FIRST ON THE BLOG: There has been a quiet expansion lately for one duopoly in Central Florida and in terms of weekend news and I don’t think anybody’s reporting on it.
Just recently, WFTV 9 has very quietly expanded its weekend 10:00pm newscast on its sister station WRDQ 27 to a full hour. Eyewitness News at 10:30 now airs on weekends and comes just a year after the weeknight edition was expanded to a full hour and now, the 10:00pm news now airs for a full hour, 7 nights a week.
It now competes in full, 7 nights a week, against WESH 2 (NBC)’s hour-long 10:00pm news on its sister station WKCF 18 (CW) which was expanded to an hour earlier this year and WOFL 35 (FOX)’s hour-long 10:00pm news which has been an hour-long since the Early 2000s and I believe that was around 2002.
The Saturday 10:00pm news will be just a half-hour during the Major League Soccer (MLS) season for Orlando City Weekly at 10:30pm as WRDQ 27 is the flagship home for Orlando City SC soccer games (when not covered by national television). But with this expansion, all three 10:00pm newscasts in Orlando are now an hour-long, 7 nights a week, four if you count the 24-hour local cable newschannel, News 13, which is seen on Bright House Networks, soon-to-be Charter Spectrum.
So now all primetime newscasts in Central Florida are an hour-long, 7 nights a week. Just shows you how busy this news market really is.