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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

In Miami, WPLG Returning Local News to 5 p.m.

Miami ABC-affiliate WPLG is returning local news to its 5 p.m. time slot.

After scrapping its 5 o’clock newscast in favor of “Dr. Phil” a few years ago, the Post-Newsweek station is set to debut a new 5 p.m. show on August 22nd.

Calvin Hughes and Laurie Jennings (right), WPLG’s team at 6 and 11, will be behind the anchor desk from 5:00 to 5:30, with Jen Herrerra subbing for Jennings during the last half-hour.

In a recent phone conversation with TVSpy, WPLG vice president and general manager Dave Boylan said the programming shift comes down to dollars and cents.

“5 p.m. newscasts make sense given today’s economy,” Boylan said. Read more

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Houston’s KHOU Launching Newscast in Oprah’s Old 4 p.m. Time Slot

KHOU is set to debut a new newscast on August 1st in the 4 p.m. time slot long held by Oprah.

The Houston CBS-affiliate announced this week that it is adding a half-hour newscast at 4 p.m., which will be followed by “Jeopardy” at 4:30. KHOU has been airing repeats of “Oprah” in the 4 p.m. time slot since the daytime queen’s departure in May.

“KHOU 11 News at 4 gives us a chance to bring viewers the big news of the day, while the stories are still developing,” said Philip Bruce, KHOU’s executive news director. “It’ll be immediate, fast-paced and plugged-in to what’s happening at the moment.”

The 4 p.m. newscast will be anchored by Len Cannon, who will continue co-anchoring the station’s 6 p.m. newscast.

KHOU’s announcement means that stations in six of the top 10 markets have now replaced “Oprah” with local news (New York’s WABC, Chicago’s WLS, Philadelphia’s WPVI, San Francisco’s KGO, and Atlanta’s WSB have all launched local shows in Oprah’s wake).

In Talks with NBC, Couric Demanded a 4 p.m. Guarantee at Stations

ABC is expected to announce a deal with Katie Couric today that hinges on the former “CBS Evening News” anchor’s potential as a syndication star.

Couric and her team, which includes her former “Today” cohort Jeff Zucker, believe that she can fill the daytime hole left by Oprah and this was a key part of the negotiations with ABC, as well as CBS and NBC.

According to The New York Timesdetailed account of Couric’s network negotiations, her team went as far as to demand that NBC have its stations hold Oprah’s longtime 4 p.m. time slot for her. When NBC wouldn’t provide this guarantee, Couric bumped CBS and ABC to the top of her list.

Eventually ABC won out with a pitch that included both its syndication experience and an offer for Couric to regularly contribute to its news division. By all accounts, the deal does not include any time slot guarantees on behalf of ABC stations.

Orlando’s WFTV Replaces Oprah with Casey Anthony

Orlando’s WFTV has found a replacement for Oprah: Casey Anthony.

In the wake of Oprah’s departure, WFTV has decided to run coverage of the Casey Anthony trial in the TV icon’s longtime time slot instead of repeats of her final season.

“We’re here to serve an audience. The market has more interest in Casey on trial than in repeats of a show that has been canceled,” WFTV news director Bob Jordan told the Orlando Sentinel recently, referring to “Oprah.”

WFTV’s competitors have been drawing significant audiences with daytime coverage of the Anthony trial so the station decided to put its hat in the ring. WFTV’s sister station WRDQ is now airing live coverage of the trial from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays with WFTV taking over at 4.

“We have to be in the game,” Jordan said. “We’re not going to sit here and let them take this.”

In Many Markets, Oprah Finale Preempted by Severe Weather Coverage

For a handful of markets around the country, Oprah’s farewell is coming a day late.  That’s because severe weather rolling through the midwest and southeast forced local stations to preempt Oprah’s much-anticipated final show on Wednesday in favor of weather coverage.

Oprah fans in St. Louis, Toledo, Little Rock, and Memphis had to wait until today to watch the finale in its entirety.

While KSDK, WTOL, KATV, and WMC may have upset fans, the stations ultimately feel that their audiences were best served with live weather coverage.

“We understand the importance of Oprah’s final show,” WTOL news director Andi Roman told the Toledo Blade on Wednesday, “but when it comes to tornados and severe weather, that’s the biggest factor that we worry about. Our team of meteorologists is on top of making people safe.” Read more

KSDK Adding Newscasts to Post-’Oprah’ Lineup

St. Louis NBC-affiliate KSDK unveiled its new, post-”Oprah” programming schedule this week, announcing that it would add three new newscasts to its lineup.

