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‘NewsWatch’ Broadcasts 10 Local Stories in First Week

Times Staff Writer

KDOC Channel 56’s “NewsWatch,” Orange County’s first commercial, nightly, 30-minute news telecast, finished out its premiere week on the upswing, with even more ambitious plans for the future, according to officials of the Anaheim-based station.

After running two local stories during its inaugural broadcast Monday and only one per show on Tuesday and Wednesday--each of which appeared late in the broadcast--the show offered five Orange County stories, including the lead item, on Thursday night, all by the show’s lone field reporter, Eric Alverez.

“That was damn good for only one reporter,” said Hoshang Moaddeli, executive producer of “NewsWatch” and the station’s director of operations.

The scheduled closing piece last night was the program’s first “Focus” report, on credit bureaus in Orange County, produced by the show’s co-anchor and producer, Michelle Merker. Merker’s co-anchor is former radio personality Pat Matthews. The “Focus” report brought the first-week total of local stories to 10.

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Next Friday, Moaddeli said, the show will include its first regular film review by a local reviewer.

Station manager Calvin Brack said he hopes to expand the 8:30 p.m. broadcast to 1 hour and to start a 1-hour, early morning newscast hosted by Alverez.

Reaction to “NewsWatch” is difficult to gauge, because KDOC does not subscribe to any of the audience ratings services. However, Moaddeli said, other area stations which do subscribe should know in about 2 weeks whether “NewsWatch” is making any inroads in the market.

Moaddeli said the station had received numerous supporting letters and telephone calls--including one from station president and part-owner Pat Boone--and no complaints from fans of “The Fugitive,” which was bumped from KDOC’s schedule to make room for “NewsWatch.”

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