Tulsa's KOTV-channel 6 and Cox Communications will team up to provide Cox Cable customers with 24-hour local news and information on channel 53 starting May 1.
The joint effort was announced by Regina Moon, vice president and general manager of Tulsa's CBS affiliate, KOTV, and John Bowen, vice president and general manager of Cox Communications.
Titled "News Now 53," the channel will simulcast KOTV's "News on 6" local newscasts and then repeat the newscast continuously until the next regularly scheduled live broadcast.
"We are pleased to partner with Cox Communications in this venture," said Moon. "This an exciting opportunity for our two companies to bring a unique and valuable service to our viewers: The News on 6 will be available, on demand, at the viewers' convenience."
Cable customers will be notified of breaking news or developing weather conditions in one of two ways, said Moon. In a moderate situation, the cable channel will run a crawl across the bottom of the television screen advising viewers that a situation exists and to turn to KOTV for the latest news and weather information.
"In the event of severe weather -- including imminent tornadoes -- Cox Communications would take our signal live," she said. "We will do that because we understand that weather can be a life and death issue here in our part of state."
Cox also produces "News Now 53" with KWTV- channel 9 in Oklahoma City. The CBS-affiliated stations are owned by Griffin Communications.
The joint news effort has been in the works since Cox took over the city's cable system and Griffin bought KOTV last year.
"Cox Communications is dedicated to providing our customers with more choice and more local programming in Tulsa, said Bowen. "The partnership with KOTV is a unique opportunity for our customers to have the convenience of tuning into local news at any point in their day."
Court TV, which airs on Cox channel 53 in the rebuild areas of Tulsa, will move to channel 51 to make way for "News Now 53."