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Thomson Reuters launching news channel tomorrow

Reuters is launching a virtual TV channel this week. The news agency will launch the round-the-clock online service, Reuters Insider, tomorrow with the aim of delivering breaking news and analysis.

Bloomberg, one of Reuters’ chief competitors already runs a broadcast TV channel and Insider will also be taking on other news channels.

Reuters said Insider will have ‘exclusive multimedia programming from Reuters including live, uninterrupted coverage of breaking news, interviews with key newsmakers, in-depth analysis and insightful commentary on important market issues’.

The service will be available for no extra charge to Reuters existing subscribers. There will also be third party content from financial institutions and other news providers including CNBC.

The channel will be operated from the UK and US and Reuters has set up a studio outside Canary Wharf, in the heart of London’s financial district. Ex- BBC and CNN International executive Chris Cramer is Reuters’ global editor of multimedia and will run the service with executive producer Mike Stepanovich.

In a blog post Cramer wrote: “The world’s largest multimedia news agency, Reuters, unveils what we believe will be the future of news dissemination – not broadcasting, but narrowcasting.”

Reuters has dabbled with TV before although Reuters Financial TV news channel, which launched in 1993, was wound up in 2001 with the company citing the high cost of distribution.

 “Reuters has long held ambitions to return to the programming business and during the past year we have secretly planned for a return to narrowcasting. In record time we have built state of the art studios in London and New York and broadband transmission points in many of our overseas locations, including Hong Kong, Washington, Singapore and other global newsrooms,” Cramer added. “A production team of more than 100 journalists and technical staff has been hired, including television anchors such as Axel Threfall from CNBC and Carrie Lee from CNN and producers from other business channels like Bloomberg.”