WCSH and WPXT have entered into a news partnership in Portland, Maine, that will see WCSH, Gannett's NBC affiliate and a monster in DMA No. 78, produce a one-hour morning newscast on WPXT starting October 31.
NEWS CENTER Morning Report XTra will air at 7 a.m. and will feature WCSH talent Lee Nelson, Sharon Rose and Kevin Mannix.
WCSH and WPXT had previously partnered on news from 2003 to 2008. The newscast will debut in standard def but will convert to HD within days of its launch, say the stations.
"Across the country TV stations keep adding more local newscasts," said WCSH President/General Manager Steve Carter. "It's the most popular local programming and it's the morning newscast that has been expanding the fastest. We're pleased to be able to provide Mainers with another hour of top rated local news on WPXT."
Portland is a true early to bed market, making the morning newscast a more logical addition to WPXT's lineup than a late news.
WPXT and its sister WPME, CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates, air a vast lineup of homegrown shows. WPXT is owned by New Age Media and MPS Media owns WPME, but the two are co-managed through a joint sales agreement.
"We believe there is a significant number of people seeking a serious, local news program they can trust," said Doug Finck, general manager at WPXT. "It's great to be back in business with WCSH. They've been the dominant news leaders in Maine for decades."