×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

KCOP halves ‘Real News’

KCOP will cut its 10-11 p.m. “Real News” to a half-hour and eliminate its weekend newscasts next month, but the indie is kicking around several ideas for a topical 10:30 p.m. news-oriented show that could debut this summer.

The Chris-Craft/United-owned station also is looking to expand into other dayparts wherethere is no head-to-head news competition.

The revamped half-hour newscast, which begins May 16, will still cover hard news and have in-depth reports. But it will not have asmuch filler, said KCOP general manager Rick Feldman, who described the new edition as a TV version of the all-news radio format, “You give us 22 minutes and we’ll give you the world.”

Feldman hopes to get the second half-hour on the air by August. A number of formats that would appeal to the station’s younger audience are under consideration, including entertainment, sports and satirical news.

KCOP will trim the weeknight news because it cannot steal away enough viewers from the other three entrenched independent newscasts. The station was the last major indie in Los Angeles to build up its news presence, launching its low-rated “Real News” a little more than a year ago.

Seeking to attract the younger audience that watches such lead-ins as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” KCOP tried to make the newscast more visually appealing by having roving anchors and a more lively style than the other newscasts.

But the program has been mired in last place, attracting around a 2 rating in the February sweeps. Feldman said the research made it “painfully clear” that even viewers who liked “Real News” weren’t impressed enough to give up their regular choices.

Older viewers — the core of the news audience — migrated to first-place KTLA and KCAL-TV. Second-place KTTV, whose audience was about twice as large as KCOP’s in the most recent sweeps, split the younger aud.

The 18-34 crowd is more transitory than older viewers, with the ratings rising and falling based on the lead-in, Feldman said.

The only way KCOP believes it can compete in the hour is to have “something unique,” he noted.

Feldman and KCOP news director Jeff Wald Monday emphasized the steps the station is taking does not lessen its commitment to news. There are no plans to pare back the news staff or bid farewell to any on-air talent.

Wald described the moves as a “realignment,” with some weekday and weekend news staffers now focusing on the half-hour 10:30 p.m. show. The weekend staffers, including anchors Wendy Walsh and David Gonzales, will have “varying roles” in both the new project and the Monday-Friday news, which will continue to be anchored by Ross Becker and Ellen Leyva.

KCOP opted to scrap the poorly rated weekend newscasts because Wald believed the staffers could be put to better use working in a weekday rotation.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content