WFLD Chicago is scrapping its 10 p.m. news, reports the Chicago Tribune, 30 months after the Fox O&O launched The Ten. Phil Rosenthal reports that WFLD will air The Office at 10 as of September 21.
WFLD launched the 35-minute newscast in April 2007 to go head to head with its rivals in the 10 p news slot. The newscast featured the mellifluously magnificent ”10 Day at 10:10 on the Ten” weather forecast.
“The Ten” sought to carve out a niche for itself by being a bit faster and flashier than CBS-owned WBBM-Ch. 2, NBC-owned WMAQ-Ch. 5 and long-time market leader ABC-owned WLS-Ch. 7. The approach had its critics and never really cut into its competitors’ news audiences, but [VP/GM Pat] Mullen felt it created its own audience.
Mullen tells Rosenthal he anticipates the Dunder-Mifflin crew doing a big number in The Ten’s stead.
“This is going to be about the hottest new syndicated product to hit the market in quite some time and strong enough that we’re putting it at both 6:30 and 10 o’clock, which is historically where we put the ‘Seinfeld’ program when it was at its peak,” he said. “That gives you some idea of how important we think that show is and what we think it can do.”