CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV announced today plans to launch a new hour of local programming at 3 p.m. starting on September 9, 2019. The time slot currently features “STEVE,” the daytime talk show hosted by Steve Harvey finishing up its seventh and final season under a distribution deal with NBCUniversal. Instead of pursuing a new syndicated deal, WBTV is investing locally.
Once the new show launches in September, WBTV will be the largest producer of local programming in the Charlotte market, producing 52 hours of unique local broadcast television per week.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring the Charlotte marketplace more local content,” said WBTV Vice President and General Manager Scott Dempsey. “We have had such a strong response from ‘Morning Break’ that making the decision to give the audience more of what they want was easy.”
“Morning Break” is a local lifestyle talk show that airs weekday mornings at 9 a.m. on WBTV. It features a mix of editorial and sponsored content that has been such a hit with its fans that the station was overwhelmed by audience feedback during a brief experiment that reduced the show to a half-hour last September. It was back to a full hour by January.
The new local program at 3 p.m. is still taking shape but promises to offer audiences and advertising clients an exciting new option. Teams at the station are working on content development, branding and technical logistics. WBTV anchor Kristen Miranda, who also hosts “Morning Break,” will host the new show alongside a co-host who will be selected later this summer. The show will incorporate elements of “Morning Break” and the station’s digital lifestyle brand, “Queen City Weekend.”
WBTV has a track record of successfully launching local programming to replace syndication. Most recently, “On Your Side Tonight with Jamie Boll” replaced “Access Hollywood” weeknights at 7:30 p.m and outperformed in the time slot with Adults 25-54 by 33% during February’s Nielsen ratings period.
Boll’s show follows “WBTV News Primetime,” a weeknight newscast at 7 p.m. that has been hosted by veteran anchor Maureen O’Boyle since debuting in 2006. The two shows are the only live, local news options at 7 p.m. in the Charlotte market.
Source: Nielsen LPM data; February 2018 and February 2019 sweeps average