FIRST ON THE BLOG: WSAV is ready to follow WTOC by adding the area’s second weekend morning newscast in Savannah and Hilton Head… a.k.a, the Georgia Coastal Empire and the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Thanks to a tip by Jeremy and confirmation by WSAV 3 itself on their Facebook, WSAV 3 will add a weekend edition of WSAV News 3 Coastal Sunrise. The program will debut starting this weekend, April 4th and will air from 6:00-7:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m. on both weekend days. The 6:00 a.m. will compete against WTOC 11, the long-time market leader, but the 9:00 a.m. hour will be by themselves and will be the ONLY ones on at that time. We don’t know as to who will anchor the news, nor who will do the weather for the new broadcasts.
Looking for more weekend morning news? Then go to Savannah and Hilton Head because WSAV 3 is On Your Side. Watch out, WTOC 11!
Well… there are more newscasts scheduled to debut this week. We got three of them and all in the Central Time Zone.
Monday March 30th, 2015:
9:00-9:30 AM: WKRG News 5 This Morning at 9:00 a.m.
WKRG in Mobile – Pensacola. The station is returning to the 9:00 a.m. half-hour since it was discontinued in 2009, due to budget cutbacks at the station by Media General. WKRG 5 has already promised more newscasts are coming and with WFNA 55 being WKRG 5’s newest sister station, that may come true to its promise. Stay tuned to the blog as developments happen.
12:00-12:30 PM: KPRC Channel 2 News at Noon
KPRC in Houston. The station expands its midday news block to 90 minutes with a half-hour newscast at noon, able to compete against KHOU 11 and KRIV 26.
4:00-5:00 PM: CBS 58 News at 4:00
WDJT in Milwaukee. WDJT 58 is ready to compete against WTMJ 4 for hour-long local news at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. And with WTMJ 4 being owned by Scripps in the future, they may have to drop their hour-long 4:00 p.m. news for The NOW and making WDJT 58 as the ONLY station in Milwaukee for local news at 4:00 p.m. We’ll see how this goes. Also, WDJT 58 will also expand to Sunday mornings, that same weekend.
We’ll let you know of any other changes within these markets, as early as tomorrow. Stay tuned to The Changing Newscasts Blog.
UPDATE (as of 12:45 p.m. on 3/26/2015): MLive.com has now reported the story and has more details. WEYI 25 will produce a 30-minute newscast at 10:00 p.m. for WSMH 66, unlike an hour-long as we originally thought. Remember, with WNEM’s 10:00 p.m. move to My 5 on WNEM-DT 5.2, Charter Cable 199 and Comcast Cable 4, it will lose Satellite viewers, since it doesn’t carry My 5.
Al Blinke, WNEM 5’s Vice President and General Manager (from an edited quote by MLive.com):
“Viewers value and trust the TV5 news team at the 10:00 p.m. time slot and is confident they can adjust their nightly television watching routines. We know that cable penetration is in the upper 60s and our over-the-air antenna viewers are about 10 to 12 percent. It might take a little bit of time, but we know people like our 10:00 p.m. product.”
WEYI 25’s FOX 66 News at 10:00 will start as a half-hour program and then be evaluated before the possibly of expanding the program to a full hour again. No layoffs are expected from WNEM’s transition, since it would mostly just change channels and nothing else. WEYI 25 is adding 18 people to its news team, from anchors and reporters, to photographers, producers and technical and operations personnel.
According to WEYI 25, they are adding new technology for a better high-quality broadcast picture and they say that they are ready for new competition against WNEM 5.
Again, all these changes were made as Sinclair brought WEYI 25 from Barrington Broadcasting and has since partnered up WEYI 25 with WSMH 66, in which Sinclair has already owned for a few years now.
ORIGINAL POST (March 21st, 2015 at 2:37 p.m.)
FIRST ON THE BLOG: There are very huge changes that are coming to Mid-Michigan’s primetime news. And for the first time ever, there will be competition in the market.
