RUMORS ONLY: FTVLive (awesome site, btw! Scott Jones does an unbelievable job with that site. Its amazing and recommended under my Links tab) got a scoop on this story earlier today and I’ll be posting it, but as rumors only as nothing’s been confirmed by local stations as of yet.
According to FTVLive, some NBC O&O’s are thinking of the possibility of adding local 4:00 p.m. newscasts around the country. Its happening around the country because of political spending in which stations keep all revenue made from political ads during newscast times. Plus, it helps reach more undecided voters during the election season (which started way earlier this year).
The story mentions that many of the stations are “in talks” to add earlier news programming. Plus, this also helps Comcast’s fulfillments to require a significant amount of the stations schedules to local news, programming and public affairs after Comcast bought NBCUniversal, which started in 2009 but took over control in 2011.
Not all of NBC’s stations air local news at 4:00 p.m. and are willing to expand if they go through. Here’s the following:
- WNBC 4 – Starts at 5:00 p.m.
- KNBC 4 – Starts at 5:00 p.m. (used to have a 4:00 p.m. newscast)
- WMAQ 5 – Starts at 4:30 p.m. (Extra is on at 4:00 p.m.)
- WCAU 10 – Starts at 4:00 p.m.
- KXAS 5 – Starts at 4:00 p.m.
- KNTV 11 – Starts at 5:00 p.m.
- WRC 4 – Starts at 4:00 p.m.
- WTVJ 6 – Starts at 5:00 p.m. (used to have a 4:00 p.m. newscast that only lasted a year)
- KNSD 39 – Starts at 4:00 p.m.
- WVIT 30 – Starts at 5:00 p.m.
- NECN – Starts their early-evening news coverage at 4:00 p.m. (that’s if you count them and have cable)
As you can see, if this plan goes through, you can expect to see WNBC 4, KNBC 4, KNTV 11, WTVJ 6 (my home market) and WVIT 30 all expand to 4:00 p.m. with WMAQ 5 expanding by a half-hour. Another possibility that can come from this that’s not mentioned from FTVLive on why this is happening, is because of the downfall and the ratings collapse of The Meredith Vieira Show, which has been collapsing badly, falling in the ratings and NBC is ready to cancel that syndicated show (which btw, NBC produces and syndicates under NBCUniversal Television Distribution) and could be looking for alternatives.
NBC’s O&Os are potentially looking to shift their other syndicated programs to earlier time slots to make up for the potential of Meredith‘s cancellation and local news in the 4:00 p.m. hour. Other NBC syndicated shows, Steve Harvey and Ellen, are doing very well but could be shifted to earlier timeslots on most local stations to accommodate the new local newscasts.
But nothing has been confirmed as of yet and no local stations are confirming it yet, which means we don’t know when they could debut. But as soon as we learn more and if any NBC O&O station announces that they are doing local news at 4:00 p.m., then we will surely let you know on The Changing Newscasts Blog… The Leader in The Latest News about Local Newscasts.