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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OFFICIAL: WEHT and WTVW to expand local news through Eyewitness News partnership

UPDATE, 5:11 p.m.:  I've added a picture of the Eyewitness News logo taken by anchor Julie Dolan.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  The following information comes from a press release issued this afternoon by Nexstar Broadcasting.

Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. announced today that it will expand its Evansville television news operations under the title of Eyewitness News.  The expansion will take place on December 1, 2011 and will include newscasts on the recently re-branded WEHT Local and Local 7 WTVW.  Eyewitness News will feature a lineup of trusted and respected journalists who have decades of experience covering news in the Tri-State region, including anchors Brad Byrd, Randy Moore, Shelley Kirk and Julie Dolan, and meteorologists Wayne Hart and Ron Rhodes.

Eyewitness News logo (From a photo by Julie Dolan)
Nexstar Broadcasting’s Evansville operations Vice President and General Manager, Mike Smith commented on the expansion, “Our Tri-State viewers are directly affected by the events that occur in their communities and neighborhoods and Eyewitness News will provide greater content, interactivity, and depth tailored to their needs and interests.  The Eyewitness News mission is focused on delivering the most relevant, compelling and informative local news that touches the daily lives of our viewers.  Local 7 WTVW and WEHT Local will offer over forty-seven hours of locally produced weekly news, or eight more hours of local news programming than all other stations serving the Tri-State community combined.”

Eyewitness News Daybreak
Veteran anchors Randy Moore and Julie Dolan will headline Eyewitness News Daybreak from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on WEHT Local, and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Local 7 WTVW. Veteran meteorologist Ron Rhodes will provide a morning weather forecast, and with the advanced accuracy of Eyewitness News First Warning Doppler Radar, Evansville viewers will have prime access to severe weather alerts. WEHT Local and Local 7 WTVW’s Eyewitness News Daybreak support staff will include live reporters on the streets covering the latest news, as well as two additional live reporters to keep viewers up-to-date with continuous reports on developing local, regional, national and international news. The morning schedule and anchor line-up include:
  • Eyewitness News Daybreak 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. (WEHT Local)
    • Anchors Randy Moore, Julie Dolan and meteorologist Ron Rhodes
  • Eyewitness News Daybreak 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. (Local 7 WTVW)
    • Anchors Randy Moore, Julie Dolan and meteorologist Ron Rhodes
  • Local 7 Lifestyles 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. (Local 7 WTVW)
    • Hosts Julie Dolan, Stefanie Martinez and meteorologist Ron Rhodes
  • Eyewitness News at Noon (Local 7 WTVW)
    • Anchor Julie Dolan and meteorologist Ron Rhodes
Eyewitness News In the Afternoon and Evening
Eyewitness News will bring viewers local breaking and feature news throughout the day with reporting from distinguished Anchors Brad Byrd and Shelley Kirk. Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Wayne Hart, will keep Evansville viewers up-to-date on the latest weather forecasts and severe storm alerts.  The afternoon schedule and anchor line-up include: 
  • Eyewitness News First at 4:00 p.m. - 5: 00 p.m. (WEHT Local)
    • Anchor Shelley Kirk and Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart
  • Eyewitness News at 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (WEHT Local)
    • Anchors Brad Byrd, Shelley Kirk and Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart
  • Eyewitness News at 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (WEHT Local)
    • Anchors Brad Byrd, Shelley Kirk, Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart and sports with Drew Amman
  • Eyewitness News at 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Local 7 WTVW)
    • Anchors Brad Byrd, Shelley Kirk, Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart and sports with Drew Amman 
  • Eyewitness News at 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (Local 7 WTVW)
    • Anchor Brad Byrd, Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart and sports with Drew Amman
  • Eyewitness News at 10:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. (WEHT Local)
    • Anchors Brad Byrd, Shelley Kirk, Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart and sports with Drew Amman 
“The significant investment to expand our news programming reflects our unprecedented commitment to serving the local community,” Mr. Smith said. “Local 7 WTVW and WEHT Local’s united Eyewitness News operation will be unsurpassed in journalism talent and manpower, and we will bring the community more stories from more locations than any other news operation in the local market.  Eyewitness News will provide viewers with the high-quality news they demand when and where they want it through our united on-air content, web and mobile platforms,, Tri-state on the Go and our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter,” stated Mr. Smith.

