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NBC 3 to Expand AM News, Cancel Noon News

NBC 3 to Expand AM News, Cancel Noon News

SYRACUSE — Starting Monday, viewers will be able to catch live, local television newscasts as early as 4am. CNY Central announced today that NBC 3 (WSTM) will expand its Today in Central New York by a full hour, starting at 4:00am. But there’s a flip-side to the expansion: the station will no longer offer the noon newscast it had been simulcasting on NBC 3 and CBS 5 (WTVH).

The changes were announced tonight on the stations’ early evening newscasts and online at CNYCentral.com. President and CEO Chris Geiger said “viewers are turning the television on earlier.” The expansion of Today in Central New York will give WSTM the distinction of being the first broadcast outlet in Syracuse to get on the air with breaking news and severe weather. For now, that honor goes to ABC affiliate NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV), which begins The Morning News at 4:30am. Just a few years ago, both stations started their early morning newscasts at 5:00am.

Geiger explains the cancellation of the noon newscast is attributed to those early morning viewers “shifting to online and mobile news sites” during the middle part of the day. Another possible reason — though not mentioned in the stations’ announcement — is the fact that having talent and crew start their day prior to 4:00am would mean an eight-hour workday ends before noon. At that point, producing a noon newscast would require the station to pay everyone overtime or add an additional shift of workers, a move which might not be cost-effective for a single, 30-minute newscast.

In place of the noon newscast, NBC3 will air Access Hollywood, while another syndicated infotainment program, Extra, will fill the timeslot on CBS5. According to the program schedule on CNYCentral.com, the shows will also continue to air in their current timeslots, at 7:00pm and 7:30pm respectively, on NBC3. Since both shows are produced on the west coast, we presume the noon timeslot will be a repeat of the previous day’s program; the shows aren’t typically completed in time for airing at noon eastern.

As of 9:00pm Wednesday, about a dozen viewers have posted comments below the CNYCentral.com article. So far, most of those comments seem to be split evenly between questioning if there’s really a need for news to begin at 4:00am, and questioning the decision to cancel the noon newscast. One viewer who identified herself as an early riser did praise the additional morning hour, and said she wouldn’t miss the noon show since she’s at work at that hour. For those who will miss the lunchtime newscast on WSTM and WTVH, it appears NewsChannel 9 will be the only broadcast option for noon news as of next week.

8 Comments to NBC 3 to Expand AM News, Cancel Noon News

    • Why can’t they have a noon newscast on one of the stations, either 3 or 5? I thought that when Barrington (Channel 3) took over WTVH (5) that they talked about having newscasts at different times than the standard (morning, noon, 5, 5:30, 6, and 11) times. Wish some other company would buy Channel 5 and actually run it properly and not run it into the ground like Barrington has. Please Granite if you can’t run 5 the way a TV station should then sell it to some company who will.

      • Sportsmedianut: Here’s the press release from 2009, which states, “We plan on providing newscasts at times not currently programmed with local news and expand our news at other times.” Technically, they came through by expanding the CW6 News at Ten from 30 minutes to 60 minutes in August 2010. Starting at 4:00am also accomplishes these objectives. Although the statement never specifically said they’d start newscasts in “non-traditional” timeslots, I’ll admit, that’s how I originally interpreted it as well. For example, I had envisioned something like WTVH doing news at 4pm, WSTM doing news from 5-6:30, and then WTVH doing another newscast at 7pm. This would have ended the competition between the two stations in the traditional 5-6:30 block, while giving WTVH bragging rights as the “only” newscast at 4 and 7. News might not “win” those timeslots, but might perform better than in the existing timeslots. Of course, I can understand WTVH might not have wanted to move Wheel and Jeopardy down to 5pm (to allow news at 7pm)… it could have been a great way to counterprogram against 9, or it could have really backfired, and big. But with those game shows now on Fox 68, WTVH is filling the hour with sitcom reruns… what have they got to lose?

  1. [Comment posted on website]
    On September 20, 2012 at 1:38 am, sportsmedianut said:

    Why can’t they have a noon newscast on one of the stations, either 3 or 5? I thought that when Barrington (Channel 3) took over WTVH (5) that they talked about having newscasts at different times than the standard (morning, noon, 5, 5:30, 6, and 11) times. Wish some other company would buy Channel 5 and actually run it properly and not run it into the ground like Barrington has. Please Granite if you can’t run 5 the way a TV station should then sell it to some company who will.

  2. [Comment posted on website]
    On September 20, 2012 at 1:38 am, sportsmedianut said:

    Why can’t they have a noon newscast on one of the stations, either 3 or 5? I thought that when Barrington (Channel 3) took over WTVH (5) that they talked about having newscasts at different times than the standard (morning, noon, 5, 5:30, 6, and 11) times. Wish some other company would buy Channel 5 and actually run it properly and not run it into the ground like Barrington has. Please Granite if you can’t run 5 the way a TV station should then sell it to some company who will.

  3. So we will watch Channel 9 via DishNetwork for noon 3 weather, etc. Hope local advertisers catch on that their audience has moved. Access/Extra are nothing I care to watch. I will miss the noon weather gang with my breakfast. Not everyone starts at 4 am, folks.

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