“Alexa, what’s the news?”
If you live in Cleveland, Nashville, or West Palm Beach, Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant will turn to the local newsrooms of Channel 5, respectively.
That’s thanks to a deal that makes The E.W. Scripps Co. one of the first to launch its local TV news brands on all Alexa-enabled devices including the Amazon Echo, joining CNN, NPR and Scripps’ Newsy national news network in having news from 23 Scripps local TV markets being made available via the increasingly popular smart home device.
Rather than giving a full local newscast, however, Scripps is providing what it calls a “Flash Briefing” via the Alexa-powered devices. These feature top local news headlines, updated throughout the day.
Local news headlines in Flash Briefing from Scripps stations can be enabled in the Skill Store of the Alexa app or on amazon.com. Once enabled, users can ask “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing?” In response, Alexa will deliver audio of the latest headline news from the selected Scripps market.
Scripps’ broadcast TV stations are located in Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Bakersfield and San Diego, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fort Myers-Naples, and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Boise, Idaho; Indianapolis, Ind.; Detroit and Lansing, Mich.; Baltimore, Md.; Kansas City, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Milwaukee, Wisc.
“Through our broadcast, web and mobile products, and now through virtual assistants, our local TV stations are committed to delivering news in all the places where consumers are engaged,” said Scripps SVP/Broadcast Brian Lawlor. “As connected devices surge in popularity, our stations are tailoring their news and information to those platforms in order to deliver it into the home.”
The expansion to Alexa comes after Scripps launched Roku channels for each of its TV brands.