TV viewers in the Syracuse, NY market are now able to catch live, local television newscasts as early as 4am. CNYradio.com is reporting that NBC 3 (WSTM) will expand its Today in Central New York by a full hour, starting at 4:00am. But there’s a flip-side to the expansion: the station will no longer offer the noon newscast it had been simulcasting on NBC 3 and CBS 5 (WTVH).
President and CEO Chris Geiger said “viewers are turning the television on earlier.” The expansion of Today in Central New York will give WSTM the distinction of being the first broadcast outlet in Syracuse to get on the air with breaking news and severe weather. For now, that honor goes to ABC affiliate NewsChannel 9 (WSYR-TV), which begins The Morning News at 4:30am. Just a few years ago, both stations started their early morning newscasts at 5:00am.
Geiger explains the cancellation of the noon newscast is attributed to those early morning viewers “shifting to online and mobile news sites” during the middle part of the day.
Another possible reason — though not mentioned in the stations’ announcement — is the fact that having talent and crew start their day prior to 4:00am would mean an eight-hour workday ends before noon. At that point, producing a noon newscast would require the station to pay everyone overtime or add an additional shift of workers, a move which might not be cost-effective for a single, 30-minute newscast.