FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than The Des Moines Register): If you’ve been living under a rock by now, KCWI is now owned by Nexstar Broadcast Group, making it a sister station to WOI. NOW, those changes are starting to come into effect and starting soon, KCWI will air news… produced by WOI.
The Des Moines Register first reported about this and we’re the FIRST media industry observer website to look at this information and I can tell you that KCWI 23 will soon air local newscasts produced by WOI 5, as early as next month on Monday April 11th.
Starting on that day, KCWI 23 will continue to air a local morning show, but will be rebranded from KCWI 23’s Great Day to The KCWI 23 Morning Show (which was rebranded just a few weeks ago) to now, CW Iowa LIVE and will be aired from 7:00-10:00am, cutting the 6:00am hour as to avoid competing against its own sister station, WOI 5 which airs a LIVE morning newscast at 6:00am called Local 5 News – Good Morning Iowa and airs from 5:00-7:00am.
In terms of competition, its already home to the area’s ONLY local morning newscast from 7:00-10:00am and that will remain. This will come after KCWI 23 will move from its studios at S.W. 7th Street in Des Moines to WOI 5’s studios and broadcasts facilities in Westown Parkway in West Des Moines on Friday April 1st (April Fools’ Day, but this is no joke).
WOI 5’s General Manager, Jon Skorburg, tells The Des Moines Register that the new weekday morning newscast will retain the variety-show feel of Great Day, but will include more news segments from WOI 5’s news team.
“We don’t anticipate making any sweeping changes with it. That show has a successful niche in the marketplace. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel there.”
Skorburg also says that Jackie Schmillen and Lou Sipolt, two of Great Day‘s three mainstays, will host the rebranded three-hour morning show. But this ain’t the only new addition that KCWI 23 is getting…
A new nightly newscast will soon be aired on KCWI 23 that will have the same name as the morning show which is scheduled to start in April or in May.
CW Iowa LIVE at 9:00 will air for a half-hour, 7 nights a week at 9:00pm and will be produced by WOI 5 as well. In terms of competition, it will compete against the long-established WHO 13 (NBC)’s nightly 9:00pm newscast (hour-long weeknights and half-hour weekends) on news partner KDSM 17 (FOX) and the recently launched KCCI 8 (CBS)’s nightly 9:00pm nightly newscast (half-hour, 7 nights a week) on its second digital subchannel, KCCI-DT 8.2 which is home to Me-TV Des Moines. I don’t know as to who will anchor the new 9:00pm newscast on KCWI 23 but it will more likely be somebody from WOI 5’s news team.
However, according to The Des Moines Register, Skorburg said that the transition has come with layoffs, but can’t comment on specific personnel. He also declined to say how many employees are affected.
“A consolidation like this one creates some duplication of positions, which often result in one-time only reductions.”
So in review, the morning show and a brand new primetime newscast is coming for KCWI 23, produced by their newest sister station WOI 5. The changes start in April, so get ready (again) Central Iowa and good luck to WOI 5 and to everybody at KCWI 23 with the changes.