Peninsula News Network closing Channel 3 operations
Monday, June 11, 2007
Peninsula News Network
Peninsula News Network, Clallam County’s locally-owned cable television news channel, announced Monday that it will be closing operations, effective June 15th. The development ends more than 15-years of local news programming that began in 1992.
PNN News Director and Co-Owner Dennis Bragg said he had decided to accept an offer to re-locate to western Montana, where he will be a News Director for KPAX and KAJ television, serving Missoula, Kalispell and a growing 9-county region. The station is part of a group of stations owned by Cordillera Communications and operated as “Montana News Station”.
“The decision to close PNN and move wasn’t made lightly,” said Bragg. “However, I was born in Montana and this is really my dream job. The station has a news staff of more than 30, with complete microwave and satellite gear and we love the thriving economy, open space and diversity of the region”.
Bragg, who marks his 30th anniversary in local news in September, moved back to Clallam County in 1992 after working as a reporter for KIRO Newsradio and KIRO-TV, taking over as news director for the fledgling Northland Cable News. He supervised NCN operations until 2000, and when Northland Cable decided to close the newsroom, he and his wife LaRee stayed to run Peninsula News Network.
However, Bragg says without direct financial support from Northland Cable, or Wave Broadband, which bought the local cable system four years ago, it’s been difficult to provide the coverage and programming he feels the North Olympic Peninsula deserves.
“We’re extremely grateful to the advertisers who have helped keep PNN in operation,” said Bragg. “But changes in the local advertising picture will make it difficult to expand PNN in the future. With more national chain stores that don’t spend money on local advertising, and an increasing number of festivals competing for limited dollars, it simply becomes too difficult to bring television to a market the size of Clallam County”.
Bragg also believes changes in the delivery of news raise questions about the long-range viability of a local cable news channel. To that end, he helped to author the county’s first local news website in 1994 and has continued to utilize PNN’s website at www.peninsulanews.net for breaking news, adding full audio and video clips of news a year ago.
“There have been discussions about keeping the PNN website operational,” said Bragg. “However, no plans have been finalized yet. We would like to hear from PNN viewers about the continued use of the website who can email firstname.lastname@example.org .”
By conservative estimates, the staffs of NCN and PNN have produced more than 3700 local news programs on Channel 3, amounting to more than 2000 hours of local news, sports, election coverage and specialty programs.
This week PNN is airing a retrospective of clips from the past 15 years of local television.