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Michigan-Based NEWSnet Announces $50M Investment; New News Director

NEWSnet, the 24/7 news channel with a focus on the headlines, announced on April 22 that it will invest heavily to propel the network forward and provide solutions that better meet the financial needs of broadcasters and carriers. NEWSnet is exhibiting for the first time at the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas this week.

NEWSnet was recently purchased by Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5-hour ENERGY® and the largest shareholder of Gray Television. For NEWSnet, Bhargava has set aside an additional $50 million investment for content creation and production. Founder Eric Wotila remains as president and part owner.  In addition to showcasing its 24/7 news product, NEWSnet will reveal its latest turnkey Weather Report solutions for broadcasters during NAB, an innovative and cost-effective solution to stations’ local weather needs.

  • 24-hour NEWSnet – is available to both over-the-air (OTA) broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), now offers a range of economic solutions that give NEWSnet an edge by offering high quality 24-hour news by using an innovative barter solution.
  • The Weather Report product provides OTA stations with turnkey localized forecasts presented by the network’s weather team, delivered ready-to-air within stations’ newscasts, lowering an OTA station’s weather costs.
  • Custom Newsroom Solutions – localized newscast solutions for stations that need a cost effective and quality local newscast for any size market.

(L-R) Phil Hendrix, Eric Wotila

Based in Cadillac since its inception, NEWSnet recently began construction of additional studios in Farmington Hills, Michigan with plans to significantly expand its news team.

On April 27, the company announced the hiring of Phil Hendrix as the network’s News Director, Hendrix joins NEWSnet from Black News Channel (BNC), where he served as senior producer. In this new role, Hendrix will lead the news operations of NEWSnet.

“Phil brings years of newsroom experience to NEWSnet,” said Eric Wotila, president of NEWSnet. “He will be an instrumental part of our network’s growth in the coming months.”

Having worked in all levels of television production, Hendrix brings more than 25 years of experience in television news to the team at NEWSnet. Hendrix’s responsibilities include managing the newsroom and helping to maintain NEWSnet’s integrity in covering hard news topics.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to do news the way it should be done,” Hendrix said. “The mantra of ‘news the way it used to be’ rings true to me because I believe in telling people what they need to know, without all of the extras.”

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