After 16 years, TXCN is to end its run on April 1st.

TXCN / Texas Cable News

FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than WFAA.com): Gannett could have saved TXCN. They could have made TXCN emerge as a better channel. Instead, it’s closing time for the statewide newschannel.

After 16 years of delivering breaking news and the latest weather forecasts to a statewide audience in Texas, TXCN will be officially coming to an end on April 1st. And that is April Fool’s Day, but this shutdown is no joke.

TXCN was a 24-hour statewide newschannel that was launched on January 1st, 1999 from their offices in Downtown Dallas on Young Street. Launched on that day by Belo Corporation, the network relied on delivering statewide Texas news coverage, along with the resources of WFAA 8 in Dallas, KHOU 11 in Houston, KENS 5 in San Antonio and KVUE 24 in Austin. In December of 2004, however, TXCN had to cut 45 of its 75 staffers. Programming was scaled down big time as a result and for the past 10 years, TXCN has been running nothing but repackaged news content from its 4 sister stations. Lack of distribution on cable was the result and all original programming, with the exception of weather segments and occasional original programming, was dropped.

Here is video of a segment from 2004 that was posted on WFAA.com. I recorded it and posted it on YouTube for better viewing. Plus, it would also make sure it remains on YouTube, in case the story gets taken down on WFAA 8’s website and is reserved for historical, educational and research purposes:

When Belo sold its media assets to Gannett, the company kept TXCN operating and most thought that Gannett would have TXCN emerge from its dark days and bring it back as a statewide newschannel that everyone would finally watch again. Unfortunately, that never happened and Gannett kept operating the channel with repackaged content for another year and 3 months. And now, after all this time and with Belo calling the lack of distribution on cable making the channel a failure back in 2004, TXCN will finally sign-off for good on April 1st, 2015. That means for the first time in 16 years, there will be no statewide newschannel in the state.

However, there are still 24-hour local newschannels in the state, thanks to Time Warner Cable News in Austin and recently last year, in San Antonio.

For the rest, well… its the end of 24-hour news in the state as we know it. We don’t know if Gannett will ever let it come back. Only time will tell.

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17 thoughts on “After 16 years, TXCN is to end its run on April 1st.

  1. With TXCN (Texas Cable News) going away soon… there’s no telling if TWCN (Time Warner Cable News) could be looking to expand its presence in Texas beyond Austin, Waco, and San Antonio anytime soon. Austin’s cable news channel started off as News 8 Austin, before being renamed as YNN Austin (Your News Now) in 2011, and adopting TWCN name in 2013. I would say that TWCN’s expansion into San Antonio has filled the void of short-lived News 9 San Antonio, and will also be filling the void that TXCN will soon be leaving behind. Houston also had short-lived News 24 Houston. The Gannet-owned cable news channels NWCN (Northwest Cable News) and NewsWatch 15 must appear to doing very good.

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    • But I think NewsWatch 15 has a greater chance of shutting down than NWCN because NWCN is more established and more recognizable. Plus, it has the Gannett look and produces its own newscasts and programming.

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  2. You answered my question I was going to ask does 24-hour local cable all day news count on your blog as local news or is it just broadcast stations.

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  3. Do you ever see your Market of Miami/Fort Lauderdale having a 24-hour local cable all day news channel? I wonder why the Miami Market does not have a 24-hour local cable all day news channel? I know the Orlando and Tampa markets have one.

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    • I’m even surprised that Orlando has one since their DMA is lower than ours. But so far, no one has decided to step up and try. Anyways, this market only covers 3 counties, compared to the 7-8 counties in Tampa Bay and 7-8 in the Central Florida area.

