, a Cowles-owned company, give Watchup users access to video from an additional 51 local media outlets, including local stations in Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Tampa, Phoenix, Baltimore and Tampa.

Watchup reached a similar deal with Tribune Media, covering video content from 30 broadcast stations. Last fall, Tribune Media led a $2.75 million round of funding in the startup, whose other investors include newspaper publisher the McClatchy Co.; Knight Foundation; and Turner Broadcasting.

In all, Watchup users can now watch local news reports from 81 local media outlets across the country.

“Watchup is creating an alternative to traditional TV watching that supports the surging trend for over-the-top media consumption,” said Watchup founder and CEO Adriano Farano.

Watchup, founded in 2012 at Stanford’s StartX accelerator, culls news from about 100 sources including Fox News, PBS Newshour, CNET, the Washington Post, Fusion, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Media. The company says it has “hundreds of thousands” of users for the service.

After Watchup users pick their desired sources, the service delivers content in a personalized video-news stream to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, Amazon’s Fire TV and Xbox 360.

For Meredith — which has stations in 10 markets participating with Watchup, including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland — the deal provides “a unique platform to reach local viewers the way they want to view content,” said Patrick McCreery, VP of news and marketing for Meredith’s Local Media Group.

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