There are two stations that are about to add more local news within the next two weeks, though in two different markets so stay with me here.
We first go to Cleveland where WKYC 3 will be finally launching its long-awaited hour-long 5:00 p.m. weeknight newscast on January 13th. The program will be called 3 News – What’s New and makes WKYC the last station in the market to broadcast at 5:00 p.m. after the others (WEWS 5 – ABC, WJW 8 – FOX and WOIO 19 – CBS) have had them for years. The newscast will essentially be moving to 5:00 p.m. from 12:00 noon where the station had Lunch Break with Jay Crawford. But that half-hour program has been a ratings disaster from the beginning so essentially WKYC is killing the program and moving the resources to the new 5:00 p.m. newscast.
The newscast will be anchored by new anchor but TV veteran Jay Crawford alongside longtime WKYC AMS-CBM and NWA/Sealed Meteorologist Betsy Kling. This will allow Kling to do some anchoring and reporting on top of her weather coverage.
WKYC’s General Manager, Micki Byrnes:
“What better way to kick off a new year than with a new show? Jay and Betsy will share a fresh take on the day’s top stories and highlight the bold breakthroughs and interesting people who are moving Northeast Ohio forward.”
WKYC’s Director of Content, Adam Miller:
“We are absolutely thrilled to launch this new show with Betsy and Jay as their passion for all things Northeast Ohio will shine in the stories and reports they’ll share. Their energy and personalities pop right through the screen and I’m excited for Clevelanders to connect with them on ‘What’s New.'”
Betsy Kling said:
“You’ll be watching a friendship grow at 5 p.m. I’ve known Jay for a few years, but every time I talk with him, I learn something new. He’s a real trip and I think our friends who’ll be watching from around Northeast Ohio will find out very quickly Jay is witty, fun and loves being home.”
Jay Crawford said:
“My passion is sharing stories that move us. Stories that make us proud. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us better. I can’t wait to do that on a daily basis in the land I love.”
This finally gives WKYC a solid 90-minute local news block as it will then be followed by 3 News – What Matters Most with Russ Mitchell and Sara Shookman at 6:00 p.m.
Now we move on to Cincinnati where WXIX 19 is about to fill-in that early-evening gap in terms of local news.
In one of the biggest news expansions in the station’s history, WXIX is about to fill in 90 minutes of news at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 p.m. starting January 6th. FOX 19 NOW at 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 will allow the station to finally compete against the longtime establishments of WLWT 5 (NBC), WCPO 9 (ABC) and WKRC 12 (CBS/CW) for local news at that time in the market. In two years, WXIX goes from airing only news at 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. to soon airing news from 4:00-7:00 and 10:00-11:35 p.m. with the 4:00 and 11:00 p.m. additions in Aug. 2018 and soon, the extra 90 minutes of news.
Former WCPO morning anchor Chris Riva returns to the market to help anchor WXIX’s newest broadcasts alongside Amber Jayanth and Meteorologist Ashley Smith to form the evening B team on top of the main evening A team of longtime WXIX veterans Tricia Macke, Rob Williams, and AMS/Sealed Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer.
During the ratings’ “sweeps” month last May, according to 91.7 WVXU’s media beat reporter John Kiesewetter, WXIX was the most-watched Cincinnati station for late news with viewers A25-54, the demographic advertisers like to target. WXIX’s 10:00 p.m. news M-F drew a 2.1 Nielsen rating in A25-54 in May, more than the 11:00 p.m. weekday newscasts on WLWT (1.5); WCPO and WKRC (tied at 1.2), or WXIX’s 11:00 p.m. news (11.3).
So here are the new anchor teams for all of the broadcasts, according to Kiesewetter:
- At 4:00 p.m., the current team of Tricia Macke and Steve Horstmeyer will remain.
- At 5:00 p.m., it will be Macke, Chris Riva, and Horstmeyer.
- At 5:30 p.m., it will be Rob Williams, new evening anchor Amber Jayanth (who’s been at WXIX since 2016) and Horstmeyer.
- At 6:00 p.m., its Williams, Riva and Ashley Smith.
- At 6:30 p.m., its Williams, Jayanth and Smith.
The current 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. weeknight teams will remain in place.
It also brings programming changes as WXIX will move Judge Judy to 2:00 p.m., creating a two-hour block of four episodes from 2:00-4:00 p.m. while the Jeopardy! rerun moves from 6:00 to 12:30 p.m. Also, 25 Words or Less loses an episode but remains at noon, Cops loses an episode but remains at 1:00 while Protection Court moves to 1:30 and also loses an episode. The lineup from 2:00 p.m. onwards will remain the same with the extra 90 minutes added.
A lot of information to unpack on but it does depend on where you live in the state of Ohio so read it carefully and know what’s going on. For everyone else, I hope you enjoyed your holidays.