To say that WCBS/WLNY “got the message” might be too strong, but we are seeing some positive signs for a Long Island presence.
First, WCBS, which completed its purchase of independent WLNY (TV 10/55) in April, has finally added the only pre-acquisition holdover.
Richard Rose is reporting from the WCBS/WLNY Long Island bureau, a revamped, HD facility to WLNY’s former Melville location. Rose delivers a Long Island business segment each night on the News at 9, anchored by Chris Wragge and Dana Tyler.
FishbowlNY previously argued that WLNY, especially its new prime time newscast, needed a larger Long Island focus, given that the FCC has the license based in Riverhead. At the time, a spokesperson said Rose’s delay was because the studio was not ready. However during that time, Rose did not report from the CBS studios on West 57th where the broadcast originated, nor did he hit the road within the Island to find stories.
Now Rose and the new studio are in place. The spokesperson says Rose joined the News at 9 on July 30, one week after our “review.” His contribution is included in the second half of the newscast.
At the top of the broadcast, WLNY, it seems, is attempting a higher priority on Long Island. Since our last critical examination of WLNY’s night time news, on average, Long Island-centric stories get the lead. One night this week, the News at 9 devoted its first slots to Nassau and Suffolk counties.
But there is still randomness to their story selection. Last night for example, anchors Maurice DuBois (in for Wragge) and Tyler opened the broadcast with a horse carriage mishap at Columbus Circle.
But the second story was even more questionable. It was about a man videotaping boys at a Warren County, New Jersey amusement park.
Finally on the third story, DuBois provided an update to a Nassau County man who faked his own death.
It wasn’t until the four-minute mark that WLNY had its first live report. Jessica Schneider was in Oceanside to show the town’s support for a fallen Marine in Afghanistan. You can bet Rose would have led with that story on WLNY’s last incarnation of news.
Four minutes later, still in the newscast’s first block came this quick story about a possible shark attack on Fire Island.
Curiously, the anchors “reset” at the bottom of the hour with headline teases, then took us to Westchester County’s Briarcliff Manor for a Lou Young story about toxic contamination.
Rose joined the newscast at 9:36, live from Melville. Somewhat odd, Rose’s lead-in was a piece about proposed animal laws from Bloomfield, New Jersey.
It was worth the wait for Rose, given the “business reporter,” who had a nice story profiling Long Island’s only woman bank president.
It may take time, but WLNY is taking the right steps forward for Long Island.