If you can’t make it to happy hour today, perhaps you can tune in to WGNO New Orleans’ News With a Twist, which launchesat 6 p.m. today
DMA No. 52 of course knows how to tip a few jars, and its newest newscast has a decidedly potent-potable motif, notes NOLA.com:
Anchors Susan Roesgen and LeBron “LBJ” Joseph will sit on bar stools as they introduce and comment on stories in mostly unscripted conversations. There will be a cocktail of the day, as concocted by a local bartender, and each broadcast will conclude with a mini-commentary called “Last Call.”
Clearly, stories will be on the lighter side, and with an emphasis on New Orleans culture. “Kind of a slice of what’s happening today in the city,” WGNO news director Rick Erbach said, citing news-talk radio and the syndicated news-and-entertainment “P.M. Magazine” program of the late 1970s and ’80s as influences on the new half-hour. “Our mantra is, ‘It’s not a traditional newscast.’”
Writes Dave Walker:Some high-profile experiments, however, have been unsuccessful. Last year, Chicago-based Tribune announced a new anchorless format for its news-ratings-challenged Houston station. The “NewsFix” project has been delayed, and the Tribune executives who fostered the outside-the-box thinking that led to it - innovation chief Lee Abrams and CEO Randy Michaels - have left the company.In New Orleans, “News With a Twist” began to take shape nearly a year ago with internal brainstorming at WGNO, Erbach said. It aims to grab the 6 p.m. time slot from other stations serving an already news-saturated audience, as well as to improve the station’s poor recent ratings performance in that hour.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.