First of all, WNEM 5 has been promoting viewers about an April 27th event with a Wheel of Fortune-type of puzzle. It provides an E in the first, third and fifth words out of the 6. Viewers have been puzzled about the “so-called” event and after talking to a few who live in Mid-Michigan, I can confirm to report that WNEM 5 is scheduled to end production of FOX 66 News at 10:00 on WSMH 66 on April 26th. But in its place, it will be a brand new primetime newscast produced by WEYI 25’s NBC 25 News team under the same name, FOX 66 News at 10:00. The newscast will remain an hour-long, every night. We are hearing reports that Bill Harris (who works at WEYI 25) and Jennifer Profitt (who started working at WEYI 25 back in March of 2015 as their consumer reporter) are scheduled to anchor the new 1-hour newscast on WSMH 66 on weeknights, but those are unconfirmed reports at this time. This change is happening due to WSMH 66 owned by Sinclair and WEYI 25 owned by Howard Stirk Holdings, but operated by Sinclair under a LMA. Again, WEYI 25 will produce the new hour-long newscast for WSMH 66.
But don’t worry about WNEM 5. They won’t be left off from a primetime newscast because through the “so called” April 27th event, WNEM 5 will launch My 5 News at 10:00. The brand new 1-hour newscast, seen on WNEM 5’s digital subchannel WNEM 5.2 and otherwise known as My 5, will be aired every night and be anchored by David Custer and Meg McLeod on weeknights. The new newscast will be produced by WNEM 5 and just moving the newscast from WSMH 66 to WNEM 5.2. So now, WNEM 5.2 will be home to the half-hour My 5 News at 7:00 on weeknights (the ONLY newscast on at that time) and the hour-long My 5 News at 10:00, every night.
Once these moves take place starting April 27th, WNEM 5.2’s My 5 News at 10:00 and WEYI 25 on WSMH 66’s FOX 66 News at 10:00 will be competing against each other for primetime news in Mid-Michigan for the first time ever in the market. Both are expected to be hour-long newscasts. If any other details change, we will surely let you know.
This is DMA #70 and having 2 primetime newscasts in Mid-Michigan will be twice as nice.
FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel at JSOnline.com): WDJT is not known to producing as much news as their competitors. However, they are ready to expand and expand in a big way.
According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which confirmed the news earlier this morning, WDJT 58 will add an hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast starting March 30th, titled CBS 58 News at 4:00. The new newscast will lead straight into CBS 58 News at 5:00 and will be anchored by WDJT veteran Michele McCormack and Bill Walsh. Michele will remain at 5:00 and both Michele and Bill will remain at 10:00 p.m. This new newscast will compete against WTMJ 4’s Today’s TMJ 4 News, LIVE at 4:00/4:30 for local news in that timeslot in Milwaukee. But this won’t be the ONLY expansion coming to WDJT 58…
… the station will also add a weekend morning newscast for the first time with an hour-long Sunday morning newscast at 7:00 a.m. with CBS 58 News Sunday Morning. This other new newscast, anchored by Mike Strehlow, will compliment CBS News Sunday Morning, which will follow at 8:00 a.m. and will compete against WITI 6’s FOX 6 Wakeup News at 7:00 a.m. and WISN 12’s WISN 12 News This Morning at 7:00 a.m. for Sunday morning news in that timeslot.
This comes after WDJT 58 finished third at 10:00 p.m. in the 2015 February sweeps ratings.
2015 February Sweeps Ratings in Milwaukee (total households):
WITI 6: FOX 6 News at 10:00 (6.7 rating)
WISN 12: WISN 12 News at 10:00 (5.6 rating; first half-hour as WISN 12 is also on at 10:30 p.m.)
WDJT 58: CBS 58 News at 10:00 (5.1 rating)
WTMJ 4: Today’s TMJ 4 News, LIVE at 10:00 (4.7 rating; first time in memory, according to JSOnline.com, that WTMJ 4 finished 4th at 10:00 p.m.)
So there you go, Milwaukee. And congrats to WDJT 58. The more news you add, the better. We wish you best of luck on the new newscasts.
FIRST ON THE BLOG: Tulsa is a very developing TV news market for sure. Just a few years ago, KJRH was considered as the ONLY TV station in Tulsa with a weekend morning newscast. It changed all that in 2014 when KOKI launched the weekend edition of FOX 23 News This Morning. And now in 2015, KOTV will do the same.
For the first time in KOTV 6’s history, KOTV 6 will launch a weekend edition of 6 in the Morning, Tulsa’s most popular morning newscast. The newscasts will launch on April 4th, 2015 and will air on Saturdays from 8:00-10:00 a.m. and on Sundays from 6:00-7:00 a.m. We don’t know yet as to who will anchor the news or who will handle the weather. What we do know is that this is long overdue and that KOTV 6 will finally offer 6 in the Morning, 7 days a week. And no, they won’t add additional hours on weekends on sister station KQCW 19, Tulsa’s CW.
