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Scripps to launch Newsy on Ion broadcast networks

(Still frame captured by The Desk via Newsy/E. W. Scripps Company)

A variant of the news channel Newsy will soon launch on dozens of Ion Media stations owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, the media giant announced in a press release on Tuesday.

The facts-first news outlet will launch as a broadcast network on October 1 and will be available over-the-air to more than 80 percent of American households, executives proclaimed.

“Amid an increasingly polarized and divided national climate, Newsy will seize upon this opportunity to serve more Americans seeking quality objective journalism,” Lisa Knutson, the executive in charge of the Scripps Networks, said in a statement.

Scripps will build on Newsy‘s success as an online service  that is already distributed for free across major streaming platforms, including the Roku Channel, Samsung Watch TV and Pluto TV.

A variant of Newsy featuring live morning and evening news programs was recently launched for distribution to cable and premium streaming television services, including Comcast, YouTube TV and Philo.

It was not clear which version of Newsy would be offered over-the-air, though executives hinted it would be the stripped-down version of the channel that lacks live news programs.

“As TV viewers ‘self-bundle’ by combining free television with subscription video-on-demand services, Newsy will build on its successes in [over-the-top, or online, television] by joining the other Scripps Networks in the over the air marketplace to bring these viewers high-quality, free news programming,” Knutson said.

Scripps said Newsy would soon be offered on broadcast television as a digital subchannel on stations owned by Ion Media, the over-the-air network Scripps purchased for $2.6 billion last year.

At the time of purchase, Scripps announced it would move many of its own networks — including Newsy — to Ion Media stations over time. Last month, the company replaced several Ion-programmed digital networks with three of its own: Laff, Bounce TV and Court TV.