WFTV has expanded the WRDQ 10:00 p.m. news to an hour.

WRDQ 27 / Orlando (“Central Florida’s TV 27”)
WFTV 9 / Orlando (“WFTV Channel 9”)

I love Orlando. It’s one of my favorite places to visit. It’s also home to my favorite TV market. Hearing this news today was exciting because obviously… WFTV 9 is #1 in that market and it involves their Independent sister station, WRDQ 27.

Starting on September 15th (this past Monday), WFTV 9 expanded the 10:00 p.m. weeknight newscast on WRDQ 27 (Eyewitness News at 10:00 on Central Florida’s TV 27) to an hour-long newscast. The newscast is anchored by Nancy Alvarez and Jorge Estevez, the first Hispanic team to anchor a weeknight English-language newscast (in this case, the 10:00 p.m. newscast on WRDQ 27) in Orlando TV history. They expanded the newscast by adding a new half-hour at 10:30 p.m., in which TV listings call it as Eyewitness News at 10:30 on Central Florida’s TV 27Right This Minute, which used to air at 10:35 p.m., is now shown at 11:00 p.m. and is being put up against WESH 2, WKMG 6, WOFL 35 and even their sister station WFTV 9 at that timeslot. The expansion at 10:00 p.m. signals a change in the market and for a very good reason…

… in the August ratings for the 25-54 demo, WRDQ 27 and WOFL 35, the long-time leader at 10:00 p.m., were deadlocked in the ratings race, proving that WRDQ 27 has what it takes to be successful at 10:00 p.m., without an affiliation. This will also prove that WFTV 9 will remain #1 in their news ratings with their long-time dominance in the market as Channel 9 Eyewitness News. We’ll find out how good WRDQ 27 is, 1 or even 2 months after expanding the 10:00 p.m. weeknight newscast to an hour.

This only affects weeknights as weekends are a different story. On Saturdays, the 10:00 p.m. newscast remains a half-hour, but it now follows a sports show at 10:35 p.m. On Sundays however, it’s just the 10:00 p.m. newscast and it’s followed by Everybody Loves Raymond.

Oh! Btw, WRDQ 27 has recently added Friday Football Night at 11:35 p.m. (after RTM at 11:00 p.m.) from WFTV 9, which for many years has showcased local high school football games with scores, news and analysis. Apparently it’s done so that WFTV 9 can finally air Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! in pattern on Friday nights.

I love Orlando. My favorite TV market in America. And to WOFL 35, good luck now. WRDQ 27 is ready for YOU!

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