Morning Strategy Pays Off for KNBC


NBC's KNBC-TV Los Angeles continued its dramatic morning-news turnaround in the just-completed May sweeps.

The daypart is an increasingly important news time period and in May 2003, KNBC had slipped to a tie for fourth place over its three morning newscasts behind KABC, KTTV and KTLA. For May 2004 in households (the key sales demo results are still a month away), the station is either tied at the top or number one outright. Its 5 a.m., 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. newscasts are up 67%, 58%, and 50%, respectively, over May 2003.

News Director Bob Long attributes the turn-around to a streamlining of the format. Long, who joined the station in August 2003 from NBC-owned WRC Washington, immediately cut the "features, franchises and special segments" that he felt were cluttering up the newscasts. "In this dangerous and complicated world," he says, "the harder the newscast the better it does."

Does that mean he wasn't plugging any NBC sweeps shows? "There are times when entertainment is news," he says, "but newscasts are not promotional platforms."