FIRST ON THE BLOG (other than Robert Feder from the Chicago Tribune): Well look who decided to join NBC O&O sister stations WNBC, KNBC, WTVJ and WVIT in offering local news at 4:00pm… WMAQ.
First reported by Robert Feder from the Chicago Tribune, WMAQ 5 will be offering an hour-long weekday 4:00pm newscast, NBC 5 News at 4:00, starting in August. It already airs a half-hour weekday newscast at 4:30pm and the expansion to 4:00pm will allow WMAQ 5 to fully compete against the other two, 4:00pm newscasts in Chicago: WLS 7 (ABC), which has had their 4:00pm newscast for a very long time and WGN 9 (CW) which debuted theirs in September of 2014. With the additional half-hour of news, WMAQ 5 is going to 41 hours of local news each week.
According to Feder, “Extra,” which has been airing at 4:00pm weekdays on WMAQ 5, is expected to move to FOX-owned WFLD 32 in a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. It’s expected to air there at either 6:00 or 6:30pm and will more likely pair up with either TMZ on TV or Dish Nation, which currently air in the 5:00 and 5:30pm timeslots, respectively.
And even though Marion Brooks currently anchors with a variety of co-anchors for the half-hour 4:30pm newscast, NBC 5 News at 4:30, no official decision made yet for the hour-long 4:00pm format.
WMAQ 5’s President and General Manager, David Doebler, in a statement:
“We are committed to delivering local news, weather and information that is important to our viewers. Our new 4 p.m. newscast will expand our local news commitment and offer our viewers even more of what they’re looking for.”
Last November, the blog reported with information from FTVLive.com, that some NBC-owned stations were to launch newscasts at 4:00pm in part to capitalize on additional political advertising revenue during the election year.
And after all of the 4:00pm launches, KNTV 11 in San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose will be the last NBC O&O station to continue to start their local newscasts at 5:00pm.
At least this is good for WMAQ 5 so that it can compete against long-time leader WLS 7. And hopefully this can take the cake for WMAQ 5 to benefit.