Station Dish: New Morning News, Studio in Windy City

Jul 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

CBS’s Chicago owned-and-operated station WBBM-TV will roll out weekend morning news sooner than planned and possibly as early as this month, after its slow response to the fatal porch collapse in Chicago in late June. The station’s coverage started after 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning, about two hours behind the competition. Once on air, the station did go wall-to-wall until about 11:30 a.m. The Saturday and Sunday morning shows had been loosely slated for later this year.
Also in the Windy City, NBC O&O WMAQ-TV may soon have a new street-front studio in an adjacent building, according to the Chicago Tribune. The station could use the new space for “special broadcasts” before a live audience, the story said. It would likely be similar to the “Today Show” model.
Fox O&Os Defy Naysayers; KDVR To Launch Morning Show
Doomsayers predicted the demise of local news at Fox owned-and-operated stations when Fox bought New World nearly a decade ago and initiated the largest affiliate switch in TV history. Now it appears they were wrong. Washington Fox O&O WTTG-TV’s news department received 23 regional and national awards in 2002, including a national Edward R. Murrow award and 17 local Emmys. Only 12 stations received a national Murrow award, and WTTG received one for its coverage of the sniper attacks last fall, said Fox.
In addition, Atlanta’s WAGA-TV was rumored to be canceling its 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news after the switch last decade, but the station has instead won five “Best News” Emmys over the past seven years. Overall, the 26 Fox O&Os are now at 141 hours of news per day and 791 hours per week.
Denver’s Fox O&O KDVR-TV announced last week it will introduce a morning news show, “Good Day Colorado,” early next year. The show will air from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. The station launched news three years ago with a 9 p.m. newscast, which is tops in that time period with a 3.3/8 in adults 25 to 54 and even beats the 10 p.m. numbers for McGraw Hill-owned ABC affiliate KMGH-TV, which had a 2.7/8 in May in that demo. The addition of the morning show will bookend the 9 p.m. show and allow KDVR to have more of a round-the-clock news presence, said KDVR general manager Bill Schneider.
“I think advertisers have determined the breakfast news is important to their mix, and this will ensure we are competitive in this time period,” he said. The station will announce anchors later this year, and expects to hire production and technical staffers as well as reporters and photographers.
Indies Post Strong Ratings
Post-Newsweek-owned independent station WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., is proving that independents can produce good ratings. The station carried the swearing-in of Mayor John Peyton July 1 and raked in a 7.3/11, making it the second-highest-rated show in the 7 p.m. time slot, ahead of syndicated hits such as “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “ Judge Judy,” “That ’70s Show” and “Seinfeld.”
On the West Coast, Young Broadcasting-owned independent KRON bested the competition with its July 4 fireworks coverage, “Fireworks Around the Bay,” which captured a 5.2/12, while CBS owned-and-operated KPIX-TV snared a 4.2/9 and Cox-owned Fox affiliate KTVU snagged a 4/9.
Numbers in for Cho
Liz Cho’s entry into the 11 p.m. news at ABC owned-and-operated station WABC-TV in New York on July 6 registered a 4.6/8. NBC O&O WNBC-TV was tops for the time period with a 5/9 that night.
Young Hires News VP
Frank N. Magid Associates VP Brian Greif joined Young Broadcasting late last month as VP news for the station group. The position is new and he will report to Deborah McDermott, executive VP operations at Young. His role will encompass oversight for news, as well as new business development and the creation of digital news programming. He has been a news director with Sunbeam-owned Fox station WSVN in Miami and at New York Times-owned NBC affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. “As we move beyond our analog channel into multiplexing, local news will be an important part of that,” said Ms. McDermott.