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WTSP Ch. 10 announces 5:30 p.m. newscast, starting June 7

Wtsp-10connects Local CBS affiliate WTSP-Ch. 10 will match its local competitors' newscast schedules this summer, launching a new 5:30 p.m. newscast to bump Inside Edition, stating June 7.

The show, led by top evening anchors Reginald Roundtree and Heather Van Nest, will also feature chief meteorologist Tammie Souza. Inside Edition will move to 4:30 p.m. behind Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

The move is the last step in a long road back from the days when WTSP aired the syndicated show Dr. Phil at 5 p.m. to impressive ratings. When station officials first moved Phil McGraw's in-your-face advice show to 5 p.m. in 2003, critics fretted about the loss of news time and viewers flocked to see Oprah Winfrey's protege at a time when Drphil1 they other big local broadcasters were airing news.

But in recent years, McGraw's star has dimmed, along with his ratings. A year ago, WTSP moved Dr. Phil to 7 p.m. and Inside Edition to 5:30 p.m., airing newscasts at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

But the combination hasn't set the dial on fire just yet, with WTSP scoring last or nearly last among viewers 25 to 54 at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. over February and November 2009 sweeps periods. This change puts local newscasts on WTSP from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. like the other big local broadcasters.

Perhaps with a more conventional newscast flow, WTSP can begin building an audience in the early evening again.

Click below to read WTSP's news release:

WTSP 10 Connects to Expand Local News Coverage
With the Launch of a 5:30 PM Newscast.

St. Petersburg, FL: May 18, 2010:  Ken Tonning, President and General Manager of WTSP 10 Connects, announced today an expansion of local news programming with the launch of a 5:30pm newscast.  The launch date is Monday, June 7, 2010. 

The 5:30 newscast will be anchored by Reginald Roundtree and Heather Van Nest with weather reports and forecasts from Chief Meteorologist, Tammie Souza.  This same team will continue to anchor the 5:00pm and 6:00pm newscasts. 

“We have been building our news team, adding staff in my information center,” said Tonning while making the announcement.  “We are generating more local content that is gear toward what our viewers tell us the want.  The additional 30 minutes will allow us to present the most comprehensive local newscasts in our market.”

The new afternoon line-up on 10 Connects will now feature “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” at 4:00pm, followed by “Inside Edition” at 4:30pm.  Then WTSP10 Connects will produce three different half-hour newscasts for 5:00pm, 5:30pm and 6pm. 

10 Connects is the brand name for WTSP-TV, the Gannett Co, Inc. owned CBS affiliate serving the Tampa Bays Region. 
Gannett TV stations are: W*USA, Washington, DC; WXIA and WATL, Atlanta; KARE, Minneapolis; WTSP, Tampa-St. Petersburg; WKYC, Cleveland; KPNX, Phoenix, KNAZ, Flagstaff; K*USA and KTVD, Denver; KXTV, Sacramento; KSDK, St. Louis; WZZM, Grand Rapids, MI; WFMY, Greensboro, NC; WGRZ, Buffalo, NY; WTLV and WJXX, Jacksonville, FL; KTHV, Little Rock; WBIR, Knoxville, TN; WCSH, Portland, ME; WLTX, Columbia, SC; WMAZ, Macon, GA; and WLBZ, Bangor, ME.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:08pm]


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