WGN is now taking advantage of being an Independent station. How? By airing more news. Yes, if you think WGN has enough, they’ll say not enough and now… they’ll have more.
Another set of local newscasts are debuting this weekend and that’s before a mega list of newscasts that’ll be either debuting or being shortened on Monday. Here is this weekend’s list and its by day, time order and market size.
FIRST ON THE BLOG: If you haven’t heard by now, WGN is scheduled to become an Independent station starting Thursday September 1st. I’ve predicted that more weekend news would come to WGN because of this and I’m not surprised to learn that WGN will add more news on weekends.
Another week of newscasts debuting this week. And one big station in Chicago is joining the late late news race.
Monday October 5th, 2015
- 9:00-9:30 PM: FOX 23 News at 9:00
WHPM in Hattiesburg. The station is adding a newscast for the first time. A half-hour weeknight traditional newscast in primetime that will be the ONLY one on in the area.
- 9:00-9:30 PM: FOX 30 News at 9:00
WGBC in Meridian. Doing the exact same thing as WHPM, WGBC 30 will also have the ONLY primetime newscast in the area, as a half-hour weeknight newscast. WHPM 23 and WGBC 30 are sister stations, thanks to Waypoint Media, which owns both stations.
- 10:00-10:35 PM: WGN News at 10:00
WGN in Chicago. Mark Supplesa, Micah Materre, Tom Skilling and Dan Roan will all be a part of the brand new half-hour newscast at 10:00 p.m. that will allow WGN 9 to compete against WBBM 2 (CBS), WMAQ 5 (NBC) and WLS 7 (ABC) again, for the first time in 35 years. The last time was John Drury and Newsnine at 10:00 p.m. in 1980 before the move to 9:00 p.m.
Enjoy your week, everybody.
I heard you Michael, Dontryl Alexander and David Burke (who sent in tips on this story), as well as Skyler (@mychiller, who sent me a link on Twitter), Chicagoland Radio and Media (where I heard about this story first), TVSpy, TVNewsCheck, FTVLive and the official WGN-TV website. Now, in a historic moment for WGN’s history, WGN will offer a second late-night news broadcast.
35 years after debuting The Midwest’s first-ever hour-long nightly primetime newscast, The Nine O’Clock News (John Drury and Denise Cannon) on Monday March 10th, 1980, WGN 9 will launch WGN News at 10:00 starting Monday October 5th, 2015. The new weeknight-ONLY half-hour newscast will compete against the heavyweights in Chicago: The #1-rated WLS 7 (ABC)’s ABC 7 Eyewitness News at 10:00 and #2-rated WMAQ 5 (NBC)’s NBC 5 News at 10:00, as well as the lesser known, but once-dominant WBBM 2 (CBS)’s CBS 2 News at 10:00. It will also compete against the Spanish-language newscasts in the area from WGBO 66 (Univision)’s Noticias Univision Chicago a las 10:00 and WSNS 44 (Telemundo)’s Noticiero Telemundo Chicago a las 10:00.
The newscast will be anchored by the same team that already delivers WGN News at 9:00, Mark Suppelsa (having a successful career at WGN 9 after leaving from WFLD 32 – FOX), Micah Materre (The queen of weeknight news on WGN 9, since she also does the 4:00, 5:00 and 9:00pm), WGN 9’s Chief Meteorologist and the Dean of American Local Meteorologists, Tom Freakin’ Skilling (Been at WGN 9 since 1978 and has been America’s #1, most-trusted and most-beloved Local Weatherman for 37 years now. He was part of the original news team from 1980 and is still the only original member left, still on-air from its 1980 debut.) and Sports Director Dan Roan (who has been at WGN for 31 years now, having first started in February 1984, according to WGNTV.com).
The format will be a little bit different at 10:00 p.m. because Tom Skilling will be the first person on at 10:00 p.m. with the full forecast (that’s because he’s on-air at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 Noon, 4:00, 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. and needs some sleep in between!) In addition, according to the story on WGNTV.com, WGN News at 10:00 will feature enterprise stories offering viewers consumer alerts, problem solving tips and investigative reports.
President and GM of WGN 9, Greg Easterly:
“Thirty-five years after launching the WGN News at Nine, news consumption has changed dramatically. We know the appetite for news continues to grow. This new, expanded half-hour will bring viewers all the news and weather you need to know before the night ends. It’s just too important of a time period for us not to be there.”
