N.Y.’s WNBC Swaps News for Lifestyle With ‘LX’

Trailing in the ratings for its 5 p.m. news, WNBC-TV, NBC Universal’s New York flagship, is trading news for lifestyle and entertainment features. Beginning Sept. 14, the station will launch LX New York, a live, locally focused lifestyle show produced by LX.TV, NBC Local Media’s production house.

For WNBC, the station that first launched “Live at Five” in 1980 as an alternative to its competitors’ syndicated programming and movies, the move advances NBC Local Media’s strategy to embrace lifestyle programming during the week.

Since NBC Local Media purchased LX.TV in Jan. 2008, the unit has produced a number of original, lifestyle-oriented weekend programs for WNBC and other NBC owned-and-operated stations. LX.TV also provides content for other NBC Local Media
platforms including taxis, online, gas pumps and arenas.

Targeting female “cosmopolitan connoisseurs,” the advertiser-friendly LX New York will feature a mix of local stories, celebrity guests, in-studio experts and cooking segments. The station will also supply news headlines and weather reports during the broadcast.

“This is a new kind of show designed to appeal to the large female audience that’s home in the late afternoon and not necessarily looking for a traditional local newscast,” said Vickie Burns, vp of content and audience development for NBC Local Media New York. “LX New York is the next step in our ongoing effort to expand our portfolio of relevant content, reaching new and often, untapped audiences.”

LX New York will replace NewsChannel 4 at 5 p.m. with Sue Simmons and David Ushery. Simmons will continue to co-anchor the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts with Chuck Scarborough. Ushery will continue to serve as anchor and reporter on WNBC.

The new program is just the latest in a string of major changes at the station, including a reposition of the station’s Web site as a local and lifestyle portal and the remaking of the newsroom to serve multiplatforms, including NBC Local Media’s local out-of-home venues in taxis and the New Jersey PATH trains.

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