WPIX/Channel 11 is bringing back an early evening newscast starting this Saturday, September 11 at 6 p.m.
The move comes after the Tribune-owned station pulled the plug on its nightly 6:30 p.m. newscast after a brief eight-month run.
“We have two [syndicated] shows that are expiring, and it created an opportunity,” WPIX news director Bill Carey told FishbowlNY. “We realized that we have everything in place because we do a 10 o’clock show [and] people still come in for a full day of work.”
Therefore, Carey says, it doesn’t cost the station anything extra to produce a 6 p.m. weekend newscast.
“It’s good counterprogramming for people that don’t watch football,” Carey admits.
Another change for WPIX involves their morning newscast airing weekdays from 4:30-9 a.m.
As the station prepares for a 4 a.m. start time on September 20, Carey has flipped anchors John Muller and Chris Burrous.
Burrous, who joined PIX in June, is now co-anchoring the PIX Morning News with Sukanya Kristan from 6-9 a.m.
The veteran Muller, on the PIX Morning News since its inception in 2000, will need an earlier wake-up call. He is headed to the 4:30-6 a.m. portion (4 a.m. as of Sept. 20) of the broadcast with Tamsen Fadal.
“We’re kind of timing it so that we can cement our place at 4 o’clock in the morning,” Carey says. “I just feel like the pairings make us a stronger team and we made the flip.”
WPIX has been a trailblazer in the local morning news race. In 2008, they became the first to air a 4:30 newscast. Eventually, the other stations would join WPIX at 4:30.