Little Rock's Equity Broadcasting will soon launch the state's first all Spanish-language local newscast. The show will appear at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Little Rock station KLRA and Fort Smith/Fayetteville's KXUN.
KTHV Channel 11 currently translates its newscast into Spanish, broadcasting the translation on a secondary audio programming (or SAP) channel.
Equity, based in Little Rock, is the 9th largest broadcaster in the United States, with partial or outright ownership of almost 100 existing or pending broadcast permits, most for low-power Pax and WB affiliates. Doug Krile, vice president for public affairs with Equity, said the newscast will modeled on a "centralized newscast concept" already in use by Equity's Univision affiliates in Salt Lake City and Amarillo. The plan is for a reporter/cameraperson team to file stories from Northwest Arkansas, and another team to file stories from Little Rock. The footage will then be fed via satellite to Independent News Network, a production house in Davenport, Iowa. There, the stories will be worked over by producers, then spliced together with lead-ins from Spanish-speaking anchors and national and regional news, weather and sports. The completed newscast will then be beamed back to Equity for local broadcast.
"There will be a lot of Arkansas-based news in the top block, there will some news of regional interest probably in the second news block, there will be a localized weather segment, there will be a localized sports segment," Krile said. "Obviously with a small staff you're not going to have as much as a 15-person news department, but it's certainly a beginning point, and a point we can grow from."