‘Free Press' Pitches in on New WWJ Newscast

CBS-owned WWJ Detroit launches the live 5 a.m. program First Forecast Mornings May 5. The two-hour show offers "an ongoing report of current and forecasted weather as well as the most current conditions on area roads," said CBS in a statement.

"We are thrilled to introduce this new local program to better serve the needs of our viewers," said WWJ/WKBD VP/General Manager Trey Fabacher. "There's nothing else like this on Detroit television and we know viewers are going to like what they see."

Meteorologist Lori Pinson will provide the weather information and Randy Bhirdo will report traffic. First Forecast will also feature news headlines from the Detroit Free Press. The partnership "will showcase the headlines and stories being covered by the prestigious newspaper as well as its multi-award-winning photojournalism department," said CBS.

"We're happy to have another outlet for Free Press reports and thrilled to be working with a wonderfully creative team at WWJ," said Free Press V.P./Editor Paul Anger. "First Forecast Mornings is going to be the best morning show for quick information, and we're proud to be part of it."

Free Press announced late last year it would start scaling back distribution in March, home delivering on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. It also said it would step up its TV presence.

"We're looking at ways to develop our broadcast capabilities, because technology now allows Web sites--including freep.com--to offer video reports and broadcast news," the paper's Website, Freep.com, said at the time. "That's no longer the province of traditional TV."

Michael Malone

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.