St. Petersburg's WTSP-Ch. 10 to debut 9 a.m. newscast on Monday
Looks like Monday will be a big day for the local TV industry.
Not only will all the new show shuffling sparked by Oprah Winfrey departure take effect -- Dr. Phil moves to 4 p.m. on WTSP-Ch. 10, while Dr. Oz moves to 4 p.m. on WFLA-Ch. 8, in case you missed the endless promos -- WTSP will take the opportunity to extend its morning newscast a half hour, debuting a new local morning show from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
The broadcast, featuring the morning crew of Ginger Gadsden, Keith Jones and Bobby Deskins, follows rival WTVT-Ch. 13's debut of a 9 a.m. newscast some time ago. The appeal of local newscasts is easy to see -- more local broadcasts means more advertising revenue which isn't shared with networks or syndication companies. And the time period's previous occupant, the syndicated show Gossip Queens, was doing so badly, the station occasionally pre-empted it for infomercials.
But WTSP's morning newscasts have also struggled for ratings, placing last among the five local TV news outlets in key viewers at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. during May's "sweeps" ratings period.
"It's an opportunity," insisted WTSP general manager Ken Tonning, who said they might expand the broadcast if it proves successful. "I don't think anyone owns the time period. And we know there's a market for local programming in the mornings."
Whether there is enough of a market, we'll all learn starting Monday.