The Gannett-owned station will air “Oprah” reruns through the summer and then start anew in September with a one-hour newscast replacing the daytime icon at 4:00 p.m. In addition to the new 4 p.m. show, KSDK will begin its morning news coverage a half-hour earlier, at 4:00 a.m., and will follow NBC’s “Today” with a new one-hour newscast at 10:00 a.m.

“With the departure of Oprah, it gives our news organization the opportunity to create and deliver a totally new newscast for St. Louis,” said Mike Shipley, KSDK’s news director. “We’re up to the challenge of providing fresh and innovative content for these new local shows.”

“Our new fall lineup reaffirms our commitment that local news is indeed our station’s priority,” said president and general manager Lynn Beall.

Stations Look Toward Local News Profitability in a Post-’Oprah’ World

As stations around the country prepare to launch newscasts in Oprah’s long-held time slot, many are questioning the thinking behind replacing a syndicated juggernaut with an expansion of local news.

Pointing to WABC, a recent article in the New York Post lays it out plainly:

“Oprah” cost the station $60,000 an episode, or as much as $1.2 million a month, and while the large audience brought in buckets of advertising cash, the station had to share it with a syndication agent.

With the local news, it may be losing the $50,000 “Oprah” commanded for a local 30-second spot for something like $2,000 a spot during its local news, but it gets to keep all of the fewer ad dollars that roll in.

And producing an hour of news isn’t quite as pricey as buying “Oprah.”

While Madison Avenue experts wonder if, say, WABC’s decision to air a 4 p.m. newscast will pay off, stations are hoping that a post-”Oprah” world will be a profitable one.

WTVD Readies 4 p.m. Newscast to Replace ‘Oprah’

WTVD is preparing to launch the first 4-5 p.m. newscast in the Raleigh market later this week, replacing Oprah when she signs off on Wednesday.

“We at ABC11 are proud and excited to take the lead in providing Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville and surrounding areas with a landmark in the region’s local news coverage, the first daily 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. newscast,” said John Idler, WTVD’s president and general manager, in announcing the new newscast.

The new 4 p.m. newscast will be anchored by Frances Scott and Fred Shropshire, both native North Carolinians. Shropshire joined WTVD in 2007 and has been working as a weekend anchor and weekday reporter. Scott currently anchors the 5 and 5:30 p.m. weekday newscasts. Meteorologist Chris Hohmann will also be on-hand.

The additional hour of news means that WTVD will now run a solid block of local news from 4 to 6:30, followed by “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.”

In Denver’s Post-Oprah Landscape, KMGH Decides to Launch First-Ever 3 p.m. Newscast

Later this month, ABC-affiliate KMGH will do something that no station in the Denver market has done before: broadcast a 3 p.m. newscast.

In an effort to capitalize on Oprah’s exit from rival KCNC, KMGH will move “The Dr. Oz Show,” which currently airs at 3, to 4 p.m., Oprah’s long-held time slot. As a result, KMGH’s 4 p.m. newscast will be bumped up to 3.

“The decision to put local news at 3 and put “Oz” at 4 is not an easy one, but it’s one we have to take advantage of,” said KMGH general manager Byron Grandy told the Denver Post recently. “It’s the natural Oprah replacement.”

The new, half-hour newscast will be anchored by Anne Trujillo and Mike Landess, with meteorologist Mike Nelson. It will make its debut on May 26th.

“We’re excited to open up a new time period to showcase meaningful stories to the news audience,” KMGH news director Jeff Harris said, adding, “News is always breaking.”

Following Other ABC-Affiliates, WSB Prepares to Launch Newscast in ‘Oprah’ Timeslot

Atlanta’s WSB announced today that it will launch a one-hour 4 p.m. newscast to replace Oprah, who leaves for cable at the end of May. WSB follows Chicago’s WLS and New York’s WABC in filling Oprah‘s longtime timeslot with local news.

“We felt that this was the right time to start the additional newscast,” said Bill Hoffman, WSB’s vice president and general manager, adding that the new 4 p.m. newscast would give the station “another hour of opportunity to serve viewers with local news when they want it.”

The new newscast will be anchored by Monica Pearson and John Bachman (above, right), with Glenn Burns, WSB’s chief meteorologist, forecasting the weather.

Pearson has been with the station for over 30 years and currently anchors WSB’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Bachman, who has been with WSB since 2007, currently works as a weekend anchor in addition to reporting throughout the week. Read more

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