FIRST ON THE BLOG: More local news is coming to Coastal North Carolina, thanks to the CBS affiliation switch. And yes, WILM will air more local news as it becomes an Independent.
Starting Sunday January 1st, 2017, WWAY 3’s second digital subchannel will carry simulcasts of the main channel’s local newscasts, which includes the Sunday 6:00 and 11:00 and the weekday 5:30-7:00am, 5:00, Good Evening Wilmington at 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00pm. It will also carry two local newscasts exclusive to the second subchannel, including a half-hour weekday newscast at noon that will compete against WECT 6 (NBC)’s long-running half-hour midday newscast. It will also debut a weeknight 7:00pm newscast in which it will be an hour-long newscast (7:00 and 7:30pm), not a half-hour as first reported. The 7:00pm will compete against WSFX 26 (FOX)’s half-hour weeknight newscast at 7:00pm that’s produced by WECT 6 while the 7:30pm will be all alone by themselves.
But another channel that will still carry local news in the market is WILM-LD 10, which is losing the CBS affiliation to WWAY 3. It will remain on the air and continue to carry local news from WRAL 5 (NBC), its sister outlet in Raleigh. It will continue to carry the newscasts it does now, but it will expand to include the 7:00-9:00am block from another sister outlet in Raleigh, WRAZ 50 (FOX). It will compete against WSFX 26 at 7:00am, but will be all alone in the market at 8:00am. It will also expand the weekday half-hour noon newscast to a full-hour, making it a full simulcast with WRAL 5 for the first time and become home to the area’s ONLY local newscast on at 12:30pm. The new expanded editions begin on Monday January 2nd, 2017.
The full half-hour simulcasts on weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00pm will remain, which means it will not include the 10:00pm simulcast from WRAZ 50, mainly due to possible sports conflicts from WRAZ 50’s affiliation at FOX that can sometimes cause the 10:00pm newscast to start late, therefore not including the 10:00pm on WILM.
On weekends, the Saturday morning simulcast at 6:00am will expand to two hours to include another hour at 7:00am in which WILM will be all alone by themselves and that will begin on Saturday January 7th, 2017. The Sunday morning simulcast at 8:00am will also expand to two hours to include another hour at… guess what… 7:00am. Both those hours on Sunday will have WILM be all alone by themselves in the market and that will begin on Sunday January 1st, 2017. The weekend simulcasts at 6:00 and 11:00pm will remain as they have been.
So yet more new newscasts are coming to the market in the new year and I think Coastal viewers will enjoy that.