UPDATE (as of 1:25 p.m. on April 1st, 2015): Today, I received confirmation from WUSA 9 that in fact, they are adding a weekend morning newscast. The new newscasts will air on Saturdays from 7:00-8:00 a.m., right before CBS This Morning: Saturday at 8:00 a.m. and E/I programming at 10:00 a.m. and on Sundays from 7:00-8:30 a.m., right before WUSA 9’s public affairs show Capital Download at 8:30 a.m., then followed by CBS News Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m. and Face the Nation at 10:30 a.m.
This will be the second time that WUSA 9 has done a weekend morning newscast. The original was cut a few years back, due to recession and economy problems. WUSA 9 becomes the third station in the DC market (fourth if you count Hagerstown, MD’s WHAG 25) for weekend morning news (after WRC 4 and WTTG 5).
ORIGINAL POST (from March 13th, 2015):
WUSA was the dominant news station in D.C. for a long-time. But its been a decade since WRC took the lead away from WUSA and it went bad news from there. But maybe this news will shine a light on WUSA and possibly continue to be better than WJLA.
According to FTVLive, WUSA 9 is ready to add weekend morning newscasts starting April 11th. Bill Lord, former GM of WJLA 7 and current news director of WUSA 9, mentioned in a memo, the changes that will take place within WUSA 9’s news department and all because of the new launch of the weekend morning newscasts that will take place. There is no word as to what will the times be for the new newscast on both Saturdays and Sundays. However, Bill Lord did mention the new assignments for several of the station’s on-air staff and according to an e-mail obtained from FTVLive, it includes the following:
- James Hallman is assigned to be executive producer of Weekend Morning News in addition to his Monday-Friday EP role.
- Mike Hydeck is assigned to weekend morning news anchor. He will work three days a week on the Monday-Friday morning news (4:30-7:00 a.m.) in a sub-anchor role and will be a noon anchor (12:00-12:30 p.m.) on a schedule TBA.
- Erica Grow is assigned as a co-host and weather anchor for weekend morning news. She will also have weekday morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and noon (12:00-12:30 p.m.) weather responsibilities on a schedule TBA.
- Nick Giovanni is assigned as the weekday morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) co-anchor with Andrea Roane.
- Allyson Rae is assigned as the primary weather person on weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.).
- Surae Chinn is assigned as the early reporter of weekend morning news.
- Howard Bernstein is assigned as the weather person on the weekend evening news (Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.). He will also do noon (12:00-12:30 p.m.) and backup weather assignments and report on science issues from time to time.
- Debra Alfarone is assigned as the weekend evening co-anchor (Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30 and weekends at 11:00 p.m.) with Bruce Johnson.
Again, the new weekend morning newscast launches April 11th. This will become the third local station in the D.C. market to air a weekend morning newscast after WRC 4 was the first to do so and then WTTG 5. If you watch WHAG 25, the NBC affiliate out of Hagerstown, MD that is owned by Nexstar and partly serves the D.C. market, then you can count it as the fourth station since it also does weekend morning news. This leaves WJLA 7 in the dust.
Will you appreciate WUSA 9 more now? Well… let’s see if viewers will like the new weekend morning news. Once the times are released for the new newscasts, we will surely let you know on The Changing Newscasts Blog.