Yep. It’s been that long since this market has had a newscast like this. WJXT will finally bring a local newscast back in a familiar timeslot in today’s TV news world.
Starting this upcoming Monday January 23rd, WJXT 4 will add a half-hour weekday newscast at 4:00pm. Titled News 4 Jax at 4:00, it will be the market’s ONLY local newscast on at that timeslot.
The newscast will be anchored by Tarik Minor, who will also anchor the station’s weeknight 5:30 and 6:30pm newscasts with Jacksonville TV veteran Joy Purdy. The Weather Authority Meteorologist Rebecca Barry will handle weather duties for the newscast.
WJXT 4’s Vice President and General Manager, Bob Ellis:
“Jacksonville is a passionate local news town. The people that live here want to know what’s happening in their communities. With our new 4 p.m. newscast, they’ll be able to get the important stories of the day on TV an hour earlier. Viewers have told us loud and clear they want live, first-run programs in the afternoons. We’ll be the only station in Jacksonville providing this and it gives us even more opportunities to serve the Jacksonville community. That’s why we’re The Local Station.”
Ellis on Minor and Barry:
“You have to be a good reporter before you can anchor a newscast. Tarik Minor is a great reporter. He’s established himself as one of the best investigative reporters in Jacksonville as part of our I-TEAM and now adds 4 p.m. to his other anchoring duties. No one relates to the people of Jacksonville more than Rebecca Barry. She grew up right up the road in south Georgia and knows how the rivers and ocean affect the forecast. She is a pro during severe situations. Rebecca will be a breath of fresh air at 4 p.m.”
With this new newscast, programming changes are coming. The Dr. Oz Show used to air a new episode at 4:00pm, but it will now air the first-run new episodes on weekday mornings at 10:00am, where it has had a secondary timeslot for years while River City LIVE remains at 11:00am. A repeat of a previous episode of Inside Edition will air at 4:30pm while an updated first-run episode will air at 7:30pm.
So basically, the weekday 3:00-8:00pm program schedule will look like this starting next Monday:
- 3:00-4:00 PM: Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen
- 4:00-4:30 PM: News 4 Jax at 4:00
- 4:30-5:00 PM: Inside Edition (repeat)
- 5:00-5:30 PM: News 4 Jax at 5:00
- 5:30-6:00 PM: News 4 Jax at 5:30
- 6:00-6:30 PM: News 4 Jax at 6:00
- 6:30-7:00 PM: News 4 Jax at 6:30
- 7:00-7:30 PM: Entertainment TONIGHT (NEW)
- 7:30-8:00 PM: Inside Edition (first-run)
Oh and by the way, this will be the market’s first 4:00pm newscast since 2007 (yep, a decade) when WAWS 30 (FOX; now WFOX 30) used to air an hour-long 4:00pm newscast. It aired from 2001 until it was cancelled in 2007. That newscast was first produced in-house before WTEV 47 (CBS; not WJAX 47) absorbed WAWS 30’s news department and then started producing the 4:00pm newscast for WAWS 30.
So in the end, news is coming even earlier for The First Coast and coming from the #1 station in the market (has been for decades). And yet, its Independent. No network affiliation and still #1. Amazing.
DISCLAIMER: Some of the information that was used, especially the quotes, came from a story on WJXT 4’s website at News4Jax.com