Newsworld, Pixelboard target rush-hour drivers

The pixelboard Network and CBC Newsworld have launched a joint venture that will bring eight-second bursts of the latest news to motorists in Toronto and Hamilton.10 boardsStuart Brandy, executive vice-president of Toronto-based Pixelboard, says there are 10 Pixelboard 'faces' being used...

The pixelboard Network and CBC Newsworld have launched a joint venture that will bring eight-second bursts of the latest news to motorists in Toronto and Hamilton.

10 boards

Stuart Brandy, executive vice-president of Toronto-based Pixelboard, says there are 10 Pixelboard ‘faces’ being used for the three-month test.

Eight of them are in downtown Toronto, and the other two in downtown Hamilton.

Four of the faces are on the Gardiner Expressway, a major east-west artery in Toronto; two of them are on Yonge St., the city’s main north-south axis; one is on Dundas St., an important east-west thoroughfare; and the last is on Bloor St., which runs east-west into the heart of downtown.

The two faces in Hamilton are on the city’s main thoroughfares, King St. and Main St.

After the three-month test, which began July 11, the Newsworld service will be rolled out nationally.

Computer-controlled network

Pixelboard is a computer-controlled network of outdoor electronic boards stretching from Vancouver to Moncton, n.b.

Brandy says the news on Pixelboard is text only, although the advertising on the boards will use graphics.

So far, he says Pixelboard has spoken to banks, food stores, car companies and courier firms, among others, about advertising.

Expressed interest

He says a number of companies have expressed interest, but discussions are still at the ‘no names’ stage.

Brandy says the Newsworld service is an addition to the network’s usual fare of time and temperature and advertising, rather than a replacement for it.

Pixelboard’s news service will run 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

News headlines will appear about 400 times a day, running once in every two-minute cycle of Pixelboard programming.

Brandy says Newsworld staff will fax news items to Pixelboard’s Toronto office where his company staff will edit it for display on the Pixelboard Network.

Urgent news bulletins will break into regular programming.

Brandy says every 24 hours there are 600,000 potential viewers of the Newsworld boards.

According to Michael Harris, head of Newsworld, the Pixelboard project is a logical extension of Newsworld’s service and a constant reminder the cbc cable channel is the place to turn for breaking news.