WCVB is already shortening its 10:00 p.m. newscast on its digital subchannel by a half-hour.

WCVB-TV 5 / Boston (“WCVB Channel 5”)
WCVB-DT 5.2 / Boston (“Me-TV Boston”)

FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than New England One): Just three weeks ago, Boston got its sixth 10:00pm newscast with WCVB on its digital subchannel. Just three weeks later, its doing bad. So bad in fact, that the length of the newscast is being cut short.

Starting tomorrow, Saturday March 19th, WCVB 5’s hour-long 10:00pm newscast on its second digital subchannel, Me-TV Boston, is being shortened from a full hour to just 30 minutes. The 10:00 O’Clock News on Me-TV Boston will now run from just 10:00-10:30pm, each and every single night starting tomorrow and it will air against the first half-hour of WBZ 4 (CBS) on WSBK 38 (MyTV), WHDH 7 (NBC) on WLVI 56 (CW), WFXT 25 (FOX) and WBIN 50 (Ind)’s hour-long 10:00pm newscasts and ironically enough, against their sister station WMUR 9’s weeknight-only half-hour 10:00pm newscast on their digital subchannel, Me-TV New Hampshire, which is on WMUR 9.2.

The weeknight newscast is anchored by Maria Stephanos and Ed Harding with StormTeam 5 Weather from Chief Meteorologist Harvey Leonard and SportsCenter 5 with Sports Director Mike Lynch.

The newscast is being cut to just 30 minutes because of poor ratings and a major disadvantage, being on a digital subchannel. Because its on Me-TV Boston on WCVB 5.2, it doesn’t give a big presence across Boston TV, plus its on different channels slots on different cable systems and its not carried on satellite. Plus, its only in Widescreen 16:9 SD because the Me-TV network is not available in HD, due to all of their classic shows recorded and aired in SD. The newscast was launched just three weeks ago on Monday February 29th.

According to New England One, in the past 3 weeks, the newscast has averaged a 0.2 rating in A25-54, performing just under the station’s expectations. In comparison, during the February sweeps rating period, WFXT 25 earned a 1.9; WLVI 56 (produced by WHDH 7) earned a 0.9 and WSBK 38 (produced by WBZ 4) earned a 0.5. The 10:00pm hour-long newscasts on WFXT 25, WLVI 56 and WSBK 38 are all broadcast on their primary digital channels.

WCVB 5’s President and General Manager, Bill Fine, telling to New England One:

“We are committed to making ‘The 10 O’Clock News on MeTV Boston‘ the success we know it can be and we’re fortunate to be able to make immediate assessments and strategic adjustments to ensure that. Because the channel positions of the traditional 10PM newscasts are easier to find than the channel positions of our second station MeTV Boston, it is not a level playing field. So we’ll make an even more robust attempt to identify the channel positions for MeTV and we will differentiate our 10PM news by providing all of the news of the day in half the time.”

New England One also points out that even though WCVB 5 is cutting the newscast to 30 minutes, the station is still committed to competing at 10:00pm and will start to make Me-TV Boston‘s dial position, more well known to viewers.

So, if you live in the Boston area and are unaware as to where you can find Me-TV Boston, then pay attention to the follow:

  • Antenna/Over-the-Air:
    • WCVB Channel 5.2
  • Comcast Cable:
    • Channels 292 or 306
  • Verizon FiOS TV:
    • Channel 461
  • RCN Cable:
    • Channel 29
  • Charter Cable:
    • Channel 184
  • Metrocast Cable:
    • Channel 295
  • BELD Broadband:
    • Channel 75

So there you go folks. WCVB 5’s new 10:00pm newscast is not working, but they are committed to making it work and possibly, having it at 30 minutes and not a full hour can be a big first step for the newscast that was only launched, just three weeks ago.

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