NBC O&Os to start 7 p.m. newscasts

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The news expansion continues: Two NBC owned-and-operated stations in New York (WNBC-TV) and Miami (WTVJ) will be launching 7 p.m. weeknight newscasts, beginning on September 10.

WNBC had a 7 p.m. network newscast until several years ago, when it moved NBC Nightly News to 6:30 p.m. to make room for syndicated fare like Extra and Inside Edition.

WNBC will also air hourly newsbreaks between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m, on its analog, digital, and online channels.

Meanwhile, WTVJ is also adding a 7 p.m. time slot, but is eliminating news at 5 p.m. Ellen will take over that time slot, while Extra, the former 7 p.m. occupant, is getting bumped to 4:30 p.m., paired with new game show Let’s Play Crosswords, which airs at 4 p.m.

The move back to single-access (one syndicated show in the hour before primetime) on both stations means that they are trying to reach people who are coming home from work later. Plus, the stations get to keep all the inventory in the time period. Syndicated shows in prime access usually take 2 minutes of barter time (fee spots included) to sell to national advertisers.

The move is also bad news for syndicators, especially Warner Bros., who is losing prime access time slots for Extra in two key markets. Those moves could throw the program’s future into question, as the newsmagazine/celebrity genre is very crowded at the moment, with Warner launching yet another new show in that vain with TMZ this fall. Extra is entering its 14th season this fall.

-In other syndication news, small syndicator Connection III has renewed weekend entertainment magazine series Made in Hollywood for a third season, cleared in 75 percent of the nation, with WCIU-TV in Chicago among the stations taking the show.