WUSA is ready to add weekend morning news…

WUSA 9 / Washington, D.C. (“WUSA 9”)

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.

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13 thoughts on “WUSA is ready to add weekend morning news…

  1. WJLA has had weekend morning newscasts on and off. Most recently a couple years back, but as of right now there cable sister station NC8 airs a couple hours of news on the weekend mornings. I think they might also do the cut-ins for 7 during GMA Weekend. Not 100% sure on that though.

    WJLA’s last weekend morning news aired after WUSA took there’s off. Until WTTG expanded their weekend morning newscast to both days, WRC was the only option on Saturday mornings for a good few years. WUSA’s last weekend morning news did air both days though.

    Love the blog!

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    • Oh well okay. So there was some serious weekend morning cutbacks in most stations. Glad that WUSA 9 is doing it once again.

      And thank you for the love for our blog! Be sure to follow us for our posts and also submit any tips if you see any. Thank you again for your support to The Changing Newscasts Blog. 🙂

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  2. WUSA 9 has seen better days… especially during its days as WTOP and WDVM. With the station recently hiring former WJLA news director Bill Lord, it would remain to be seen if the station can become competitive again. WUSA bringing back weekend morning newscasts after 6-year hiatus is a move in the right direction. Another story would be the long-term future of daily 7PM newscast, and whether the station is looking to add a pay-to-play local show similar to other Gannett stations. Also hoping for WUSA to get a new set and maybe bring back “Eyewitness News” name.

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    • This is what I hope… I hope that the station becomes competitive again, that they keep the 7:00 p.m. newscast and that they don’t add a pay-to-play local show. I don’t think WUSA has the qualities for that kind of show.

      If they bring back the “9 Eyewitness News” name, then the station WILL become competitive once again. And I will like that change. 🙂

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  3. WUSA-TV over 20 years ago use to have local news outside of CBS network daytime programming. In the early 90’s WUSA-TV use to have an hour long 10:00am morning newscast and a 3 hour local evening news block that started at 4:00pm. WUSA-TV was the first TV station in the DC market to have a 4:00pm newscast before they became common across the Grand United States of America. I like to look at old TV listings from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s to see what time the local newscasts were on across the country in those days. In the early 90’s WUSA-TV was the only TV station in the Washington DC market to have a noon newscast. In the early 90’s there was only one TV station out of the 4 TV stations in the DC market to have noon news and WUSA-TV was one of them for the size of that market back then. In the early 90’s WUSA-TV 9 was the TV station in Washington DC to have the most hours of local news. But through out the years WUSA-TV started scaling back its local news. I think in 2000 or 2001 WUSA-TV cancelled its 4:00pm newscast and a few years later cancelled its mid morning newscast at 9:00am. Another TV station back in the early 90’s that had local news in unusual time slots outside of daytime network programming was KCNC-TV in Denver back in the early 90’s KCNC had local newscasts at both 9:00am and 10:00am, an hour long noon newscast and an hour long 4:00pm newscast. KCNC-TV also from the early 2000’s to today have cutback local newscasts like WUSA did. KCNC-TV cancelled its 9:00am and 10:00am morning newscasts in the early 2000’s cut back its noon news from one hour to 30 minutes when its switched to CBS and in 2005 or 2006 canned its 4:00pm newscast. The TV station today that have local news outside of daytime network programming are WTMJ-TV 4 in Milwaukee with a 9:00am and 3:00pm newscast. I know KSNV NBC 3 in Begas was going to start a news model like WUSA and KCNC in the early 90’s had and what today WTMJ-TV has until they got bought out by Sinclair. Pretty soon WJLA also owned by Sinclair might get weekend morning news. It was a race to see if WUSA or WJLA would be the next TV station in the DC market to start weekend morning news.

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    • Hmm… interesting viewpoint. WTMJ doesn’t have a 9:00 a.m. newscast. They air “The Morning Blend” instead, their pay-to-play program. Nobody in Milwaukee airs local news at 9:00 a.m.

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  4. I will miss the morning team of Andrea Roane, Mike Hydeck and Howard Bernstein. As a team they were the reason I watched channel 9 weekday mornings. Thank you for your blog. It explained what was going on at WUSA.

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  5. Sorry for asking, didn’t realize it was off limits. The blog addressed the roles of the new lineup, listing Howard Bernstein’s new role. NJ mentioned the great team of Andrea, Mike, and Howard would be missed. I share that sentiment. Glad to see another attempt at weekend news coverage but hadn’t seen Howard Bernstein in a while. Hope all is well. He was a great part of the team.

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  6. I miss the old WUSA morning news and weather team lineup. Mike, Howard, and Andrea were the reasons I stuck with WUSA for news each morning. Knowing Mike is doing the weekend news, I get up early just to see him and I’ve seen Howard at random times. The new morning team is okay but I greatly miss the old team.

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