The show, “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren,” will feature Gray Television reporters from the station group’s newsrooms around the country. “Full Court Press” will air on Gray’s 93 stations, as well as on outlets in Milwaukee and Chicago, with more clearances expected before the fall launch. So far, the show will cover 28% of U.S. households.
In an interview, Van Susteren said the Gray TV reporters featured on the show “live and breathe in their communities,” something that will be an advantage as the 2020 presidential race picks up. Gray has three stations in Iowa and two in South Carolina, she noted, which will be an enticement in booking interviews with candidates anxious to reach voters in early states.
“It is a great access point to get great interviews and a great way to serve local communities,” she said.
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She added that she would like to focus on issues that matter to voters, and not get “distracted” by some of the dramas on the campaign trail.
“News isn’t entertainment,” she said. “News is a service.”
Van Susteren is Gray’s chief political analyst and also volunteers for Voice of America, hosting the show “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren.”
Hilton Howell Jr., the chairman and CEO of Gray, said in a statement that “our goal is to provide critical information without bias to allow viewers to form their own opinions and reach their own decisions by exploring all sides of a complex issue.”
Gray also will launch “Full Court Press-Overtime,” a website and OTT app that will feature extended interviews, live streaming, user feedback and other news content.
Van Susteren hosted shows on all three major cable news networks, but said that the trend line of viewer “cord-cutting” puts a new emphasis on the importance of local broadcast television. Gray completed its acquisition of Raycom Media earlier this year.
“I thought, ‘How do you reach the voters?’ and this seemed to be the smartest way,” she said.