WHAG is adding and expanding its newscasts and in a BIG way.

WHAG-TV 25 / Hagerstown, MD (“WHAG”)

FIRST ON THE BLOG: If you’ve been living under a rock, WHAG is expected to lose its NBC affiliation on this upcoming Friday, July 1st. With it comes changes, including becoming an Independent station with some programming from Heroes and Icons and a $1 million commitment to more local news from WHAG, thanks to their owners at Nexstar. Now that the date is almost here, I can reveal what will be the new newscast lineup at WHAG will be…

First off, the morning news block from 5:30-7:00am will remain right where it is. But starting on Friday July 1st (all changes take place starting July 1st), the morning news expands to another half-hour at 7:00am which will then be followed by their new I-270 News concept which will air at 7:30am. The morning news as a whole will soon air from 5:30-8:00am. The hour-long noon newscast will be kept as well as the half-hour weeknight news at 5:00pm, West Virginia TONIGHT at 5:30 and the other half-hour weeknight news at 7:00 and 11:00pm.

But what will be the most notable difference out of weekdays, in fact every single night, will be an expanded 6:00pm newscast to a full-hour and a new comprehensive one-hour local news program at 10:00pm. Yes, WHAG will offer hour-long news at 6:00 and 10:00pm, while keeping the 7:00 and 11:00pm newscasts as well. Don’t forget that WHAG will also offer a second edition of its I-270 News concept on weeknights at 7:30pm. I-270 News focuses on the Federick and Montgomery counties portion of the WHAG 25 viewing area. So basically on weeknights, WHAG 25 will be on from 5:00-8:00 and 10:00-11:30pm. On Fridays, WHAG 25 will offer an expanded edition of the WHAG Sports Connection at 11:30pm after Friday’s 11:00pm news.

For weekends, not much is new but there is some shuffling and still, more news. On Saturdays, the hour-long morning newscast at 6:00am will be kept while a new half-hour at 7:00am is added with a special Saturday morning edition of the I-270 News at 7:30am. The weekend 6:00pm newscast is expanding to a full hour as well and on Saturdays, WHAG 25 will merge the half-hour newscasts at both 6:00 and 7:00pm together to create the new hour-long broadcast with the Saturday edition of the WHAG Sports Connection on at 7:00pm, bumped up from its previous 7:30pm timeslot. And even though WHAG 25 will no longer air a half-hour 11:00pm weekend newscast, it will redeem itself by airing a full hour of local weekend news and weather at 10:00pm.

For Sundays, WHAG 25 will keep the 6:00am hour-long morning newscast. But now, the 9:00am hour will move up to 8:00am with the morning newscast coming up first, followed by WHAG News You Can Use at 8:30am. The 6:00pm news, as mentioned before, expands to a full hour and the 11:00pm weekend news will no longer there, but a new hour-long program at 10:00pm will make up the difference. The Sunday edition of the WHAG Sports Connection will air at 11:00pm, right after Sunday’s 10:00pm news.

That’s just within newscasts. Also point out to mention that WHAG 25, outside of syndicated and H&I programming, will truly focus on local content. The station will air several new public affairs and sports shows to increase its commitment. First, it will air a new public affairs show called 4 State In Focus, a new hour-long program airing Saturday mornings at 8:00am and seen again on Sundays at 7:00pm. It will now also air a half-hour WVU Coaches Show, focusing on West Virginia Mountaineers sports at 11:30am. Roske on Politics, a show that WHAG 25 has aired since October 2015 and has aired at 11:00am after Meet The Press will now air at 9:00am with a new show called Sunday Newsmaker at 9:30am, which will repeat at 12:00 Midnight on very early Monday mornings.

