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Local morning news--not as early anymore?


east-tx-tv

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Just wondering, is anyone seeing any pushback on early local morning news times?  I've noticed that KXAS has given up on 4:30am starts recently (they're doing 2 runs of Early Today instead, strangely).  I'm not trying to encourage the dreaded list thread, just asking if this might be a trend.

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Competitor KTVT gave up on that timeslot during the early days of coronavirus. And earlier this year, KPRC/Houston killed their 4:30a newscast allegedly due to a producer shortage. They’re also now airing 2 Early Todays. Not aware of any others, although I’m sure there are some more. In both markets you still have the Fox O&O starting at 4a though. 

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Definitely doesn't make sense to start at 4/4:30 in most markets as is the trend now. I can accept a 4am start time in top 5 or even top 10 markets. Anything else is just a $$ grab for advertising dollars. I get it, you have to make money somehow, but I feel resources could be better allocated elsewhere.

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I would agree in most areas of the country a 4am or 4:30a newscast isn’t worth the resources used to produce the content.

 

In top 5 Markets; NYC, LA, Chicago, Philly it’s ok as many people start work at 5am or 6am.

 

A market like Washington DC definitely has an audience for a 4am newscast as it’s one of those places with commuters traveling long long distances to get into the city. As a result people wake up extremely early.

Same with the SF/Bay Area. 

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Persoanlly, I honestly don't mind local morning newscasts in most markets going back to starting later. Most reports (outside of breaking news) that air at the 4am hour typically would be repeated during the rest of the broadcast anyway. And just because a lot of people wake up before 4am, that doesn't mean everyone does.

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9 hours ago, Nynewslover2 said:

I would agree in most areas of the country a 4am or 4:30a newscast isn’t worth the resources used to produce the content.

 

In top 5 Markets; NYC, LA, Chicago, Philly it’s ok as many people start work at 5am or 6am.

 

A market like Washington DC definitely has an audience for a 4am newscast as it’s one of those places with commuters traveling long long distances to get into the city. As a result people wake up extremely early.

Same with the SF/Bay Area. 

For DC, yeah, Northern Virginia is very sprawling and people will travel that far for work (even if remote work is very prominent in the area). NBC and Fox both start at 4AM.

 

And it's for reasons like this why all 5 LA newsrooms start at 4AM.

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After the pandemic started and people stayed home, we saw the biggest drop in audience at 4:00 a.m.. The midday news had the biggest increase. If remote work truly sticks, I would redirect 4:00 a.m. resources to middle-of-the-day content.

 

And while it is not the desired demographic, the biggest TV watchers, the baby boomers, are mostly retired. My parents were early risers when I was a kid. Now my mom doesn't wake up before 7:30.

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It depends on the market but anything at 4am is a rehash of last night's news or announcing what's going to happen today. Many stations don't even have liveshots until 5am. The only new content is weather and whatever traffic there is.

 

Starting that early feels unnecessary. I like the WSVN model. Rerun the 11pm news at 4:30 am and start the morning news at 5am (or 5:30 in quieter markets).

Edited by MediaZone4K
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I would think an 11pm rebroadcast at 4/4:30 would work - the only thing I would consider would be to record a toss to morning weather for a little more current info. 
 

West coast is weird, in that a 4am would work better, as some folks out there work work east coast times, so are more likely to be up earlier.

 

Also being in DC, a 4am newscast didn’t help one of my coworkers: he left home at 3:30am to beat the traffic from Culpeper (70+ miles away).  He did stream the 6am news from WDAY (his hometown station…) at the office…

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And then there's Sinclair....case in point WPMI.

 

Had a long-standing morning news program that even pre-dated their switch from FOX to NBC.

Over the years, it expanded to 2 hours, and under Sinclair, even expanded to 4:30am.

Because of their arrangement with Deerfield and cross-ownership of WEAR, they had to cancel the 4:30am due to going over the 15% programming limit that an operator can produce on a JSA/SSA station.

The competition responded by expanding to 4:30am since they were freely able to.

 

Fast forward to Sinclair creating The National Desk, their hot, new national broadcast that's sweeping the nation!

This past April, bye-bye went the local news in the morning, and was replaced by TND.

In the carnage, other Sinclair markets were severely cut back, and even had local newscasts eliminated altogether, replaced largely by TND.

 

Now with Scripps cutting back at their stations, nationalization of local newscasts could slowly be turning into a thing....

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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I can tell you that here in Tulsa KJRH doesn’t do a 4:30 anymore they show their web streaming news, KOTV still does a 4:30, KTUL does a 4:30 and KOKI does a 4:30 instead of a 4am. As for OKC KWTV has a 4am, KOCO does a 4:30, KFOR does a 4am and KOKH doesn’t do a 4 or 4:30am.

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On 7/23/2023 at 2:16 PM, ScottSchell said:

I can tell you that here in Tulsa KJRH doesn’t do a 4:30 anymore they show their web streaming news, KOTV still does a 4:30, KTUL does a 4:30 and KOKI does a 4:30 instead of a 4am. As for OKC KWTV has a 4am, KOCO does a 4:30, KFOR does a 4am and KOKH doesn’t do a 4 or 4:30am.

TitanTV and Zap2it tell me KJRH-TV still airs a 4:30 newscast.

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On 7/23/2023 at 6:19 AM, MD TV said:

For DC, yeah, Northern Virginia is very sprawling and people will travel that far for work (even if remote work is very prominent in the area). NBC and Fox both start at 4AM.

 

And it's for reasons like this why all 5 LA newsrooms start at 4AM.

 

Even a 2 am or 3 am start could be argued for in those markets.

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4 hours ago, Megatron81 said:

In West Michigan I don't believe they need a 4:30AM newscast in my opinion 5AM is when it should start.

I agree -- there aren't that many newsworthy things happening... Each half-hour is the same boring thing unless there is "breaking news or weather"

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What puzzles me is still beginning the news at 4/4:30 a.m. on major holidays holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas where people aren't going to work. I would assume this is for continuity sake or ad dollars?

Edited by MediaZone4K
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On 7/25/2023 at 6:53 AM, MediaZone4K said:

What puzzles me is still beginning the news at 4/4:30 a.m. on major holidays holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas where people aren't going to work. I would assume this is for continuity sake or ad dollars?

 

A weekend schedule is best on major holidays. Even normal local shift workers wouldn't likely need the news before about 5 or 6 am then.

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