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WXIX-TV Adding 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. News

Courtesy WXIX-TV
WXIX-TV anchors Joe Danneman, Rob Williams, Tricia Macke and Steve Horstmeyer.

Can WXIX-TV outfox the TV news competition at 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.?  

Channel 19 refuels Cincinnati's TV news wars by premiering two newscasts in August, two months before the 25th anniversary of the WXIX-TV news department.

It will be the first head-to-head challenge at 11 p.m. of the newscasts established nearly 70 years ago on WCPO-TV, WLWT-TV and WKRC-TV.

At 4 p.m., Fox 19 will replace the popular Judge Judy with Tricia Macke anchoring a one-hour newscast to compete with WKRC-TV's local news, WCPO-TV's hybrid local/national The Now Cincinnati and WLWT-TV's syndicated Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Credit Courtesy WXIX-TV
Fox 19's publicity photo of Tricia Macke on Fountain Square.

The late news expands from 10 p.m. to 11:35 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13. When the 4 p.m. Fox 19 Now premieres Monday, Aug. 27, Judge Judy will move to 3-4 p.m.

Why now?

"Three or four years ago, we were No. 3 in the ratings. The past two years, we've been No. 1 at night, and at 6 a.m. the last two months. This is the perfect opportunity for us," says Steve Hyvonen, news director, referring to the 18-49 and 25-54 demographic age groups most advertisers demand.

"With changing lifestyles, it's clear that Tri-State viewers are looking for local news at times that are more convenient for them. We're expanding Fox 19 Now to meet those needs," says Debbie Bush, vice president and general manager. She has been planning to expand Channel 19's news footprint since arriving here in early 2015.

Credit Courtesy WXIX-TV

WXIX-TV, which started broadcasting 50 years ago on Aug. 1,  added a local news department in 1993. It launched the city's first 10 p.m. and midnight news on Oct. 18, 1993. The morning newscast was added later.

The expanded late news will go 95 minutes so it ends at 11:35 p.m., the same as newscasts on Channels 5, 9 and 12.  Additional producers and reporters have been hired, although Hyvonen declined to say how many. Channel 19 already has more reporters on the air at 10 p.m. than any other station. The 11 p.m. portion of the newscast will include updates on breaking news from the 10 p.m. show, plus some recaps for viewers tuning in at 11 p.m.

The main anchor team of Macke, Rob Williams, Steve Horstmeyer and Joe Danneman will do the entire late news. Williams will anchor solo at 6:30 p.m.

Channel 19 will air 9-1/2 hours of local news a day after the changes, more than any other station in town.

Here's the station's new fall lineup:

Noon: Me Time with Frangela  (new Raycom Media daytime show starring Frances Callier (Hannah Montana, The Cleveland Show, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here) and Angela V. Shelton (Heart, Baby). It replaces JudgeFaith.

12:30 p.m.: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (moving from 1 p.m.)

1 p.m.: Cops (moving from 2 p.m.)

2 p.m.:  Live PD: Police Patrol (new show)

3 p.m.: Judge Judy (replaces Crime Watch Daily, which has been canceled)

4 p.m.: Fox 19 Now (replaces Judge Judy)

5 p.m.: Judge Judy.

Rob Williams anchors the 6:30 p.m. newscast.

6 p.m.: Jeopardy! (daytime repeat moving from 1:30 p.m.)

6:30 p.m.: Fox 19 Now.

7 p.m.: Wheel of Fortune.

7:30 p.m.: Jeopardy!

8 p.m.: Fox prime-time

10 p.m.:  Fox 19 Now

The late-night comedies (The Goldbergs, Mom, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, King of Queens) will start  at 11:35 p.m., and eliminate paid programming now airing 1:30-2:30 a.m.


John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.