An expansion and a discontinuation to report. First, as the title suggests, the expansion.
Starting Monday September 21st, 2015, WDRB 41 will be expanding its midday news block to an hour, by adding a half-hour local newscast at 12:00 Noon with WDRB News at Noon. This will be the first time that WDRB 41’s midday news has been expanded to an hour, somewhat, since the midday newscast premiered in 1998.
WDRB 41’s V.P. Director of News, Barry Fulmer:
“In recent years, WDRB has concentrated on the expansion of our early evening news coverage with the introduction of WDRB News at 6:00 and WDRB Local Evening News at 6:30. But we feel that now is the right time to concentrate on better serving our already-large midday news audience with more complete and comprehensive coverage. Important things happen on a 24-hour cycle here in the Louisville area, and we believe that a full-hour at midday will offer a much more informative bridge between our morning and evening programs.”
From TVNewsCheck, according to the station, in recent months, ratings for WDRB News at 11:30 have jumped and the station showed the largest number of midday news viewers aged 25-54 in the most recent Nielsen May sweeps period.
WDRB 41’s V.P. and G.M. Bill Lamb:
“With this move, WDRB adds to its market lead in terms of daily hours of local news. But quality will always be more important to us than quantity. Fortunately, the addition of so many talented news professionals to our staff over the past few years has increased our ability to take on new challenges without compromising our standards, and this new noon newscast is simply the latest example of that.”
WDRB News at Noon will compete against the first half-hour of both WHAS 11 (ABC)’s WHAS 11 News at Noon and WLKY 32 (CBS)’s WLKY News at Noon.
However, TVNewsCheck didn’t mention that after Friday September 18th, 2015, WDRB 41 will no longer produce and air a half-hour weeknight 7:00 p.m. newscast for sister station through LMA, WBKI 34 (CW). WDRB Evening News at 7:00 on WBKI-TV will be swapped for WDRB 41’s new midday half-hour newscast at 12:00 Noon. The newscast competed against WAVE 3 (NBC)’s WAVE 3 News at 7:00, but with WAVE 3’s 7:00 p.m. newscast being an hour, it more likely hurt WDRB 41’s 7:00 p.m. newscast and therefore, is being canceled.
Swapping a discontinuation for an expansion, sounds okay to me.