A huge shakeup is coming to TV news in Erie and it involves WICU and WSEE.

WICU-TV 12 and WSEE-DT 35.3 / Erie, PA (“WICU 12”)
WSEE-TV 35 and WICU-DT 12.3 / Erie, PA (“WSEE”)

FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than The Erie Times-News at GoErie.com): A very huge shakeup is coming to television news in Northwest Pennsylvania (Erie) and it involves one of the two duopolies in the market, WICU and WSEE.

According to The Erie Times-News, starting Monday October 12th, 2015, WICU 12 and WSEE 35 (WSEE 35 is owned by Lilly Broadcasting while WICU 12 is a sister station under a SSA) will combine its already similar news operations into one and become Erie News NOW from the separate 12 News on WICU 12 (NBC) and SEE News on WSEE 35 (CBS/CW). Also starting on that day, it will no longer air separate 6:00 a.m., 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts on weekdays as it will merge into one. WICU 12 and WSEE 35 will now simulcast the 6:00 a.m., 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. weekday newscasts as one. The stations have done this on weekend news for a few years as Weekends NOW.

Amanda Post, Mike Ruzzi and First Warning Weather with Chief Meteorologist Geoff Cornish will anchor the NEW Erie News NOW at 6:00 and 11:00 on weeknights. WICU 12 will retain their separate 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts while WSEE 35 will retain their 10:00 p.m. half-hour newscast for WSEE-DT 35.2, otherwise known as Northwest Pennsylvania’s CW 3.

The morning newscast will also become one as WICU 12 will air an exclusive hour at 5:00 a.m., Erie News NOW Sunrise at 5:00 a.m. on WICU 12, while Erie News NOW Sunrise at 6:00 a.m. will be seen on both WICU 12 and WSEE 35. The morning newscast will be anchored by Mark Soliday, Kara Coleman and First Warning Weather from Meteorologist Katie McGraw.

Lilly Broadcasting’s Executive V.P., John Christianson, in a statement obtained by The Erie Times-News, said that three years of research, holding focus groups, calling viewers about their news products and seeking help of consultants, is what led to the decision.

“The research showed that we were pulling ourselves too thin. We will now take our resources and serve the viewers better. The perception in the public is that they were seeing the same (broadcast), just with a different presenter delivering it. This is a great opportunity for us that we believe will be well-received.”

Christianson also said that this is not a “cost-cutting move.”

“It’s truly a way for us to cover the local newscape better. This will give our reporters more time to optimize things and give us a larger range when we’re covering stories.”

Also… for, what Christianson calls it as, the first time in Northwest Pennsylvania TV news history, WICU 12 will be adding a weekend morning newscast, starting Saturday October 17th, 2015. The weekend edition of Erie News NOW Sunrise will air exclusively on WICU 12 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on both weekend days. This means that the new newscast on Saturdays will air after a LIVE hour of Today at 7:00 a.m. and a pre-recorded hour at 9:00 a.m. On Sundays, Today will air at 9:00 a.m. after the weekend morning newscast.

They will have Eva Mastromatteo (formerly from WBRE 28; NBC in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), First Warning Weather from Meteorologist Julie Coates and a LIVE morning reporter, yet to be determined, for the new weekend morning newscast.

So in the end, this is how the new news operation will look like:

  • Weekdays:
    • 5:00-6:00 AM: Erie News NOW Sunrise at 5:00 a.m. (12.1 – NBC and 12.2/35.2 – The CW)
    • 6:00-7:00 AM: Erie News NOW Sunrise at 6:00 a.m. (12.1 – NBC and 35.1 – CBS)
    • 12:00-12:30 PM: Erie News NOW at Noon (35.1 – CBS)
    • 12:30-1:00 PM: Erie News NOW at 12:30 (12.1 – NBC and 12.2/35.2 – The CW)
    • 5:00-5:30 PM: Erie News NOW at 5:00 (12.1 – NBC)
    • 5:30-6:00 PM: Erie News NOW at 5:30 (12.1 – NBC)
    • 6:00-6:30 PM: Erie News NOW at 6:00 (12.1 – NBC and 35.1 – CBS)
    • 10:00-10:30 PM: Erie News NOW at 10:00 on Northwest Pennsylvania’s CW 3 (12.2/35.2 – The CW)
    • 11:00-11:35 PM: Erie News NOW at 11:00 (12.1 – NBC and 35.1 – CBS)
  • Weekends:
    • 6:00-6:30 PM: Erie News NOW at 6:00 (12.1 – NBC and 35.1 – CBS)
    • 11:00-11:35 PM: Erie News NOW at 11:00 (12.1 – NBC and 35.1 – CBS)

This is truly history in the making in Northwest Pennsylvania and it all begins Monday October 12th, 2015 on WICU 12 and WSEE 35. This is exciting for sure.

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9 thoughts on “A huge shakeup is coming to TV news in Erie and it involves WICU and WSEE.

  1. This is not entirely accurate. Two news operations are not merging; Lilly Broadcasting has operated one news operation since June 2009. Instead, the news brands are being consolidated into one (WICU 12News and SEE News merge to become Erie News Now). Both have been sharing talent and content ever since, so there was never really any difference. Even some of the graphics matched.

    In addition, the 5 a.m. edition is not exclusive; it also airs on the CW. The noon news also runs on the CW, as of this month. The only news that will be broadcast on a single station at one time is the weekday 5 – 6 p.m. on WICU 12, 10 p.m. on the CW, and weekend 8-9 a.m. on WICU 12. Weekend 6 and 11 p.m. news may sometimes run only on one station, if sports or other events pre-empt the broadcast.

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    • Well I knew that, but I was thinking of the viewers and they have always seen it as separate news operations.

      You live in Erie? Because I didn’t know about the Noon news also now being on “Northeast Pennsylvania’s CW 3.” I knew the 12:30pm News being there, but not the 12:00pm Noon news as well.

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