News Director of WGN 9, Jennifer Lyons:
“We are committed to delivering the successful 9pm newscast we’ve produced for decades. This expansion offers us an opportunity to bring Chicago’s Very Own news team to a whole new audience at 10pm.”
But this won’t be WGN 9’s first attempt at 10:00 p.m. news. WGN 9 once did it prior to 1980 with Nightbeat and the now-famous (now with today’s announcement), John Drury and Newsnine (Tom Skilling was a part of that broadcast too.). But they were low-rated and were canceled to make way for The Midwest’s first-ever hour-long and nightly primetime newscast at 9:00 p.m. called The Nine O’Clock News. So, this will be WGN 9’s first attempt at a 10:00 p.m. newscast in 35 years.
And, according to Chicagoland Radio and Media, WGN 9 will move Celebrity Name Game with Craig Ferguson to 10:30 p.m. to replace syndicated reruns of Friends. WGN 9 already airs an hour of CNG at 10:00 a.m.
This could be the biggest move done by WGN 9 in such a long time, since they haven’t done this in 35 years! After all, since most of Chicagoland watches WGN 9 at 9:00 p.m., they may watch their news at 10:00 p.m. as well! Watch out, WLS 7! Your next biggest competitor at 10:00 p.m. is coming soon to take you out!
No pictures will be seen, but tags will be involved for this post. There are too many newscasts debuting or expanding tomorrow and this week that it will be hard to showcase images of all stations involved. So, the biggest edition of newscasts debuting/expanding this week is here. And finally, here’s the list. The list is composed in time order in Eastern Daylight Time:
Monday September 8th, 2014:
- 4:30-5:00 AM: ABC 57 News at 4:30 a.m.
- 7:00-8:00 AM: ABC 57 News at 7:00 a.m. on CW 25 Michiana
- 8:00-9:00 AM: ABC 57 News at 8:00 a.m. on CW 25 Michiana
WBND and WCWW-LD in South Bend. The morning newscast goes from 2 to 4 1/2 hours which will now include a 2-hour extension on WCWW 25.
- 7:00-8:00 AM: 9 News This Morning – The BIG Xtra Hour at 7:00 a.m. on WBXH Channel 16
WBXH-CA 39/Cable Channel 16 in Baton Rouge. 7:00 a.m. morning news in Baton Rouge for the first time? Yes please. This has been long over-due and it’s about time this is happening.
- 8:00-8:30 AM: You and Me This Morning at 8:00 a.m. on WCIU, The U
- 8:30-9:00 AM: You and Me This Morning at 8:30 a.m. on WCIU, The U
WCIU in Chicago. WCIU 26’s so-called morning newscast is expanding to 3 hours, because of the success of the program and that it has recently beating WBBM 2’s 6:00 a.m. morning news in the ratings. How embarrassing for WBBM 2. Soon enough, this program will also beat WFLD 32 in morning news as well.
- 11:00 AM-12:00 PM: NBC 5 Chicago News Midday
WMAQ in Chicago. The program moves from half-hour at noon to an hour-long at 11:00 a.m. as it looks like the broadcast is seeing some success.
- 12:00-1:00 PM: Channel 7 Eyewitness News at Noon
WABC in New York City. Channel 7 Eyewitness News finally goes to an hour at noon and will be the ONLY hour-long noon news in N.Y.C.
- 12:00-1:00 PM: Channel 6 Action News at Noon
WPVI in Philadelphia. Channel 6 Action News is another ABC O&O to expand their noon news to an hour-long and it will be Philly’s ONLY hour-long news choice at noon.
- 12:00-12:30 PM: NewsChannel 5 at Noon
WEWS in Cleveland. The newscast shrinks down to 30 minutes for Right This Minute at 12:30 p.m.
- 11:00-11:30 AM: 7 News Midday
KMGH in Denver. Same reason as WEWS 5. RTM to air at 11:30 a.m.
