Friday, April 18, 2008

From the mailbag: Why does the 6 PM News start so early?

From: Brian via Facebook

Q: I have a question I've pondered for years and in which I think others might be interested: It seems every station in town starts their 6:00 pm newscasts not at 6:00 pm but at 5:57 or 5:58 pm. Why is that? Is it so the viewers don't have a chance to tune away from the previous show? When I got my DVR, it took a little practice to tell it to start recording 6:00 pm newscasts a few minutes early.

A: Brian.. you have answered your own question.. but let me elaborate a little bit on this. Speaking just about Channel 3, we try and start our newscast at 6 p.m. as soon as Dr. Phil says goodbye. Because we are up against other stations who are already doing news during the 5 p.m. hour we don't want to be at a disadvantage by having them beat us to the start line at 6. On the flip side, the others stations don't want us to be first - and them last. Thus, we all start at about the same time - around 5:58 p.m.

For folks who record our shows via DVRs...that has been a major complaint for the very reason you mention. They miss the first 2 minutes of our broadcast, which is always the big story of the day - and viewers who are tuning in live right at 6 also discover they have missed something important.

You can email your questions to me:

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