Eyewitness News Sports
The combined Eyewitness News Sports team will provide more local coverage and highlights than ever before, not only during regular newscasts, but through special sports segments on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to professional and collegiate sports coverage, Local 7 WTVW and WEHT Local will continue to feature live broadcasts of the best high school sports match-ups.

Scheduled Eyewitness News Weekend Offerings
The Eyewitness News expansion will include an unmatched line-up of weekend newscasts to deliver the most relevant local content and information to Tri-State viewers. The schedule includes:
  • Eyewitness News 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (Saturday, WEHT Local/Sunday, Local 7 WTVW)
  • Eyewitness News 6:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Saturday - Sunday, Local 7 WTVW)
  • Eyewitness News 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (Saturday - Sunday, Local 7 WTVW)
  • Eyewitness News 10:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. (Saturday - Sunday, WEHT Local)
Mr. Smith concluded, “We are offering Evansville viewers, as well as web and mobile users the most choices to access in-depth, local news programming throughout the day and evening delivered on two television stations by the largest team of experienced journalists ever united in a market this size. With the success of ABC News, Eyewitness News will be positioned to emerge as a dynamic news presence on December 1. Our intention is to be the best possible resource for local news in the community, and we welcome feedback from our viewers and advertisers on our unprecedented news and programming initiatives.”

In addition to local newscasts, Local 7 WTVW will continue its commitment to provide quality local programming in the Tri-State region including:
  • Local 7 Sports Live Game of the Week (Friday) - A weekly live broadcast of the top local high school football, basketball, and baseball games.
  • “My Hometown” (7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Sunday) - A weekly program that takes an inside look at inspiring local stories and people within the communities throughout the Tri-State region.
  • “Oakland City University Academic Challenge” (7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Sunday) - The weekly program features the best and brightest local high school students in a fast-paced, quiz-style academic challenge that tests students in a wide range of subjects. Viewers can watch students show off their academic talents as they compete for over $550,000 in scholarships.
Nexstar is also making significant upgrades to the news and broadcast facilities including a new set, new graphics and a full complement of enhanced weather technology. Starting December 1, the news will be broadcast from a temporary set while construction of the all-new permanent set for Eyewitness News is being completed.

Nexstar Broadcasting owns WEHT-TV and through an outsourcing agreement provides services to WTVW-TV, which will be licensed to Mission Broadcasting post-closing of Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s acquisition of WEHT-TV.


CJ said...

I wonder if the total news being produced now is equal to, less than or more than what the two stations where doing combined prior to the merge.

Also, no mention of HD.

Jake K. said...

Do we know about the weekend team?

Ron said...

I have a funny feeling that WEHT's "HD" will be a 4:3 picture stretched out to fill a 16:9 screen, as WTVW's local news programs are now.

I hope I am wrong about that.

I hate to continue in the role of the pessimist, but I don't think this WTVW-WEHT "shotgun wedding" is what the FCC would have considered to be "in the public interest" years ago.

The press release indicates that Mike Smith is accepting comments from the public. Jacob, how can we send comments to Mr. Smith?

Never mind, I found his email address posted on via the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the site's home page.

Jake's DTV Blog said...

Weekend team should be Shalah & Lindsay, with David Heckard on weather. Randall & Doug on sports.

jsmith25 said...

Would like to see another Owensboro/Western KY reporter in the news room at WBKR.

saundra, event engineer said...

Happy to be part of the Lifestyles hour.....

Northov_Henderson said...

Will Randy Moore, Julie Dolan, and Ron Rhodes do their final evening newscast Wednesday, November 30; then turn around and do their first morning newscast the very next morning? That would be a really rough transition for all three.

Jake's DTV Blog said...

I think they'll get tomorrow night off. I'd hope so, anyway!