Ocean 7, the new television station in Ocean Springs, is now carrying 24/7 international news from Paris on one of its sub-channels, and the response has been good.
Owner Edward Saint Pe’ told the Sun Herald the station now offers news from France 24, sort of France’s BBC, 24 hours a day over the air to anyone with an antenna along the Coast.
“It’s a niche that’s out there we’re filling,” he said. “No one else is doing it.”
It’s a step in growing the new local station.
“Ours is the only over-the-air for free, international news 24/7,” he said. He’s calling it NewsCoast 24.
The feed comes in from Paris in English, he said. France 24 covers all the major international stories, and its reporters were live at the Berlin market bombing for days.
“Usually you have to have a paid product, like cable or Direct TV, to get 24/7 news,” he said.
Ocean 7 is running the 24-hour news on its sub-channel 7.2.
It can also bee seen on the main channel, 7.1, in 30-minute intervals during the morning, at noon and in the early evening. The main channel in over-the-air for free as well, but also can be found on Cable One channel 1007 and on AT&T U-verse channel 7.
The 7.1 channel broadcasts Antennae TV Network programming that includes 1970s sitcoms during the day and Johnny Carson, which airs weeknights at 10 p.m. and weekends at 9 p.m.
Saint Pe’ plans to broaden that primary channel to make it more local, with talk shows and possibly Coast features.
But in the meantime, international news is on hand for anyone with an antenna.
He has gotten calls from Gulfport to Grand Bay, Alabama, from mostly older men who like the free option. But it’s out there for everyone.
The station is located at 1018 Government St., in the old Riley & Riley Photography building Saint Pe’ bought last year. He also bought WKFK in Pascagoula and moved it to the Ocean Springs studio.
Then he moved part of his successful company in Jackson to the downtown studio. That business produces on-the-air weather reports for television stations around the country that don’t have their own meteorologists. Saint Pe’ has five employees producing weather reports for 30 television stations, using blue screens in Ocean Springs.
A fiber system at the station sends feeds to a transmitter in Vancleave that then shoots the signal across the Coast.