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WNBC Bringing Back 5 PM News

WNBC New York is bringing back its 5 p.m. newscast in September, reports the NY Daily News, and sliding New York Live (the new name for the LX program) to 3. It’ll be a one hour show.

WNBC spiked its 5 p news almost two years ago for the female-oriented lifestyle show LX NY, and the critics howled, feeling it sent the message that WNBC was not serious about news.

GM Michael Jack told the Daily News:

“NBC 4 believes in local news, and we are making that investment with the addition of the 5 p.m. newscast,” Jack said. “Our station has an important responsibility to deliver critical local news and information to our viewers, and the 5 p.m. will help us do that.”

Richard Huff calls it “a significant shift for the one-time market leader, which went through an uncomfortable period of downsizing and programming shifts that left the NBC flagship shortstaffed and, at times, demoralized.”

In our Open Letter to Steve Burke earlier this year, we made the case for bringing back 5 p.m. news in New York:

Show the nation that NBC is back in business by putting 5 p.m. news back on at WNBC New York. Sure, 5 o’clock’s current denizen, LX New York, is building on its miniscule ratings, but these homespun shows done on the cheap just haven’t done decent ratings. Raycom has an innovative show in America Now, and Belo and LIN are seeing success with their morning program models. I haven’t seen that hatching hit shows is part of NBC Local Media’s skill set.

I keep hearing the same thing about WNBC: If you’re not doing news at 5 on your flagship, it sends the message that news isn’t a big priority at the station-or the group

To be sure, I wasn’t the only one out there saying this.