UPDATE (as of 10:50am on 4/13/2015): I have just been confirmed by WBTW’s Facebook page and also by their Vice President and General Manager, Randy Ingram, that WBTW 13 will be adding a weekday morning 4:30 a.m. newscast as well as an hour-long morning newscast from 9:00-10:00 a.m. titled News 13 NOW. They waited for approval from CBS to make these changes and they have finally done so, this past Friday, according to the e-mail I received. Both the 4:30 and 9:00 a.m. morning newscasts will launch on the same day, Monday April 20th, 2015, unlike what I reported on earlier.
Libba Holland (who will move from the 5:00-7:00 a.m. shift) and Brandon Herring (who joins the 9:00 a.m. shift and WBTW 13 from sister station WNCN 17 in Raleigh) will anchor the new hour-long morning newscast. StormTracker 13 Weather with Meteorologist Erin Moran will do the weather, a few days in the week while other meteorologists will rotate for the rest of the week. WBTW 13 is still tinkering out with the weather for the 9:00 a.m. newscast. Meanwhile, I just received an e-mail saying that they plan to have Rusty Ray and StormTracker 13 Weather with Meteorologist James Hopkins for the new 4:30 a.m. newscast, which will be the ONLY local morning newscast up at 4:30 a.m. because the others (WPDE 15 and WMBF 32) will still start at 5:00 a.m.
ORIGINAL POST (Sunday April 12th, 2015 at 3:58 p.m.)
FIRST ON THE BLOG: If you live in the South Carolina Pee-Dee or around Myrtle Beach or Florence, you are getting another boost of weekday morning news… AGAIN and thanks to WBTW… AGAIN. Jeremy sent me a tip on WBTW and checked TV listings to confirm and was confirmed to me by WBTW via their Facebook page and here’s what it is.
Starting Tuesday April 21st, WBTW 13 will add a half-hour morning newscast at 4:30 a.m., expanding WBTW News 13 This Morning to a 2-and-1/2-hour weekday morning newscast. This will become the ONLY newscast to start at that time, since WPDE 15 and WMBF 32 will still start at 5:00 a.m. But this ain’t the ONLY expansion WBTW 13 is making…
… It looks like WBTW 13 will also add an hour-long weekday morning newscast at 9:00 a.m. called News 13 NOW, starting Monday April 20th. The newscast would replace The Doctors (which is currently in that timeslot) and it would become the ONLY local morning newscast at 9:00 a.m. since WPDE 15 will still show Rachael Ray while WMBF 32 would still show The Today Show or A.K.A. Today’s Take, as it’s called by NBC News for the 9:00 a.m. hour. The program would be shown after CBS This Morning.
It has been an explosion of morning news expansions for WBTW 13 since 2011 when they launched the FOX Morning News on WFXB 43 from 7:00-8:00 a.m. and has since expanded to the 8:00 a.m. hour in 2013. In 2012, WBTW 13 added the area’s first weekend morning newscast at 8:00 a.m. and since then, WPDE 15 and WMBF 32 have followed suit. And now in 2015, WBTW 13 will be expanding to 4:30 a.m. and to 9:00 a.m.
How about 5 and a half hours of weekday morning news in Myrtle Beach and Florence, huh? They only had up to two hours in 2010! Shows you how much times have changed in the market and WBTW 13 is growing in a BIG way.