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Local 24 Memphis (WATN)'s "Local Memphis Live"

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#1
Trev0

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It was officially announced today that beginning on October 7 (Monday), WATN-TV ABC Local 24 Memphis would begin a new show entitled "Local Memphis Live" at 9 AM. This show was made to replace Live! with Regis and Kelly which was pulled in September. This will leave WMC the only station in the Memphis market to not have a newscast during the 9 AM hour (WREG has "Live at 9", WHBQ has the morning-long "Good Morning Memphis"). This show is believed to be close to the format of "Live at 9" with musical guests, sit-down segments, and more of a fun format. 
 
It appears as though the show will be hosted by morning and midday meteorologist Lauren Raymer and reporter Yvette Whiteside. 
 
The promo, which began airing today, can be viewed here (bad quality warning).


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#2
JTMEM

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Lauren talked a bit about the coming debut on this morning's Midday newscast. They are aiming this to be a pure talk show, even more so than Live at 9, probably very close to Live! itself. Lauren said no news content whatsoever (though I imagine any breaking news/weather would be covered if necessary).

 

With that being the case, Yvette Whiteside and Lauren Raymer are good choices. They are going to be in a very tough position to gain traction, against the long-standing Live at 9 that usually sews up any good in-studio bookings for that hour. Not to mention GMM and the 3rd hour of Today. Add to that plenty of people still upset over the loss of Live! and a month's worth of paid programming, and I'm not sure there are any 9 AM WATN viewers left. We'll see, and I do appreciate Nexstar willing to try something new and different in the market.

 

One side note that worries me for the short term, yanking Yvette from her reporter role along with the recent departure of Jackie Orozco has left them with Eli Ross as their only nightside reporter the last week or so. The result has been 10 pm newscasts with tons of filler and WATN being behind the ball on some late breaking stories. 


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#3
Trev0

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Would Yvette not report as well? I figured it would be a similar situation to Alex Coleman on 3, doing Live at 9 and then anchoring the 4 PM.

 

I will say that yanking Kelly and Michael should have waited for a little bit. They had a good viewer base starting and they lost a lot of people with that decision. Not just the decision to not air it, but to air infomercials in it's place. That makes it seem like they were desperate to get rid of it, and that angered a lot of people. They should have waited until now to pull them, or start "LML", as it's apparently being called, earlier.


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#4
JTMEM

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Would Yvette not report as well? I figured it would be a similar situation to Alex Coleman on 3, doing Live at 9 and then anchoring the 4 PM.

 

I will say that yanking Kelly and Michael should have waited for a little bit. They had a good viewer base starting and they lost a lot of people with that decision. Not just the decision to not air it, but to air infomercials in it's place. That makes it seem like they were desperate to get rid of it, and that angered a lot of people. They should have waited until now to pull them, or start "LML", as it's apparently being called, earlier.

 

She might continue to report, but it wouldn't be at nightside/weekend (Wed-Sun) which is where she's been since starting at WATN. I suppose they could have her do dayside or even morning reporting and move somebody like Shelley Orman in the interim.

 

The problem with waiting to pull Live! is their contract on it likely ran out at the beginning of September, when the new season began, so they couldn't show it for that extra month unless they intended to broadcast another whole season, which obviously they didn't. What should have happened is them having LML ready to go in September. Still, either way would have had people angry which is what happens when you drop a very popular show that's been airing 25+ years.


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#5
Trev0

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I watched the show for the first time a few days ago.

 

For starters...everything is purple. Pretty much everything that is blue during normal newscasts is purple during LML. They also use a different bug and bug animation (normal bug animates between Local 24 logo and www.localmemphis.com, LML bug switches between purple Local 24 logo and Local Memphis Live logo by rotating in a cube almost identically to the Fox logo)

 

Here are a few examples of the graphics:

http://www.localmemp...d/video/4452912

 

Here's the rejoin:

http://www.localmemp...d/video/4438706 (notice the V/O is a female)


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#6
Mrtraveler01

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The strange thing I just noticed is that it doesn't look like any station in Memphis decided to pick up Live with Kelly and Michael.

 

http://livekellyandm...station-finder/

 

Were the ratings in Memphis that bad or something? I would've thought that they would've gotten picked up somewhere else.


