Rockcastle Media Networks has announced plans to start a new Nebraska Radio Network starting Monday.

A small Kansas City-based radio network has announced plans to launch a new statewide radio news network in Nebraska.

Rockcastle Media Networks said this week it has created a new division, Rockcastle Regional Networks, and will launch the Nebraska Radio Network on Monday.

The announcement comes after Learfield Communications shuttered its Nebraska Radio Network on Tuesday after more than 18 years in business. A Learfield spokeswoman said the network was shut down because of financial underperformance.

“When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news,” Rockcastle Media Networks President and CEO Will Sterrett said in a news release. “We’re excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.”

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Sterrett has worked in radio in a number of cities, including Omaha.

Rockcastle said its first news broadcasts will be available for radio stations to download via FTP server Monday.

Karen Emerick, vice president of affiliate relations for Rockcastle, said the news content initially will be generated out of the company's home studio, but she said over time, as the company brings on affiliate stations, it may re-evaluate and consider using Nebraska-based freelancers or even opening an office in the state.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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