FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than TVNewsTalk): WPHL is gonna make a return to news. Well, not really out-sourced news, but in-house news. That’s right. WPHL is ready to produce the news, themselves.
Starting this upcoming Monday, March 9th, WPHL 17 will add a half-hour morning newscast at 5:30 a.m., called the PHL 17 Morning News. The half-hour newscast will feature the latest news, weather and traffic before the program heads over to the Tribune-produced program called EyeOpener at 6:00 a.m. That program is produced out of Dallas with localized-based segments for news, weather and traffic. This new half-hour morning newscast is definitely a return to in-house produced newscasts for WPHL 17 for the first time in almost a decade.
WPHL 17 started producing news at 10:00 p.m. in 1994 under Inquirer News TONIGHT, with a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Center City Philadelphia’s top newspaper. In 1996, WPHL 17 took full control of the newscast and started airing WB 17 News at 10:00 in it’s place. The name was changed to Philadelphia’s WB 17 News at 10:00 in 2000 before going back to the name before it in 2003. In 2005, the station announced that it would shut-down its news department and broadcast news outsourced.
December 10th, 2005 marked the debuted of WB 17 News at 10:00, Powered by NBC 10, with a news-sharing agreement with WCAU 10. Names have changed from myPHL 17 News at 10:00 in 2006, when the station received the MyNetwork TV affilation after the WB folded, to PHL 17 News at 10:00 in 2010. All of this while still being produced by WCAU 10 and it was a half-hour newscast.
It wasn’t until 2012 when the station changed agreements and started airing Action News at 10:00 on PHL 17, with an agreement from WPVI 6. This agreement was actually more successful because it expanded to an hour in 2014, unlike the WPHL 17-WCAU 10 agreement and unlike that one, which never had a dent in the ratings at 10:00 p.m., the WPVI 6-produced version of the 10:00 p.m. newscast has had monumental success. So much so that in some instances, it has dethroned long-time leader at 10:00 p.m., WTXF 29, in the ratings and continues to be successful.
This new half-hour newscast will be Independent from BOTH EyeOpener and Action News at 10:00 and both programs will remain in the same timeslots, 6:00-8:00 a.m. and 10:00-11:00 p.m., respectively. The only other program that WPHL 17 produces is a public affairs program called PHL 17 In Focus, which is seen on Saturday mornings at 6:30 and 11:30 a.m. The new half-hour morning newscast will compete with KYW 3, WPVI 6, WCAU 10, WTXF 29 and WFMZ 69 for morning news in that timeslot.
Congrats WPHL 17, your now back in the news game. At least try to survive, this time.