Nexstar’s former Evansville, Ind., Fox affiliate remakes itself with a lineup of more news, local lifestyle, community and sports programming.
Nexstar-owned WTVW Evansville, Ind. (DMA 103), will debut a new format and brand, Local 7, on July 1.
The station, which lost its Fox affiliation this month when parent Nexstar could not come to terms with Fox over how to split retransmission consent revenue, will offer locally originated news, lifestyle, sports and weather programming as WTVW will expand on its current 30 hours of weekly locally-produced newscasts. In addition, WTVW says, “Local 7 will offer feature entertainment, hit primetime programming and blockbuster movies.”
Michael Smith, the station’s VP-GM, commented on the new format: “Launching Local 7 reflects WTVW’s deep commitment to the community and focus on addressing the interests of our multiple viewing audiences in the Tri-State area with more locally-produced programming than they can get anywhere else. Local 7 will build upon its highly successful news product as we are immediately increasing the amount of local news content and are developing other exclusive, locally originated programming.
Smith noted, “With the expansion of WTVW’s existing news product, Local 7 will produce 36½ hours of news per week this fall. Viewers can also expect to see college and high school games of the week, weekly programs dedicated to the hometowns we serve and a program that puts the academic skills of Tri-State students to the test.”
WTVW’s hour-long daily primetime newscast will continue to air at 9 p.m., seven days a week as will the daily full hour of local weekday news from 6 to 7 p.m. Beginning on July 9, Saturday’s 6 p.m. local newscasts will expand to a full hour and WTVW is adding a full hour local newscast on Sundays at 6 p.m. beginning on July 10. As a result, WTVW viewers will now have a full hour of local news seven days a week at both 6 and 9 p.m. AM Evansville continues at 5-8 a.m. weekdays and WTVW also offers mid-day news at noon.
July will also mark the debut of the station’s new weekday primetime lineup beginning with Inside Edition at 7 p.m. followed by The Insider at 7:30. Monday through Fridays at 8 is Law and Order SVU.
Airing every Saturday night beginning at 7 is Family Western Night with vintage classics Bonanza, Gun Smoke and Rawhide. Later in the weekend, WTVW will present Sunday Family Movie.
Coming this fall, WTVW will expand its local programming platform even further with original weekly local sports and a fourth hour added to AM Evansville morning news, providing additional lifestyle, community and current events news. In addition, the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory is being added to the programming schedule on Sept. 19 and will air weekdays from 8 to 9 p.m.