WTVT-Ch. 13's morning newscasts to start at 4:30 a.m. beginning April 27
Fox affiliate WTVT-Ch. 13, which has already been beating rival WFLA-Ch. 8 some days in the morning ratings race, is upping the ante a bit by adding a half-hour to its morning newscast, starting Good Day Tampa Bay at 4:30 a.m. instead of the 5 a.m. start everyone else offers in local news.
Tom Curran and Nerissa Prest will anchor this early program, with Dave Osterberg on weather and Jennifer Epstein offering traffic reports. The move follows a trend revealed in the RTNDA study I blogged about Monday, in which local TV news shops are increasing their newscasts without building staff, which just means more work for everyone.
Lots of questions remain: Are there enough people awake at 4:30 a.m. to make this newscast worth the effort?. Will it really establish a viewing pattern -- snag people at 4:30 a.m. and hope they stay tuned for four and a half hours? Is this enough to shift the balance of power in mornings? Will this be tougher on Curran, who has Parkinson's disease?
I won't be able to run down any of these questions on my vacation, but I'll be looking out as soon as I get back. Until then, click below to read WTVT's press release on it all.
“GOOD DAY TAMPA BAY” TO NOW BEGIN AT 4:30 A.M.
Top-Rated Local Morning News Program Now Wakes-up Tampa 30 Minutes Earlier
TAMPA – WTVT FOX 13 will add a half-hour to the early morning edition of “Good Day Tampa Bay,” announced Bill Schneider, the station’s Vice President and General Manager. Starting Monday, April 27th, the program will be presented Monday-Friday from 4:30-9:00 a.m. (ET)
In making the announcement, Schneider stated, “As the market’s morning news leader, this expansion is a natural next step for our station. This additional half-hour allows us to better serve our viewers by providing them the information they need to start their day, no matter how early it begins.”
Tampa Bay’s only locally-produced news during this time period, the additional half-hour will feature breaking news, the full SkyTower Omni weather forecast and traffic reports. Anchoring the newscast will be Nerissa Prest and Tom Curran, joined by meteorologist Dave Osterberg and traffic reporter Jennifer Epstein.
This announcement comes on the heels of a successful March 2009 sweep for WTVT. The station’s early morning newscast, “Good Day Tampa Bay” (5:00-7:00 a.m.) took the number one slot in the key A25-54 demographic and its morning newscast, “Good Day Tampa Bay” (7:00-9:00 a.m.) is also the number one in its time period, beating the network news programs in A25-54. In addition, “FOX 13 News at 10:00 p.m.” and “FOX 13 News Edge at 11:00 p.m.,” led the market in late news, taking the number one and number two slots in A25-54.