Friday, January 20, 2012

KCBS and KCAL Expand Their Weekend News Lineup

CBS' KCBS/KCAL duopoly is expanding its weekend news presence, adding three hours of news to its Saturday and Sunday schedules. Reporter Serene Branson (you may recall, she was the reporter who had a momentary speech problem while reporting outside the Grammy Awards last year) will anchor with weathercaster/reporter Kaj Goldberg.

Under the new schedule, on Saturdays KCBS 2 will air a one-hour newscast from 7-8 a.m., followed by a two-hour newscast from 8-10 a.m. on KCAL 9. On Sundays, CBS 2 will air an hour of news from 6-7 a.m. with KCAL 9’s two-hour newscast airing from 7-9 a.m.

Among KCBS/KCAL rivals, KABC 7 airs local news from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and again from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays. KNBC airs a newscast from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.; and KTLA does one from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. On Sundays, KABC airs local news from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; KNBC does 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.; and KTLA does 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. KTTV, which had briefly dabbled with weekend morning news, isn't in the game.

"We are pleased to kick off the New Year by giving our viewers even more coverage they can count on,” said Steve Mauldin, President and General Manager, CBS 2 and KCAL 9. "We view our expansion into weekend morning news as a tremendous growth opportunity for both stations, which now will produce 74 hours of regularly scheduled local news each week – more news than any other outlet in Southern California."

With KCAL now airing morning news on the weekends from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., that will likely lead to new speculation that the independent station might finally compete with KTLA and KTTV on the weekdays too. There are no plans right now, but "anything is possible," says one insider.

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