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Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

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MWmetalhead
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Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by MWmetalhead » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:47 pm

I personally think this is a trial balloon that could potentially lead to WGN America changing identity and becoming a 24/7 cable news network.

WGN's owner is Nexstar, the same company that owns WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, WLNS-TV in Lansing, and WJMN-TV in Escanaba / Marquette.

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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by Deleted User 12047 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:50 am

This is less of a surprise that you would think. Syndicated quiz shows or network reruns cost a lot of money. Nexstar has a tremendous portfolio of stations nationwide that all have news departments that are producing news and human interest stories that can be repurposed for basically free. And face it - there are no prime time newscasts right now - it's all talk show panels and pundits bloviating. Great idea.



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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by bmw » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:01 am

The proportion of re-packaged locally-produced content to live, behind an anchor desk presentation of the news, is going to determine whether such a venture succeeds. If it ends up being a format where they just air a ton of small packages produced by news stations around the country, I think it will be a massive failure. If, however, they limit that type of content and instead focus on trying to be what CNN once was, they might have a chance of competing against the likes of Fox News and MSNBC (note I left CNN out as they've become irrelevant).



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Calvert DeForest
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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by Calvert DeForest » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:50 pm

I think the reason the 24/7 news outlets fill their schedules with so much bloat is because there simply isn't 24 hours of relevant news to report in a day. That and the fact that these operations have discovered profitability in catering to specific audiences with political commentary shows.

Old-school managing editors like Walter Cronkite had 30 minutes per night to work with. They had to determine which stories held enough relevance to fit within a limited time window. Managing editors for 24/7 news channels have the opposite challenge. They have to scrounge for anything they can find to fill 10 or 15 minutes in a schedule that never ends. Most of it consists of local stories that don't really warrant national exposure. When they can't find something to fill, they just rehash what they already have on-hand. The "Breaking News" moniker is just a marketing technique designed to pump up nationally-irrelevant stories and make them seem more important than they actually are. Anything to avoid dead air.


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radioandtventhusiast
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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by radioandtventhusiast » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:38 pm

WGN America is pretty much mostly reruns, especially COPS, Blue Bloods and MASH in prime-time, especially for the last few years. For a while, they had a few semi-popular premium-style shows, but they decided to use shows from Canada as their "original programming". I think since they stopped being a superstation and dropped all Chicago news and sports, their ratings are down. I'm not sure if adding a 3-hour newscast will help the ratings or not. It might be interesting to watch, though.



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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by rugratsonline » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:36 am

radioandtventhusiast wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:38 pm
I think since they stopped being a superstation and dropped all Chicago news and sports, their ratings are down. I'm not sure if adding a 3-hour newscast will help the ratings or not. It might be interesting to watch, though.
One thing I don't get is that while there is speculation that WGN America would be converted into a news channel, then why did they shut down CLTV, which was the cable news channel that served Chicagoland?



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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by Inundated » Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:19 am

Speaking of WGN America and Canada, it aired CTV's "Corner Gas" for a year or two.

As far as Nexstar canning CLTV, it is simple to explain - they are focusing on WGN news-wise. They have already added some news and sports shows to Channel 9...



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Re: Surprising programming change upcoming to WGN America; 3 hour national newscast to debut

Post by TheForce » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:34 pm

Calvert DeForest wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:50 pm
I think the reason the 24/7 news outlets fill their schedules with so much bloat is because there simply isn't 24 hours of relevant news to report in a day.
This is probably why cable news channels like CNN and MSNBC have non news programming in the evening on the weekends. Having WGN as a news channel sounds intriguing.



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