9 Cutting Weekend Morning News – 1/6 – UPDATED: DCRTV first reported on Monday that budget-slashing Gannett’s Channel 9/WUSA will be axing its low-rated weekend morning newscasts. Last one: 1/18. The replacement: Mainly revenue-generating infomercials. In a staff memo, WUSA President/General Manager Allan Horlick writes: “Effective January 24th, we have decided to utilize the Saturday and Sunday morning time periods where we have traditionally produced our weekend morning newscasts, as the launch pad for a variety of new initiatives which we will now be free to develop. Some of this content may be produced under the direction of our Information Center and some by other departments in the station… These time periods will be used to directly generate sales revenue through outside productions”…..
St. Louisans can look to KDNL to see what most news programming times have been replaced with…informercials. As the economy has worsened, the amount paid advertisements, referred to commonly as infomercials, is seen a revenue source for many increasingly cash-strapped stations.
My Take: keep the newscasts on the weekend mornings. If your competitors are running news, do it too. The audience is there, but stations need to find more creative ways to get at those viewers. If don’t air the newscasts, put them online. In short, cutting news output is unacceptable, and a disservice to viewers.
Also, most of us hate informercials. Please find something else to show.