Attention L.A. Stations: Ping LA is coming, and They Want To Be Your Friend

By Alex Weprin 

A new online only (for now) local newscast is launching in the Los Angeles market, and the founders have plans to take it to the local stations. Ping LA, spearheaded by Scott Sternberg of Scott Sternberg Productions, will launch this year to cover local news with an eye toward attracting younger viewers. Sternberg discussed the venture at the NATPE conference in Miami.

“Our thought was in looking at this, let’s do something else, how do we go ahead and reach out and find a new way to present local news in a local market, and attract 18-24s, and 25-54s, whereas most of these local newscasts are bringing in 55, 65 plus,” Sternberg said.

Ping LA will launch online, but Sternberg says that they will be looking to partner with a local station in the Fall.


What can viewers expect?

A slickly-produced look at the local news, with reports and anchors that are young and energetic. It won’t be formal, and reporters will dress however they like (Anderson Cooper’s black t -shirt came up as an example or a reporter dressing comfortably, and having it resonate with viewers). Stories may be shot on phones and iPad 2s, and there will be an interesting set.

“We are going to have basically a newsroom in a garage, and I think it is going to be a very cool and interesting set,” Sternberg said. We will have people in cubicles, almost a TMZ-like setup.”