The Los Angeles Times will produce a prime-time news magazine television series for Charter Communications’ recently launched Spectrum News 1 channel, the companies said Tuesday.
The one-hour show, “L.A. Times Today,” will air Monday through Thursday starting in February and will take an in-depth look at the day’s top stories with the paper’s reporters, columnists and photographers, the companies said.
Spectrum News 1 anchor Lisa McRee, a veteran local newscaster and former co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” will host the series, which is a joint production of the two media organizations. The program will cover news, politics, business, entertainment and sports, and will feature interviews with and stories by Times journalists.
“L.A. Times Today” will include commentary from columnists Steve Lopez, Robin Abcarian, David Lazarus and Frank Shyong. It will also feature L.A. history with columnist Patt Morrison, using The Times’ archives.
Additionally, the show will deliver local travel recommendations from longtime Times writer Christopher Reynolds, movie reviews from critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang and food segments with editor Jenn Harris and reporter Lucas Peterson.
The deal marks the latest expansion for The Times since biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong bought The Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for $500 million in June.
“The Los Angeles Times has become a 24/7 news operation, and adding an evening television program will give us another way to inform, engage and inspire the people of this great community,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement. “The program also marks another milestone on our journey to revitalizing a great media brand and a new way to share the important work of the largest newsroom west of the Potomac.”
The Times and Spectrum News 1 are both based in El Segundo, where Charter also manages sports channels Spectrum SportsNet and the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA.
Pay-TV giant Charter, based in Stamford, Conn., launched Spectrum News 1 on Nov. 16 in a move to bring “hyper-local” coverage to the Los Angeles area, specializing in stories about everyday people, neighborhood issues and local politics.
The goal of the channel is to improve retention of pay-TV subscribers by providing a richer experience and exclusive programming. Only Spectrum customers have access to the channel.
“Spectrum News 1 is dedicated to providing coverage that is focused on the issues that shape neighborhoods and impact lives, and we look forward to providing The Times our platform to better reach and engage communities across Southern California,” said Cater Lee, Spectrum Networks’ vice president of news and content.
The Spectrum News channel in L.A. is part of an ambitious expansion for Charter. The company has boosted its profile in Los Angeles since 2016, when it acquired Time Warner Cable, the largest pay-TV provider in the region, and rebranded its pay-TV and internet service as Spectrum.
Charter executives were eager to crack the L.A. market after seeing higher customer retention levels in regions where they already have Spectrum News channels. In New York, for example, Spectrum says its channel NY1 has attracted a substantial following with in-depth coverage of local issues.