Atlanta’s WSB announced today that it will launch a one-hour 4 p.m. newscast to replace Oprah, who leaves for cable at the end of May. WSB follows Chicago’s WLS and New York’s WABC in filling Oprah’s longtime timeslot with local news.
“We felt that this was the right time to start the additional newscast,” said Bill Hoffman, WSB’s vice president and general manager, adding that the new 4 p.m. newscast would give the station “another hour of opportunity to serve viewers with local news when they want it.”
The new newscast will be anchored by Monica Pearson and John Bachman (above, right), with Glenn Burns, WSB’s chief meteorologist, forecasting the weather.
Pearson has been with the station for over 30 years and currently anchors WSB’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Bachman, who has been with WSB since 2007, currently works as a weekend anchor in addition to reporting throughout the week.
“Monica and John create a dynamic anchor team that’s perfect for this additional hour of news coverage,” news director Marian Pittman declared in the news release.
Hoffman tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the station has staffed up to meet the demands of an additional hour of news coverage. He says that WSB has recently added 20 employees, including three reporters and three photographers.
“We did research and we also took stock in where we are as a brand right now,” Hoffman said. “We really believe where we are right now, this time, this place, this state of the station, that the best thing we felt was go news.”