“The fact is that there was no place for people to turn if they wanted news at an atypical time,” Ward said. “The 4 o’clock newscast was a vehicle for us to deliver the day’s happenings to a group of people who aren’t around to watch the 6 o’clock news and perhaps don’t stay up to watch at 11 p.m. ”
Station manager John Hesslein said that when the 4 p.m. newscast is preempted for national happenings, like it was for the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the viewers begin calling the station.
“We started the 4 p.m. newscast three years ago to do something different and give the viewers what they were asking for,” Hesslein said. “And if it’s not on for some reason, the people let us know they want their 4 o’clock news back. It has steadily grown in popularity since we kicked it off and this is just the next step as we continue to grow in the Pioneer Valley.”
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Ward, who most recently worked as assignment manager at WFSB in the nearby Hartford-New Haven market, succeeds Doug Lezette as news director. Lezette left WSHM earlier this year to join Providence’s WJAR.
“Dave’s depth of experience and talents will enhance CBS 3 Springfield’s continued growth and success,” said WSHM (channel 3) station manager John Hesslein. “He has played a major role in developing strong and lasting community relationships in Connecticut and I look forward to that same success in Springfield.”
Ward, a native of Massachusetts, said that he is looking forward to working with the “talented professionals” at WSHM to “engage the community with a wide range of stories.”
Both WSHM and WFSB are owned by Meredith.