Less than a month after debuting a 10 p.m. newscast on its MeTV subchannel, WCVB Boston is cutting the hourlong newscast in half.
The Hearst-owned ABC affiliate launched The 10 O'Clock News, coanchored by Maria Stephanos and Ed Harding, on Feb. 29, but low ratings and its placement on the dot two channel — against Fox, CW and MyNetworkTV newscasts on their primary channels as well as primetime programming on NBC, CBS and WCVB's ABC — led to the change. Saturday’s newscast was the first at 30 minutes.
“It gives us a good opportunity to differentiate with a half-hour show with all the established newscasts on their primary signal all being one hour,” said Bill Fine, WCVB president and general manager. “Perhaps a faster-paced show with more content packed into half an hour will have greater appeal and allow us to get it established. In the meantime we need to educate the market on where they can find show. That will take time.”
WCVB Boston also added two new half-hour weeknight newscast at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in early January as well as an hour of weekend news at 5 p.m. in early November.
“7 o’clock news is an extraordinary story to come out of the box and beat Wheel of Fortune, perennially the market leader for 30 years,” Fine said.
MeTV Boston is available over the air on channel 5.2, 292/306 on Comcast, 461 on Verizon, 29 on RCN, 184 on Charter, 295 on Metrocast and 75 on BELD.