This does become the third station in the market, after KJRH 2 and KOKI 23 to do so. KTUL 8 has yet to announce their plans for a weekend morning newscast. The 8:00-10:00 a.m. portion on Saturdays will compete against KJRH 2 and KOKI 23. The same can be said at 6:00 a.m. on Sundays as it will also compete with KJRH 2 and KOKI 23 in that timeslot. Unrelated to this, but this will move CBS This Morning: Saturday on KOTV 6 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. to 6:00-8:00 a.m. in order to accommodate the new weekend morning newscast on Saturdays.
It’s about time that KOTV 6 will launch a weekend morning newscast. Well deserved for Tulsa’s #1 news station.
FIRST ON THE BLOG: We have another small minor newscast change to report and it comes from the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry… a.k.a. Savannah and Hilton Head.
WSAV 3 has now expanded WSAV News 3 Coastal Sunrise to 4:30 a.m., becoming the third and the last station in the market to do so (after WTOC 11’s THE News at Daybreak was the first, then WJCL 22’s Good Morning Savannah was the second in 2014). WSAV News 3 Coastal Sunrise is anchored by Kim Gusby and Dave Kartunen (former WSVN-er and former WHDH-er).
Other than that, there are no major additions or expansions to report at this time.
Well well well… It looks like Sinclair is ready to make a transition to make WICS/WICD look more like one news station, instead of two. And that requires also shutting down one of the stations’ duopoly’s news departments. And WICD, will get that ax.
We are being told, according to VermillionCountyFirst.com and also according to FTVLive, that Sinclair has pink slipped a number of on-air and off-air staffers at WICD 15, the ABC station out of Champaign, IL that is a semi-satellite to WICS 20 in Springfield, IL. And because of that semi-satellite status, WICD will dump 95% of its locally produced newscasts and move them to WICS 20, starting next month in April. In other words, all newscasts seen on WICS 20 will also be seen on WICD 15. It will start airing “market-wide” newscasts, just like how WCSH 6 in Portland, ME and WLBZ 2 in Bangor, ME (NBC and Gannett) air state-wide newscasts in the mornings, middays, weeknights at 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. and weekends.
Just letting you know that I said 95% and that I didn’t count the other 5%. Why? Its because WICD 15 will be trading in the 95% for the 5% to start up a brand new one-hour 9:00 p.m. weeknight newscast on WRSP 55’s semi-satellite station WCCU 27. This new one-hour newscast will also start in April and will be produced out of WICD 15. WICS 20 will continue to produce the Springfield version of the news at 9:00 for WRSP 55 as well as the weekend editions at 9:00 on WRSP 55/WCCU 27 in both areas.
WCCU 27’s General Manager Rick Lipps:
“In addition to providing a high-quality 9:00 p.m. local newscast on FOX, we will be able to offer Champaign viewers the market’s highly-rated morning, evening and late newscasts – originating from WICS Springfield; the market’s award-winning ABC affiliate. This reallocation of news resources, from ABC to FOX, in Champaign, will allow us to create the best possible product in the increasingly important 9:00 p.m. timeslot for our viewers in Champaign.”
According to VermillionCountyFirst.com and FTVLive, some employees have been given 30-day termination notices and will only keep a few employees while the rest could either be retained by WICS 20 in Springfield or could be let go altogether. A news release says that the “reallocation of resources will require fewer staff members in Champaign and more news staffers in Springfield.”
Again to recap:
WICD 15 dumping 95% of locally-produce newscasts to WICS 20.
WICD 15 will produce and air a one-hour weeknight newscast at 9:00 p.m. on WCCU 27, starting in April.
The “market-wide” newscasts also start in April.
WICD 15 will become a “full-satellite” station now, since the news will be the exact same on WICS 20.
Way to go, WICD 15! Just for that, you will lose alot of viewers now. Good riddance. Enjoy the advantage, WCIA 3!
(PS, 95% is just an estimate for me. Only WICD 15 currently produces weekday newscasts. I thought of my estimate, based on the dumping of all locally-produced weekday newscasts on WICD 15 mixed in with the new 9:00 p.m. newscast that WICD 15 will produce for WCCU 27, since it will be an hour-long on weeknights.)