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      • I wonder why the Los Angeles TV Market doesn’t have a 24-hour local cable all day news channel? The LA TV market is the 2nd largest TV Market in the country. Time Warner is the main cable provider in the LA TV Market I wonder if Time Warner will start a 24-hour local cable all day news channel in LA like NY 1 in New York City. Maybe Time Warner could call the 24-hour local cable all day news channel in LA, LA 1 News or Time Warner Cable News Los Angeles if they ware to start a channel in LA. LA is actually so large that they could start several 24-hour local cable all day news channels like the News 12 Network in the New York City area. The LA TV Market could have zoned 24-hour local cable all day news channel like for Orange County, Ventura Country, Inland Empire where San Bernadino and Riverside are like how the News 12 Networks have zoned 24-hour local cable all day news channels for Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester, and Hudson Valley for the NYC Area. I heard the Los Angeles TV stations mainly cover news in mainly Los Angeles Country and overlook areas like Orange Country, Ventura, and the Inland Empire Area. I think the NYC TV stations mainly covered just inner NYC area like Manhattan, the borough areas maybe a wash but ingnored covering news in areas like Long Island, New Jersey, and the outlaying suburbs of NYC and is the reason they started the zoned News 12 Networks to have news focused on the outlaying areas that the regular broadcast Stations did not cover much.

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  4. I also think the DFW TV Market in the next few years because of its booming growth will surpass the Philadelphia TV Market and be the 4th largest TV Market and Philadelphia will move down to number 5.

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  5. I think that if Satellite TV like DIRECT TV and Dish Network were mandated to carry local cable access channels all the Satellite Systems in Texas would have to have carried TXCN and it would have never gone off the air. The more people cut cable and switch to satellite TV in Texas it basically cuts TXCN’s budget and with not enough people watching the news channel they have to close shop. I think DIRECT TV and Dish Network in each area should be mandated by law to carry local public access channels according to area you live in and any 24-hour local cable all day news channels if offered in area. Like for example in Tampa DIRECT TV and Dish Network should be mandated to carry Bay 9 News along with the local PEG access channels just like they way satellite TV has to be mandated to carry local broadcast stations. PEG and local cable news channels are losing money because there is no mandate for satellite TV to carry these channels so every time somebody switches from cable to satellite TV PEG channels and 24-hour local cable all day news channels lose money because PEG channels and 24-hour local cable news channels relies on cable subscribers to get their revenue and if cable loses subscribers and they don’t have enough revenue coming in PEG channels and 24-hour local cable news channels might have to shut down. I think personally the FCC needs to have tougher laws to protect localism in the communities and start fining or highly taxing TV stations and companies that want to undermine or cut localism such as satellite TV providers not carrying PEG and local cable channels or fining and highly taxing TV stations that want to cut local news or lay off local reporters. I think the FCC should give tax credits to TV stations that hire more local reporters and add local news in order to help out localism and local news. Like I said local news is as American as apple pie and baseball. I think there is this movement out there that wants to wipe out local news and they are doing through measures such as TV consultants, newsonomics, stationomics and large media consolidation. I think if we don’t lay down rules for these stations and business local news may become a thing of the past in within a generation. I really feel that local news is under assault and this assault on local newz needs to come to a stop before its too late. When anyone messes with local news it is a soft spot for me.

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    • Umm… TXCN = Texas CABLE News. So even if Satellite tried, it still wouldn’t have been carried on Satellite. Yes, CNN = CABLE News Network is also carried on Satellite, but its much different. So I don’t think TXCN would’ve ever been carried on satellite.

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  6. (From Houston – Provider: Comcast) As of midnight (4/3) the channel is back on (Comcast Ch.230) without on-air talent for weather segments (…like when in TXCN’s holidays “auto-pilot”)
    Yesterday (4/2), the channel was gone…. I looked at the TXCN website, KHOU, mikemcguff.com, and WFAA with no explanation (yet…).
    If I may suggest to the Gannett-powers-that-be, currently the 4 largest Texas markets are represented by having quarter-hour segments. Since Gannett has 11 stations in Texas, why not rotate 3 quarter-hour segments for the large markets and provide 1 quarter to the smaller affiliates (i.e. Waco, Beaumont, etc.). Additionally, it would be nice to have Dale Hansen’s Sports Special back into the late Sunday – early Monday rotation.
    For now…it sure is nice having TXCN back.

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