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New Morning Show for NBC's Chicago WMAQ

NBC's WMAQ Chicago is launching an early, early morning news show with attitude starting January 15.

Playing off NBC's Today Show, the half-hour is called Barely Today, and will air from 4:30 to 5 a.m and lead into the 5-7 a.m. block before the Today Show.

For those really early commuters, the show will be simulcast on WLUP FM, a move WMAQ President/GM Larry Wert calls a first for the market.

The primarily unscripted show will be hosted by morning traffic/sports reporter Bruce Wolf.

NBC's Early Today, the early morning NBC newscast produced by MSNBC, will be bumped back to 4 a.m. to make room for Barely Today, which is described as Wolf and guest sidekicks kicking around the "water cooler" stories of the day or, given the hour, perhaps that should be "coffee pot" stories.

According to WMAQ, the drive for more morning shows is nothing new. It claims the first 6-7 a.m. news hour starting in 1990, the first 5:30 newscast in 1993,  the first 5 a.m.newscast in 1998.

Morning news has become the major growth areas for local news.