ABC30 in St. Louis Re-Enters News … with Pre-Taped Shows

By Chris Ariens 

St. Louis Examiner’s Pat Howard watched day one of ABC30 KDNL as the station re-entered the St. Louis news game with taped newscasts produced by KSDK.

The concept is simple and cheaply made, without looking especially low-budget. [KSDK’s Courtney] Gousman anchors the broadcast in front of a green screen, with a graphical background superimposed behind her. She cycles through video highlights of the day’s top stories locally and around the world.

The broadcast offers no sports segment, though weather cut-ins featuring channel 5 meteorologists are thrown in. There is no banter, either, since there is no one for Gousman to banter with.

ABC30 hasn’t had a regular newscast in almost 10 years. ABC lost its affiliation in St. Louis in 1995 when the New World acquisition spree turned Channel 2 into a FOX affiliate. ABC30 produced newscasts under the “News 30 Now” and “ABC30 News” name until 2001, when the newsroom was shuttered. Last November, the Sinclair-owned station announced it would return to news with shows produced by KSDK (NBC) — rare that an NBC and ABC station in a market the size of St. Louis (21) would work together on local news, but also a sign of the times.

ABC30 is now the fifth station in the market with local news, produced by three news operations: KSDK, Belo’s KMOV (CBS), and Local-owned FOX2 which shares news ops with Tribune-owned KPLR (CW).