by pat howard

HSV | Fox 54 preps ‘local’ news

In American Idol on January 13, 2008 at 11:49 am

Huntsville’s Fox affiliate, WZDX, is getting into the local news business. Starting as early as tomorrow, Fox 54 will air 30 minutes of news at 9 p.m.

The taped newscast is slated to air weeknights and is produced with the technical support of the Independent News Network, an Iowa company that produces local newscasts for small stations such as Fox 54.

It’s an interesting idea and the first time in about seven years that a Huntsville station has tried a 9:00 newscast. In 2000, WAAY 31 (an ABC affiliate) produced a local half-hour for then-UPN affiliate WHDF. Due in part to the fact that the set was constructed in part from the pegboard one might hang tools from in a garage, the experiment was not a particular success.

This new strategy may be a better fit for the market and for a station with a smaller news budget trying to compete with the established players in Huntsville. Look for Fox 54’s 9 p.m. newscast to roll out this week, in time for the season premiere of American Idol.

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