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#7
24994J

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They're using a variation of the theme WLS in Chicago uses for their 'Windy City Live' morning show.


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#8
JTMEM

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The strange thing I just noticed is that it doesn't look like any station in Memphis decided to pick up Live with Kelly and Michael.

 

http://livekellyandm...station-finder/

 

Were the ratings in Memphis that bad or something? I would've thought that they would've gotten picked up somewhere else.

 

No. Ratings in Memphis were near series highs last season, like most markets. I think the shuffle was last minute on WATN's part (the job postings went up only a couple of months before the debut) and I doubt no other station in Memphis was in a position to pick it up that quickly.

 

Repeating my idea from earlier though, I don't see where WREG, WMC or WHBQ could pick it up unless they aired it way of the normal time, and it's possible ABC Domestic wouldn't go for that. It seems 75+% of markets air it at 9 AM local, with the rest at 10/11. I see nobody that's dumping it late at night or even early afternoon. Nobody else in Memphis could shift their morning schedule to allow a 9 or 10 airing of Live. WHBQ would be the only and that's just if Wendy Williams gets cancelled or Fox O&Os drop it.

 

I did catch an airing in their first week and while it wasn't terrible, it was a little rough and it's apparent more time is needed for Lauren and Yvette (Yvette especially) to acclimate to this kind of role. A couple of segments, including the opener, are simply them conversing on hot topics, entertainment news and such. If they can improve that over time and have some decent guest segments it would be a worthy competitor to Live at 9 for those who want zero hard news at that hour, and there is a place for that. Their biggest hurdle will yet again be convincing people this is better than Live! and using the "local" angle which has been their go-to line so far won't be enough.


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#9
Mrtraveler01

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No. Ratings in Memphis were near series highs last season, like most markets. I think the shuffle was last minute on WATN's part (the job postings went up only a couple of months before the debut) and I doubt no other station in Memphis was in a position to pick it up that quickly.

 

Repeating my idea from earlier though, I don't see where WREG, WMC or WHBQ could pick it up unless they aired it way of the normal time, and it's possible ABC Domestic wouldn't go for that. It seems 75+% of markets air it at 9 AM local, with the rest at 10/11. I see nobody that's dumping it late at night or even early afternoon. Nobody else in Memphis could shift their morning schedule to allow a 9 or 10 airing of Live. WHBQ would be the only and that's just if Wendy Williams gets cancelled or Fox O&Os drop it.

 

I did catch an airing in their first week and while it wasn't terrible, it was a little rough and it's apparent more time is needed for Lauren and Yvette (Yvette especially) to acclimate to this kind of role. A couple of segments, including the opener, are simply them conversing on hot topics, entertainment news and such. If they can improve that over time and have some decent guest segments it would be a worthy competitor to Live at 9 for those who want zero hard news at that hour, and there is a place for that. Their biggest hurdle will yet again be convincing people this is better than Live! and using the "local" angle which has been their go-to line so far won't be enough.

 

Another question I had is why not just move it to WLMT (possibly at a later time slot to not compete with Local Memphis Live)? Was Nexstar that unwilling to renew their contract?


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#10
JTMEM

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Another question I had is why not just move it to WLMT (possibly at a later time slot to not compete with Local Memphis Live)? Was Nexstar that unwilling to renew their contract?

 

I had the exact same question, but It may have indeed been a Nexstar decision. I've learned KARK dropped it too so it isn't airing in Little Rock right now either. Not sure if any other Nexstar stations were airing it and whether they still do. 

 

10 AM would have been a perfect time for WLMT to take it over. They have a next-day repeat of Dr. Phil in that slot now from WATN's original 3 PM airing.


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#11
sanewsguy

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If they can improve that over time and have some decent guest segments it would be a worthy competitor to Live at 9 for those who want zero hard news at that hour, and there is a place for that. Their biggest hurdle will yet again be convincing people this is better than Live! and using the "local" angle which has been their go-to line so far won't be enough.

no, sorry. There are people who won't watch the local stuff and much prefer the more polished Kelly and Michael and A-list guests that Local Memphis Live (or any other local lifestyle show outside of NYC or LA) don't have.


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