Changes Coming to KPLR (CW11)

By August 25, 2008 Journalism, KPLR, The CW No Comments


Sam Zell’s changes are finally starting to be felt in St. Louis. KPLR, the Tribune-owned CW affiliate is moving its newscast effective September 8th.

CW11 News (or whatever it’s going to be called–more on that later) is moving to 7pm, Monday – Friday for an hour. These changes are rumored to help maximize the revenue streams for both KTVI (LocalTV LLC) and KPLR (Tribune) during newscast advertising avails.  As it stands right now, KPLR and KTVI are directly competing against each other, even though they share common ownership (not directly).

As it stands right now, by refocusing it’s newscasts during the week, the station will no longer run newscasts on Saturday or Sunday, which is an unfortunate loss of an additional source of local news (might not be so bad if KDNL had a newscast, would it?). Sport Director Rich Gould’s “Fan Show” will be seen on Saturdays, and other programming will populate the Sunday schedule.

More after the bump:

KPLR’s Press Release:

ST. LOUIS, August 25, 2008 – Beginning September 8, 2008, Tribune Broadcasting’s CW Television Network affiliate, KPLR CW 11 will make a change in the programming line-up.


      CW 11 News will move to 7PM Monday through Friday and expand the newscast to one-hour, making it the only local, early news in prime time.  “We feel there is a real opportunity to reach the news audience whose busy lifestyles may not allow them to be home in time for news that is over by 6:15 in the evening,” said Sheldon Ripson, CW 11 News Director.


      With news moving into the first hour of prime time, the station will slide The CW Television Network’s programming to one hour later, beginning at 8PM. “Research shows that the last hour of prime on the other stations skews older, so we will be offering a unique choice to younger viewers, notably in the 9 o’clock hour,” said Bill Lanesey, Vice President and General Manager for KPLR-TV.  The main audience for The CW programming is 18-34.  “In St. Louis, the number of adults in that demographic who are watching television is nearly five rating points higher between 9PM-10PM, rather than 7PM-8PM,”added Lanesey. This unprecedented move came with the involvement and blessing of The CW executives in Los Angeles. “We have worked with Bill Lanesey and Tribune over the last number of months on this matter. We respect the needs of our affiliates and their knowledge of their own individual marketplace,” said Elizabeth Tumulty, The CW Senior Vice President of Distribution.  “As a new network constantly exploring innovative ways to drive ratings, we support KPLR’s initiative to improve their business and will work in concert with them to make this experiment a success.”


      The change will take place the week of September 8, 2008; one week after The CW season premieres air.  The strategy is to speak directly to the core audience of hit shows like “Gossip Girl,”  “Smallville” and “America’s Next Top Model” as to where they will find their favorite CW programs in the future. 


      In a related move, on weeknights, the station will switch “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Two and a Half Men” to 6PM and 6:30PM, respectively.  “Two and a Half Men” is the perfect adult audience to lead into our expanded prime time news,” said Lanesey.

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