KTLA-TV Channel 5 is expanding its news operation and is adding more than eight hours of news programming each week, station officials announced Tuesday.
The increase, which primarily affects early morning and midday newscasts, is part of a larger strategy begun this year to broaden the station’s local news coverage.
KTLA, which like the Los Angeles Times is owned by Tribune Co., began a 6:30 p.m. weekday newscast in January. It was the first local newscast to occupy the early evening time period, when most other stations air national news or syndicated fare.
Today marks the debut of the station’s weekday newscast at 4:30 a.m., which will be anchored by Asha Blake. (Thirty minutes later, Blake will continue in her current post, along with Megan Henderson, as co-anchor of the 5 a.m. newscast.)
The earlier start time is aimed at attracting viewers from areas such as Orange County and the Inland Empire who must wake up early for their morning commutes.
At 1 p.m., the station will roll out a one-hour afternoon newscast anchored by Frank Buckley and Michaela Pereira, who also handles the same duties for “The KTLA Morning News” at 7 a.m. The 1 p.m. newscast, which will be the only local news in that time period, will focus on money issues and employment, with regular reports by Times business columnist Tom Petruno. Wednesday and Friday editions of the program will feature food segments with Times food editor Russ Parsons and test kitchen manager Noelle Carter.
Starting this weekend, Cher Calvin and Lu Parker, who anchor KTLA’s weekend 10 p.m. newscasts, will also team up for a 6:30 p.m. newscast.
Station executives also announced the appointment of Jason Ball as news director. He had been serving as assistant news director for the last six months.