So other than the new and current shows that focus on local content, WHAG 25 will produce 51-and-a-1/2 hours of local news and weather per week, maximizing Nexstar’s $1 million commitment to the station for the Hagerstown viewing area.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Here’s a complete rundown of the new WHAG 25 newscast schedule, which includes all of their new public affairs and sports programming:

  • Weekdays:
    • 5:30-6:00 AM: WHAG Morning News at 5:30 a.m.
    • 6:00-7:00 AM: WHAG Morning News at 6:00 a.m.
    • 7:00-7:30 AM: WHAG Morning News at 7:00 a.m. (NEW)
    • 7:30-8:00 AM: I-270 Morning News at 7:30 a.m. (NEW)
    • 12:00-1:00 PM: WHAG News at Noon
    • 5:00-5:30 PM: WHAG News at 5:00
    • 5:30-6:00 PM: West Virginia TONIGHT at 5:30 (replaced WHAG 25’s own 5:30pm news earlier this year)
    • 6:00-7:00 PM: WHAG News at 6:00 (expands to a full hour)
    • 7:00-7:30 PM: WHAG News at 7:00
    • 7:30-8:00 PM: I-270 News at 7:30 (NEW)
    • 10:00-11:00 PM: WHAG News at 10:00 (NEW)
    • 11:00-11:30 PM: WHAG News at 11:00
    • 11:30 PM-12:00 AM: WHAG Sports Connection (NEW; Fridays ONLY)
  • Saturdays:
    • 6:00-7:00 AM: WHAG Morning News at 6:00 a.m.
    • 7:00-7:30 AM: WHAG Morning News at 7:00 a.m. (NEW)
    • 7:30-8:00 AM: I-270 Morning News at 7:30 a.m. (NEW)
    • 8:00-9:00 AM: 4 State In Focus (NEW)
    • 11:30 AM-12:00 PM: WVU Coaches Show (NEW)
    • 6:00-7:00 PM: WHAG News at 6:00 (expands to a full hour)
    • 7:00-7:30 PM: WHAG Sports Connection (moves up from previously at 7:30pm)
    • 10:00-11:00 PM: WHAG News at 10:00 (NEW)
  • Sundays:
    • 6:00-7:00 AM: WHAG Morning News at 6:00 a.m.
    • 8:00-8:30 AM: WHAG Morning News at 8:00 a.m. (moves up from previously at 9:00am)
    • 8:30-9:00 AM: WHAG News You Can Use (moves up from previously at 9:30am)
    • 9:00-9:30 AM: Roske On Politics (moves up from previously at 11:00am)
    • 9:30-10:00 AM: Sunday Newsmaker (NEW)
    • 6:00-7:00 PM: WHAG News at 6:00 (expands to a full hour)
    • 10:00-11:00 PM: WHAG News at 10:00 (NEW)
    • 11:00-11:30 PM: WHAG Sports Connection (moves up from previously at 11:30pm)

A reminder that 4 State In Focus will air again Sunday nights at 7:00pm and Sunday Newsmaker will air again Sunday nights/Monday mornings at 12:00 Midnight. And if your curious as to when WHAG 25 will air programming from the H&I: Heroes and Icons network, it will air weekday mornings from 8:00-11:00am, two hours in primetime from 8:00-10:00pm and overnights from 12:00-2:00 and 3:00-5:00am with Friday nights/Saturday mornings from 1:00-2:00 and 3:00-4:00am.

On Saturdays, H&I will air on WHAG 25 from 12:00 Noon-6:00pm, an hour in primetime from 9:00-10:00pm and overnights from 12:00-2:00 and 3:00-4:00am. For Sundays, H&I will air from 10:00am-6:00pm (which includes the 3 hours of E/I programming per week per FCC rules), hour in primetime from 9:00-10:00pm and overnights from 3:00-5:00am.

So there you have it. Starting July 1st, a new era at WHAG 25 and this exclusive report pretty much tells you what WHAG 25 is doing as an Ind/H&I station which yes, includes more and expanded local newscasts.

A great commitment for a great TV station that will continue to serve local news that’s currently underserved by the D.C. stations in the D.C. market (in which Hagerstown is a part of). I say good for Nexstar and for WHAG 25 for being committed to Hagerstown and their communities. Bravo to everybody involved. Bravo.

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One thought on “WHAG is adding and expanding its newscasts and in a BIG way.

  1. Similar to WFMZ-TV in Philly newscast schedule expect that WFMZ has an 8:00am morning newscast. WHAG could add an 8:00am newscast down the line. Pretty much WFMZ and WHAG are similar in ways with WHAG really being in Hagerstown but is licensed to the DC Market like the way WFMZ is really in Allentown but is licensed to the Philly Market

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