DMA 7 (WASHINGTON/HAGERSTOWN, MD)

WHAG Announces $1M Local News Expansion

Beginning July 1, when its NBC affiliation goes away, Nexstar-owned WHAG Hagerstown, Md., will boost its coverage to more than 50 hours weekly of locally-produced news, lifestyle, weather, sports and community programming in full high-definition. The expansion increases local coverage in Maryland and Northern Virginia while bringing West Virginia viewers the only available state-wide local news programming.

Following the news that Nexstar Broadcasting Groups WHAG Hagerstown, MD. (DMA 7), will lose its NBC affiliation after more than 40 years this summer, the station announced Friday afternoon that it will “significantly expand its highly-viewed locally originated news programming under the Your Local News Leader brand, with the initial launch beginning July 1.”

In association with the news expansion, Nexstar said it will be investing approximately $1 million to relocate WHAG’s news bureaus, open additional field offices, add over a dozen news and production personnel, develop new on-air graphics and purchase new equipment, weather technology and traffic systems to complement the additional programming.

In addition, the station will hire additional marketing and sales personnel to promote WHAG’s suite of multiplatform marketing solutions, including Your4State.com.

The expansion will deliver more than 20 additional hours of local news to its new weekly broadcast schedule, increasing WHAG’s locally-produced news, lifestyle, sports, weather and community programming to over 50 hours per week.

In addition to more local programming hours, Nexstar said the expansion will bring WHAG’s local news coverage “to new geographic areas with the addition of original newscasts unique to local viewing communities in Maryland and Northern Virginia as well as West Virginia’s only available state-wide local news. Importantly, WHAG-TV’s local news expansion directly addresses the needs of the local communities outside the Beltway, particularly in Montgomery County, Md., and Northern Virginia by bringing viewers the only full-coverage local television news programming targeted to their local communities.”

Hugh Breslin, WHAG VP-GM, said: “Nexstar and our Four State station operations are dedicated to supporting the evolving needs and interests of our local viewing communities, hometown businesses and public organizations. This is a very exciting time for WHAG-TV and our local viewers as this unprecedented expansion will increase our locally-produced news, lifestyle, sports, weather and community programming to over 50 hours per week, with 24/7 access to additional compelling local content online at Your4State.com.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

“In addition, we will continue to elevate our community service by launching new locally-originated programming specifically for viewers in Maryland, Northern Virginia and throughout West Virginia State. Importantly, the expansion of our news programming under the Your Local News Leader brand reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering superior local news, entertainment programming and exclusive content to local viewers while offering businesses and advertisers unparalleled marketing opportunities across all screens and devices.

Broadcast in full HD, WHAG said its multimedia journalists will deliver news from its repositioned news bureaus in Winchester, Va., and Germantown, Md., to better reflect the station’s expanded coverage area, and expects to open an additional office in the Centerville, Va., area in the first quarter of 2017.

WHAG studios are currently outfitted with advanced production resources and technologies, including state-of-the-art HD cameras, weather forecasting equipment and locally-themed news sets. However, Nexstar will invest in other equipment and technology resources to support the over 20 additional hours of local news. In addition, the expanded team of journalists will provide viewers with more local news content relevant to the Four States communities through additive and enhanced digital applications with both mobile and desktop accessibility on Your4State.com.


Comments (4)

Leave a Reply

alicia farmer says:

February 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

That’s a lot of expanding for only $1 million. What’s the average salary/benefits – $25,000?

    Andrea Rader says:

    February 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Hagerstown is a starter market, so that figure might not be far off the mark.

Ariana Ringstrom says:

February 21, 2016 at 8:03 am

Pro tip: If you’re going to expand to Centreville, learn how to spell it.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    February 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Might want to direct that at the writer, not WHAG-TV, as I suspect they know how to spell it properly.


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