WRC's 'Local' Show Out of NY

Interesting story in the NY Observer about WRC Washington’s Daily Observer program, which is comprised of bits from across the NBC media spectrum–NBC News, Weather Channel, CNBC, etc. The segments are edited in New York, sent to master control in Washington, and the program is hosted by a rotating cast of staffers at WRC.

Most of Daily Connection’s “breezy” content is repurposed, and some of it is fresh. Writes Felix Gillette:

Theprogram, which soft-launched on WRC-4 on Sept. 14 and currently airs every weekday at 3 p.m, is arguably the first show of its kind: a network-produced, “local” news show that is largely created at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City and yet airs in a local news market, several hundred miles away.

Call it a creative breakthrough in network synergy. Or call it a another example of NBC executives managing for margins, not ratings, ala The Jay Leno Show. But in either case, it’s a radical attempt to re-imagine local news programming at the station level.

NBC of course swapped out a 5 p.m. news for LX New York on WNBC in September, but has not thus far produced local version of LX for its other O&Os.

Will Daily Connection, which bumped Dr. Phil in Washington, be tailored to other NBC-owned markets–New York, LA, Chicago–in the future? Might it work for affiliates that are not owned by NBC?

An NBC spokesperson was not available for comment. Gillette says Connection might connect beyond DC:

The bulk of the stories on Daily Connection are generic enough to air as news in cities around the country from D.C. to San Diego to Indianapolis. To date, WRC-4 is the only NBC station making use of New York’s package of repurposed content. But multiple NBC stations around the country could also adopt the format, potentially saving the network millions of dollars in syndication fees at a time when revenue at broadcast stations is increasingly scarce.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.