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Altice USA Pools Cheddar, i24 News Resources to Expand U.S. Coverage

The news division of cable operator Altice USA is expanding the scope of its national coverage on the heels of buying digital startup Cheddar for $200 million in April.

As of today, Cheddar anchors will deliver a daily block of domestic-focused news coverage on Altice’s i24 News, the international news channel. The i24 operation bowed in the U.S. in 2017, after Altice got a foothold in New York through its acquisition of Cablevision, as well as smaller cable operator Suddenlink.

Jon Steinberg, founder and CEO of Cheddar and former COO of Buzzfeed, was named president of Altice News as part of the acquisition. He’s now spearheading the pooling of resources to strengthen Altice’s three news offerings: i24, Cheddar and the “hyper-local” News 12 focus on Altice USA’s coverage area. The push to cover national news stems in part because so News 12 is already in position to cover events out of New York City while i24’s global headlines often flow through New York in one way or another.

“I24 News is now our brand for international and national news,” said Steinberg. “Altice News now has three leading brands: i24 News for global news, News 12 for hyperlocal coverage and Cheddar for business news. We are committed and focused on live video news in all categories.”

The domestic coverage will be anchored from 9-11 a.m. by Cheddar’s anchor team and its Washington, D.C. reporters J.D. Durkin and Megan Pratz. The block will mix breaking news coverage with other staples such as reporting on politics, entertainment, weather, travel and other lifestyle topics.

In primetime and other dayparts, i24 will keep the emphasis on news from outside the U.S., particularly the Middle East. Drahi, a French-Israeli businessman who also owns cable and telecom assets in Europe, was driven to spearhead the launch of i24 News as a counterpoint to Al Jazeera’s editorial perspective on the region.

Said i24 founder Frank Melloul: “We are excited to expand the network’s focus to include top national news stories in the U.S. I24 News is now delivering the very best in both national and international news, making it easier for our viewers to stay informed on the current events in the U.S. and across the world.”

(Pictured: Cheddar’s Jon Steinberg and Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei)

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