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Columbia-Jefferson City

KOMU Scales Back Interactivity on Google+ Newscast

KOMU‘s interactive newscast is moving to noon and scaling back on Google+ involvement from viewers beginning later this month.

Jennifer Reeves, the interactive director of the Columbia NBC-affiliate, told TVSpy the interactive newscast is not being cancelled, noting that the only changes are “the show’s time, name and format changes to boost its professionalism.”

“We’re scaling back on how we present interactivity in a way our audience is more wiling to accept,” Reeves said. “This is partly the challenge of bringing new delivery to a traditional space.” Read more

Emily Spain Named Morning Anchor at KOMU

Beginning this Spring, Emily Spain will join Megan Murphy and Eric Aldrich on the KOMU morning newscast.

Spain will co-anchor from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., according to TVNewsCheck. She will start her new job on May 26 after her graduation from University of Missouri, which is the owner of the Columbia NBC-affiliate.

Spain has worked at KOMU as an assignment reporter, weathercaster and web editor since 2008.

KOMU Moving Google+ Newscasts To Mornings

Columbia, MO NBC-affiliate KOMU is moving its social media-focused newscasts from 4 p.m. to 11 a.m. beginning on early next year, anchor Sarah Hill announced today.

Branded “U_News,” the newscast focuses on viewer interaction, encouraging people to contribute via Twitter, Facebook and Google+ hangouts. Hill will remain the anchor in the newscast’s new timeslot, and she will also anchor the 5 p.m. newscast.

The newscast debuted in September as the station’s replacement for “Oprah.” The show will move to mornings on January 9.

Columbia’s KMIZ Adds 6:30 p.m. Newscast, In HD

KMIZ, the ABC-affiliate in Columbia-Jefferson City, has ventured into the 6:30 p.m. timeslot with a new, high-definition newscast.

The program, which launched Monday, is the only 6:30 p.m. newscast in the market. It is co-anchored by Meredith Hoenes (pictured), a former anchor at Columbia NBC-affiliate KOMU, and Ryan Tate.

The conversion to high definition also launched Monday, on KMIZ as well as Fox-affiliate KQFX, which are both owned by JW Broadcasting. The two stations made the HD switch for their syndicated programming this summer, while the upgrades to the studio equipment were ongoing.

“The most important thing we do is the news,” KMIZ general manager Gene Steinberg told the Columbia Daily Tribune. “It seemed a little anticlimactic to run ‘Two and a Half Men’ in high definition when our own newscast wasn’t.”

KOMU Puts Local News on a Global Platform Using Google+ Hangouts

As local stations nationwide struggled with how to replace “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in their programming lineup, a new idea emerged at KOMU, the NBC-affiliate in Columbia, MO: a social-media driven newscast that would connect viewers from all over the world through “hangouts,” 10-person video chats on Google+.

“There is something magical about bringing people in from around the world in a singular space to discuss the day’s news,” KOMU’s Sarah Hill, who has anchored the 4 p.m. newscast since its debut on September 12, told TVSpy. “Globally, we are reducing the space between us.”

Hill pointed to a recent segment about Kenza Drider, who is running for president of France and targeting the country’s ban on Islamic face veils, as an example of the benefits from the hangout-style newscasts (watch video of the hangout segment inside). Read more

KOMU’s Google+ Account Deactivated, For Now

Staffers at KOMU will have one less social networking account to update this week. The Google+ account for the Columbia, MO NBC affiliate has been deactivated, according to a post by Sarah Hill, a KOMU anchor, on her personal Google+ page.

“Actually we knew the KOMU news account’s days were limited as it’s a business and G+ is limiting those kinds of accounts right now,” Hill, who jokingly posted an obituary for the station’s page, wrote.

Google+ has said businesses should not create official pages until the website is ready to support them. KOMU was using the new social networking tool to post updates and host “Hangouts” for viewers. Hill said the station will continue to use the Google+ platform through staffers’ personal pages.

“KOMU will come back when organizations are allowed back in,” she wrote. “It’s not goodbye. Just see ya later KOMU.”

(h/t Newscast Studio)

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