If the holiday activities have left you little time to flip through your cable channels, tune to Channel 1 and you'll see something new.

Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum, has launched a statewide channel dubbed Spectrum News Massachusetts. A subscriber myself, I heard about this just today, not through an email, robocall, or bill insert from the cable giant, but from Clarence Fanto's Berkshire Eagle column.

Dan Ronayne, senior vice president of Spectrum News Northeast, told Fanto the a 24-hour service on Channel 1 will be based in Worcester, and reflects "a growing desire for hyperlocal news in the areas we serve."  Here in the Berkshires that desire has grown considerably with the unavailability of any Bay State-based TV news broadcasts except for those on WBZ Boston, and that's only on the North Berkshire lineup.

The company's online description says "Spectrum News 1 is committed to covering the stories that matter most to our viewers. Spectrum News 1 provides news across the state, from Beacon Hill to the Berkshires, and including our Massachusetts congressional delegation on Capitol Hill."

I was only able to watch Spectrum News Massachusetts for a few minutes before work today so I can't comment fairly on the coverage of stories of interest to the Berkshires. I did see the Pittsfield weather forecast displayed along the right side of the screen while a couple of Worcester area stories were being reported, so I guess that's something.




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