Television networks in New York are pushing the start time of morning local news coverage up to 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. to capitalize on increased early-morning viewership, according to Brian Stelter.
The networks want to seize advertising dollars at a time of day when people are less likely to be getting news from the Internet, according to one NBC executive. “You’re less likely to be getting online — you’re putting on your pants,” a vice president for news at NBC Local Media told Mr. Stelter.
Mr. Stelter compares the morning hours when many Americans leave their televisions on to an open cash register. In the last 15 years, the number of American households that have begun watching television at 4:30 a.m. has doubled.
One general manager at a local Fox network in Detroit called the idea of putting more morning news before existing morning news “the best possible scenario.”
But The Times‘ television reporter doesn’t seem to think the new approach to programming is good for viewers. “Watching the news shows for more than, say, an hour at a time would be mind-numbing,” Mr. Stelter writes, “what with weather and traffic on a loop every 10 minutes and live reports and features repeated essentially word for word every hour.” It’s the SportsCenter model.
Meanwhile, Pat Kiernan, New York One’s man in the morning, asked for a “Justin Bieber” at the barber shop yesterday— which “failed miserably,” he says, because his hair is too short — and posted the photos on his blog.