A television station and production studio focused on midcoast regional news is expected to be launched this fall.
The new company, VStv, will provide television programming focused on local news, weather, sports, business and politics in Knox and Waldo counties. The entity is co-owned by Reade Brower, owner of Courier Publications LLC, the Free Press, and Village Soup Online, and Alan Hinsey, the former executive director of the Many Flags/One Campus Foundation and a producer of the television business news show, Mainebiz Sunday.
VStv will be based in Rockport and will be produced in conjunction with Village Soup Online, the Courier Gazette in Rockland, the Camden Herald and the Republican Journal in Belfast. Hinsey will serve as the station’s general manager.
“We feel this hyper-local focus fills a niche. There’s enough news and related talk on a regional basis to support this kind of programming,” Hinsey said.
The station will sell advertising, as well as program sponsorships, once all the programs become available. No advertisers have committed yet, Hinsey said.
VStv will be available in more than 50,000 Time Warner Cable subscriber households on channel 88. The programming also will be available over the Internet at VStv.me and Villagesoup.com, through streaming video and video-on-demand services, and on smartphones and tablets.
The cost of the venture was not disclosed. The high-definition television station will include a control room and editing studio.
VStv said it plans to have six to seven full-time staff once it is fully operational, along with additional part-time staff and per diem studio and remote event crews as needed.
VStv will offer weekday programs including morning and evening local news coverage of Knox and Waldo counties, as well as briefings from across the state and New England. A program, called “Above the Fold,” will include interviews and panel discussions that will focus on major stories of the region. The station also will air a sports talk show, one regional game or sporting event per week, as well as an art and entertainment show called “Soup Du Jour.”
“The Midcoast doesn’t have a broadcast quality, locally based commercial television station for its year-round residents and seasonal visitors. Because we are located between Portland and Bangor, we find ourselves at the center of a TV media market gap,” Brower said in a press release.
Locally produced half-hour programs also are planned on topics ranging from business, personal finance, food, arts and entertainment, fitness, health and waterfront. VStv plans to add one new locally produced program each month during its first full-year of operation, said Hinsey.
Jessica Hall may be reached at 791-6316 or at: