"8 O'CLOCK NEWS," Monday (11)--There's good news for fans of news.
Defying tradition, KTTV is introducing an 8 p.m. half-hour weeknight news program this week to complement its regular hourlong 10 p.m. newscast.
That's bad news for "Entertainment Tonight," which is being bumped to 12:30 a.m. to accommodate the "8 O'Clock News."
Regular anchors Marcia Brandwynne, who also holds the title of managing editor, and Jay Scott, who joined the station only recently, will anchor the new half-hour Monday-Friday program. Regular weathercaster Bill Austin also will appear on the new program, and former Los Angeles Dodger Rick Monday will debut as the sportscaster.
Early evening TV was long considered the property of entertainment programs. But that philosophy began changing in recent years as TV news became a lucrative profit center and independent stations aggressively searched for counter-programming strategies to entice viewers from the networks.
Unexpectedly, news has become one of the most tempting lures.
KHJ-TV's 9 o'clock newscast, anchored by Wendy Gordon and Tom Lawrence, preceded KTTV into the unknown, and the addition of "8 O'Clock News" means that Los Angeles non-cable subscribers for the first time will now have the option of watching consecutive newscasts on the hour from 4-11 p.m.
The new KTTV program arrives at a time when local independent news operations seem relatively stable and network stations KNBC and KCBS-TV are in a state of transition.
That is exemplified by the recent shuffling of management, production and on-camera news personnel at KCBS, with former KNBC anchorwoman Tritia Toyota and KNBC weathercaster Kevin O'Connell switching to the CBS station, and KCBS anchors Jess Marlow and Sandy Hill relegated to diminished roles.
Another example of newscasters becoming news.