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Spanish net’s Gotham outlet sets ayemcast

Oct. 4 debut set for 6 a.m. news show

NEW YORK — Univision flagship WXTV is joining Gotham’s ayem news battle.

Spanish-lingo station Monday announced plans for a 6 a.m. weekday local newscast to serve as a lead-in for Univision’s national morning show, “Despierta America.”

Effort is skedded to launch Oct. 4 and marks the first time a New York City Spanish broadcaster has attempted a morning news show.

The hourlong broadcast, tentatively titled “Noticias 41,” will combine local news, weather and traffic with newsmaker interviews. There’s no word yet on anchor talent for the ayemcast.

“Noticias 41” joins a crowded field of morning contenders, including WNBC’s top-rated “Today in New York,” WABC’s “Eyewitness News This Morning,” WNYW’s “Good Day: First Edition” and WCBS’ “News 2 This Morning.”

Gotham’s ayem race could get even tougher in the future: Both WPIX and WWOR have considered the possibility of launching their own morning newscasts. There’s been little action to date, however, mainly because of the startup costs involved.

National draw

WXTV has already had luck luring viewers in the ayem with Univision’s “Despierta America.” The national ayemcast has doubled WXTV’s Nielsen numbers in the 7-10 a.m. timeslot since bowing in April 1997, attracting a stunning 87% of the available Spanish-lingo aud.

“The success of ‘Despierta America’ proves there is a large audience for Spanish-language TV news in the morning,” said WXTV G.M. Cristina Schwarz. “Expanding our local news service into the wakeup hour is the next logical step for us.”

WXTV airs two local newscasts at 6 and 11 nightly.

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