- 11:00-11:30 AM: KEYT NewsChannel 3 Midday
KEYT in Santa Barbara. California’s Central Coast’s first midday newscast is on tomorrow for half-hour at 11:00 a.m.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: FOX 17 News at 4:00
WXMI in Grand Rapids. The ONLY one on at 4:00 p.m. in Grand Rapids. That starts tomorrow too.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: 13 News NOW at 4:00
WVEC in Hampton Roads. It finally joins the party in the market for news at 4:00 p.m.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: WSAZ NewsChannel 3, First Look at 4:00
WSAZ in Huntington-Charleston. WSAZ 3 is already #1, why not expand to keep it?
- 4:00-4:30 PM: WSBT Channel 22 News, First at 4:00
WSBT in South Bend. 4:00 p.m. News in Michiana comes tomorrow for the very first time.
- 1:00-2:00 PM: FOX 5 News at 1:00
KSWB in San Diego. This is one of 2 expansions for KSWB 69/Cable Ch. 5 and the ONLY one on at 1:00 p.m.
- 5:00-5:30 PM: WZZM 13 News at 5:00
WZZM in Grand Rapids. It’s almost here. FINALLY! WZZM 13 finally debuts it’s 5:00 p.m. newscast tomorrow.
- 5:00-6:00 PM: NBC 24 News at 5:00
WNWO in Toledo. WNWO 24 will add a 5:00 p.m. newscast to try to be more competitive with WTOL 11 and WTVG 13.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: Channel 13 News at 4:00
WHO in Des Moines. Central Iowa’s first 4:00 p.m. newscast will be on WHO 13.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: Alabama’s 13 News at 4:00
WVTM in Birmingham. This is to compete with WBMA 58/WCFT 33/WJSU 40’s ABC 33/40 News, Focus at 4:00 and also because Hearst TV is buying the station.
- 3:00-4:00 PM: 2 News at 3:00
KUTV in Salt Lake City. Utah’s earlier option for news is here and it comes tomorrow.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: WGN 9 Evening News at 4:00
WGN in Chicago. WGN 9’s Evening News expands to a 2-hour broadcast with Mark Suppelsa, Micah Mattere (who will now anchor both hours at 4:00 and 5:00, as well as the 9:00 p.m. newscast) and of course, the Chief: Tom Skilling.
- 4:00-5:00 PM: FOX 5 News at 4:00
KSWB in San Diego. This is the other expansion which will compete with KNSD 39 at this timeslot.
- 6:00-6:30 PM: FOX 9 News at 6:00
KMSP in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Enjoy the expansion, KMSP 9. You deserve to enjoy it until KSTP 5 beats you again in the early evening. At least it provides the Twin Cities’ ONLY 90-minute news block in the early-evening.
- 6:00-7:00 PM: The KSAT 12, 6:00 O’Clock News
KSAT in San Antonio. San Antonio’s #1 newscast at 6:00 p.m. expands to an hour. Makes sense for a station with #1 hour-long newscasts at noon and 10:00 p.m.
- 4:00-4:30 PM: 3TV News Good Evening Arizona at 4:00
KTVK in Phoenix. With this expansion, Good Evening Arizona will now run from 4:00-6:30 p.m., followed by Entertainment TONIGHT at 6:30 p.m.
- 6:00-6:30 PM: 7 News Right NOW at 6:00
KMGH in Denver. This newscast replaces Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy as they will show The List at 6:30 p.m.
- 10:00-11:00 PM: Channel 6 Action News at 10:00 on PHL 17
WPHL in Philadelphia. Channel 6 Action News will also expand the 10:00 p.m. broadcast for WPHL 17 to an hour-long as it has recently beat WTXF 29 at 10:00 p.m. in July.
- 9:00-9:30 PM: KHON 2 News at 9:00
KHON in Honolulu. For the first time since becoming FOX in 1996, KHON 2 will finally air a 9:00 p.m. newscast, but this is weeknights only. This will also simulcast on KHON-DT2 Hawaii’s CW 93 (93 for Cable Channel on Oceanic Time Warner Cable).
Tuesday September 9th, 2014:
- 6:30-7:00 PM: Channel 4’s Eyewitness News at 6:30 on My 54 WUPL
WWL/WUPL in New Orleans. The newscast will start a day later due to WUPL 54 carrying coverage of The 2014 U.S. Open Tennis Men’s Final from CBS Sports while WWL 4 will continue to carry regular programming, including it’s newscasts with a special edition of Channel 4’s Eyewitness News at 5:30, due to no CBS Evening News, all on Monday September 8th.