FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than The Quad Cities Times at QCTimes.com): WHBF is not well known in the Quad Cities, because they are in 3rd place, but on September 14th, they will add another newscast that will surprise the industry. And surprise indeed because of what WHBF was doing at this time, 4 years ago.
Thanks to Nexstar’s efforts for relaunching WHBF 4 as Local 4, in 2015, WHBF 4 is broadcasting 3 and 1/2 hours of local weekday news, unlike 2011 when WHBF 4 was just doing 1 hour of local news, per day. And now on September 14th, even more local news.
Starting that day, Monday September 14th, 2015, WHBF 4 will add a half-hour weekday 4:00 p.m. newscast, obviously called, Local 4 News at 4:00. The new newscast will be anchored by WHBF 4 veteran Jim Niedelman and barely newcomer Tiffany Lundberg (who came from WKBW 7 in Buffalo, where she was a part of the very ill-fated and very low-rated Good Morning newscast), who joined the station in March 2015 to relaunch the station as Local 4.
The new half-hour newscast will compete against long-time leader KWQC 6 (NBC)’s already-established KWQC-TV 6 News at 4:00 (started in Fall 2011) for local news in that timeslot in the area. WQAD 8 (ABC) will continue to start their early-evening newscasts at 5:00 p.m.
GM of WHBF 4, Marshall Porter:
“The current 5:00 p.m. news will look a lot like the future 4:00 (p.m. newscast). It’ll be lighter fare (with) more live interviews. It’ll definitely have a less hard news flair to it. We were looking at another local program and we decided given the timing with everything going on that the best thing would be to add a 4:00 o’clock now with some more expansion later on.”
(PS, that last part of that statement sounds good to me, sounding like more future newscasts are coming to WHBF 4 in the soon-to-near future.)
He went on to say, according to a statement provided by The Quad Cities Times, that the 5:00 p.m. edition would transition to more of a hard newscast and that plans for a 4:00 p.m. newscast at WHBF 4 started rolling around earlier this summer. He said that during the May 2015 ratings, the first period since the Local 4 change, viewership went up. Porter also went on to say this:
“There’s clear improvement and there’s a long way to go, but I’m heartened by what I’ve seen thus far.”
With this new addition, Dr. Oz will move an hour earlier to 3:00 p.m. while Inside Edition will move 90 minutes later to 4:30 p.m., which will bridge the gap between WHBF 4’s 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. newscasts.
What WHBF 4 is doing right now, is keeping me interested and intrigued as to what the station may do next.