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TV: KSTU will add half-hour noon newscast to lineup
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With already seven hours of local news broadcast each day, Fox13 is going to add yet another newscast.

Beginning Aug. 17, KSTU Channel 13 will be producing a new half-hour segment at noon Monday through Friday, right after its 11 a.m.-to-noon newscast. It will replace the syndicated show "Judge Alex."

Likely, a lot of stories will be recycled from earlier morning newscasts, but the station's news director says it will be a half-hour of all news, anchored by Kerri Cronk and Dan Evans.

I've been told that extending a newscast is relatively inexpensive, as it doesn't require the station to build new sets or hire new personnel. They just have everyone work harder with the same resources (and probably the same pay). We here at the newspaper are familiar with that tactic.

Other options to fill daytime programming slots usually are more expensive. A syndicated show like "Oprah," for example, may cost a lot to buy and air but may not have as big a rate of return as local news.

A station could produce local programming like KTVX's "Good Things Utah" or a sports show, but that can cost more with additional on-air talent and sets.

The cheapest alternative is an infomercial. Sure, it's an ad where the station is paid, but the viewership generally is low, and stations don't have the opportunity to promote their other programming in those time slots because no one is watching.

One station manager believes we'll see more local stations adding newscasts in these dark economic times.

I don't think that's necessarily a bad idea. More opportunities for people to be informed about community news is a good thing.

This just in » Longtime news reporter Debbie Dujanovic, KSL's investigative reporter, is jumping to "the dark side," as we say in the journalism biz.

She will become the new public affairs specialist for the Salt Lake City Office of the FBI.

The investigative reporter position -- an important one since few stations around the country have them -- will be filled by KSL's weekend anchor, Lori Prichard, who will keep her regular duties. Dujanovic leaves Aug. 5.

Meanwhile, KUTV Channel 2 is revamping its news Web site to include more community-based features. What once was KUTV.com is now turning into Connect2Utah.com.

The new site, which has a soft launch the end of this month, will include a community calendar, consumer deals and other tidbits.

Vince Horiuchi 's column appears Mondays and Fridays. He can be reached at vince@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">vince@sltrib.com or 801-257-8607. For more televi sion insights, visit Horiuchi's blog, "The Village Vidiot," at blogs.sltrib.com/tv/.

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