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Say goodbye to XTRA!

September 22, 1996

By Jim Kershner
The Spokesman-Review

KXLY is pulling the plug on XTRA!, the station’s cable channel on Cox Cable 14, as of Jan. 1.

This local cable experiment began in March 1994, when it was called KXLY Extra! The concept went something like this: KXLY could provide breaking news, sports and other community programming without cutting into the network fare on its mother station, KXLY- 4.

It was a nice try, but the station never generated sufficient ad revenue. Stephen Herling, KXLY vice president and general manager, said the station was forced to subsidize XTRA! from the beginning.

As for content, XTRA! never quite achieved its potential. It was most valuable on election nights (it was the best place to find early returns) and for local sports. XTRA! aired some of the Spokane Chiefs’ playoff games live.

But most of the time, the content was less than scintillating. Much of the day was spent in simulcasts of KXLY-AM’s radio call-in shows. For sheer visual excitement, there’s nothing like watching a radio host stare into a microphone. Those talk show simulcasts, by the way, are already being phased out as of this week.

Sunday, September, 22, 1996

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