As stations around the country plan for an “Oprah”-less lineup, New York’s WABC has announced that it will use the soon-to-be-vacant 4 p.m. timeslot to launch a new, 1-hour newscast.
In doing so, the ABC flagship will become the first New York station to have a 4 o’clock newscast.
“It’s going to be an advantage for us, being at 4 by ourselves,” Dave Davis, WABC’s general manager, told Crain’s. “When there’s a big storm or a big story and people want something live and topical, we’ll be there.”
While the new newscast may not draw an audience as significant as Oprah’s, it could potentially make more money for the station. According to Crain’s, Oprah costs WABC $275,000 a week. The new newscast will almost certainly cost less and WABC will have the opportunity to keep a greater amount of the advertising revenue.
Atlanta’s WSB announced a similar move in November.