KYW, CBS Television’s owned-and-operated station in Philadelphia, is abandoning its local newscast at 12 p.m. for a new approach. Beginning Oct. 19, the station will debut Talk Philly, a daily, half-hour lifestyle program.
Talk Philly’s concept is a hybrid between a local newscast and a TV magazine program. Hosted by KYW’s Pat Ciarrocchi and Ukee Washington from a cozy, loft-style set, lifestyle topics from health to home will take center stage interspersed with news headlines and weather. Interaction with the TV audience will be a big component of the new program, which will broadcast from a new Wi Fi-equipped set and be streamed on the station’s Web site.
Although KYW’s Eyewitness News at Noon was No. 2 in the ratings behind local news leader, WPVI, ABC Television’s owned-and-operated station, the creation of the new program was not about the ratings.
“We were in a good position, but we wanted to be different. This was about reinventing ourselves,” said Jon Hitchcock, president and general manager of KYW.
It was also about creating a program that was a lot more advertiser-friendly than the standard newscast. The format also allows for more in-depth discussion of topics such as health, consumer and lifestyles that appeal to viewers and at the same time, offers advertisers the opportunity to sponsor segments that wouldn’t be possible in a traditional newscast.
“We hope this will be more solution-based for the advertising community,” Hitchcock said.
In the first week, Talk Philly’s line up includes an interview with Jamie Foxx discussing his latest movie, Law Abiding Citizen, shot in Philly; a performance from The Hooters; and an appearance from Joseph Tittel, spiritual medium and author of Messages From the Other Side. Future guests include Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Gloria Allred and Denis Leary.
KYW is the latest station to jump on the local lifestyle trend being embraced by a number of stations, most notably, WNBC, NBC’s O&O in New York, which replaced its early newscast at 5 p.m. with LX New York.