If you like one other station than WXIA in particular, then this is good news for you. If you like the Atlanta TV market in general, then this is so-so news for you. If you only like WXIA, then this is bad news for you.
Starting March 2nd, WXIA 11 will add an hour-long 5:00 p.m. newscast called 11 Alive News at 5:00, starring long-time WXIA 11 veteran (and long-time Atlanta TV veteran) Brenda Wood and DeMarco Morgan (who used to work in my home market at WTVJ 6). This will replace Dr. Phil who will then have new episodes shown at 3:00 instead of 5:00 p.m. (the new ones were shown at 5:00 while repeats were on at 3:00. Starting March 2nd, the repeats move to WATL 36, The ATL TV at 6:00 p.m.) And this addition will make WXIA 11, the last station in the market to air news at 5:00 p.m. However, this does bring bad news…
… On February 27th, 11 Alive News at Noon and The Daily 11 at 7:00 with Brenda Wood will end. The half-hour newscasts will be replaced to make way for the new 5:00 p.m. newscast and for some other programming. At midday, the noon newscast will be replaced by an extension of WXIA 11’s daytime talk/”pay for play” program Atlanta and Company, in which it will now run from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and hosted by Christine Pullara. In its place at 12:30 p.m., where the program had its own spin-off, will be an encore daytime episode of Jeopardy! The newscast will be replaced by Wheel of Fortune!, creating another WOF-J! hour in another market, from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
WXIA 11 canceled the 5:00 p.m. newscast in March of 2003 for Dr. Phil. Over on WATL 36, WOF at 7:00 p.m. will be replaced by The Andy Griffith Show while a rerun of Dr. Phil at 6:00 p.m. will replace Extra and a repeat of Jeopardy!
About the changes in WXIA 11’s news operation, John Deushane who is WXIA 11’s General Manager:
“Fewer people are watching local news in the middle of the day so they are transferring their efforts during that time frame online.”
He also said this about The Andy Griffith Show on WATL 36:
“This show never seems to get old, especially in the South.”
Bad timing and good timing indeed for WXIA 11. I’m not sure which side you fall under for this one.