FIRST ON THE BLOG: Apologies for the lack of stories but when there’s nothing happening, there’s nothing to report on then. However, a new newscast has popped up recently and its a return for one station in an Atlanta duopoly.
Another newscast debuts tomorrow. But only in Atlanta and its a morning expansion.
Monday July 20th, 2015
- 7:00-8:00 AM: Atlanta Alive at 7:00 a.m. on The ATL
WATL in Atlanta. The newscast, produced by sister station WXIA 11, will be an extension of Atlanta Alive, which is anchored by Vinnie Politan. This hour will compete against WAGA 5 (FOX)’s FOX 5 News – Good Day Atlanta for local news in that timeslot.
That’s it everybody. It’s been a slow week at The Changing Newscasts Blog and it could be a much slower week, next week, unless if we get any tips for more. We will let you know. Have a great week everyone.
FIRST ON THE BLOG: WXIA has been in third place for a while, but they hope that expanding the morning newscast would help them in some way. Right? Possibly not. Anyways, here’s the story.
Starting Monday June 20th, WXIA 11 will expand their morning newscast, Atlanta Alive, to the 7:00 a.m. hour on their sister station, WATL 36, a.k.a. The ATL. The program will run weekday mornings from 7:00-8:00 a.m. and will effectively compete against WAGA 5’s FOX 5 News – Good Day Atlanta at 7:00 a.m. in that hour. The newscast features anchor (and former HLN host) Vinnie Politan, the 11Alive StormTrackers with AMS-CBM/Sealed and NWA/Membered Meteorologist Chesley McNeil and Traffic with Crash Clark and Fred McFarlin from the station’s Help Desk.
The extended news hour will serve as the extension, as we just mentioned, of Atlanta Alive, the morning newscast that WXIA 11 started last year to try to deliver more good news to each morning as well as still delivering the latest news and weather to help Atlantans get their day started.
According to Eric, who sent us this tip, the station will be making a second attempt of a morning newscast on WATL 36. The station briefly experimented with a local morning newscast from late 2007 until January 2009. It was possibly canceled due to the recession and possibly low ratings against #2-placed WAGA 5. WXIA 11 already produces and airs an hour-long weeknight and half-hour weekend 10:00 p.m. newscast, titled 11 Alive News at 10:00 on The ATL, in which it competes against WAGA 5’s FOX 5 News at 10:00.
More morning news is coming from 11 Alive on The ATL. We’ll find out how long this lasts.
If you like one other station than WXIA in particular, then this is good news for you. If you like the Atlanta TV market in general, then this is so-so news for you. If you only like WXIA, then this is bad news for you.
Starting March 2nd, WXIA 11 will add an hour-long 5:00 p.m. newscast called 11 Alive News at 5:00, starring long-time WXIA 11 veteran (and long-time Atlanta TV veteran) Brenda Wood and DeMarco Morgan (who used to work in my home market at WTVJ 6). This will replace Dr. Phil who will then have new episodes shown at 3:00 instead of 5:00 p.m. (the new ones were shown at 5:00 while repeats were on at 3:00. Starting March 2nd, the repeats move to WATL 36, The ATL TV at 6:00 p.m.) And this addition will make WXIA 11, the last station in the market to air news at 5:00 p.m. However, this does bring bad news…
… On February 27th, 11 Alive News at Noon and The Daily 11 at 7:00 with Brenda Wood will end. The half-hour newscasts will be replaced to make way for the new 5:00 p.m. newscast and for some other programming. At midday, the noon newscast will be replaced by an extension of WXIA 11’s daytime talk/”pay for play” program Atlanta and Company, in which it will now run from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and hosted by Christine Pullara. In its place at 12:30 p.m., where the program had its own spin-off, will be an encore daytime episode of Jeopardy! The newscast will be replaced by Wheel of Fortune!, creating another WOF-J! hour in another market, from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
WXIA 11 canceled the 5:00 p.m. newscast in March of 2003 for Dr. Phil. Over on WATL 36, WOF at 7:00 p.m. will be replaced by The Andy Griffith Show while a rerun of Dr. Phil at 6:00 p.m. will replace Extra and a repeat of Jeopardy!
About the changes in WXIA 11’s news operation, John Deushane who is WXIA 11’s General Manager:
“Fewer people are watching local news in the middle of the day so they are transferring their efforts during that time frame online.”
He also said this about The Andy Griffith Show on WATL 36:
“This show never seems to get old, especially in the South.”
Bad timing and good timing indeed for WXIA 11. I’m not sure which side you fall under for this one.