FOX 8 Morning News About To Be Clipped By 2 Hours?

A small item on DCRTV this morning, quoting TV insider subscription site FTVLive: “It looks like the four hours of locally-based morning news on DC’s Channel 5/WTTG are numbered. FTVLive reports that Fox is planning a national morning show in the 7 AM to 9 AM slot, to compete with like shows on NBC, ABC, and CBS. FTV says that a late summer launch is planned with Juliet Huddy and Mike Jerrick, who currently host the 1 PM ‘Dayside’ show on sister Fox News Channel…..”

Of course, like WTTG in our Nation’s Capital, WJW/8 here is also owned and operated by Fox. (Or, “FOX”, if you prefer.) Like WTTG, WJW has a lengthy local morning news program, which runs from 5 AM to 9 AM weekdays. One would have to assume that if the network is staking out the 7-9 AM turf for a national show, FOX 8 would be an automatic affiliate as a network O&O… and “FOX 8 News in the Morning” would be cut back to 5-7 AM weekdays.

FTVLive is usually pretty “plugged in”. It’s one of those sites that trades insider gossip from TV newsrooms across the country.

We’re not so sure that such a move wouldn’t be a mistake. Clearly, FOX hopes to bottle some of the success it’s found on cable…not necessarily with “Dayside”, but rather, with FNC’s own morning show (“Fox and Friends”). With FNC chief Roger Ailes taking over the broadcast stations group (the O&Os, including WJW), it would seem to be a natural.

But one of the reasons the FOX local morning shows do so well is that local viewers are looking for a local alternative to “Today”, “Good Morning America” and “The CBS Early Show”. Putting up even a fairly decent local morning news/talk show is usually a recipe for good ratings for any non-network affiliated station. In one of our former home markets, the struggling UPN affiliate basically got on the map because of its popular local morning show…a show so well received, they expanded it to 7 days a week recently.

We’ll have to see. Would Cleveland rather watch the local morning crew, or Yet Another National 7-9 AM Show? We’ll see.

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