Tampa NBC station WFLA-Ch. 8 to resurrect its 11 a.m. newscast on Monday
Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8 will debut an hourlong newscast at 11 a.m. beginning Monday, re-establishing a program which was discontinued in 2009.
The broadcast will feature WFLA's morning personalities, including news anchors Gayle Guyardo and Rod Carter, along with forecaster Leigh Spann. The new broadcast will replace infomercials, which had been airing in the timeslot.
News director Don North said reviving the 11 a.m. newscast was something the station has been discussing for months and didn't require a new hire to implement. Before this change, WFLA was the only local station with a news department which didn't have a newscast between the morning and early evening.
A cynic might say they're reviving the news in time to snag more revenue from political ads, which are usually placed inside newscasts to catch likely voters. But North said there were also news coverage advantages.
"There's a lot of news which could be going on in the middle of the day and we don't want to miss out," he said. "You think about news coverage differently when you know there's an hour there."
WFLA has re-instated and canceled its 11 a.m. broadcast several times in the past few years, eliminating the midday report in 2001 for its talk show, Daytime. The newscast came back in 2002 when Daytime moved to 10 a.m.
The midday report was eliminated again amid a round of 2009 cost-cutting which saw 200 jobs eliminated across WFLA owner Media General's staff, including the station's sports anchor, Dave Reynolds.
Now the 11 a.m. newscast is back, just months after Media General brought in a new interim general manager, implementing layoffs and restructuring aimed at separating corporate sibling Tampa Tribune further from the TV station.