Citytv launches 5 pm newscast

Now, CTVglobemedia and Rogers are both going for viewers in an early newscast time slot.

Rogers’ Citytv has launched CityNews at Five, putting Toronto’s local weekday newscast on the sked one hour earlier and one hour longer. The headlines and stories roll out at 5 pm daily, on-air and online, in two half-hour blocks, followed by the net’s Citynews at Six with Gord Martineau and Anne Mroczkowski. The move necessitated moving Ellen to the 4 pm time slot.

At 5 pm, anchors Dwight Drummond and Merella Fernandez will deliver the day’s top stories and coverage of the commute home. Meteorologist Michael Kuss will give the local forecast. At 5:30 pm, Mark Dailey will deliver the day’s top stories and Kathryn Humphreys will deliver sports.

Citytv director of news programming Tina Cortese says the strategy kicked off with a soft launch on January 21, and the net is now selling it more aggressively to advertisers following the hard launch last week.

‘We feel there’s an appetite for local news even earlier than the traditional 6 pm suppertime newscast, and we looked at it as an opportunity for growth, especially with the changing lifestyles in this city and various work hours and shifts,’ Cortese says. ‘There’s a lot of us here in this newsroom that live that life. You want news when you want it, and you need it kind of quickly sometimes.’

Coincidentally or not, CTVglobemedia CP24 launched its own earlier newscast, Live At 5, last month (click here for MiC‘s coverage).