FIRST ON THE BLOG: The smallest television station in the U.S. to be owned and operated by one of the “Big Four” networks continues to expand its news simulcasts with another station nearby and this time… its on weeknights.
Just recently, WOGX 51 has added the hour-long 6:00pm weeknight newscast from its sister station, WOFL 35 (FOX) in Orlando. The newscast, FOX 35 NewsEdge at 6:00, was recently expanded to a full hour last year and the newscast has now spread to the station in which I call “FOX 35 North” since WOGX 51 in Ocala – Gainesville is two hours north of the Orlando – Daytona Beach – Melbourne TV market, home to WOFL 35.
The weeknight hour-long newscast at 6:00pm competes against the first half-hour of the two Gainesville-based newscasts currently on-air in the market, the #1-rated WCJB 20 (ABC/CW) and the perennial WGFL 28/WNBW 9 (CBS/NBC). At 6:30pm however, its the ONLY local newscast (if you see it that way) on in the market, giving Gainesville two hours of local news from 5:00-7:00pm (in which those two hours can be seen on WOGX 51).
The newscast is anchored by Stephen Hauck with some segments reported by Charles Billi and Luanne Sorrell (two WSVN 7 in Miami ‘ex-ers) and FOX 35 – The Weather Authority from Chief Meteorologist Glenn Richards.
With this new simulcast, WOGX 51 now simulcasts all newscasts from WOFL 35 with the exception of its weeknight half-hour 11:00pm newscast and its weekend morning news from 8:00-10:00am. Those two are still only seen on WOFL 35, but given the recent expansions the blog has covered on WOGX 51 (twice before… the expansion of simulcasts to air the 9:00am hour and the recently new 4:00am half-hour of WOFL 35’s weekday morning news), don’t be surprised if WOGX 51 starts to carry WOFL 35’s two other newscasts.
So the simulcast expansion continues and as I said, its the third one since this blog was started in Aug. 2014. So, things are really looking up for “FOX 35 North.”